Sunday, December 16, 2012

celebrate EVERY milestone!

No matter how small - every step counts!  One person might be shooting to complete a 100 mile race or an Ironman.  While another client is literally working on being able to walk across the room unassisted.  YOUR milestone is YOURS!

Do not ever think that just because you can't do something someone else is doing today that you are less worthy.  Every step needs to be recognized and celebrated. 

*Yesterday I completed my 4th half marathon without any knee pain.  4 years ago I passed out walking around the block. 

*Tyann (a friend and an instructor at Phazes) finished the half marathon in half the time it took me to complete it.  She got first place (again)  She is amazing and it is fun to watch her speed and strength. 

*One Client did her first 5K

*Another Client in her 40's called to tell me she can put her cane down and walk unassisted across the room for the first time in many years.  (I cried)

All of these accomplishments are reasons to celebrate!

I celebrate ALL OF YOU doing more today than you did yesterday.  Welcome to LIVING!
 - Michelle

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Special offer to Hurricane Athletic club clients....

Hurricane Athletic Club is closing their doors this week.  I received a visit from one of their clients a few days ago and she told me the news.  She wanted to know about our programs and if we had anything for the Silver Sneakers program for Seniors.

The short answer is - Yes.

at 10:30am Every Weekday is a fitness class set up with YOU in mind - our seniors.
Monday at 10:30 is a low impact, beginning Zumba class
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 is the GOLD Circuit - 30 minute interval training that is gentle on the joints.
FRIDAY - at 10:30 is Beginning Yoga - a less intense version for those with concern about overdoing it in the intermediate class.

While we are not currently set up to have insurance companies pay for your fitness program, we are going to be working on that.
IN THE MEANTIME - we want to offer a special deal to you ...
If you are coming to us from Hurricane athletic Club and you sign up as a Phazes Member before the end of December, You will get 50% off the normal Phazes membership FOR A FULL YEAR! (there are no set up or cancellation fees)

That's right.  I have a passion for YOU and seeing you continue on your fitness journey.  So YOU will only be charged $20/month if you come in right away.
You also get your first visit free to see if you even like what we have to offer.

Call 435-680-4025
or email


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Phazes "no equipment" workouts...

Studies have shown that an hour of running on a treadmill at 70-80% max HR  OR   working on High intensity exercises (like Burpees, push-ups and other types of Metabolic resistance training exercises) for 20-40 seconds with 10-20 seconds rests for just 10-30 minutes will give the same wieght loss - fat burning and calorie burning as long cardio.  BUT....  Overall muscle endurance, stamina, energy, and strength is ONLY improved with the second form of exercises - NOT long cardio.  ALSO, those who have worked on creating stronger bodies (not just leaner) have less struggles keeping weight off than those who only do cardio.

While I happen to be a huge fan of running, I am also a BIGGER fan of short burst workouts that give me greater results for improved muscle and form. Let's face it, I look better when I am not just skin and bones - plus I can move the couch without any help.  My back is strong, I can lift, I can pull.  It's a matter of functioning better as a human being.

The Phazes Circuit is a body weight based, Metabolic resistance training circuit.  It's short - only about 30 minutes.  But you can decide your intensity level with the help of a trainer and get the workout you need to give you the best results possible.

There is no fancy equipment in a Phazes Studio.  Just exercise posters around the room a timer and a trainer to guide you in proper form for each exercise you do.  You might use a jump rope, swiss ball, TRX, Pull-up station, or weights.  But unlike those big box gyms the first thing you see is not a bunch of expensive equipment, it's an empty floor - waiting for you, and a trainer ready to help.  That is the best fitness tool you will ever get!

Have you come in to try the Phazes circuit yet?  It just might surprise you.

Check out our locations in St. George and Hurricane Utah.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cory mixes donuts and running...

The Baker's Dozen Half Marathon...

  This is a half marathon (13 miles) where you HAVE to eat a cookie, donut, twinkie (if there are any left) or other sugary treat at every aid station. (oh yeah - there is a 5K option too).  It is disgusting!  It's Horrible!  It's Awful! It's also the funnest race of the entire year and I will be running in it.  Cory Reese  (aka Fast Cory - check out his blogspot here:  ) - asked me if I could advertise this event for him.  Then he  asked "Or is it a conflict of interest with all the treats people have to eat?"

Here is why I will run it and advertise it:
1 - Any excuse for a party is a good thing!
2 - Getting People to get outside in the cold and run 13 miles is nuts!  Why not tempt them with donuts and cakes?  My husband uses the same technique to get scouts to show up at 6am to put out flags on special Holidays.  It works!
3 - You will feel so full of nastiness afterward, you won't want another one ever again! (unless your name is Cory Reese)  I do a Bacon Party once a year where the next day I feel so sick I never want to see bacon again - til the next year.  Why not Hostess... uhhh... I mean... Little Debbie's or whatever is left?
4 - OH YEAH - there is a 5K option so even if you are not a distance runner or just want to break into running feel free to come walk/jog/walk or just walk and have a BLAST with everyone else.
5 - Getting into the "racing circuit" is a fun adventure for the soul!  These people are looney!  This is one of the best ways to make new friends, try something crazy, and not feel like an outcast anymore.  Come join the craziest (and best) group of people I know.
6 - In case you missed the news - Hostess is closing it's doors.  I have a love/hate relationship with Hostess.   While I love the idea that one less temptation will be on the shelves, I too will mourn the loss of my occasional Chocolate Donette.  I think this race is a great way to memorialize the loss of an American Icon.
7 - There is a Hostess with the Mostest award (or something like that)  where the person who eats the most treats gets an award.  YUCK!  (or YUM,  if your name is Cherie Santiago - last year's winner and a friend of mine.
8 - It's December.  You need to get out and do something active!
9 - Cory Reese is a good guy.
10 - you might see me hurl.

So go ahead - there is no shame in it.  try the half marathon or the 5K!
It is a serious party!

Click here for more info:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Next week is crazy with clients and staff heading out to see family and doing Holiday Shopping.  SO here is what Phazes is Planning around the Holidays...

Hurricane Studio will be CLOSED
St. George at the Warehouse will have Bootcamp in the morning and circuit until 7:00am

BLACK FRIDAY (day after Thanksgiving)
Hurricane studio will be open from 6am-11am for our Black Friday Sale
There will be Zumba at 9:30  but no Yoga at 10:30.

St. George location at the Warehouse will be closed on Black Friday - BUT if you want to take advantage of the Black Friday Sale - just call in to the Hurricane Office or email if you cannot stop by.


I'm not sure if the picture got cut off or not.
4 ways to purchase
1- call 435-635-6869
2 - email
3 - buy online - - class schedule  - retail
4 - stop in the Hurricane office

Enjoy Thanksgiving and have a great time with family and loved ones!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bootcamp Circuit? what's that?

The Phazes Circuit has changed it's name!
We have done this a few times.  It started at HIIT circuit, then AMP Circuit and GOLD Circuit, then the 4 Phaze circuit.

The problem was, no one seemed to know what in the world it was that we were offering.  Phazes Fitness main exercise program is the short intense interval training circuit now known as the Bootcamp Circuit.

Q: What is the difference between bootcamp and bootcamp circuit?
A:  Bootcamp is a 4 week program and is usually outdoors if the weather permits.  Our 4 week program takes a commitment to attend daily and clean up your diet, track you food, and is an hour long every day with a different workout every day.
 The Bootcamp CIRCUIT is about 30 minutes.  You can schedule in your workout times and determing your own commitment level, daily, 3 times a week or once a week is up to you.  We do not track your eating habits or ask you to come daily.  Although you MOST CERTAINLY CAN GET A BODY TRANSFORMATION WITH THIS WORKOUT, 4 week bootcamp brings higher intensity to it and gets you there faster. 

Q: Is there a price difference?
A: 4 week Bootcamp charges a higher price around $100/ month.  Phazes members save 50%  A Phazes membership to attend the Bootcamp circuit is roughly $40/month.

Q: Does Phazes offer other classes?
A: This depends on the location.  Check with the location you are interested in attending.

Q: Do the exercises we do change at the Bootcamp circuit?
A: Yes, every week we change out the circuit cards.  The workout always has a mix of upper body, lower body, Core/Ab, and High intensity Cardio.  If you came every day, you would get  a new workout on Monday, master it, hardly need a trainer on Friday and then the next week you would start over with new exercises.  This allows for muscle confusion and mastery.  The rut of doing the same exercises all the time takes us to hard to break plateaus.  The Phazes circuit allows you to bust Plateaus!

Q: This sounds good, but I am still a little confused.  Can you tell me again what this circuit is?
A: Our traditional Bootcamp circuit is roughly 30 minutes depending on how many rounds you can handle. It is mostly body wieght exercises. You will not find big heavy equipment, machines and Olympic Bars. The exercises we use in the circuit change weekly allowing for mastery and then improvement of each movement. THEN the movements and exercises are changed to create muscle confusion and opportunity to brea platueas. You will find dumbells, jump ropes, TRX, swiss balls, mats, boxes, pull-up station and chairs. You will not find, expensive machines, olympic bars, rings or gymnastic equipment. Phazes exercises are based on the same movements you would do if you were to hire a personal trainer outside of a gym setting. Michelle Ennis, founder of Phazes Fitness LLC, used her experience as a personal trainer assisting clients toward better health and her research on successful body transformation programs to determine the types of exercises that would be both successful and safe. Phazes is a plan of attack, it's timed exercises in a bootcamp style format. The bootcamp circuit has 10-12 exercises done 40 seconds on and a 20 second rest. The challenge is to see how many rounds you can do at 100% effort during the 40 seconds of work. Each “round” includes upper body, lower body and core exercises as well as high intensity cardio bursts. The purpose is to get to the anaerobic training zone where the body will burn twice as many calories as it would in a traditional cardio workout. Each exercise has several modifications from beginner to advance levels so you can either be challenged or take things down a notch depending on YOUR fitness level not some pre-determined expectation.
Phazes recommends 3-5 days a week of the bootcamp circuit depending on your recovery time.

The Gold circuit is a time set aside once a day for our most treasured clients – those that have difficulty with exercise for any reason. We discourage our elite athletes and AMP 2 or challenge level clients form coming to Phazes during this time. Modifications include those confined to chairs, difficulty getting on the floor, etc... Out typical Gold clients are dealing with aging issues, balance, morbid obesity, knee, back and hip injuries, and a multitude of other issues that make exercise difficult, but more necessary.

Q: is it hard or easy?  I've heard some people say it's easy and some say it's really tough.  Which is it?
A YES!  Depending on YOUR fitness level and goals you can choose the PHAZE you want to work in on each exercise.  Some people will push so hard they are looking for a bucket to puke in.  Others are focused increasing range of motion and balance and have no need to push the intensity past the Gold level one.  However, if you find yourself not being challenged, you are working at a Phaze or level below your ability - push it up a notch to the next Phaze on the circuit.

