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How an international gymnastic coach gained new vitality and strength with kettlebells

January 18, 2011 10:18 AM

In her teens, Pat got involved with gymnastics, tumbling, and trampoline. She began performing in the sport and eventually became a gymnastics coach. Currently, she holds a position on the International Technical Committee for the International Gymnastics Federation, and travels around the world to championships with the athletes she coaches.

Pat uses kettlebells as part of the training for her gymnasts, because she feels they strengthen not only their cores, but also their quads, hamstrings, chest…the whole body really. That's not the only reason she likes kettlebells, though.

Five years ago, Pat, also a competing body builder, found out that she had ovarian cancer. She went in for an emergency surgery, and within five weeks of the slicing and dicing her body had gone from walk-on-stage readiness to absolutely stripped of muscle. The cancer reached stage three, and Pat endured grueling chemotherapy treatments. She is one of the lucky ones, though, and two years ago she was pronounced cancer free.

"Since the cancer's out of my system and I'm dealing with only a few problems that are left, I've decided it's time to get really physical again. I took a flexibility class from Pavel a while back, liked it, and when I heard about the Russian Kettlebell Challenge certification workshop I decided to go for it. Working with kettlebells feels great. It wakes up my whole body, and I can really feel my muscles working. I'm very excited about the kettlebells because they're helping me get my body back to where it was before the cancer."