Marlene Sharman – December 2020 Client Spotlight


In September, 2019, Marlene attended her first senior group class at Pro Fitness and has been a client since. “I began individual training with Rhonda once a week as well and continue that with Doug at this time.  I decided to work with a personal trainer to focus on more specific areas on a regular basis, for motivation, and for more variety in my workout routine.”

Marlene’s initial goals included improving strength, flexibility, and committing to a work-out schedule 3 to 4 times a week.  “I now have more energy and less aches and pains.  I feel much stronger doing everyday tasks including lifting, standing, stopping, and kneeling.”  

Going forward Marlene hopes to stay active, healthy, and continue to get stronger through senior classes and personal training at Pro Fitness.  She would also like to spend as much time as possible outside walking, biking, and hiking.

At my yearly physical in October, my blood work showed significant improvements in my cholesterol, HDL’s, triglycerides, and LDL’s.  Since I have not made any change in my diet, I believe regular exercise during the past year made all the difference.”

Emily Smithback – November 2020 Client Spotlight

                  EMILY SMITHBACK

In 2018 I started a membership at Pro Fitness after being introduced by the Kodanko family. I was looking for a “fitness home,” and they assured me Pro Fitness was a fitness community like no other. I quickly began to appreciate the fellow members, the unique equipment and techniques, and just the overall quality found at Pro Fitness. I shortly began working with Doug to receive some assistance in furthering my workout routine. Little did I know how his commitment to bettering his clients through a holistic approach would change my life so much. The discussions and education on a multitude of health topics soon began to positively impact every aspect of my life, from my sleep, to my mental health, to what I packed for lunch every day. However, the most impactful strategy Doug ever introduced me to reshaped my perception of “working out,” and has continually driven me to keep coming back for another round in the gym.

During one of my first sessions with Doug he started off the workout with the question “what is your goal?” To be honest, I had never had a goal when it came to fitness other than to lose weight and look more like the athletic ladies in the fitness industry found all over social media. This is when Doug introduced the idea of having a SMART goal for myself to drive purpose behind my workouts. I will admit that I was a bit annoyed by this idea. My perception at the time was that a SMART goal was an overused buzzword that drove me insane. Just write a goal and do it, right? Absolutely not. My perception of a fitness goal was unmeasurable, unattainable, and quite frankly, unmotivating. This left me vulnerable to skipping workouts or eating in ways that did not support my workouts. At first, Doug suggested I try triathlons to which I replied with a boisturest laugh and a line sharing my weakness and absolute hate for running. Eventually, we developed my first fitness SMART Goal, which was to be able to do a chin up. As a sophomore in high school I received a 25% on my chin up test, and it was something I was frustrated I could never do. Sure enough, that goal kept me coming back for more and more. Within two months I had passed my goal and was able to complete multiple chin ups in a row. And yes, I did go back and show my sophomore physical education teacher my new skill (we work in the same school district)! The sense of accomplishment and the boost in confidence drove a never ending cycle of developing fitness goals, and grinding it out in the gym in order to reach those goals.

Last September I witnessed the epitome of achieving goals as I watched my college roommate cross the IRONMAN finish line in Madison, Wisconsin. As an event viewer, I felt goosebumps every single time a participant crossed the finish line to their name being announced, and hearing they achieved their goal- “you are an IRONMAN.” I have never experienced a more motivating athletic event in my life. The next week I shared my experience with Doug and admitted that my next goal needed to be a triathlon. I needed to experience that euphoric rush of crossing a finish line. I began gathering equipment, training, and setting my eyes on the first few triathlons to compete in come spring and summer. The goal was set, the training was in motion, then COVID hit. As races began to cancel I could not help but feel extremely frustrated by the time, energy, and financial investment given to a goal I was not going to be able to complete for the foreseeable future. Low and behold, my college roommate informed me of IRONMAN’s virtual triathlons hosted every weekend through the lockdown and beyond. I was able to compete and finish seven virtual triathlons during the lockdown. The sense of accomplishment after each virtual race drove my motivation to continue competing and pushing myself to go farther. A goal just over a year prior that I never thought I would complete was now an accomplishment under my belt.

Whether it is a chin up, meeting a daily step total, or completing a project at work, a goal gives us purpose to why we decide to show up to our jobs or the gym rather than burn out. Our goals, purpose and accomplishments lead one to another, and it is up to each of us to continue the cycle in order to become a better version of ourselves. I wish you the best of luck in achieving your next goal!

Laurie Walters – October 2020 Client Spotlight

                                      LAURIE WALTERS

2020, the year that wasn’t, presented a motivational challenge for me, not being able to do my normal spring and summer group activities due to Covid restrictions I was searching for a reason to train.  Knowing my toughest competitor is the person that stares back at me in the mirror each morning  I needed a goal to strive for. A Curling friend of mine from Minnesota threw out this virtual Coast to Coast ride across America that was just the trick. For a minimal fee I was given a choice of 4 distances to strive for (I choose the 2500 mile), an exclusive facebook group where people across the U. S. and even some international folks could share their successes and struggles, give support and encouragement; a participant shirt; and finishers medal all within a time frame of May 25th-Sep 7th. Each day you enter your mileage on a website and watch as you move across the U.S.  Well I got excited and started riding more and feeling great, on days when I felt a bit lazy or too busy I made myself go out even if it was just a short time and felt a sense of accomplishment. Well needless to say I’m still riding and so far this summer have passed the 5600 mile mark on my way towards 6000. I have done the virtual Bellin 10K and signed up for The Bellin Women’s virtual 5K. I feel if you make the commitment you need to follow it through.

Pete Angilello – May 2020 Client Spotlight

                                        JIMMY AND PETE

When did you start training at Pro Fitness?

I started training with Lisa in May 2019 and then when Lisa retired at the end of 2019, I began training with Chrystal.

Why did you decide to begin working with a Trainer?

I began working with a trainer more for mental health, rather than for physical health, reasons. My husband of 35 years took his life after a major depressive episode. I was also diagnosed with cancer the same month. After dealing with the initial fallout over all of that, I needed to feel that I had some control over something in my life and my body was really all that I felt I had. I started doing more meditation and yoga, but needed something more active to feel a physical change in my body. As the physical changes started happening, they began to mirror the changes of my attitude and outlook as well and I was able to move more forward in my emotional life. Plus, I needed to laugh more, so I needed trainers that could provide not only a great workout, but also had a sense of humor and to keep everything, including exercise, in perspective.

What were your initial goals when you started?

Honestly, I didn’t have any specific goals. I just wanted to feel a connection with my body again. When you are dealing with a loved one with a mental health challenge, being a caregiver can really take a toll on you, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

How has the changes you’ve made impacted your lifestyle?

I have always had Garfield the Cat’s attitude toward exercise which is, “I might as well exercise. I’m in a bad mood anyway!” Exercise was not necessarily anything I enjoyed doing when I was younger because I was overweight and I was teased about not being good at sports. As I’ve come to integrate physical activity into my life, I’ve rethought my attitude toward “exercise” and participate in it more naturally like walking, biking, yoga and dancing.

Going forward, what are your new goals?

To not lose sight of what your body and exercise can do for your spirit.

Any extra thoughts you would like us to add:

I enjoy the family atmosphere at Pro-Fitness. Everyone knows my name and is so very encouraging. You don’t always get that feeling in larger gym environments.





Dr. Craig Janssen & Mary Kenneke, April 2020 Client Spotlight

Craig & Mary joined Pro Fitness in 2011, personal training twice a week with a few exceptions.

From Dr. Janssen:

A trainer pushes you way beyond what you would do on your own. Designated appointments ensure that there are not excuses for not making it to the gym. A trainer observes and corrects exercises that you may be doing incorrectly and or make adjustments. Quitting is not an option. The session is also made enjoyable with health-related discussion and humor.

Our goals were to stay healthy and be able to work and play without the chronic pain issues that the majority of Americans suffer from. Being in your 60’s and beyond watching life from the couch and moving slowly does not look very exciting. There are too many opportunities in life to enjoy and you need your health to be able to do things. Exercise, good nutrition and proper sleep make the above an almost certain reality. What you proactively do to care for yourself determines your destiny. Genetics play a 20% role and we play an 80% role in our health.

With the regular training routine, we work 50+ hours in our dental practice weekly and do an array of outdoor activities at our country home. We have a huge garden over 50 fruit trees, 15 beehives, 40 egg laying chickens, and two dogs. The dogs eat deer carcasses, passed away chickens, and 4 eggs each per day from our chickens. They are extremely healthy dogs who only see a vet for wellness checks. They are an example of what happens when you eat what nature intended you to eat. Maybe America should consider doing away with a highly processed diet full of sugar and preservatives.

Staying healthy is extremely important to us as we have professional and hobby interests we want to achieve and enjoy. We want to help spread and shape the holistic dental concept which emphasizes the importance of oral health and its relationship to general health. You will never be healthy if your mouth is in disarray. Over 95% of dental disease does not hurt and when it does, it is generally to late to save the tooth/teeth. We will continue working with Doug as it plays a vital role in our success.

A few extra thoughts:

  • Drink ½ of your weight in ounces of good water per day (not out of the tap since it contains chlorine and fluoride which are both poisons).
  • Avoid processed and sugar added foods and beverages.
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • See your Pro Fitness trainer as exercise is extremely important if you desire to live a long high-quality life!

From Mary:

We felt it was very important to keep our bodies fit as our job is very taxing to our postures. Utilizing Pro Fitness and a personal trainer helps us to work on our weaknesses and improve on our posture and core muscles.

