Carol O’Hanley is mom to two beautiful boys, a realtor and an avid tweeter – find her @peihouses.  She is also an enthusiastic and dedicated early morning exerciser who loves kettlebells and crazy-a**ed body weight workouts.  Since stepping in to her first class on August 28th, Carol has not only been shape-shifting, she has been attitude-shifting.  She shows up, without fail, and makes it happen for herself. You just have to admire that. I have to tell you that Carol was doing knee push ups until one day, on a push up tabata, she went hands and toes for all 8 intervals and has never gone back. Totally inspiring. Just a few days ago I looked at her in class and “athletic” sprang immediately to mind.(I inserted all the bold into her post)

Mornings and exercise.  Two of my least favorite things.  I’m not a morning person and never have been from a very early age. I have attempted many different forms of exercise and liked none of them. These ranged from a gym membership I used diligently for a month, then never again, to home videos of exercise programs. I ran out of self-discipline and couldn’t seem to find the motivation needed to get myself out the door or off the couch to get it done.

Enter Wendy Chappell – otherwise known as @thewholeway on Twitter. I noticed Wendy on Twitter some months back as she and others were tweeting about kettlebells quite often.  I had heard of kettlebells before but didn’t really have any great interest in them as they appeared to fall under the exercise category. However, as time went on I became more and more curious about these kettlebells. I read her blog and some testimonials from people attending her classes and became intrigued by their enthusiasm as well as her positive attitude.

At our Tweet Up last June, Wendy was kind enough to donate two free kettlebell classes as a door prize. I was still playing with the idea of trying it out and thought if I was to win that particular door prize, that would be a sure sign I was to join the kettlebell club. I didn’t win but continued to read on Twitter about this lady and her class and all the fun that was seemingly had by all who attended.

In August, my fellow Tweetheart, Christine Gordon Manley, tweeted one day how she needed to step up her fitness schedule and was thinking on adding kettlebells into her running routine. Ah! There was my sign! I quickly offered to join her and we planned to attend a skills clinic a few weeks from that day. I was nervous and excited. And to be honest, I was also sure I wouldn’t like it. The day came for the skills clinic and off we went. The clinic was fun but hard. Really hard. But fun. Did I mention it was fun? I was stiff and sore for days afterwards but still couldn’t wait to go back.

Since that time in September – which wasn’t that long ago actually, I have grown to love kettlebells. I am finding so many amazing effects from the classes.  I have bushels more energy, my sleep has improved (which is a small miracle in itself), and my mood has brightened! I now attend kettlebells every Wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m. and have been also attending Morning Moxie, a combination of circuits and drills starting  at 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This began in October and I am pleased to say I haven’t missed one yet! I have reached a point where I don’t lie in bed and try to talk myself into getting up and going, I just do it. I have never thought of myself as “fit” or “athletic” in any sense, but my mind is changing. I feel stronger and can finish a class without once thinking I may collapse.

With the risk of sounding corny, Wendy has changed my life. Okay, I know I have changed my OWN life, but her quiet encouragement and welcoming manner has been the key to this change. I now feel I can conquer anything because where I am today is so far beyond what I ever thought I could accomplish with exercise.  This is part of my life now and there’s no looking back! Exercise is truly the key that can unlock so many wonderful things. Thanks Wendy!!