Q:  What is a Phaze or level?
A: Each exercise in the circuit has several variations or "Phazes" or Levels or modifications to make it harder or to make it safer depending on YOUR physical limitations or goals.  So the cross training Ironman and the 90 year old with back and hip pain can do the same circuit at the same time and choose the level that suits them best.

Just get in and try it out!
All Fitness levels are welcome to the Bootcamp circuit.
Gold Circuit is reserved for those that have a difficult time with exercise.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Amazing Eileen...

I love it when a client drops in to my studio to tell me "hi".  Eileen started working out in the Phazes circuit last year at age 61.  She had hip problems, battled depression and had troubles getting up and down her stairs.  Eileen wasn't sure she could even do the circuit.  The beauty of the 4 Phaze circuit is ANYONE (and I do mean anyone) has a starting place.  Eileen started out on the Gold level one (bottom tier) on most exercises - no deep lunges, no jumping,  - careful careful careful careful circuits.  we concentrated on just getting some strength to support her joints.  One year later Eileen GLOWS!  She radiates confidence, she jumps rope, ran a 5K and say she practically RUNS up her stairs.  She's even signing up for our intense Bootcamp training!  No more hip pain, no difficulty getting up and down on the floor anymore, no pain! (plus she can now jump rope).
This is what PROPER strength training can do!
Eileen is just one of many success stories we have at Phazes.
The beauty of the 4 Phaze circuit is that there are PHAZES (phases) of ability to progress through. 

Gold 1 - is for those that cannot get on the ground, don't or should not jump, no deep lunges, and there are even chair options for those that have difficulty standing - this is for those with extreme difficulty with exercise.
Gold 2 - is for someone that can get on the ground without assistance, but might not be ready for a higher intensity workout ... just yet....
Amp 1 - is for the majority of us that just need a good workout, don't mind jumping, squatting, assisted pull-ups and some good sweat!
Amp 2 - athletes love this level.  This is a great cross training program for anyone with a good fitness level that is ready to be pushed and challenged til they just can't take anymore.
we even add in a few challenge levels for those crazy ones out there that just don't know when to stop.  :)  we have you covered!

I have seen a man in his late 60's come in unable to do a single knee pushup or a lunge without nearly falling over, work his way from Gold one and 2 up to AMP 2 levels and take on some challenge levels!  His doctors are amazed at how far he has come. It started at GOLD though.  had he tried a "traditional" workout program that pushed to hard right away, he could have ended up seriously injured.  We don't do that at Phazes.  It's why we are called Phazes.

SO... are you ready to get in shape?  Do you need some guidance?  Are you tired of wandering around in a gym looking for equipment and wondering what to do next?  Are you bored of other exercise programs?  Do you need some motivation and accountability? 

Phazes has a qualified trainer with you in the circuit the entire time assisting you with proper form, keeping you going, pushing you or helping you take a break if you need it.  Phazes is GROUP training, the benefits of a personal trainer and accountability system to keep you motivated.

Let's get you in and see if we can have a story about you in a year from now.  What do you want to see in one year?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I've got Good News and Bad News...

Good news first... The new location in St. George will be opening on LABOR DAY!  There will be FREE circuit times to come in and try out the 4 Phaze and Gold level circuits at 6:30am and 9:30am.  So come on in to our new location at 415 South Dixie Drive in St. George (The Warehouse - only the biggest Zumba place around!)

Now the bad news... Phazes Studio in Hurricane Utah will be closed for Labor Day (Monday Sept 3rd).  Apparently some trainers want to go away and play for a day with their families.  :)  You should too (or come see our new second location, get a quick workout in first thing in the morning and THEN go play!  That's what I want to do.

Hurricane Studio will open right back up for regular business TUESDAY Sept. 4th.

See you at either Studio soon!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Class cancelled tonight!

Hey Hurricane area Phazes clients...
Tonight, Friday August 24th, Classes have been cancelled due to the need to train all new amazing staff and having to get over to our new SECOND location in ST. GEORGE, and get some work done over there this evening.

but we will see you next week!

This only applies to 5pm Pilates and the 4 Phaze circuits at 7 and 7:30pm.

And yes, there will be another location to get going on the 4 Phaze circuit program!
We will have more details next week.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Don't be afraid of your kitchen!

I used to tell everyone, "I don't cook."  I hated "cooking".  I mean, spending hours in the kitchen all day long, preparing food for the family was not on my list of favorite things to do.  I had all the cookbooks with amazing food to prepare that was healthy and yummy.  Most of it had ingredients I couldn't even find in my local grocery store or afford to purchase when I was on an extremely limited budget after my husband was laid off.

Our family meals 5-10 years ago consisted or microwave corn dogs, and hamburger helper as our staple foods.  Vegetables were from cans and heated in the microwave.  Cooking food...  yeah... not excited about it.

But what does exploring the kitchen have to do with fitness, fat loss and health?  EVERYTHING!

Ask anyone that has had lasting results without pills.  It all starts with what you put in your mouth.  So this week's challenge is to get over the fear of getting in the kitchen. Stop eating boxed processed foods and fast foods and begin a new tradition of preparing your own food.  Control of your weight and health starts with control of your food.  What I mean by control over you food is this : Control over the ingredients you put in to what you eat.  Anything you purchase prepared or boxed, you have put all your trust into a large corporation that looks at dollar signs first.  When you are the one determining what goes into your food, YOU learn to trust simple ingredients.

Not a cook?  I still feel that way mostly.  I love grilled chicken and a good spring mix salad with tomatoes and feta cheese sprinkled with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  YUM!

Or for breakfast try a parfait (YOU MAKE - Not Mcd's!)  with Greek Yogurt, berries and granola.

For a quick snack - apples and nut butter

lunch - whole wheat tortilla wrap with nut butter and banana
or try a sweet baked potato with salsa on it.

You do not have to get too adventurous if you don't want to.  but I have found it is actually faster for me to drive to my house, and make something quick and easy, than it is for me to drive to a fast food establishment and order something at a window and wait.  Believe it or not, fast food is really not that fast - generally speaking.

Once a week get more adventurous and try something crazy... like almond encrusted Tilapia, with mint and lemon Quinoa.  Sounds crazy?  oh but it is SOOOO good for you.

Watch your waistline improve, watch the mood swings dissipate, watch your kids ADHD dwindle away more and more as you gain control in your kitchen.

The health benefits of getting in your kitchen should not be pushed aside as someone with no time or money. There are plenty of ways to work around all these obstacles.  I know, Because I am the working mom that had no time and very little money.

Prepare a meal plan today for your week and if you need help - e-mail me!  I would LOVE to assist you in preparing your menus for next week!
 - Michelle Ennis

(the above blog was taken from one of the rules we covered yesterday at our Lunch and Learn education series)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lunch time!

Some of you may know that Phazes has adopted an education series we are calling "Lunch and Learn".
Our Next one is MONDAY August 20th at 12:30pm

The following is a Facebook message from my buddy Jezzelle - the amazing cook that she is...
9:47am Aug 16
so i just wanted to tell you what else I'm making on mon! So, turkey stuffed zucchini, herbed quinoa, tomato/cucumber/mozzarella salad, and whole wheat zucchini bread! yummmmm :)"

THAT SOUNDS AWESOME!  You want some?

Here is what Lunch and Learn is:
an opportunity to eat amazing food - amazing in taste, amazing in benefits and amazing in price!
The class is just $5 recommended donation.  Feel free to donate more if you can.  The donation is part of a fundraising effort we do.  Right now we are raising money for a family That was involved in a serious car accident earlier this year. The mother lost the Use of her feet and has Physical Therapy and surgeries and more to deal with the long road to recovery.  The Father lost his job due to the circumstances surrounding the cause of the accident and also has legal expenses and a mess to deal with there.

The wife is a client at Phazes and we are eager to see their family get some of their burden lightened.
After we cover the cost of food - the rest goes to that family.  So give what you can.

And then we have the Learning part...
At Phazes, part of our mission is to educate the masses on better health - 80% (or more) of your health and fitness success comes from the stuff you put in your mouth several times a day.  It is time YOU and I and EVERYONE learned the best method of food awareness.  You could be running for hours a day and throwing around a bunch of weights and never see the results you are capable of.  OR... just the opposite... You could be unable to exercise at all and still improve your overall health and fitness level - SIMPLY by changing HOW YOU EAT!  My sister lost 40 pounds - just by eating clean!  WE LOVE THIS WAY OF EATING!  (Of course, I still believe in good sweat doing you good)

Phazes has adopted the Clean Eating method as the best choice and easiest program to follow for better all around health.

My kids anger management issues and ADD problems have nearly been eliminated due to a change in diet.  ALSO... My own depression has gone away.  This has been a 4 year journey of cleaning up the food in our home and being more aware of what I fed myself and my family.  Come learn with us.

We will be using the Clean Eating Book "Just the Rules" and covering just a few new rules each month to try out in your home.

Come learn what the rules of the month are.

MONDAY August 20th 12:30pm.
134 South Main street in Hurricane

Make it a lunch date and bring a friend!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Schedule changes...

August is almost here!
There are a few modifications to the schedule I am really excited about!
1 - adding a Monday 8pm Yoga class!  Whoot Whoot!  I know a few people doing a happy dance right now.  So if you love Yoga or just need to get some variety into your workout regimine - come in and bring your friends!
2 - More evening 4 Phaze circuits!  7-7:30pm AND 7:30-8:00pm Monday - Friday!!!  YES!
I hope you enjoy your fat blasting 30 minute workout! designed for 4 different fitness levels (from chair bound to elite athlete)
3 - a later in the day GOLD Circuit!  11:30am! (Tue/wed/thu only)  We are keeping the 8:30am Gold Circuit and adding an 11:30am as well for those of you that just love your bed a little more than an early morning workout.  :)  This is for you!  Gold Circuits are for those that have difficulty with exercise for any reason.  Or just want a less intimidating environment to workout in.
4 - LOW IMPACT ZUMBA - ONLY!  11:30am MONDAYS!  the typical Zumba class can be very high impact and jar the joints and back a little with all that hip thrusting and jumping and lunging.  But the music is FUN!  So... to help those of you that need a little more LOVE on those joints that enjoy great music - this class is for you!

Notice 11:30 Monday - Friday is now designed for a gentler workout all week long! starting with low impact ZUMBA, then the Gold circuits and finally Fridays Beginning level Yoga!  I am thinking of those of you that have begged for this.  :)

5 - no more 10:15am group fitness - we will be doing the 4 Phaze circuits instead at that time.  So... try the amazing 4 Phaze circuit and get a real kick in the pants - strength and cardio rolled into one fast 30 minute workout!

6 - Kids Zumba! Tuesday at 5:00pm!  Bring the kiddos that love to move and shake it!  This is for them!  You know they are begging to go to Zumba.  this class is geared for kids under 10 years old.  The cost is only $3/child and is 45 minutes.

