Defining Your Normal

“Alison’s mom might be dying.” I first heard this statement early into my daughter’s 7'th grade year. Alison and Gwyn quickly became friends in junior high once they bonded over their theatre geekdom.

I met Alison’s mom, Sharon, briefly last summer when she was well enough to attend a feature of Bye-Bye Birdie in which Gwyn played Ursula, the giddy best friend to the main character.

Sharon’s peppery grey hair wisped around her face just barely grown back from her last round of chemo. A light sleeveless blouse complemented her olive complexion, revealing the amputation site where her left arm and a good deal of her shoulder complex was removed when doctors cut out tumors.

If you didn’t know Sharon seeing her perceived disfigured body may have felt a little shocking. Cancer doesn’t leave room for clean, pretty incisions with perfect sutures to ensure minimal scarring. Cosmetics aside, the goal is to cut away the bad stuff and all the...

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Fit Thrive Member Spotlight: Misti Hurrikane

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I am a native New Yorker, transplant to Colorado, mountain worshiper, parrot mother, clinical psychologist, spiritual inquirer, business owner, DIY real-estate investor, lover of all things colorful, shameless introvert and complete sugar addict. The latter is my biggest downfall. It really is. And yes, I am the only person in the entire state of Colorado that does not ski.

I am a lifetime member of Get Glutes and plan to take full advantage of that. Kellie is younger than me and healthy as heck, so I think the odds are in my favor. I have been doing Get Glutes for just over three years, but I am only in Month 33 because I periodically slow the program down to accommodate my other training.

When did you discover your love for fitness? Tell us about your journey and how it brought you to Get Glutes.

I have been active and “athletic” all my life. I did not compete in any sports until I got to college, but I grew up...

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Fit Thrive Member Spotlight: Marisa Steiner


Though a lifetime exercise enthusiast, Marisa didn't pick up a barbell until her late 30's. She immediately fell in love and a couple years after she decided to get a little competitive. Just a few days shy of her 40th birthday, Marisa took first place in her first show. 

As a busy career woman of 3 young boys, she exudes what it means to be a strong woman. She shows us how exercise can enhance your quality of life and no matter how crammed your schedule, you always have time to take care of yourself. 


Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

My name is Marisa. I just turned the big 4-0 (and still can’t believe it)! I am a wife and mom of three boys-8, 6, and almost 4 years old and work mostly from home for the Department of Homeland Security as an Immigration Analyst in DC. I am an athlete -so I have been told-and after a lifetime of moving my body I am actually starting to believe that this term really does apply to me....

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Fit Thrive Member Spotlight: Therese Atwell

It's a story we women know all too well. How many of us have followed the dieting and fitness advice of popular women's magazines only to find ourselves hungry, tired, and frankly, disappointed? 

In this edition of Member Spotlight, Lifetime Get Glutes Member, Therese Atwell, shares how she transformed to a healthy and happy strength training diva and proves it's never too late build a beautiful, muscular physique. 

Therese's Story


I grew up fit and active. I was always in motion, and my favorite thing was gymnastics. I birthed 8 children and easily regained my pre-pregnancy weight each time. But my 9th pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. This along with some other serious financial and deeply hurtful relationship (not marital) issues threw me into a deep despair. My weight climbed almost to what it was at the birth of my first child. I wallowed there for years, and fell for the deception that being overweight and out of shape was inevitable because...

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Member Spotlight: Melanie Testa

A Note From Coach Kellie Davis:

 One of the greatest gifts in the work that I do is the real human connection I make with the Fit Thrive community. One of my fondest and deepest connections I’ve made in the four years I’ve run this site is with Melanie Testa. Melly came to Get Glutes after working with one of our founders Marianne Kane. She was a sponge; absorbing everything she could about fitness, asking questions like a precocious child who’d discovered something utterly fascinating in the world. She purchased Strong Curves and completely submersed herself in our weightlifting culture.

Melly came to us after a double mastectomy and round of chemotherapy. She opted out of reconstruction and made the decision to heal through fitness. Her fitness journey began during chemo and she hasn’t stopped since. Her journey is nothing short of inspiring as she has made huge waves in the body positive community. She chose not to lose her identity with her breast,...

