MINNEAPOLIS, MN, March 7, 2012— The HealthFitness logo never looked as good as it will this season, tracing orange and blue lines down Lisa Hambly’s muscled leg.
Hambly, 23, is a 2014 Olympics-bound speed skater. The two-time U.S. Junior National team member has twice earned category 1 status; last month, she beat four of her personal best times while competing at the American Cup 3/North American Championship in Calgary, Canada. Hambly tested the waters in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics trials; the 2014 Moscow Olympics are fixed in her sights.
She has the professional and training support it takes to make it: Her coach is Amy Peterson-Peck (five-time Short Track Olympian and three-time Olympic medalist) and she counts as her mentors five-time U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Gold Medalist Bonnie Blair-Cruikshank and David Cruikshank, four-time U.S. speed skating Olympian.
Like most serious athletes, Hambly keeps a grueling training schedule, working out 25 hours a week in addition to traveling to competitions during the “ice” season. There is no off-season break, either. She cranks out 30-40 hours a week running, working with weights and “dry skating” during the summer months to build a strength base. “Summers get to be a bit long at times,” she said.
Hambly, a 2011 graduate of Carroll University with a degree in exercise science, squeezes in 35 to 40 hours a week as a fitness specialist at ProHealth Care, Inc.’s West Wood Health and Wellness Center in Waukesha, Wis., a facility administered by HealthFitness. Hambly’s athleticism and her work converge as an example of HealthFitness’ practice of infusing a culture of health with its clients and among its own employees. In her day job, Hambly answers member questions in the fitness center, performs new-member fitness evaluations and designs individual fitness programs. She is also a personal trainer at the HealthFitness-managed facility.
“Almost all the employees at West Wood know I skate and that it’s my huge, main goal. They’ve been so supportive and encouraging to me,” she said. For example, co-worker Erika Osborn, a former elite athlete herself, invited Hambly to live in her family’s spare bedroom after hearing Hambly’s story. Understanding Hambly’s unique schedule, her supervisor at West Wood built her work schedule around personal training and skating obligations. “We’re all there for each other,” Hambly said. “We’re a family and we just want to see everyone succeed.”
And when the cost of travel, equipment (a new set of blades runs around $500; new custom boots around $1,500) and other needs outdistanced Hambly’s means, HealthFitness agreed to be her gold-level training sponsor.
“Our people are our greatest asset, and Lisa represents the spirit, commitment and energy of our 5,000 associates deployed across the country,” said Paul Lotharius, HealthFitness president and chief executive officer. “They represent HealthFitness every day and with every encounter with the millions of people we work with to improve their health. Lisa is a stand-out athlete, and we’re proud to play a role on her path to the Olympics.”
Hambly’s next goal is to earn a spot on the U.S. World Cup team. Her experience at West Wood Health and Wellness Center is making more than a financial impact on her journey.
“When you work with people, it helps you build communications skills—you have to put things in layman’s terms, and I’ve learned that,” she said. “They aren’t afraid to tell me, `slow down, this hurts, I need something else.’ When I’m on the ice, it’s just my coach talking to me and telling me what to do and I’m agreeing. This job helped me learn that I can sometimes tone down a little bit in training and not tell myself, `you’ve got to suck it up, Lisa, who cares what hurts?’ You’ve got to listen to your body and you’ve got to know when to tone it down and when to keep cranking it up.”
Read more about HealthFitness and infusing a culture of health in the workplace in the issue brief, “Infusing health in your sphere of influence,” at www.hfit.com/brief-reg.cfm?IB=20.
HealthFitness, a subsidiary of The Trustmark Companies, is an award-winning, NCQA-accredited provider of health, fitness and condition management solutions. With 30-plus years of experience, HealthFitness is a proven leader and partner for infusing a culture of health. We maximize client results through personalized interaction and a science-based approach to on-site program management, engagement, prevention, and health and lifestyle management. HealthFitness provides a portfolio of solutions, including best-in-class integration, condition management, INSIGHT® Health Risk Assessments, screenings, EMPOWERED Coaching™ and fitness facility design and management. For more information on HealthFitness, visit www.hfit.com.