Monday, February 21, 2011

Faces of Culpeper.... The Fit Ones

Cindy Wenzel, personal trainer at Gold's Gym

As we go through life it seems  that most of us work, off and on, at being physically fit.  "Getting in shape" has to be the number one New Year's resolution.  However there are a lot of people who stay in good physical condition year in and year out.  Most of us strive to different degrees to maintain the mind set that will make the hard work to attain a great physique a possibility.  I have often said when I  see someone particularly ripped that: "I would give anything in the world except the hard work it would take to have a body like that."  I find it interesting that in a town as small as the Pepper there are three facilities to help people with their conditioning.  Each one is different and fills a special need for their clientele.  In this blog we will look at two of them and some of the people who work out there.


The Anytime Fitness gym is owned by a neighbor of mine whom I had never met before doing this blog.  He was at the facility the second time I stopped  by and I found him to be a really engaging guy.  We had a good conversation. The first time I went to Anytime Fitness I was escorted to Veronica McBride who is the General Manager and a personal trainer.   While I was telling her who I am and why I was there, she was looking at my last blog.  It took her exactly 2.5 seconds to find it on her computer.  This woman is very friendly and clearly all professional about her business.  We talked a bit about Anytime Fitness and the ways it  is  different from the other gyms in town. Then she gave me free rein to wander around and shoot whatever I wanted and to photograph some of their patrons.  Veronica is the kind of person that I would choose for a friend. 

What makes Anytime Fitness unique and a great fit for certain people is that it is very comfortable and non threatening. It is more intimate than the others and that definitely appeals to a certain clientle.  The staff is welcoming and makes you feel at home immediately.  There is great personal and personalized attention.  If a person is just starting to train or a veteren of working out but not interested in being surrounded by tons of people as they workout and learn....this is the place.  There is not a lot of  distracting hubbub going on and in fact I found the general ambiance to be very calm considering what the people were doing.  I felt very little sense of competition existing there.... just people doing their thing in a comfortable setting. 
It is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year!!!!!!!  That is just amazing!

Let's check this place out.

This big ol dude is TJ Russell.  He is an 09 graduate of Eastern View and he works out at AF every night.  Here  he is doing bench presses.

Mike Wright works for Campbell Heating and Air Conditioning. He works out three times a week.  He is working his abs.

In between workouts, Cathy Earnest works for the VA Workers Comp Commission.  She has lived in Brandy Station for the last seven years and works out three times a week. It makes me nervous to attempt this but...... I think this exercise is called a Side Plank.  Of course Cathy is really executing  the exercise....I am just attempting to get the name correct.

I am really glad that I ran into this young lady working out on a treadmill because she is a teacher (yeah!!!!) at Culpeper High School.  If you have read my profile you know that my professional background is education.  This is Colbi Williams and she just joined the high school faculty this semester.  She came all the way from Atlanta to teach in the Pepper.  She must be special! I suspect that the kids she teaches are very fortunate.


I was warmly welcomed at Gold's!  The manger told me that he was happy to have me taking pictures  and saw my blog as one more way to get the word out about his gym.  I dropped in on Thursday around noon and even at that time of day there was a fair amount going on.  I have driven by in the evening and looked in the windows and know that it is a very busy place.  I thought it would be best for me to get the shots I wanted if I went when things were a little slower.  I was correct. 

This facility is very large...... and has a ton of  workout equipment.   I found it interesting that they had a special room called "Lady Gold's"  which allowed for female patrons who were not totally comfortable with all the testosterone and big bodies working out to have a place of their own.  Another really fun feature is the "Cinema Room."  This is a room where you can do your  entire cardio workout while watching a movie on a big screen.  Too cool!

Let's look around.

This is Emily Beker who is a personal trainer certified through AFAA.  I don't know exactly what that means but Emily wanted me to know that so I think it is important. She is obviously working out her biceps which look amazing.  She has been with Gold's here in the Peper for three years.

This is James Terrell upside down. Obviously he is doing bench presses.  James is a lab tech for Superior Paving. 

This is a pretty cool picture if  I do say so myself.  I wrote down everything about this man but the most important thing..... his name.  Dang!!!!!! I know that he graduated from Woodbridge High School, has lived in the Pepper since 2004, has four kids and a wife, is retired from the Army and Coast Guard after 22 years of active duty and now is a part time real estate agent.  If I just knew his!!!!  If anyone can tell who it is from this picture please email me at   Boy, do I feel dumb.....good picture, though.  :)

OK...Here is Fred Grote doing curls.  Fred is a truck driver who is originally from California.  He has lived here in the Pepper for 11 years.  He told me that he started coming to Gold's four months ago.  In that four months he has dropped twenty two pounds, increased his chest by four inches, and reduced his waist by ten.  That is a lot of change, but he has come in everyday of those four months to workout.

Scott  Strand who works at Swift  as a Network Engineer.  He works out five times a week.  He comes a few times a week during his lunch break and in the evening for his major workouts.

It is interesting who you meet at Gold's.  This is the dining room manager at The Inn at Little Washington. His name is Neil O'Heir.  He has lived in the Pepper for 18 years with his wife.  They have five boys!  My wife and I raised three sons and boy do I understand the need to find some time at the gym....five boys!  Wow! is another woman!   This is Gin Carter who is a mom of three and just loves to workout.  She was also there with her son who we will see later. 

The manager stopped by to tell me that I should be sure to get a picture of Tim Roberts who he said, "Is in the best shape of anyone who comes here."  Done!  Tim is ripped for sure.  He is a paralegal in DC and a long time resident of Culpeper.  Christine O'Brien, a personal trainer,  was helping Tim and making sure he gets it right.  She has been with Gold's for five years.

Jeff Russell is doing some leg stretches.  He is an iron worker and has owned his own business for the last nine years.

This is Josh.  We met his mother, Gin just a little bit earlier.  She wanted to be sure that I got a picture of her boy working out.  Josh, amazingly, is eleven years old and is getting himself ready for fall football.  Someone is going to have a pretty big order to try to block this kid. Here he is practicing striking and kicking with personal trainer, Cindy Wenzel.  She is the person who is doing the handstand at the beginning of this blog.  I will tell you one thing.....this boy has phenominal hand speed!!

I want to wrap things up with Jonathan James.  Jonathon was one of the first people I met in the Pepper after I decided to do a photo blog of the faces here.  He helped me with my business cards. His family business is Xpress Copy & Graphics.   When you meet him it is obvious that he is not the run of the mill kind of guy.  He is really built and certainly is one of the best known athletes in this area.  Jonathon competes in contests for "natural body builders."  That means they use no steriods nor other performance enhancers.  He was my motivation to do this blog on those who are working to be fit.  We have been talking about getting a picture of him for months.  The first time I tried he was getting married the next day and just couldn't work me in....can you imagine?  When I went to his business the other day and told him that I finally was going to do the picture he was concerned that he was not in his best condition. However he was a good sport and agreed.  I had him pose so that the trophies he has won were right behind his arm.  He seems to be a very nice guy and also pretty humble. 

That's it for now. If you have suggestions or comments you can post them here or email me at: