We are featuring some strong women this month! Delaney Dyer and Alexa Santiago are committed to their training, and it shows in the progress they’ve made. Faced with health challenges, Alexa and Delaney took proactive measures to get healthy and feel good. By focusing on the journey, meeting themselves wherever they are and staying consistent, they are getting stronger every single week!
ASF Central: Delaney Dyer
From Delaney’s trainer, Kimi Adeigbe:
I picked Delaney because she’s hard working and a joy to train. She came to ASF at the beginning of her freshman semester at UT – she was ready to get strong and continue learning. I knew we would get close as I remember being 19 years old and in a new city away from home.
My goal is to guide Delaney in strength both physically and mentally. She knows it’s not the size she wears but how she thinks of herself in and outside of the gym. I know her confidence has boosted because of the work we are doing. I love that she’s always honest about how she’s feeling so we can adjust and stay away from injuries.
Lastly, I love that she continued her training virtually ALL SUMMER while she went home to be with family. That’s the dedication any trainer can appreciate.
Delaney had some nice things to say about Kimi, too:
What do you enjoy most about training with your trainer/at ASF? The thing I love most about ASF and my trainer, Kimi, is the sense of community I feel when I train! It’s apparent during and even outside of sessions. Kimi and the other trainers make me feel at home every day I walk in the door at ASF. From casual conversation to strong encouragement, and even getting involved with Kimi’s new business (shameless Bloom plug), there is never a time that I don’t feel like I’m around family and friends. Being a new student at UT and new to the Austin area has thrown me some punches, but finding community at ASF has made my experience in Austin so much more fun and inviting than I ever thought it could be!
What have you been most proud of since you started training? I started training at ASF because I wanted to feel strong and confident in the face of adversity: I am fighting a ruthless autoimmune disease that has taken a serious toll on my body. I knew I wanted to build myself up, physically and mentally, and I knew ASF and Kimi were just what I needed.
Kimi has helped me learn to love myself and my body at all stages. She has helped me earn the strength my body needs to keep going each and every day. That is what I am most proud of. Since I started at ASF, I’ve been healthier and happier. I’ve been hitting PRs in lifting and in life! Training has become about the journey, not the results. Delaney a few years ago would have never thought to applaud herself for the work along the way.
What are you looking forward to? I honestly look forward to each and every day I get to train at ASF! I have the incredible opportunity to grow my strength and my relationships at the same time, and I’m excited to keep going!
ASF South: Alexa Santiago
From Alexa’s trainer, Beckie Lough:
Alexa and I have been working together since 2019, and she has done SO MUCH in those years! She has always been an extremely consistent and hard-working athlete. When she began experiencing intense back pain, she sought help from a top-notch physical therapist (shout out to Dr. Jessica at Pace PT!). Not only was Alexa consistent with her treatment, she also did her PT homework, including coming in early for her sessions at ASF to warm up properly.
While she was being treated, Dr. Jessica recommended that we back off on lower body work. Some people might take that as permission to slack off, but not Alexa! We doubled-down on upper body, and Alexa has gotten MAD STRONG on bench, overhead press, dips, rows, and every other challenge I’ve thrown her way. The rest and recovery paid off, and she is now back to squatting and deadlifting over 200 lbs without pain. I am so proud of Alexa’s commitment to herself – not allowing herself to live in pain, but also not giving up on lifting heavy.
Aside from being an icon of strength, Alexa is an awesome person overall – so funny and always ready to help a friend or take in a stray kitty. I love working with her and cannot wait to see her continuing getting strong AF!
Alexa shared some thoughts on her training:
What do you enjoy most about training with your trainer/at ASF? A big part of what keeps me consistent is the relationship I’ve built with Beckie over the years! The energy in the room is definitely leveled up when she’s training! I also really enjoy the community ASF creates. There is no ego, everyone is super inclusive and welcoming.
What have you been most proud of since you started training? Recovering from a back injury. I hurt my back outside of the gym and was in a significant amount of pain for months. I had to completely stop working lower body for a few months, I even had a hard time walking some days. Beckie adjusted my training to accommodate my injury and worked with my Physical Therapist to inform how I should be lifting in the gym. I really appreciated that, and it’s wild; I didn’t know I could be so strong in my upper body until I was injured!
Beckie said it best: “you learn so much about your body when you go through an injury.” Which is very true. I am proud I stayed consistent and showed up for my sessions even though I was working through pain, and I am proud to have Beckie as my trainer because she’s been a huge part of my recovery.
What are you looking forward to? Finally feeling healthy and confident to push myself to lift heavy and keep working toward my goals!