7 - Self defense for Women - Wednesday at 5:00pm with Officer Romney.  Get the skills you need to defend yourself in an emergency situation.  You never know when you will need this and you hope you never do.  It's like health insurance that way.  You want to have it and never use it.  So get in there and take care of yourself.

I also got the Swamp cooler fixed and the air is A LOT cooler now!  (YAY!)

Your excuses are gone!
Come party with us!
- Michelle

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

YOU - yes you - Are invited!

Monday July 23rd  we are having a party and we want YOU to be there!
Hurricane City Park -  200 North Main (Hurricane Utah)
Bring the whole family! We will have Food, Slip n slide, T-shirt painting and cutting  - bring your own shirt(s) to alter.
PLUS we will have Zumba, Turbo Kick and loud music from the main stage for you to get active, have fun and party with the rest of us.
In addition to the fun and festivities we also have a more serious cause:
Michelle and Todd Smith lost their home to a fire earlier this year and we would love to help them replace some of the things they have lost.  So we are adding a fundraiser to our party.
$15 donation gets you entered into the door prize drawings and a Chair massage. This money will go to the Smith family to take care of any needs they still have.  If you can give more - please do.  The donation is optional but if you want the full experience - donate to the cause and enjoy the rest of everything we are offering!

This is also a time for Phazes clients to get to know each other and bring some friends with them.  Meet all the trainers, get to know what is available and ask questions (if you can hear over the loud music).  It should be a fun night!  I can't wait to see you all there!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

stretching my legs...

  This morning I ran a half marathon.  Now I am stretching my sore muscles.  I didn't win any awards.  I wasn't super fast.  But I did it.  Here is the really exciting thing - 4 years ago I couldn't walk a block without passing out.  So I am excited about this milestone.   Technically this is the 2nd Half marathon I have done.  A year and a half ago I ran the Hostess Half Marathon without training for it and I made the mistake of ignoring knee pain and pushing through to create an injury that has been a LOOOONG recovery for me.  SO my biggest goal this time around was to finish without knee pain and to walk when my body told me to walk.
  Last night My husband Bill and I drove out to Bryce Canyon 4 hours later than I had planned.  My original goal was to get to our campsite early, set up the camp in the light, eat some dinner, hang out with my friends: Liz, Aimee, Kim, Michelle and Natalie and whoever else happened to be there.  I wanted to relax and calm my fears about feeling unready.  As it turned out with Bill's work delays we weren't going to be there til after 9:30pm.  ugh...  I was sick to my stomach.  This would mean RUSH to get the race packets, RUSH to eat, set up in the dark and maybe get to bed at a time that would allow some sleep in a tent.  I was cranky, nervous, tired from my long day already, and now I wasn't even sure I wanted to go.  When Bill finally was able to pick me up and we headed down the road I started crying "what am I thinking?  Why didn't I just sign up for the 5K?  I am not ready for this!  We aren't going to be there in time for me to relax and I HATE setting up camp in the dark!  Let's turn around and go back. I am so stressed out I am sick to my stomach.  I really do NOT want to do this."  I cried a little more.  Bill sat quietly and kept driving. He didn't turn the van around.  He must have thought I was joking or maybe he knew what I really wanted.   I was stuck in a van and we were on our way to a race I no longer THOUGHT I wanted to do - Bill knew better.

We arrived at our campgrounds near Bryce Canyon at 9:30pm.  Friends Aimee Langston and Liz Dansie had made sure my race packet was picked up and Aimee got it to me.  Luckily the new tent we just picked up from the Catholic Thrift Store earlier that morning was super easy to put up.  Bill pumped up the air mattress and I tried to relax before we drifted off to sleep.  I love camping.  I hate having to wake up early when I am camping.  I hate waking up early when the person sharing my bed has woken me up several times during the night as they had to step out (again and again). Apparently all the stuff he drank to stay awake during the long drive finally caught up to him.  4:45am came around WAY too early.  I could already hear other camper/runners outside getting ready for the race.  I quickly gulped down a 1/4 serving of Shakeology knowing a full serving would be puked up and the little serving of goodness would help me over the next 3 or so hours.

I put in my contacts, brushed my teeth, packed up my Ultra Aspire pack with a water bottle, gum, cliff bar, ipod, and phone/camera.  I slipped on my Vibram five fingers and now I felt like a runner - sorta.   Bill drove me toward the start line.  I debated back and forth about bringing my jacket or not.  It wasn't too cold.  So I put my jacket back in the van.  Then I was  ready.  Nope.  I'm cold again.  I ran back to the van, found Bill, grabbed my jacket and jogged back to the starting line.  NOW I was ready.  Oh crap.  I forgot my racebib and my shoe chip.  I ran back to the van, grabbed my stuff, jogged back to the start and put the chip and bib (race number) on.    Ok... now I am ready.  I think.  I know I forgot something.  AWW Dude... I forgot to do something funky with my hair!  Crap.  I planned on looking awesome and wearing my hair straight up.  Maybe it would give me super powers.  I don't know.  I just like doing stuff like that.  Oh well.  too late.
I met up with friends Michelle Smith and Brayden Nielson.
Michelle tells me my ipod is a white girl running mix.  Hullo...?  seen my color?  If it were a black girl's running mix some Black girl somewhere would be ticked off that I stole their MP3 player.  Michelle cracks me up.   I am looking forward to her being on my Red Rock Relay team in September.

I try to find other friends I know are there but the crowd is pretty big and the race gun goes off.

I have decided once again to run without anything telling me pace or mileage and just to listen to my body.

I feel really good at the start.  There is a nice flat or slightly uphill stretch before the downhill portion hits.  I get to the top of the first hill and look down- wow... This is why I wanted this race to do.  I LOVE running downhill!  I let my legs just do what they want to do.  I feel like a cartoon character -  legs going round and round in circles super fast.  I was speeding past everybody and I felt awesome!  I didn't fight the hill, I just let it take me along for the ride.  I saw my friend Summer Johnson.  I had no idea she was running.  I passed her and felt really cool.  This went on for several miles.  I was keeping nice fast pace  and staying ahead of the 2:10 pacer.  I started to slow down about mile 7.  Then Mile 8 hit and my knee started hurting me.  Crap.  I promised I would walk if this happened.  So I walk.  All those people I had passed going down that hill were now passing me.  I hate that feeling.

Ah well.  I surrender.  I walk til my knee feels good again and then I run.  I am playing leap frog with several runners.  I see a guy ahead of me that is seriously injured trying to keep going. He's done something to his foot and believes a tendon was torn.  He can't even walk and lays down by the side of the road.  His friends help him get settled with a ride back.  Ugh... I do NOT want to be in that guy's shoes.  I see another woman limping on a bad knee.  She is determined to keep running no matter what and she is crying as she passes me while I walk.   I am not going to be that person.  My knee is more precious than my ego.
It's raining...
This is actually good.  It's July in Southern Utah.  Rain is good.  But Rain in December like the first half marathon I did - not ok.

Mile 10... I am still running and walking, running and walking,  I take a few stretching breaks.  The scenery is amazing! I stop for a few photos here and there.  I love the course.  I'm having a blast.  Just 3 miles left.
The Rain feels good.  I take pictures of roadkill for Bill.  He is a sick guy that has sent me photos of rotting animals before.  I am just trying to return the favor.

I see the 2:30 pacer sign holder person... whatever - come up to me.  I was like... "oh heck no!"  There is only 1.2 miles left and I am not going to finish behind this pacer. At this point My knee feels great so I opened up and started running again.

Although soaked, I don't notice how wet I am yet.  I try to text Bill and let him know I am nearing the finish.    But my fingers are numb, my phone is nearly dead and everything is wet.  My text to Bill ends up as "thrrte"  it was supposed to be "I'm nearly done... less than 5 minutes away."  It's tough to type while running and guarding the phone from the rain.

I see the finish line sign.  I see Natalie Madsen, Liz Dansie, Chris Steglich and then I see Bill Cheering me on. I start leaping across the finish line.  I feel amazing.  Goal accomplished! No knee pain as I cross the finish.

My ending time is about 2:25  5 minutes later I see the 2:30 pacer.

I see Kim Mower and Mark Thornton and others.

Bill tells me Summer Johnson crossed way ahead of me.  I never saw her pass me.

I make a new friends with someone I recognize as someone I have friends in common with on facebook  - Michelle Peterson.  We feel like we've been friends for a while even though this is our first time meeting each other - such is the magic of facebook and the running circle of friends we share.  She talks me into signing up for a sprint triathlon in September.  I feel nauseous.

I get really cold at this point.  The rain is POURING and nothing on me is dry anywhere.    Bill and I eat breakfast from the Lion's Club and I load up on everything plus a fruit and yogurt crepe.  I am STARVING!    I eat all of it (except the pancakes... I miss my multigrain mix).
My legs are starting to cramp now. Ouch. We stand up to go to the van.  Ouch.  My calves hurt.  I find out I am very sore. We get to the van and I change into dry clothes and we head back to our campsite near the start of the course.

I spend some time stretching my legs in the hot tub at the the campground.

Aimee and Josh Langston are cleaning up their campsite.  They brought their whole family.  Now I wish Bill and I had too.  It's a pretty spot and the kids would have enjoyed the pool and the scenery and all of it.  Next year I am bringing the kids.
I see Aimee sweeping out her tent and say "hi".  Then I tell Bill we are going to race the Langstons in clean up and get packed up before they are done.

So we quickly clean up and pack everything in the van super fast and... WE WIN!  HAHA!  I WON!  I finally beat Aimee at a race!  (That she didn't know she was in)  LOL!

So we drive back home.  I feel Good. I had a great time and I am excited to do it again next year.

My friends back home cheer me on through texts and phone calls.  I am surprised that those little things mean so much as I finish.  Thanks Cherie and Tyann!

Some things I have learned:
1 - As competitive as I am in my heart the only real competition that matters is just between me and my former self.  The fact that I am doing more than I did 2 years ago and am stronger-  is the competition that matters.  Maybe in a few years I can shoot for a 1:40 time - who knows?
2 - I love ending the race with a smile on my face.  I learned that from my friend Cory Reese.  Stop. Take a photo.  Talk to people.  That makes the journey memorable.
3  - No injury is worth the risk.  I had to wait nearly 6 months before I could run the last time I pushed through intense pain.  It's not worth it.  There is no shame in being passed up by other runners while you take a break to recover for a bit.

My final piece of wisdom: Start something amazing today.  Go walk a block or a mile or sign up for a 5K or a marathon.  find a goal you can shoot for and take it step by step.  I am hooked. This all started by deciding to get off the couch  dry my tears,  put the Oreos down and walk 30 seconds then jog 30 seconds for a mile.  That is where it started 4 years ago.  AND THAT WAS TOUGH 4 YEARS AGO!