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Member Spotlight: Annie Fields

Annie Fields has been an integral part of the Fit Thrive and Get Glutes community for years. She embodies every essence of a strong, beautiful woman. If you've been in our forum, you've likely met Annie. She is the first to greet new members, is always ready to answer questions, and is our biggest cheerleader.

I'm thrilled to have Annie as our Member Spotlight as she shows us we can be fit and strong at any age. I look forward to aging as gracefully as Annie and have learned so much from her over the years. We hope you enjoy this interview with Annie brought to you by Keeley Novotny.


Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background:

I was born in Stockholm, Sweden and lived there until I was 22. I have two brothers who are still there with their families, as is my 102 year old mother. At the age of 22, as part of my education, I spent a couple of months in Switzerland and a couple of months in England, going to school part time and working as an intern part...

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Why You Need to Sleep More and Worry Less


Hustle. Grind. Hustle. Grind. Go, go, go!

It seems like everyone’s mantra these days is “Hustle” or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” 

I can say GUILTY AS CHARGED in recent years after powering through grad school at lightning speed, re-launching my website (twice in one year) and putting out a new product while working on a second one. 

Some nights I would fall asleep around 1AM and jolt out of bed at 4 the same morning because my brain was telling me I had this big to-do list. The list was withering away in my pocket, on the verge of evaporating, which meant my entire life was meaningless because I didn’t accomplish the 75 things I planned on doing.

The success clock was ticking. It drove my every move and I was hungry to be all things to all people.

Soon I became the snarling, rabid junkyard dog you see in every coming of age movie. The slightest wrong move by anyone in my life set alarms off in my head. My teeth gnashed...

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How To Get Out of A Strength Rut

I remember when I first started working with Bret back in 2009. I’d never hired a coach before, nor had I followed a proper program—or even learned how to lift correctly.

My programming previously relied on a notebook and a round-robin approach to machines and dumbbells.

Oh, these machines work your back. Let’s do all of those. I know lunges, squats, leg extension, and leg press work the legs. Let’s do all of them today. ALL OF THEM!!!

Once Bret put me on a program and told me stop doing all the things all the time, my body responded quickly. Oh, so quickly. It was glorious!

I was hungry for more.

That lasted a good 18 months and then I stalled out. Big time. I pushed through attempting heavier lifts even though my body was warning me against them. Soon I was in a cycle of injury, recovery, slowing re-introducing the gym, and kaput again.

I was stuck. I was angry.

All my hard work seemed fruitless as I foresaw my destiny to only be so strong; to...

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9 Tips to Stay Focused As Kids Go Back To School

In parking lots all across America, parents high-five each other while overflowing cups of coffee spill onto freshly pressed dress pants. The first day of school bell rings like songs of joy in our hearts.

Though it’s great to get back to your regular scheduled programming, one thing that comes along with a new school years is a crazy schedule. Whether you are a working or stay-at-home parent, the calendar fills up fast and daytime hours seem to fly by like jets.

As a working mom of two growing kiddos, I know this story all too well. Sports, music, friends, and all the fun after school activities add up to a crammed calendar and exhausted parents.

But they are worth every lost moment of sleep.

The busier you get the more important it is to stay on top of your fitness and nutrition regimen—which sounds like the ultimate conundrum. We get so busy that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves, right?

Or is that just some lame excuse? Perhaps time is a precious...

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Fit Thrive Member Spotlight: Naomi Sandoval


Coach Kellie & Naomi - March 2016


You discovered your love for fitness and strength training in college. Tell us a bit how your journey has evolved through the years.

In college, I discovered weights and have loved lifting ever since. In my early 20s, I discovered white water canoeing. That's the first sport I'd ever done. Learning to learn for a formerly sedentary completely uncoordinated child was a big deal. I worked very hard to overcome fear and become a solid paddler in my 20s and early 30s, using weight lifting to support this goal. I tried a few other sports like mountain biking, snowboarding and skiing, but didn't really excel at any, no matter how hard I tried.

Once I became a mom, I gave up adventure sports entirely and getting to the gym was a series of comebacks. After the birth of my second daughter, I stopped trying. I put on about 35 pounds very suddenly and got into a rut.

Enough was just enough after a few years of this. I joined a gym and worked...

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