“My athletes needed practical ways to fuel their bodies like a champion. Being college athletes, they have unique challenges to maintaining a healthy diet such as limited finances, access to healthy foods, and time constraints. Cat was able to lay out a simple foundation for a healthy diet, as well as give practical ways that my athletes could implement that diet given the unique needs of a college athlete. Her science background enabled her to go beyond just “how” to eat healthy and explain the “why” and “what” exactly certain nutrients do to the body.”
-Chris McCormick, Head Coach – Rogers State University
Men’s & Women’s Cross Country
Men’s & Women’s Track & Field
“When I initially contacted Cat my goal was to be stronger, faster, and healthier at 30. I had 6 months until my 30th birthday when I started my first 4-week training plan, and I wanted to see physical changes, faster running times, and faster cycling speeds. I had no idea what was initially a short term plan would turn into a life-long journey. I was curious to see what could happen if I put my mind to eating cleaner and training with intention. I’m sure somewhere in there was a weight loss goal, but that eventually took a backseat once I started seeing other benefits.
One year later, at 30, I’ve ran my first sub-24:00 5k—shaving about a minute and half off my 5k PR. I unintentionally began averaging faster speeds on the bike this past year as well (a goal that I hadn’t set initially.) I see more muscle definition overall– most significantly in my quads, biceps, and lats. Translation—I’m more confident in my body image!
I constantly compare percentages of progress for a living, so I was wrapped up in wanting to see faster times and more muscle definition when I started my first training plan. I’m learning that I can’t put a number to the changes that I believe have been most beneficial for my health and well-being. Cat has emphasized throughout each training plan the importance of nutritional value and rest above anything. The most important changes I’ve noticed after changing my eating habits and getting more sleep are these: 1) I have more energy throughout the day. 2) I have increased concentration and clarity of thought. 3) I no longer miss feeling so full that I may puke. 4) I have only 1-2 migraines in a 6-month period (compared to about 1 per month). 5) I feel like the foods I consume are serving a purpose and actually fueling my body like a machine. I would consider these changes to be my biggest successes since I have begun training with Cat.
All that said—it’s a process. Like a process, it has ups and downs. I’m constantly trying to increase my water intake (I hate water). I struggle daily between choosing foods my brain wants versus what my BODY NEEDS. Then I remember what Cat tells me when I start whining—“just do it.” Simple.
Cat is a coaching genius, but she also knows how important balance is for maintaining a life-long training plan and fitness journey. She has pushed me to do things I didn’t think I was able to do (specific examples: speed work on a track, back rack squats, bench press). Her knowledge and background of running, cycling, swimming, and strength training are only HALF of her weapons—she knows just as much about nutrition. She knows how to tailor a fitness program in order to prevent and/or work around an injury, how to translate an end-goal into short term goals. She is a wealth of biological knowledge and is eager to learn from physical therapist resources, the latest research, and other trainers in order to deliver the best training plans possible. She has a passion for bettering the lives of athletes, and she’s ridiculously good at it.”
-Halley (Follow her journey on Instagram: @mycomet86)
“I have been with Cat and the Fitness Lab for nearly 1 year. My background is diverse. I have competed in triathlons for the last 7 years and needed a change in both motivation and skill set. Over the last year I have competed in several ultra-marathons and placed 2nd overall at an ultra race in April of this year. My next goal for the year is the Barkley ultra-marathon in Tennessee on September 17. The combination of strength, endurance, speed, and mobility training has aided in both mental and physical confidence. Becoming a better overall athlete who is ready for triathlon, running races, bicycling, rowing, or whatever life throws at me is my ultimate goal. I am achieving this with Cat’s Fitness Lab.”
-JA (Follow his shenanigans on Instagram: @king_JA_pryse)
“When I started with Cat, my goals were to build a more tone and fit body. I wanted a stronger base to work off of so that when I do “fall off the wagon” a little (vacation, fun social events, etc.), it’s easier to maintain my physique and get back on track. Basically, I was aiming for an all around healthier body and mind. Cat has been such a huge confidence booster–my little nugget psychologist! I feel stronger because of this last year spent with Cat’s Fitness Lab. My favorite thing about being part of “The Lab” is that Cat is so positive. She makes my workouts fun and interesting so I never get bored. And she LISTENS TO ME and truly cares about how I feel and what I want out of this experience.”
-Andrea (You can follow Andrea and her wealth of beauty knowledge on Instagram: @andreaellisartistry)
“When I contacted Cat to begin working on a training plan for my first marathon, I had already run eight half marathons and many 5-10Ks. Of course, I am in contact with Cat regularly since she is my daughter. Also, two years ago I was diagnosed with mild Parkinsons Disease. Part of PD therapy is exercise.
When I initially contacted Cat my goal was to be stronger, run faster, and do it injury free (healthier). At my age of 67 this was no easy task. However, I had already been running and strength training at a local gym. I had 20 weeks to train for my first marathon. In the interim I completed a half marathon. This run was included in my training plan as a “B race”. I completed the half in 2:35. This was 2:00 slower than my personal best time (2:23), but considering I had driven for 8 hours the previous day and that this was not my goal race, the result was testimony that the plan was working. It was making me stronger and healthier.
In April 2016 I ran the Memorial in 5:35, which was 35:00 slower than my goal time of 5:00. The satisfaction of completing my first marathon was most rewarding, and, without injury! My recovery was short and I plan on running the same race again next year. I’ve become more confident in my abilities which should help me throughout the aging process.
Cat stressed throughout the training plan the importance of nutrition and rest. I feel what I eat and the portions have been essential in maintaining my strength and clarity of mind and soul. I have concluded the changes made have been influential in my approach to physical training.
During my marathon Cat was there cheering me on either running with me or from the sidelines. So, she not only is providing the training plan but the coaching that goes with the plan.”
-Chuck (You can follow my dad on Instagram: @chuckeb67)
“Hi! I’m Kay, Cat’s Mom! And, I have to say I did NOT want to be this level of “fit”! I was perfectly happy with my daily walk with my walking buddies. Years of daily walks, even walking marathons, was good enough for me! Then, one day I mentioned to Catherine (I still call her Catherine) that I wanted to walk “better”. I was not sure what I meant by that. I just wanted to improve in some way. She mentioned strength training and I said no!!!!! Well…she pushed me kicking and screaming into a gym! Even purchased time with a trainer for me! I still laugh at myself when I think back. First of all I didn’t want to go. I was scared of the unknown. And, I certainly didn’t want to look like a body builder, all muscled up! LOL. Little did I know!
I fell in love with gym. I began to feel stronger, understand my body, and appreciate all of the hard work that goes into training. After a while I decided “walking” wasn’t enough! (I never gave up my daily walks with my walking buddies.) I wanted to run!! I had never been able to run. Cat gave me a plan, which included strength training, cardio/running and nutrition. It lasted for 5 weeks and I followed it to a T because I knew that she knew what I needed!
At the end of the 5 weeks I ran a 5K! I ran every step!!! I cannot express how excited I was!!!!!
Then…I ran a 10K!!!!
Then…a half marathon!!!
I feel good! I go to the gym almost daily! I’ve completed a Cristelli Fit Challenge with Chuck (Cat’s dad). I eat healthy (most of the time). I run. I still walk with my buddies. I still do Cat’s Fitness Lab plans.
I am so thankful for my family–Chuck, Catherine and Travis! I feel very blessed. I started this “fitness” journey when I was 60 years old! I will be 63 on my birthday next month! My journey continues…because “there is no finish line.”
Thank you Catherine!”
-Kay (You can follow my mom on Instagram: @kayb.fit)
“My goals when I started working with Cat at the end of last school year were to run faster and become a more competitive athlete. I have gotten faster, more coordinated, and more confident in my athletic abilities. My favorite thing about working with Cat is that she is so nice and encouraging. She wants me to do my best and really pushes me to be better. I really like the drills we do, especially when we use the ladder.”
“Max loves playing sports, but his natural ability hasn’t kicked in yet. I’ve said before he has to work twice as hard to be half as good as some of his peers. The main thing I have noticed since Cat started working with him is his confidence boost. He feels so much better about his abilities and his ability to keep improving. He is so much more coordinated and sure of himself. Cat is so patient and encouraging with him. She has high expectations of him and he doesn’t want to let her down. Almost everyday after school Max and his buddies race from the building to where their parents are parked. I’ve seen Max come in dead last time after time. Since he started working with Cat he no longer comes in last. The look on his face when he realizes that he isn’t last anymore is worth the investment.”
-Sara, Max’s mom