We have found that working out with Doug and the staff at ProFitness makes our job easier at work and at home. We keep an active life at home with gardening and raising and taking care of chickens and our 2 dogs. We have many projects going on at home and training has kept us prepared for whatever life deals us.  We also grow and raise most of our food, which allows us to have a better handle on what we are putting in our bodies.

Regular exercise along with eating right are very important to both of us.  We enjoy sharing our knowledge of nutrition, health, and physical exercise with family and friends so they don’t have to live with unnecessary health issues.

Beth VanBeek – March 2020 Client Spotlight

                    BETH VANBEEK

Beth started training at Pro Fitness two years ago after her sister-in-law, Lindsey, made a “come with me” request to join her for a class.  “I was looking for something new as a workout.  I am a class-type person and Lindsey convinced me to try Chrystal’s Core and More Class.  I am not a cardio person and when I was introduced to Chrystal’s class, it was right up my alley.  I was hooked after my first visit!”

Beth’s initial goals included maintaining her original weight loss and muscle tone in addition to learning new techniques and ways to improve her lifestyle. “I now run races with a group of girlfriends, something I never thought I would do.  I’m attending more cardio classes with Chrystal and others in the community.  I have an amazing workout family and feel great about the lifestyle changes I’ve made!”

Going forward Beth will work to keep her body toned, watch her weight, and improve her running skills.  “I don’t necessarily enjoy running but would like to get there someday.  I’m also working up the courage to take one of Doug’s classes.”

“Thanks to the amazing team and workout family at Pro Fitness.  I’ve gained better confidence in myself and a great group of new friends.”

Shelly Thomas – February Client Spotlight


I started training at Pro Fitness about two and a half years ago.  I met Chrystal at work and I started talking to her about personal training.  She encouraged me to try it out.  I was pretty intimidated at the thought of it, but she was so encouraging that I decided to give it a try.

I started working with Chrystal because I wanted to have workouts that were designed just for me.   I wanted someone to watch me exercise and correct my form or technique if need be.  My initial goals were to become healthier and increase my fitness level.

The training sessions have become a weekly routine for me.  I check in with Chrystal, and we talk about how my week went.  This helps motivate me and keep me on track for the upcoming week.  If I get off track, then Chrystal straightens me right out!!

Going forward, my goals are to strengthen my core, increase my aerobic capacity and improve my balance.  It would also be great to lose weight in the process!

I can’t say enough about the staff at Pro Fitness.  I adore Chrystal, even when she’s making me lunge my way around the gym!  She pushes me to do more than I would ever do on my own.  Steve is awesome!  He’s so friendly and I look forward to chatting with him every week.  Jason is always good for an entertaining story, and Doug always makes me feel welcome.  I love Pro Fitness!

Gary Ambrosius – Pre Holiday Meltdown Weight Loss Challenge Winner


To All My Pro Fitness Friends:

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone at Pro Fitness for all the encouragement and advice I received during the weight loss challenge. I could not have done it without all of you! You all kept me motivated and helped me “stay the course”.

I entered the first weight loss challenge with minimal success.  My BMI indicator always stated I was “overweight”.  My goal was to get it closer to the “normal” range.  I realized if this was going to happen I would need to make some major changes to my diet and exercise routine. That is  what motivated me to enter the weight loss challenge.

I decided that I needed to exercise at the minimum 6 days a week and at a minimum of 45 minutes to 1 hour a day.  I made a commitment to get in the gym at the Y on Saturday and Pro Fitness on Sunday mornings!

Doug was very instrumental in giving me advice regarding my diet. I transitioned from eliminating bread, chips/pretzels, pasta, soda, and sweets from my diet. He provided valuable advice as to how to prepare steamed vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. I use a lot of fresh vegetables, placing them in a zip & steam bag.  Doug also advised me to add a little butter in the bag. I knew I needed more protein and he stated the best cuts are turkey, salmon, tuna, and lean chicken. Chrystal Zank has also been a huge help in helping me “stay the course”.  She gave me a lot of valuable advice regarding gluten free foods and how to “treat” myself every so often.

I will be donating any monetary winning from this challenge to the Cerebral Palsy Center. My reason for doing this is twofold. First and foremost, after my accident, I was wheel chair bound for approximately 4-5 months. I could not place any weight on either leg. The CP Center allowed me to have water therapy in their pool. They would wheel me into their pool and I would float to the deep end with the help of floatation devices and therapists. I would also do non-weight bearing stretching and water jogging. With their help and over time I was able to walk up the ladder and out of the pool. I would not be where I am today without their help. That organization is my favorite charity!

The second reason is that I consider Pro Fitness my extended family. It is the encouragement, advice, and help from all of you that helped me get to where I am today. THANK YOU all, especially Doug, Chrystal, and Colleen.  Colleen also helped me when I was frustrated and feeling the weight loss was not going as planned. She would tell me “it is a journey, not a race”.  In closing, I hope to continue seeing everyone at the gym and if I can lend any advice please let me know.  I would love to share my journey with you all!  I would also share my personal mantra with everyone and that being “Breathe Gary”.