I am looking forward to seeing you cross your next finish line!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


It was really  really really hard to choose who would win this contest for a free membership at Phazes, we had some outstanding entries (some brought tears to my eyes).  But due to the nature of the content and the Grant I was applying for - this was the one that I chose to submit for the Grant contest...

"To whom it may concern.

Phazes fitness is completely different health option for real people.  I tried out Phazes last week for the first time and quickly noticed that the trainer was motivating, positive and very knowledgeable.  The concept of having the attention of professional trainers for the cost of a regular gym membership is astounding.  (Their business model allows them to give this attention and still be profitable.)  They have a philosophy of general health and not just a number on the scale.  I was impressed with her ability to make me feel like I can do more.  The workouts themselves have a huge variety keeping it fun and challenging at the same time.  The concept of changing it up each week keeps me mentally engaged and forced my muscles to respond to a variety of movements without the plateau effect.  They encourage health for life rather than a quick and short lived fix.  This strong marriage of customer education and group motivation breed permanent results.  I've seen these results in several local people who rave about this company.  
As a business man I can't help but notice the well planned business model of Phazes.  I've watched them grow from a start up that shared a space with another business to a successful operation with several employees over the last year or so.  Their current staff of trainers are well liked around town and of themselves are each capable of business prosperity.  Together they make a very powerful team.  They use a lethal combination of effective social media, word of mouth referrals and a service that really works.  They have created a buzz around the valley amongst regular people who have finally found something that delivers what it promises.  That buzz effect is something that cannot be purchased for any price but once active can be magnified with a capitol investment used wisely.  The owners of Phazes have the drive, attitude and knowledge to really succeed.  This is one success story that will be talked about in our area for a very long time. 


Jed Stout"
Congratulation Jed!  you get a FREE Membership for One year at Phazes!  f we win the grant you also get $100 to spend on supplements and workout gear!
Thank you to all the other entries submitted - you were awesome!  make sure to come get your gift from our basket in the studio as our Thank you.
here are the other entries that were runners up:

 From Jeannie:
I started coming to Phazes in November 2011. I needed a good hard workout to replace my trainer's workouts, as she was out of town for a couple of months. Michelle Ennis' Zumba is great fun, however it was her 4 phaze circuit that I used to replace my previous workouts.  The workout changes each week and offers both cardio and strength training exercises. I am able to go through the circut 3 times and by the time I finish, I am tired and fill like I got a great workout. I appreciate Michelle and her staff so much for making sure that I get the workout that I need at the level that I need it. They always make sure I am doing each exercise properly. Still to this day I do the 4 phaze circuit almost every Wednesday morning and love it!
Jeannie Willard
From Bonita:
 I was introduced to Phazes Inc. in the fall of 2011. I was extremely nervous as I walked into my first Gold Circuit. I did not have many positive experiences with the gym atmosphere and my body reflected that.
I was very surprised when I started the gold circuit because I had envisioned a typical gym. There was very little exercise equipment. The circuit is set up with an assortment of exercises that are done at different levels. I was able to do some at the higher AMP level while others I was only able to do at the less impactful Gold level. This completely optimized my workout. My weak areas were becoming stronger and my strong areas were becoming polished. I would leave each day with sweat dripping down my back. It was great! When I completed my first fitness assessment at Phazes, I was very discouraged at how far I needed to go to obtain my goals. However, in just a couple of months, my next assessment showed great improvement and I was elated when I realized that I really would reach my goals. This gave me the hope that I had been searching for. I became very committed to Phazes and rarely missed a day.
Three months later I was in a serious car accident that left me with two broken feet and ankles. No walking. No working out. No Phazes. I was devastated when I found out that I was to be released from the hospital to a rehab center. However, because I was able to physically move myself, using only my arms, my doctors sent me home instead. I was full of gratitude for Phazes. I had been doing the precise exercise needed to strengthen my arms. I then thought I would be unable to work out for quite some time. However, Michelle from Phazes taught me exercises that I could do from a chair. It was very empowering to be able to continue on my health goals even if it wasn’t in the traditional way.
At other gyms I have attended, I have never had this customized of an experience. The machines were too complicated, the staff was unavailable (or intimidating) to approach for assistance, the level was too high for my physical restrictions, or the atmosphere wasn’t one that I was comfortable in. Phazes has tried to make my experience one of personal perfection. I have no more excuses. All of the exercises are at my level. When I reach the next level of fitness, it will be right there ready for me.
Now at Phazes, I am still physically unable to do many of the exercises that I did before the accident. But that doesn’t mean that my workout is any easier. I still leave each day sweaty and I feel my body getting stronger. I know that my current level of fitness is only temporary and one circuit at a time, Phazes will help me reach my ultimate fitness goals.

From Britney:
I have been doing the 4 Phaze Circuit program for only two weeks and yet it has already given me results. I have noticed that my arms and legs are more toned and my core is getting stronger. Every station in the circuit targets a different muscle group so that I am able to get a full body workout in just 30 minutes. A component of the Circuit program that I find very helpful is that each station has a picture of how to perform the workout and amped up versions and simplified versions of each workout. If I still find that I am unsure about how to do a workout there is an instructor there to demonstrate it for me and to make sure that I am performing the workout correctly. The equipment is provided for me at Phazes so that I only have to worry about getting myself to class on time. I also love that the instructors are there encouraging me to push myself harder. As a working mother I love the convenience that Phazes’ offers me through their daycare and varied class schedule. If I want to dance and shake my booty there is Zumba. If I decide that I need to release some stress and frustration then I can go to a Turbo Kick class. If I want to build up my core and test my endurance then Yoga and Core/Strength fusion classes are offered. Phazes accommodates a variety of clientele. Through their Gold Circuit and Zumba Hi/Lo classes clients can find a class that is appropriate for their physical level. Phazes is a fun and convenient way for me to get fit and stay fit.

From Nicole:
I'm a small town girl.  I'm a small town girl who has had four children and is desperately trying to get her pre-baby body back!  Where I live, I have been very limited in what I can do to get back into shape.  Sure, I can run aimlessly around town tracking miles.  Heck, I have three marathons and a few half marathons under my belt.  Sadly, from all this running, I have knee and hip problems that bother me at times.  Scary considering I'm only in my thirties!  I've tried to come up with other ways to work out, and heading over to St. George to hit a gym while I have four kids at home isn't ideal.  A friend invited me to come with her to try out Zumba over at Phazes Fitness.  What a party!  I thoroughly enjoyed the sixty minute workout, and Michelle, who instructed it, was a blast!  I was immediately hooked!  Phazes fits my schedule by having many different classes at different times every day.  They even offer free babysitting during the Zumba classes!  Dream come true with my four little ones!
       I'd heard of Phazes Circuit Training they offer, and decided to try it.   It's a thirty minute workout where you go to different stations and perform an exercise for 40 seconds.  You can do anything for forty seconds, right?!  After you do the exercise for forty seconds, you have a short break to move to the next workout before the forty seconds starts again.  I was curious how well this would work me out.  After 30 minutes, one water bottle, and torrents of sweat running down my back, I'll tell you it was a killer workout!  It has intensity options at each station so that you can choose how hard, or light you want your workout.  Also, Michelle was there, helping me with my form.  Wow, a workout with a personal trainer!  I couldn't find that anywhere else around here!  Phazes is efficiently run, with a variety of classes offered, from Zumba to Circuit Training, Yoga to Turbo Kick.  Always something new being offered at Phazes.  The cost is very reasonable and flexible.  Either buy a membership for a certain amount (depending on how many months you want) or buy a punch pass, which is what I have.  No huge membership fees or forced automatic withdrawals from your checking account.   For a young mother like me, it is an invaluable business to have so close by.  Something fun to go to, while keeping me healthy and in shape.  There are many people like me.  Trying to get back into shape, trying to live better, healthier.  Phazes Fitness is amazing in assisting people to accomplish this.  Providing and inviting them to find a healthier life.  This is why Phazes Fitness should receive this grant.  A business like this is so valuable to a town like ours.  For years my husband and I have griped about not having a place to go and exercise.  Now we do!  
By:  Nicole Stout

Thank you everyone for all the support and great work you did.  I appreciate all of you sooo much!  It really was hard for me to choose.

Friday, June 15, 2012

WIN a FREE Year Membership at Phazes!

Are you ready to win a full year FREE at Phazes Fitness in Hurricane, Utah?  Great!

I am applying for a business competition that will award the best small business a nice grant.  But I thought hearing from YOU would be the best thing.
Here's what you need to do.  Come in and do the 4 Phaze circuit! 
(Your first visit to the Circuit is FREE to try out!)

Then write in 500 words or less what makes the Phazes Circuit program unique, Successful and AWESOME!  Anything you want to add about Phazes Fitness as a business practice would also be helpful.

This competition with YOU I am opening up for the next 10 days.  The winner will be selected on June 26th!

 Just e-mail me your entry to 

If we win the grant, you will also be awarded $100 gift certificate (Good for Zumba gear, Shakeology, and other fun things we offer in addition to our fitness program).

Can't wait to see you!  Your first visit to the circuit is FREE!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

House fire!!!
 Fires suck!
Michelle Smith - a client here at Phazes - just had a house fire that claimed everything she owned.  Her family is OK, as far as alive and no physical harm to any of them.  But the fire took everything they owned.  There is no insurance to cover the losses, they were renting the house.  So It's time for US the community to step up and assist where we can.  Michelle told me that she really needs workout clothes.  :)  We know that exercise helps reduce stress and she doesn't want to quit doing that during this crisis.  So if you have any workout clothes laying around OR Anything to donate for that matter... bring it on in.  We are working on getting a box here for donations to drop in.  But we strongly urge you to use the link posted to donate any money you can to them before Father's day.  You can also drop money into the "Donation bag" on the front desk to assist them.

If you feel badly for them and have a few bucks you were going to spend on a manicure or fast food for the month - skip it and help out.  It feels good to give when you can.

Also... baby items, kids toys, is there anything laying around that you don't need anymore?

Again the link in case you missed it the first 2 times:

Take care - be safe - and give your family a bigger hug today!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Burn that comfort blanket!

I received an e-mail this morning from a Pro in the fitness industry.  I love those motivational pep talks I get almost daily from Bedros Killian, Steve Hochman, Chalene Johnson and many others.  One I read this morning from Bedros said to get out of that comfort blanket - to in fact "burn your comfort blanket and throw it over a cliff!"  I LOVE IT!

Complacency is a place where we feel a total lack of drive.  As long as I am living, there is something to improve!  Complacency is what keep the couch potato on the couch, the High school drop out from receiving an education, the business person from getting out of debt and achieving financial success.

One of my favorite quotes (I even have it on my facebook profile as my favorite):
"make no small plans. They have no magic to stir men's souls" - Spencer W. Kimball

Once the plan is made... then you must get up and move it to accomplish the PLAN - ATTACK IT!
I guess that's why it's called the "Plan of attack".

