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FROM MY ATHLETES
Solid Steps Forward
I am lucky enough to have had Karl as my dryland trainer from 7th grade to the summer going into my senior year of high school. Being a competitive swimmer, the rest of my team and I needed a unique training plan in order to enhance our water performance. Not only did Karl successfully manage a group of teenagers three times a week, he used his immense creativity and knowledge to create a top of the line sports specific program catered towards our every need. When I came to Karl, I had no idea how much technical skill and strength I lacked. He and I started with basic exercises, and slowly progressed up to the Olympic lifts I am capable of doing today. He was always there for every single one of us, and never failed to ask how we were doing if he thought one of us was acting off.
Because he demands nothing less than perfect technique and your best effort in everything you do, I never had a sports related injury under the teaching of Karl. I learned to demand my greatness from myself, and to never settle for less. He taught me everything I know about exercise physiology and nutrition, and even inspired me to pursue something in that field for my future career. I will continue to carry the knowledge and skill sets he taught as I go on to compete at a Division 1 level school in college next year. I can say with 100% certainty that without Karl, I would not be the athlete or the person I am today
Brady E., 2017
When I first met Karl, I was struggling to break into the world of multisport and had recently had a serious cycling accident that left me very shaken up. I didn’t have confidence in myself or my training and was unsure of how to move forward.
Karl gave me weekly workout goals and spoke with me on the phone each week to discuss how my training was going. He pushed me to train in ways I never had before, including having me work on bike handling skills and regularly strength train. Before working with Karl I almost never was able to finish a multisport race without developing serious cramping on the run that caused me to hugely slow my pace or walk. However, Karl taught me breathing techniques that were so effective that I never had a single race ruined by a cramp again while working with him.
While training under Karl, my racing career flourished: I won many local races and set multiple personal records, was runner up at the West Virginia State 10k Championships, became an age group world champion in the sprint duathlon, and earned my elite duathlete license. These were truly feats I never would have even thought possible without Karl’s help.
Karl had a way of supporting me and encouraging me to dream big. Even when my training didn’t go as planned, which was often the case as I am a busy full time graduate student, he never gave up on me or let me doubt myself. Karl truly is a phenomenal coach, and I feel very fortunate to have had to opportunity to work with him.
L. Falcone, 2017
Genuine Positive Impact
Life takes twists and turns and I am always amazed when in the middle of our darkest times, we meet people that impact our lives in such positive ways. They help us see ourselves when we can’t. I met Karl earlier this year when I unexpectedly moved to a new city. In the middle of a very difficult time in my life, I knew I needed something to remain the same. The easiest thing in my life that could remain the same was triathlon training. Karl was the first person that I reached out to and met when I moved. Knowing just one person felt like a critical connection that I needed at the time. I just had no idea that this one person would impact my life in such a positive way.
I was not ready to tell my story to anyone. I was embarrassed and ashamed of my situation. Domestic violence was something that could not happen to me. I had changed my entire life including my identity in order to be safe. Part of staying safe was keeping my story to myself or at least, that is what I told myself.
I reached out to Karl for guidance as to strength training and nutrition. As we spoke the first time, it felt as if he knew there was more going on than I was letting on, but he respected my privacy. He encouraged me and put a program together for me. We spent some months working together and he became a lifeline in a place where I was completely alone. He was genuinely interested in my progress and when things were not going the way we expected physically, he truly wanted to find out why. He provided guidance and knowledge. Most importantly, he provided options and not once did he make me feel I was failing. On the contrary, he provided me hope.
I knew that I had found someone with knowledge about sports and physiology. What really stuck out was his desire to help not just an athlete, but me as a person. It wasn’t about numbers or statistics, but about me. He showed me humility and compassion. He understood that I was struggling personally and he did everything he could without invading my space.
Eventually, I was able to tell Karl my story. Not only was it therapeutic, but also it was received with care and concern. I am a better person for knowing him and am learning to see myself from a better perspective. Exercise and nutrition does not have to be so difficult or painful. We are all different and it is when we try to be the same as others that things don’t work out. I am learning to tailor exercise and nutrition to what works for me, and only me. Karl saw me and through him I finally started to see myself for who I truly am.
C. Alexander, 2017