Friday, August 1, 2008

Bodybuilding hooks fans

http://www.ohio.com/sports/26168484.html?page=2&c=y

Tallmadge teacher, 23, now competes with training at Summer's gym

By David Lee Morgan Jr.
Beacon Journal sportswriter

JACKSON TWP.: Ever since she was a little girl, Tallmadge resident Lauren Krysa remembers admiring female bodybuilders.

''When I was little, I would look at all the magazines of women who were bodybuilders,'' said the 23-year-old Krysa, who is a special education teacher at Tallmadge High School. ''My mom always taught us to be strong and independent, so I always liked pictures of strong women. I think that's when I got hooked.''

At age 3, Krysa was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis but she never let it stop her from pursuing her goal.

Years later, Krysa was introduced to Summer Montabone, a former professional fitness competitor with a long resume of her own: certified strength and conditioning specialist, licensed health and physical educator, certified personal trainer and fitness magazine model.

Montabone owns Summer's Fitness 24-7, a gym in Jackson Township just southeast of Akron-Canton Airport. Krysa was introduced to Montabone by a mutual friend in 2005, when Montabone was competing professionally in fitness and bodybuilding contests. That's when Montabone became Krysa's mentor.

Montabone said she was excited to help guide Krysa in the right direction in the bodybuilding world. Montabone also employs her as an instructor at the gym.

''Lauren is awesome and she really works hard,'' Montabone said. ''It's really fun
to work with someone like her because she's such an upbeat person and she knows what she wants to achieve in life and she works hard at it.''

Krysa has competed in one bodybuilding contest so far and plans to compete in several more this fall. Regardless of how she finishes, she said, the journey that she's on is priceless.

''I've learned so much from Summer in terms of representing yourself in a mature, professional and responsible way,'' Krysa said. ''Today, so many young girls aren't sure how to set goals and how to go out and achieve those goals. You have to focus and work hard. That's why I truly try to be a positive role model, like Summer is to me.

''Whether I'm out in a social setting, working out or working at school, where I have a blast, I always want to be a positive role model. I wouldn't change what I'm doing for the world.''

Meanwhile, mornings for Montabone start bright and early every day.

By the time most people arrive for work, Montabone and several of her gym members already have worked out for the day.

Several gym members then leave for their own jobs, but Montabone is just getting started. There are other classes she teaches at her gym throughout the day.

Montabone was a fitness instructor at the Green Family YMCA for many years but decided to branch off and do her own thing. Her gym, on Frank Avenue near Interstate 77, is a mix of young and old, men and women, free weights and machines. More important is the casual, nonintimidating atmosphere.

''I decided I wanted to create a facility where people have a lot of options,'' said Montabone, a Manchester High graduate who was a member of the track team at the University of Toledo. ''The members have a 24-hour key access card so they have the flexibility to come in and work out anytime they want.''

Montabone also teaches a class for new members called I'm Here. Now Where Do I start? It's basically a class to get new members comfortable doing workouts on their own and making those workouts effective.

''You have to give yourself three to four weeks to get into your routine,'' Montabone said. ''Once you do, you're going to feel younger, mentally and physically, because exercise truly is the fountain of youth.''

Deirdre Baughman, a 47-year-old Lake Township resident, said she enjoys her new lifestyle, which includes regular exercising.

''I was in a car accident and I started going to a chiropractor, and that's when I started doing some exercises,'' she said. ''Then I started doing more and more, and now I'm more energetic, I sleep better and I'm able to do more during the day. I actually look forward to going to the gym now.''

Montabone said that an exercise and fitness plan varies for each individual.

''I've been able to achieve success at the professional level, but 95 percent of the people I work with just want to improve their health and lose some weight,'' Montabone said. ''But if I have someone who wants to take it to the next level, I have the expertise to help them go to that next level.''


David Lee Morgan Jr. can be reachedat dlmorgan@thebeaconjournal.com.

JACKSON TWP.: Ever since she was a little girl, Tallmadge resident Lauren Krysa remembers admiring female bodybuilders.

''When I was little, I would look at all the magazines of women who were bodybuilders,'' said the 23-year-old Krysa, who is a special education teacher at Tallmadge High School. ''My mom always taught us to be strong and independent, so I always liked pictures of strong women. I think that's when I got hooked.''

At age 3, Krysa was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis but she never let it stop her from pursuing her goal.

Years later, Krysa was introduced to Summer Montabone, a former professional fitness competitor with a long resume of her own: certified strength and conditioning specialist, licensed health and physical educator, certified personal trainer and fitness magazine model.

Montabone owns Summer's Fitness 24-7, a gym in Jackson Township just southeast of Akron-Canton Airport. Krysa was introduced to Montabone by a mutual friend in 2005, when Montabone was competing professionally in fitness and bodybuilding contests. That's when Montabone became Krysa's mentor.

Montabone said she was excited to help guide Krysa in the right direction in the bodybuilding world. Montabone also employs her as an instructor at the gym.

''Lauren is awesome and she really works hard,'' Montabone said. ''It's really fun
to work with someone like her because she's such an upbeat person and she knows what she wants to achieve in life and she works hard at it.''

Krysa has competed in one bodybuilding contest so far and plans to compete in several more this fall. Regardless of how she finishes, she said, the journey that she's on is priceless.

''I've learned so much from Summer in terms of representing yourself in a mature, professional and responsible way,'' Krysa said. ''Today, so many young girls aren't sure how to set goals and how to go out and achieve those goals. You have to focus and work hard. That's why I truly try to be a positive role model, like Summer is to me.

''Whether I'm out in a social setting, working out or working at school, where I have a blast, I always want to be a positive role model. I wouldn't change what I'm doing for the world.''

Meanwhile, mornings for Montabone start bright and early every day.

By the time most people arrive for work, Montabone and several of her gym members already have worked out for the day.

Several gym members then leave for their own jobs, but Montabone is just getting started. There are other classes she teaches at her gym throughout the day.

Montabone was a fitness instructor at the Green Family YMCA for many years but decided to branch off and do her own thing. Her gym, on Frank Avenue near Interstate 77, is a mix of young and old, men and women, free weights and machines. More important is the casual, nonintimidating atmosphere

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