When I first felt the desire to start my business I told my mother "I am scared that I won't succeed.  I am nervous about it.  It is so exciting to me that I am nearly sick to my stomache."
Her response was something like "You should always be a little scared.  It means your going somewhere right."

"Feel the fear and do it anyway"  - ever hear that?  That's what throwing away that comfort blanket is all about.  as long as we are too comfortable we never accomplish anything.  My bed is terribly comfortable every morning.  Sometimes it is all I can do to get myself up.  The most comfortable thing in the world would be to lay in my bed and have someone bring me my breakfast, lunch and dinner while I chat with my friends on facebook and watch movies on Hulu.  That would be nice... But that is NOT what life is.  That is terribly unfulfilling!

Yesterday I had a lot of time off work.  I went home and looked at my house and saw some areas that needed some work done. I really really wanted to just lay down on that couch and watch movies.  But - I tossed off that "comfort blanket" and got to work.  My room got cleaned, I made food for the family, did laundry and really went to town.  I was tired when I was done - but I looked at what was accomplished in my home and felt good about where I lived and what I did.

Sometimes it is that simple - just getting up and getting a few things done when we don't want to.  Sometimes it is moving your body and getting outside for fresh air.
Sometimes  it is working toward your financial goals and driving a business forward.

What is it that you want?  What would bring you joy in your life?
I guess this is why I run - I love those finish lines.  It's something to work hard toward and then to finally cross after a period of training. it's more measurable than any other thing in my life.  I guess I could count a clean laundry room and spotless floors as measurable - but that's not as fun.   

What you need to do right now is decide what you want in life.  Now create your plan of attack.  Next - Attack it!  Toss off that comfort blanket, work hard, feel joy in the work you do in every area of your life! 

 - Michelle Ennis

Thursday, May 31, 2012

WELCOME to our NEW Phazes Team!

It's a new Era for Phazes Fitness!  Phazes started in the spring of 2009 just doing outdoor bootcamps. We added The studio in Laverkin in the fall of that same year with just a few clients.  Michelle Ennis worked hard to build a reputation for Phazes fitness and it's mission and has seen some remarkable successes over the past few years.  When the studio across town opened up Desert Fitness became Phazes biggest (and friendliest) competition around.  Michelle, Tyann and Aimee had been talking for about a year about how to combine studios and still accommodate the amount of people, keep all their visions and priorities in line, and allow for the kind of time a young mom needs to dedicate to her growing family.  While it wouldn't work then, we are now in a place where it will work!

I know that Tyann and Aimee have made a tough choice to decide to "let Desert Fitness go".  But I want to reassure them and their clients that would follow these ladies to the ends of the earth - Desert Fitness is not going away - It's simply changing it's name and ownership while keeping the classes, the mission, and most importantly the amazing trainers!!

I respect deeply the work and effort Tyann and Aimee have put into making Desert fitness a Strong fitness studio and have only held them in high regards.  I have enjoyed the few times we have done combined events and partied hard together.  I respect the level of athleticism and competitive spirit as well as the level of expectation their trainers were held to.

 While ALL this will be respected and kept in place and brought into Phazes, I also want to reassure current Phazes Clients that have loved the atmosphere and no pressure of the Gold Circuit, loved the options of the 4 Phaze circuit and have loved having a place for them no matter their fitness level (or lack of it) we honor YOU! We hope you still feel that same spirit of welcoming here.  We will continue to offer the classes you have grown to love as well.

The combining of these 2 studios is a dream come true.  We now TRULY offer a fitness adventure for EVERY Phaze of life!  From Gold Circuit, to Bootcamps, to Zumba, to Turbo Kick, To strength classes, to Yoga for beginners or experienced, to our signature 4 Phaze circuit...  Our goal is to assist you in finding the right plan for your fitness adventure.  Truly this life is an adventure and your journey to better health is our passion!

Be Patient with us as we iron out all the wrinkles. We understand that all changes bring up issues that may not have been foreseen.  Or there might be some amount of  "discomfort" while we adjust to this new way of working together.  PLEASE e-mail your concerns and problems to right away so we can make sure we do our best to keep Phazes the best studio in town.

Welcome to the new Phazes!
 - Michelle Ennis (owner)

The Phazes Team -
Top: Leslie
Middle: Joy, Natalie B, Natalie M, Tyann, Monica, Heather
Bottom:Michelle, Peggy, Bethany, Aimee

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Friday Morning we have a NEW CLASS SCHEDULE!  Pay close attention!  The link on, the side of the blog has the classes listed.  But I will give you a heads up here as well:

6:00-6:30am - 4 phaze Circuit (Mon-Fri)
6:30-7:00am - 4 phaze Circuit (Mon- Fri)
8:45-9:15am - GOLD Circuit (Mon- Fri)
9:15-10:15am - Monday - ZUMBA w/ Tyann
                      - Tuesday - Core/ Strength w/ Aimee
                      - Wednesday - Turbo kick w/ Heather
                      - Thursday - YOGA w/ Leslie
                     - Friday - ZUMBA w/Natalie
10:15-11:15am Monday - ZUMBA w/Michelle and Joy
                  Wednesday - ZUMBA w/Bethany
                  Friday - ZUMBA w/ Joy and Michelle
10:15-10:45am - Tue and Thu - 4 Phaze Circuit
10:45 - 11:15am - Tue and Thu  - 4 Phaze Circuit
11:15-11:45am - Mon - Thu - 4 Phaze Circuit 11:15am-12:15pm - Friday  - Beg. Yoga w/ Leslie

7:15-7:45pm - Tue, Wed, Thu - 4 Phaze Circuit
8:00-9:00pm -  Tue and Thu - ZUMBA w/ Michelle
                       Wed - ZUMBA w/ Natalie
Enjoy more classes - and more trainers!

Desert Fitness and Adagio punch passes will be honored at Phazes til the end of September.  Desert Memberships are good for the 30 days following the purchase date.

Special offer for June - Waive the Sign up fee if you get a 6 or 12 month membership with Phazes Before June 1st!  OR -  save 10% on prepaid membership plans for 6 and 12 month plans.

Come join us at the best fitness studio in town!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reality Check!

I have been on a big kick about doing everything in your power to fight the mainstream mindset of what determines beauty.  Looking at models and movie stars and their "perfect" bodies (or are they really perfect?)  So many movie stars and models actually fall into the category of Anorexia levels of BMI.  Is that really perfect?  Then because they have lost too much weight to fit into some mold they need to get Boob jobs to look "seductive".  Ribs removed, skin pulled and stretched, tummies tucked an suctioned, Breast implants.  AND THEN... in magazines they are photo shopped to look even "better than real life".  wrinkles removed and lines erased.  Have you ever seen a stretch mark on a model?  Of course not.  They exist of course,  but through the miracle of photoshop we are led to believe that a flawless body is achievable.  It isn't.  Not even enough plastic surgery can buy you that flawless body that you see on the big screen and in magazines.

Over a year ago a man told me that if I lost another 10 pounds I could look like this certain fitness model in a magazine he pointed to.   I have had other personal trainers tell me that they think they could help me lose my "last 5-10 pounds".  My big question... "why?"  This may make me unpopular as a trainer.  I mean isn't my job supposed to be to help people get perfect bodies? Not for me.  If I am an unpopular trainer because of this - so be it.  The reason I got into the fitness industy wasn't to help people get "perfect bodies"  It was to help people get healthy.  I can do more than I have ever been able to do.  I am happier than I have ever been in my life.  Those 10 pounds mean nothing to me!  

Healthy means - Mind, Spirit and Body.  If you are constantly trying for someone else's figure you will never have peace of mind.  Constant desire or coveting something that is not yours to have leads to depression.  Your body type may be different.  You might have big muscular legs and a ghetto booty.  Your breasts may sag after multiple children (push ups help by the way).  You may have stretch marks from growing quickly.  you may have rolls from rapid weight loss.  BUT... YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Remember to set goals based on fitness results rather than what the scale says.  You may never ever be "satisfied" with how you look in the mirror.  I have spoken with anorexic women that still feel fat and don't like what they see in the mirror.  One of my favorite local Bootcamp trainers with a "perfect body"  - muscular, lean, strong and has a boob job... still feels inadequate and find flaws in her form.  Yet so many people covet after her seemingly "perfect form".  Your self esteem cannot be based on what your figure looks like.  We have been so bombarded with images of unattainable beauty that none of us will ever get that body portrayed to us.  SO... Get over it!

Get out and do stuff!  Get active and eat right not so you can attain the unattainable, but so you can do what you are capable of DOING! 

Proper fueling for your body = Better ability to function!  Better mood, better energy, better everything!  Weight loss is the bonus. 

Eat and exercise for your health not for some crazy body size.

Body project

I do beleieve being aware of the dangers associated with Extreme obesity is critical. BUT to balance it out... I also KNOW that there are very equal dangers of being obsessed about your weight.  Throw out the scale and try living your life to the fullest and take care of you by eating foods that fuel your body!

 - Michelle

Friday, May 18, 2012


With the new schedule starting in June our babysitting hours are changing at the Studio.  If you are interested in volunteering for babysitting in exchange for a membership - NOW is the time to contact Michelle and set that up. 
Current babysitters for Phazes and Desert Fitness get FIRST priority until May 25th.  After that anyone can sign up to take available babysitting spots.  There are evening hours and morning hours available. 

Morning Shifts to choose from are:
Monday - Friday 9:15-10:30am  or  10:30-11:45am  and Friday 11:45-12:15pm.  

Evening shifts to choose are:
 Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 7:15-8:00pm or 7:45-8:00pm.

The shorter shifts only have one sitter since their are fewer kids for those short shifts.  The longer shifts have 2 sitters.
Call 435-680-4025 if interested or e-mail

Monday, May 14, 2012


Phazes is SO excited to welcome the Team from my favorite competitors - Desert Fitness!  Tyann Clark, Aimee Langston, Heather Stout, Natalie Madsen, Leslie Reeve, Bethany Gubler - have all been amazing trainers for Desert Fitness as well as friends.  It was inevitable that we would work together.  Past combined events we have done (ie: Zumba 80's night) have been awesome!  They bring a LOT of energy and intensity with them.

SO NOW... we have even more to choose from more instructors, different styles and more fun!

The class schedule is changing for Phazes to make room for more classes and doubling up on some of our favorites since our space is pretty small.  But we can do this.
More people = more fun!

Desert Fitness Clients (and Adagio Zumba clients) have until the end of September to use up their punch passes.  Current 6 and 12 month memberships are 10% off if prepaid or for monthly installments on those contracts - get the sign up fee waived if you sign up before June 30th 2012!

Welcome to Phazes!
 - Michelle Ennis and the Phazes Team

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Working out some issues...

