Athlete of the Month


Sarah Warland is a 46 year old solopreneur with her own bookkeeping business. She works with Coach Mike at our Leander studio where she is using her fitness and strength training routine to get her life to a healthy standard that leaves her feeling invigorated and strong. When we asked Mike why he nominated Sarah for this honor, he said, “Sarah has committed herself to getting back into shape and getting stronger. She had a surgery on a herniated disc a couple of years ago and allowed that to derail her fitness from a time when she was a competitive rower. Sarah shows up, puts in the work, and has a great attitude.”

Sarah took some time to share her ASF experience with us. Read about it below.


Why did you decide to join ASF?

I have been struggling with some weight gain and recently had a back surgery. None of the things I used to be able to do to lose weight and workout on my own were working, and I was told that running is out of the question for me going forward. My doctor also mentioned that I should start strength training for my bones. So, I started looking at some area programs. I really liked what ASF clients had to say about you in their reviews and decided to give it a try. I also liked that your clients seem to be so varied and there were quite a few reviews from women my age so I thought it might be a good match.

What were your goals when you started?
My main goal is to become healthier and stronger as I age, but I would also like to lose some of the lbs I have put on. I really wanted to build some strength around my core to protect my back better, too.

How close are you to meeting them?
I have much less pain in my back than I did when I started so that goal is met! I don’t think I have lost any weight yet, BUT, I am definitely stronger and able to handle more now than I was 6 weeks ago. I can tell my muscle has started taking over for my fat a little. (yay!)

What changes have you noticed in your body, mind, spirit since starting at ASF?
I have more energy, more confidence and am definitely more motivated on a daily basis to take care of myself. It has been a very positive experience, physically and mentally.

What challenges have you had to overcome, if any, since starting out at ASF?
I have overcome the inability to make time for myself in this way and that is a big deal. Just walking in the door for that first appointment was an achievement for me.

Any surprises since starting at ASF?
Only how hard some of the exercises that look easy are!

Why do you like working out with Michael?
Mike is one of the reasons I decided to sign up. He has an excellent attitude about protecting yourself from injury and really knows how to do that. He keeps me motivated, I am never bored and I always enjoy my workouts. Mike is a world class athlete so I feel like a total rock star getting one on one time with him, too!

What is it about Michael/ASF that keeps you coming back?
I think it is knowing that someone is there for me in my corner and that he won’t let me quit on myself. My workouts with Mike are such a great way to start the day and he is always upbeat and fun to be around. He may have bad days, but he does not let it show. I really enjoy that he puts the sessions together and I don’t have to do any thinking, just lots of doing. I feel that he puts thought and care into what we do each workout and it is great to be cheered on as you go.

What are your goals & plans for the future at ASF?
I don’t plan to stop anytime soon, so for the time being, just to keep getting stronger and faster, inch by inch. Eventually I would like to have more specific goals and lift some heavy weights, but I am in no hurry to get there.

What is your favorite food?
Fresh baked bread

Any advice you’d share with a newcomer to ASF?
Go in with an open mind and enjoy having someone do the thinking for you!

Anything else you’d like to add about your experience at ASF or with Michael?
I was definitely intimidated walking into a real gym with real athletes. Jen and Mike were both there on the first day I arrived and they really made me feel welcome and comfortable. While talking to Mike about my goals and concerns with my injury, I felt as though I had just lucked into the perfect situation. Mike’s attitude and understanding of injury avoidance were just what I needed. I was a little afraid to be in a situation where I might push myself when I shouldn’t and I have no doubt that he is always looking out for me, making sure my form is good and taking as much time as I need to learn how to do things right. I would definitely recommend ASF to anyone who wants to become more strong on the inside and out! You won’t regret it.