It's Tuesday.  I have a cold.  I am a little PMS - ish and moody and "head achy".  I have spent some time today following my stats on my blog and noticed the high number of hits my site got after posting my experience from the Ironman on Saturday.  Over 1,000 in a day.  that's pretty big numbers for a small time blog like mine.  So I looked to see where they all were coming from and I found that some sweet person posted my article on another site where a bunch of people began criticizing me for my actions in the water.  I took it hard and have had a hard time today.  like I said - I am moodier than usual.  But anyway, I feel like the best way for me to deal with it is to write it out and explain a few things and maybe answer a few questions.  I think I may have overplayed some things and underplayed others.

Concern #1 - why would you do swim  support if you can't swim?
Answer -   Actually I can swim. I have done 2 sprint triathlons in open water in a lake in FREEZING Wyoming and came in last place in the water  But I can do it.  I remember doing that swim and thinking - I am strong I can conquer this.  I just choose not to go swimming often.  I do have a weird phobia of open deep water I am conquering.  I am not a fabulous swimmer - but I can survive a swim if I have to.  I can swim, I just need to do it in open water more often even though it scares the hell out of me.  sometimes I don't tell people what I am really capable of.  that was my bad. 

Concern #2 - Panic.  Someone said I had no right being out there if I panicked even just a little bit.
Answer - LOL!  That's funny.  I panicked briefly.  I think people need to know that these conditions we were in were not just rare - but NEVER occur in the Lake this event took place in.  I panicked for a few SECONDS and calmed right down when I remembered the rule to survival was to be calm.  I calmed down quickly and found my rhythm.  I played that down and should have let people know that were so concerned about me that I was fine.  I knew as long as I could tread water and keep my head up, I was good.  and really, I was.  Did I panic?  briefly.  In fact part of my panicking was thinking I couldn't swim. yes I can.  I came to that quickly.  If you read my blog entry it says I had thoughts go through my head fast in a manner of just a few seconds.  Did I calm down and get in control of myself quickly- yes and part of that was remembering that I was perfectly capable.  I neglected to write about that.   I wish people could have been in my head.  It was actually pretty good in there.  :)

Concern #3 - I put everyone's lives in danger by being on that water ill prepared.
Answer - Hardly anyone that volunteered for this Ironman swim support was prepared for what happened.  We live in a desert.  There are only Lakes here. - no oceans and no waves. and we do not go boating and paddling in rough waters around here.  No one was prepared.  only 3 paddlers of the 80 were able to stay on that water.  The only way we can prepare for something like this is to experience something like this.  So now I am ready for something like this.  Get me out on that water again!
I have assisted in numerous triathlons on that same lake.  NEVER have we EVER had that kind of wind.  It was crazy and only those in the water can really know what we went through.  I am now prepared for the next one.  And any captain of any swim support team out here would be pleased to have me on their team.

Concern #4 - what idiot goes out to do swim support without a life vest?
answer - yeah... I don't have an good answer for that.  no wait, I do...  :)  LOL!  as I think back I remember that the buoyancy in my wetsuit (which is super thick and bouyant by the way - Not a triathlete wetsuit) gave me an extra boost of confidence and helped me find my calm in the water.  it was actually working pretty good.  But yes, a life vest would have been even better.  Lesson learned.  But in reality... I was going to survive ok.  chill out. and yes - I will never do swim support without wearing a life vest ever again even though my wetsuit I had would have helped me to survive.

Concern #4 - Noone who isn't a skilled rescue worker that has done multiple open water rescues in waves should be doing swim support.
answer - LOL!  We live in a freaking desert!  We don't get waves!  This was not common!  I think the swim support did a great job for what we knew around here.  There were PLENTY of skilled swimmers on paddleboards as lifeguards.  My job was to help get people in need to a lifeguard or jetski.  My job description never asked if I could swim to them.  We kayak support do not swim to the people in need we paddle to them.  and I have assisted MANY people in need from my paddleboard without falling into the water.  If I have fallen into the water - the wind never has never whipped my board away from me til then.  (and the answer to that is to wear my leash that I have never needed to wear since I am not an ocean surfer and never needed a leash til then). 

Concern #5 - I put other people's lives in danger...
Answer - I saved 4 people's lives by helping them get to assistance and maybe more that held onto my board in a time of need as they calmed down and caught their breath or stretch out a cramp.  I am a strong paddler and did really well in those waves and crazy wind for quite some time.  When I was finally tossed  My rescue was actually quick and the paddler that came to my rescue quickly went to work on other swimmers.  The truth is that many kayakers needed rescued - not just me.  I was able to assist another exhausted Kayaker to stay afloat as we held onto each other after my rescue.  we helped each other and let the swim support do their job rescuing swimmers.  I did not endanger anyone's life. in fact I may have helped another Kayaker stay alive. and I did not take a swimmer's place on any rescue vessel we stayed in the water holding onto each other and allowed the other swim support to concentrate on the job at hand.

Concern #6 - was this criminal negligence?
Answer - I don't even know what that is.  I am just a caveman and a PE major that gets confused by big words.  :)  LOL. No seriously.   As part of a swim support team that has worked our asses off - no.  this was not negligence.  I can swim.  I calmed down.  and I was prepared for this event in normal conditions.  I had a buoyant wetsuit.  I had the legally required PFD on my board.  I was ready for this in normal circumstances and even a breeze that was expected.  I am someone that handles myself well in stressful situations.  I have rescued swimmers before.  I have worked many events as swim support before.  I am good at my job and will now be even better at it.  If my husband could paddle away knowing I was fine - so can the rest of those thinking they need to criticize me.  You can all just figuratively paddle away right now.

The weather was a circumstance that could not have been planned on, If they saw this coming the event would have been canceled. No one that was not in that water that day has any right to judge anyone of us that were there.  I helped loads of panicked swimmers calm down in that crazy water.
I was calm after 5 seconds of panic.  I can swim.  I did float in my wetsuit.  I rescued 4 people and assisted multiple others.  I have done many triathlons as swim support.  I even swam a triathlon in a freezing lake. I am strong. And I am good on my board as a rescue worker.

Now here's the most important part and probably the only thing that ever needed to be said:
Swim support consists of several layers
1 - Kayakers and paddlers  - there are about 60 of us.  our main job is to get in the thick of things and assist swimmers to get to better equipped life support if they need it.  mostly we are used as floating buoys to help them catch their breath.  and in most races that is all we really do out here.  we also get swimmers to someone in the other layers in swim support or signal for someone to come over and rescue a swimmer holding onto our vessel.  That is our job - that was my job. 
2 - Life guards - there were at least 20 or more of these guys are on their bellies on paddleboards with no life vest or paddle.  They are experienced swimmers and CPR and Lifeguard certified.  they paddle alongside the swimmers and paddlers and are ready to give life saving skills they have been trained in.  that is their job.  That wasn't my job.
3 - Jet skis -  There were a bunch of these (not sure exactly how many).  they have  a sled on the back to tow in a swimmer in danger.  most had 2 people working on them (I think all of them did).  one to drive and one that is lifeguard certified to assist a swimmer in danger .  these were incredibly effective in the rough water but dangerous among the swimmers with the fumes and such.  so typically kayakers and paddlers work together with the jet skiers to get a swimmer out of the thick of things before loading onto a jet ski and either be taken to a motor boat or to land.  (usually to a bigger boat).
4 - Motor boats  - we had a couple dozen of these on the water.  these are the serious guys.  equipped with Lifeguards, Divers and EMT's as needed.  They were ready to take on the serious stuff.  They had their eyes on the kayakers and paddlers and swimmers and watched and listened for the signal for swimmers in serious jeopardy.  again - you can't have these big boats among the swimmers.  They need to be out to the sides for the safety of the swimmers.

we were well equipped as a team.
the fact of the matter is 400 people were rescued  - there was no loss of life in really horrid conditions and this team did a damn good job and so did I.

There now I feel good enough, smart enough and a whole hell of a lot better about it all.  Phew...
I need a nap.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Swim Support - another story of the St. George Ironman from Michelle's point of view...

(edited for more detail to clear up a few inconsistencies 3 days after originally posted)

It looked like it was going to be a perfect Ironman race day.  Bill and I woke up at 3:30am to load up and head out to Sand Hollow Reservoir with our Kayaks and Paddleboards.  Had our regular meetings and split up into group.  There were roughly 60 kayakers/Paddleboarders.

Swim Support has several layers of help on the water
1 -Kayakers and SUP paddlers in the thick of the swimmers that usually act as floating bouys to get swimmers to help. Geared with Whistles and PFD's - This was my job. 
2 - Lifeguards amonsts the swimmers and paddlers on paddleboards to get in fast and quick to a swimmer in serious danger.
3 - Jet skis with sleds  to haul swimmers quickly to a boat.  They cannot hang out among the swimmers due to the danger of the fumes and machinery.
4 -  there were a couple dozen large rescue boats around the perimeter geared with divers, lifeguards and EMT's as needed.

We were well equipped to handle this race.

We had no idea we were about to experience the roughest swim in Ironman History.

At the early morning meeting we were told that several hundred were doing their first Ironman and to be ready for those that underestimate the swim.  It is the most dangerous portion of the race for those under prepared.  Our job as Paddle support was to be in the thick of the swimmers pretty much in the way if necessary and be with them to pick them up and signal for a jet ski or boat to take them.

We were told to expect mild wind about 9mph.  no sweat, I can do that.

I get into my wetsuit.  I normally wear just regular swim wear and a few layers to keep warm.  The wetsuit is new for me.  I have worn it a few times.  It's not a tri suit - it's thicker warmer and more buoyant.  It's kept me afloat many times in the water.  I don't even think about a life vest.  I've never done swim support without a life vest before. I have no idea why the thought didn't even cross my mind.  But Looking back now, I am very glad I made the decision to wear the wetsuit I never have worn doing swim support before.  Normally I am uncomfortable in it but extra warm and buoyant. However after this day - I will never make the mistake of neglecting to wear a life vest ever again. From now I on I will wear both.

The sun was rising beautifully, I am on the water on my paddleboard that the night before I was doing Yoga on the same board on the same lake in calm water.  I feel good about my skills on my board.  I have bragged often that I have never fallen off my board.  I paddle a minimum of 2 times a week on this same lake.  I have paddled into heavy winds trying to race my husband in a headwind.  I am good on my board.

I have assisted in many swim events as a either a kayaker or stand up paddler on this same lake.  The conditions never were more than just slightly breezy.  It's usually non-eventful and no more than just a nice day cheering the swimmers on and maybe pulling one or 2 people from the water and letting several catch their breath before going on.  In all the races I have done in the past I have only had to really rescue one swimmer that needed to be pulled from the water.  I am usually just a floating bouy for a swimmer to catch their breath.  Today was going to change all that for me.

Ironman St. George 2012 was about to go down in History as the most dangerous swim and the toughest ironman day in history.  But we had no idea it was coming.

 Before the race starts the music is going I'm standing and dancing on my board and enjoying the party.  The Ironman speaker system is pumping out some great tunes and the announcer is having a great time playing it up - good party!

 My husband and I are with the big group toward the starting line.  In fact the paddlers are asked to mark the starting line and push the swimmers into position between the starting buoys marking the correct place to start.  I happen to be the kind of person that takes my job seriously when we do swim support.  After the Pro racers take off, we were asked to keep the other athletes/swimmers behind the starting line, between the buoys and those that were warming up needed to do so in the proper areas as designated.  LOL!  yeah... try to tell them that.  I did.  While most of the athletes follow instructions and were in the proper starting area, there were a handful telling me to "chill out lady"  "it's not a big deal."    Sorry folks it is a big deal!  You are in a freaking Ironman race!  If you start out 20 meters in front of the starting line and you get out of the water 10 meters in front of someone in your division - yeah - you suck!  Follow the rules people - this is not a hippie race/free for all.  Swim support was given a job to do and that was to help enforce the rules the athletes signed a line and said they would follow.  Some guy swimming for his warm up way past the starting line (where he was not supposed to be warming up) was heading back toward the start  I was doing my job near the start line yelling at athletes to get back and inside the start lines.  when this swimmer is heading my way out of nowhere... I tried to quickly maneuver out of his way ... and I yelled at him to watch out.  He was in the thick of the Kayakers and he hits the side of my paddleboard with his head and goes under me flailing.  when he gets his head up he looks at me and holds up his hand in a gesture that says "  $%#@, lady, what the %^&#$"  He actually didn't say a word.  I yelled at him "Duude -sorry I tried tell you..."  I'm sure he blames me for any lack of success he may have encountered. 

I hear the announcer say "Remember athletes - the only thing you have control over today is your attitude..."
Then the race starts.  The weather is perfect there is only a slight breeze on the water and the swimmers are off...
The Ironman is a tough race.  One of the toughest events in the world.  The athletes swim 2.2 miles then get on their bikes and ride over 100 miles and then finish the race running a marathon.  I feel like I am in Pretty good shape - but I have never done any of these things on their own.  doing them back to back takes someone who is more than just "good shape"  it takes amazing strength, endurance and mental prowess.  It really is a test of mental toughness as much as physical skill.  No one should EVER sign up for an Ironman race without knowing first that they are in for one of the toughest days of their life.  They sign a waiver that says they are fully aware they could lose their life doing the Ironman.
Most first time Ironman athletes completely underestimate the difficulty of the swim.  As swim support we are warned that the biggest danger is not drowning - it is the adrenaline rush and panicking that is the most dangerous. A few hundred Yard from the starting line is the BUSIEST place for swim support - not nearly finished when you would think we would be pulling the most swimmers.  Nope it's at the start when their nerves are too dangerous to be able to complete the swim.

The athletes are allowed to hold onto swim support vessels as long as there is no forward motion.  We cannot paddle forward or they are disqualified.

The swimmers are off and the pros are way out in front and going strong and steady.  We are in the thick of the rest of the athletes - many never having done something like this in their life.  Swimmers are all over the place swimming in every direction.  We are correcting courses telling people to turn around and head the other way.  I had stop a few people actually swimming backward and tell them to go forward.  One woman that was swimming back toward the start line and struggling for breath I paddled over to her and asked if she was ok, told her she was going the wrong direction and she was bewildered.  "I don't know what's wrong with me, Swimming is MY event.  I am an amazing swimmer, I should be able to do this, what's wrong with me?"
Me: is this your first Ironman?
Her: yes.
Me: are you nervous?
Her: VERY! (and she laughs)
Me:  Your biggest danger is your fear, you need to calm down.  you have 2 more miles.  do you think you can continue for 2 more miles of this?
Her: yes I can
Me: I will be watching you.
Her: Ok, thanks
She takes some time holding onto my board to catch her breath, calm down and collect herself...and she heads off.

Then the wind slammed us!

 I am watching these swimmers really struggle as the wind picks up and produces swells one after another 4-5 feet high.  This is not the ocean, it's worse.  Waves in the ocean give you a break between them.  We were experiencing wind around 40 miles per hour.
Someone asked me if it would have been a benefit to have the wind pushing the swimmers forward and it must have been nice for them having the wind at their back as they swam that first leg.  The problem was they could not see the next swell coming their way over their heads as they gasped for air.  They also couldn't see in front of them to know where they were going. They were gulping water and struggling for breath.  So no, it was not easy.  This quickly become a dangerous situation that no one saw coming.
Boats were rocking and in danger of being capsized and we paddlers were being pushed around.

The paddlers were struggling as well as we fought the wind pushing us around and sometimes away from swimmers calling for help.  It took serious arm strength to paddle in hard to assist a swimmer.

 I felt a little nervous but I could handle this.  I am a strong paddler   I am a crappy swimmer though. I think that's what makes me a better paddler.  I am determined to stay on that board.  I have done a sprint triathlon before in a freezing lake in Wyoming where I came in last place off the water.  But I have this weird fear of deep open water I have been conquering and I have no desire to swim.  Staying afloat and strong is a huge priority for me.
This is a wind like nothing we have ever had on this lake.  I have been paddling on this lake often enough to know this was highly unusual.  "Must be the full moon" is the thought that goes through my head.

 As I would paddle in HARD to one swimmer after another checking on their status as they struggled to catch their breath between swells I would have to back paddle HARD to make sure the wind didn't push me forward as they held onto my board.  I was glad I had the strength and endurance to do this physically demanding job.

 I was glad I was able to help 4 swimmers get to a jetski.  I never have pulled that many swimmers out personally from the water.  I was Paddling  hard to maneuver in to assist another swimmer when "WHAM" I was off my board and hit in the head as my board flipped over me and I watched it get tossed away be the wind.  I was pummeled by a big swell.  CRAP!  My PFD (personal flotation device) was on the board not on me and it was gone with the board.  I was in the water with swimmers and now I needed rescued too.  Unlike the Ironman athletes I had NOT trained for any kind of swimming event. Since that one Sprint Triathlon I did in a Freezing Wyoming lake a few years ago.  although I could survive a swim, I am not confident in my swimming abilities.  These Ironmen were struggling, who was I to think I could swim if they were needing help.  I panicked.

  Thoughts raced through my head in seconds:
This event humbled me.  You can be sure next time I do swim support - I will be wearing that bulky ugly vest of mine.
 I was embarrassed that I had fallen off my board.  That was my first emotion.  Very quickly came the next feeling - Panic!  
 It's funny how fast thoughts can go through your head in a manner of seconds...
"I can't believe I was tossed off my board."
"people must think I am a fool"
"Shoot, I suck at swimming."
"I could drown"
"I can't catch my breathe"
all sorts of muddled panicking thoughts
"I can't swim, I can't swim, I can't swim...."
 "CRAP!  I am a lousy swimmer" 

These thoughts were quickly replaced by a calming thought.
"what's the first rule kids?  (I always ask my kids this when they are freaking out) 
I think about Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy and how weird it is that that is the reference I thought of before my first aid and safety training.
"I can swim, I am buoyant, as long as I stay calm and keep my head up, I am good."
I am watching my board fly away in the wind.
"there goes my board... I wonder how much damage it's going to get."
"I hope my husband isn't pissed at my for losing his board."  
I wonder if I 'll be able to find it again.
I see 3 kayaks heading my way to rescue me - one of them is my husband.
"crap - they should be doing their job and rescuing swimmers - not me"

I had already been paddling hard and now I was swimming as hard as I could using all my power to try and get to the closest Kayak to me.  He is struggling against the wind and swells to get to me as well.
I try swimming while holding onto my paddle and someone's wetsuit swim cap they tossed I had picked up in the water.  It's not an effective way to swim and I am wasting my energy pushing through those waves holding that stuff.  The wind and waves are pummeling me.  I have no idea why I didn't let go of the swim cap.  I didn't even think about it for some reason.  That is kind of funny now that I look back.  I was worried about saving a stupid wet suit cap.  weird.
"I could die out here." 
 I don't think that as a panic, I think that as a reality.  I realize the best way to survive this is to stay calm with the knowledge that the reality of death is there if a calm state of mind isn't kept.  The thought that I could die was one that was actually - people in general could die in these conditions if they don't stay calm.  I knew it and I held myself together.

"stay calm, stay afloat."
Right then I regreat not having my life vest as additional flotation in the water. But I am glad to have my wetsuit in this cold water instead of my normal sweats and jacket I would have worn instead.

The kayaker closest to me throws me a PFD - a large foam square.  I grab it and hold on.

I just hope that my husband can forget about me and just do his job helping the swimmers.  One kayak is enough and Bill is not the closest to me.   I yell at my husband off in the distance. "I'M OK!" and I give him a thumbs up.  I knew once I had that floatie - I would be ok. I see him paddle away to assist someone else in the water and I feel a lot better. I am glad he trusts me enough to do what he is supposed to be doing and not trying to take care of me here.  I feel a weird kind of calm.

  I was now just fine.  I think... but maybe not...  not sure.  Still not a good place to be out there.  My rescuer  asks me to pull myself into his Kayak - something I have done numerous times before.  I try over and over but I can't seem to find the strength after all that paddling against the wind and then swimming for my life. my arm strength is spent.  I am again embarrassed because I know I can do this.
 He tells me to just hang onto his kayak while he maneuvers over to another kayaker that had been tossed over by the wind and swells.  It seemed like forever just holding on and pushing against the elements to get to the other kayaker in the water.  
We finally get to the other guy in the water and he is hanging onto his kayak for dear life.  He also can't pull himself back in and is exhausted from all that paddling against the wind.  My rescuer tells me to hang onto this man's kayak with him and see if we can assist each other back in while he paddles back out to help more swimmer, lifeguards and kayakers struggling in the water.   It's all we can do to hang onto each other across the Kayak and help keep each other up.  My arm strength Gone.  My husband kayaks over  in his 2 seater sea kayak and says, "Michelle I need your help. Climb into my kayak.  I need help paddling.  My arms are exhausted and I could use your help."  I  try to maneuver myself.  I can't.  I just can't.  I think about those swimmers and how badly they need our support out there.  "I can't Bill,  I am spent.  My strength is gone"  I feel absolutely guilty and awful that I am useless in the water.  Bill asks me if I will be OK.  "I'll be fine. Just go."
I continue to hang onto the other Kayaker's arm, hoping and praying for my husband that he can do his job and not worry about me.  I am scared more than I have ever been for all those swimmers.  I see kayakers all over getting ssed out of their boats.  I asked the guy (Jon) if he would mind if I prayed.  "please do..."  "Dear God, we, are scared.  Please help those swimmers out there. and also us and the other swim support - please bless us all with safety on this crazy water.  In Jesus name, amen."  "amen."  We decided to let the wind push us back to land while hanging onto each other.  It's a long way back and we are both in the cold water for quite a while.  "Jon" starts heaving over onto my side of the kayak.  His puke landing next to me in the water.  At first I am a little grossed out and then I laugh at the odd humor of it all.   I had been hoping to be hanging out in my swimsuit and relaxing on my board by now.  Instead I have Jon's puke drifting around me in the water as we cling to each other for dear life.  I am actually laughing and telling Jon "let it out my friend" in a sing song voice.  We are cold and exhausted and at the mercy of the wind and waves.

The air was filled with the sound of Kayakers and lifeguards blowing their whistles calling over help.  NEVER have heard that many emergency whistles being blown.  Kayaks were being swamped by swimmers that were panicking.  One kayaker said her vessel had 10 swimmers hanging onto it and she couldn't even paddle.  She was blowing her whistle over and over to try and get help when one swimmer panicked and tried to jump in her kayak with her - capsizing the boat and endangering everyone's lives.
After quite sometime hanging onto each other I finally feel like I have some strength returning to me and I pull myself into the kayak.  But the wind starts tossing me and using my body like a sail.  So I drop back into the water realizing that we are safer if I stay low and out of the wind.   Jon is just trying not to puke again. 

I'm not sure how much time passed before Jon and I drift into shore.  I see several  big boats and loads of kayaks and paddleboards all lining the beach.

We were not the only ones tossed. I am no longer embarrassed. I head to the sheriff's trailer to get warmed up and out of my cold clothes.  Other boaters and kayakers are there sharing their stories.  All of us are looking at the water and nervous about those swimmers.  We realize that the majority of swim support is no longer on the water.
This means that those 1700 swimmer (give or take) covering 2 miles of a tough swim only have a few kayaks a few jet skis and a few boats.  It's not good and there is NOTHING those of us on shore can do.  So we had a prayer.  There was a group of us in the trailer that decided to say a prayer that there would be no loss of life - a real possibility in these conditions. We asked God to watch over the swimmers for us since we no longer could.
There were tears shed by several swim support volunteers whose hearts were still on the water.  (I'll admit - I was one of the tear shedders).

I looked around the crowd of stranded swim support and we started sharing stories.

More similar stories are shared. We are hanging out by the south beach ramp and boats are bringing swimmers in by the dozens.  I have never witnessed anything like this before.  The swimmers are waiting to get on buses to take them back to the transition.  I see the woman that held onto my craft at the start.  I go over and hug her.  She gives me a big smile "I guess I wasn't ready for this after all."  I point to the crowd and say "me too!"  we laugh a little together.  Then I overhear some athletes say "THEY SHOULD CANCEL THIS!  THIS IS AWFUL!  NO ONE CAN SWIM IN THIS!"  He's angry and yelling.  So many athletes are being hauled away in buses - This has never happened.  400 athletes are pulled from the water - some of their own choice and some had no choice but were asked to get out.  Some are angry, some are grateful.  Some are just too exhausted to feel anything for now.

So many different emotions from all the athletes.  again the words of the announcer at the start come to mind. "remember the only thing you have any control over today is your attitude."  So true.

I look for my husband among the stranded paddlers, I can't find him anywhere.  I see really experienced kayakers that have been tumbled to shore.  But I don't see Bill anywhere or his kayak.  I realize my husband is one of a handful of kayaks left on the water.  I know his physical strength and his determined spirit is keeping him out there - not letting the wind beat him.

I  workout hard every day between bootcamp, weights, running and teaching fitness classes sometimes 4 in a day.  I have strength and stamina.   I am no wimp. But I am embarrassed that I couldn't do what I said I could do.  I am disappointed in myself for not doing what I said I would do.  I feel like I let people down that were counting on me to do what I said I could do.
I wonder if this is a little of what a Disqualified Ironman athlete feels?

I see 3 paddlers coming in - Walt a Professional boater/kayaker, Mike Caifa the leader of the whole Kayak support crew and amazing kayaking professional with loads of experience on the water, and then I see Bill.  I run to him and hug and kiss him.  I am impressed.  Out of 60 kayakers and paddlers I saw only 3 return safely to shore in their kayak after the race was over.  I find out later that 5 Kayakers of the 60 on the water were able to paddle through that wind storm and stay with those swimmers - Those paddlers are IRONMEN!

Bill share his story with me: He is a strong kayaker and a powerful man that loves to outdo the next guy in push up and pull up contests. On a normal Friday and Saturday afternoon you will find Bill paddling hard on this same water, testing his skill in speed as tries to beat his previous time circling the entire lake twice a week as a minimum.  He is used to a good hard paddling event. But the exhaustion of the day and pushing against this storm was too much.   After struggling with all his strength against that wind he came over to me and Ken holding onto that kayak in the water and asked me to climb in and help him out but I couldn't. After I told him to go do his job, he paddled back into that wind to do whatever he could.  He remembered a story in the  Scriptures that talked about a prophet of God that prayed for strength and was given the strength he needed.  So Bill prayed out loud to his Father in Heaven asking to be given strength knowing that he would be given what he was needed. With his Heavenly Father's help he was able to push against that wind in his monstrous Kayak while about 50 other Kayakers couldn't, some with many more years of experience on white water.

Approximately 1700 swimmers hit the water, 400 were pulled and 1300 made it around and swam the entire 2 miles in rough water.  wow! 

There were hundreds of prayers given that day.

I have since heard that it was a miracle no one died in that water.  That is true.  God watched over us and protected us that day.  BUT we also had some GREAT people working that risked their lives and did all they could to tow people out of the water that needed rescue.  Many of those GREAT people humbled themselves enough to ask for God to assist them and the others on the water.  Many boaters, divers and lifeguards did an amazing job pulling out a RECORD number of people in a tough windstorm I believe they/we did it with God's help - whether or not they all know it.

a Few days after the event another female kayaker and good friend (another Michelle) and I shared some time together to clear the guilt we felt for not being on that water til the end.  As we talked things through we realized that between the 2 of us we had saved a minimum of 10 lives.  I needed to remember that so that I no longer felt guilty for not being able to stay on my board and stay out there with everyone in need.

So the question: Why didn't they cancel the swim portion of the Ironman?

My personal view:
 This is the freaking Ironman.  Many of these athletes have traveled the globe to test their skill.  Many are used to swimming in the ocean and have trained in difficult waters.  Over 1000 swimmers made it through that swim.  What do you tell those  people that accomplished this.  Plus - how do you just cancel after the swim has started without having more chaos?   The weather was great when we started.  The swimmers are in the water and the support on top of the water in the way of the wind is having more difficulty than the swimmers are.  If you cancel the swim - you still have swimmers out there bobbing up and down waiting for rescue with very little support and they all have to make it back.  If they can swim it- they should swim it!

I hate swimming.
But I plan on open water swimming more this year and practicing pulling myself up in the water.
It scares the poop out of me.  (poop is Utah/Mormon slang for other words I could use there.) 
Would I do it again?  Absolutely!

Round 2!
After the swim....
Bill and I went home and took a LOOOOOONG nap. Then we prepped for a night at running aid station number one - next to the finish line.  we gathered up the kids, packed some food, blankets and water and headed out the door for our final round of Ironman volunteering.  I've never done this with all 5 of my kids.  We are signed up for 6-midnight.  Let's see if this works.

Awesome.  I love the excitement!  I see familiar faces from the water and found out that the Ironman officials allowed the hundreds pulled from the water to continue the race without their race chips. They will be able to cross the finish line but will not qualify for any awards.  I thought that was cool.

My kids, my husband and I were handing out water, coke, and wet sponges to runners as they jogged past.  The cutest thing was watching my 4 year old so eager to help holding the "Perform" cups (a drink kind of like Gatorade) and yelling out to the runners to take a drink.  Of course he's adorable - He's 4.  Runners would stop and take a drink from him and smile and tell him thanks.  He was beaming.  Later on that night he told me he wanted to go run too.  So I took his hand and we jogged about a block away.  I pretended that a sign on the road was the finish line and He and I cheered until he saw more runners go past us.  It was about 10:00pm so the runners were few and far between by now.  But my little boy was angry at me.  "That's not the real finish line! I want to run to the REAL finish line."
LOL!  I love that he was inspired by these athletes to want to cross a finish line.  So we start again.  I grab his hand and we run alongside another Ironman athlete that laughs as he says "I just got beat by a kid and his mom"  he was smiling, we were smiling.  We ran as close as we could to the finish line before we swerved off to the side and went to the stands to watch the other runners come in.  It was awesome!  All that cheering, all that emotion, all that relief and sweat and tears and laughter.  Man, I love this stuff.  I think I am a junkie.
Ferrell says "MOM, IT'S TOO LOUD! LET'S GO BACK!"


Throughout the run portion I have people telling me "Hi - wow, your everywhere."  Bill comes up to me and and says he almost gave a woman a pat on the butt til he realized it wasn't me.  People all over the place I have never met are saying HI like I should know them.  apparently there is another 30 something woman out there with bleached blonde hair and a pink faux hawk, wearing silver earrings, no make-up, and athletic build.  her name is Jamie.  we find each other.  I have a new facebook Buddy.  I recognize her from the running circuit as a woman that has kicked my butt in another race at some point.  and I remember thinking I liked her hair.  But it wasn't pink then.

Another friend running the Ironman stops by the aid station for some chicken broth and coke or something -  Ben Ford.  We start talking about the swim portion.  He wonders what the big deal was.  he was just fine.  Sure it was tough but not that bad and he did just fine and finished strong in the water.

Another runner comes by -I don't know him but he recognizes me from swim support and thanks me for being on the water that morning.  I walk with him a little way and we talk about the craziness of the water. He tells me someone died.  I feel sick to my stomache.  I am not surprised if that happened but I am angry that I couldn't have stopped that.  I tell my husband and he calls Mike Caifa and verifies that that was actually just a rumor.  All the athletes were accounted for.  some were missing for a while - just didn't check in when pulled from the water.  But they tracked everyone down and there were No lives lost on the water.  I count it as a miracle and the sickness in my stomache goes away.  I wish I could run after the other athlete and tell him.  But He is long gone by then.

My 14 year old son is all smiles as he works next to a cute girl handing out water.

My buddies show up with DRUMS!  YAY!  African drumming starts going and I can't sit still.  the party get started again.  The sun is down, the air is cooling and runners are exhausted.  then they hear the drum the Sanderson's brought and they start dancing past our aid station.  I dance with a few of them.  It's a party again.

11:30 - the last runner goes by but they have another 3 miles to go to the finish.  we are done.  I have kids asleep on the ground with pillows and blankets.

We get home after midnight.  What an amazing party.  I may not be one of the elite athletes doing the race.  But I most certainly enjoyed the day and am physically and emotionally exhausted when it it all over.  Today (Sunday) the day after - I can hardly talk and my elbow and legs are very sore.  But I am inspired, excited and motivated by the skill and determination I saw during Ironman.  What a day!