Athletes Moms – Tri-Fitness Featured Athletes
By Bernadette Rosen
Photos by: Ed Johnston, Rick Schaff, Greg VanderWel, Jay Ronca, Marianne Johnston
Each month we will feature Tri-Fitness athletes who have competed and performed at the highest level. What is an athlete? Well, a Tri-Fitness athlete is one who demonstrates strength (bench press), speed (obstacle course , true grit challenge and shuttle run), flexibility (routine), agility (shuttle run and obstacle course), and endurance (box jumps, obstacle course, routine, shuttle and bench). Through a healthy diet (eating as an athlete) and extreme training, these athletes achieve a fit, athletic physique which enables them to succeed in our event.
This month we will feature sisters Blondina Polazzo (Missouri) and Tracy Goodwin (Tennessee) who achieved success at the 2015 Tri-Fitness World Challenge.
Blondina Polazzo – Tri-Fitness Featured Athlete
Please tell the readers about yourself and your past:
Blondina: I am 41 years old and I live in Wentzville, Missouri. I was born in Germany but I moved around a lot since my father was in the Air Force for 20 years. I am married to the love of my life, William Polazzo, and we have two girls. Olivia who is 17 years old and Bella who is 11. This is my 23rd year in the Fitness & Nutrition industry. I can remember at the age of 14 I knew my purpose was to inspire and motivate people to be their best physically! My journey started when I joined the Air Force and became the Physical Conditioning monitor for my fellow soldiers. In 2009 I received the “Healthy Woman Award” of St. Luke’s Hospital for inspiring others to take action with their health. I have owned my own personal training company for over 10 years and I am leading a team of thousands that desire to help others as an Independent Distributor of AdvoCare International. Fitness and nutrition has been apart of my life for a long time and I live to pay it forward to others.
How long have I been doing the Tri Fitness and what got me started:
Blondina: May, 2015 was my first time competing in the Tri-Fitness World Challenge. I love to compete and I was looking for something that would “fit” me. So when my fellow fitness expert and AdvoCare leader, Liz Cort, mentioned on Facebook that she was going to train a team of women to compete in the Tri-Fitness Challenge, I knew that this was exactly what I wanted to do to challenge myself. I threw my hat in the ring and started training.
What do you like best about the Tri-Fitness Challenge:
Blondina: I absolutely fell in love with this competition. I truly haven’t felt this encouraged and motivated about competing in many years. Al Rosen, the founder, has done it right. He has not only made this a competition that will challenge you physically, he has made it about life. Fear No Obstacle is something that one can live by. Six weeks into my training I injured myself and I almost quit but something inside me said take some rest time but don’t quit. I am so thankful I didn’t quit. The feeling of accomplishment after finishing each competition with all the other athletes shouting “Good Job” is a memory that will be forever in my heart.
Would you like to add anything else for our readers?:
Blondina: If you are in your 40’s, heck any age, and would like to challenge yourself and feel empowered, then Tri-Fitness is for you. The Tri-Fitness Challenge 2015 experience was one of my best accomplishments for the year and I look forward to doing it again in 2016.
Tracy Goodwin – Tri-Fitness Featured Athlete
BSR: Please tell the readers about yourself and your past:
Tracy: I get to be a wife to an amazingly supportive husband, who is an avid runner, and mom to three beautiful boys. My oldest is 12, my middle son is 9 and my youngest is 4. I am passionate about Jesus, love, and all things about life. I always try to remember we aren’t promised tomorrow, so seize the day and make the most of every moment. I’ve always lived a somewhat healthy lifestyle, but I didn’t get serious in my training until about 5 years ago. My health history is quite unique and a big part of what motivates me to just keep pounding it. In 1995, at the age of 20, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Takayasu’s Arteritis. TA causes inflammation of the great vessels coming from the heart which can lead to blockages. In severe cases, like mine, it also causes damage to the heart valves. For me it was my aortic valve. By the time we discovered what was going on, I had 99% blockage in my coronary artery and my aortic valve was barely functioning. While having a stress echo test done in a cardiologist office, I went into cardiac arrest. Once revived, thank God, I was rushed to the hospital and had emergency open heart surgery. I had a double bypass and became the proud new owner of a mechanical aortic heart valve. My surgery and recovery went well until three years later. We discovered the wrong size valve had been placed and I was facing a repeat surgery. This is where things get complicated. In 1998, I went in for a second valve replacement. During the beginning of the procedure it was discovered that the original valve had not been put in correctly. Therefore, before I was on the bypass machine, the surgeon sliced into my aorta with catastrophic results. I went about 20 minutes without any oxygen getting to my brain. I was not expected to wake up, and if I did, it was predicted I would most likely be comatose. However, by the grace of God, I WOKE UP. Several of my major organs had failed, I was paralyzed on my left side, and I was having seizures. I spent two weeks in the ICU and I had to have dialysis for a short time. Slowly but surely everything started functioning properly again. I had a long road of recovery, but every step and every breath was worth it. I was, and still am, thankful beyond words to be here. Life is such a gift. I try to live to show others to never take life nor health for granted. This is why I pound. This is why I fight. Because I CAN.
BSR: How long have you been doing the Tri-Fitness and what got you started?
Tracy: My first Tri-Fitness competition was in May of 2015. I had the time of my life participating in the fitness skills, obstacle course and true grit events. Talk about feeling alive! That course will do it for you! I was introduced to Tri-Fitness last year by my close friend and neighbor at the time, Danielle McGlynn. She had been competing for a few years and really encouraged me to try it. I kept watching her videos and asking her…are you sure I can do this? Then, I spoke with Al. After that, I knew I had to do it!
BSR: What do you like best about the Tri-Fitness?
Tracy: My favorite thing about Tri-Fitness is the feeling of accomplishment. A close second is how encouraging everyone is to everyone else. I was blown away by all the strangers cheering me on and rooting for me. Danielle kept telling me how you are treated like family once you become a Tri-Fitness athlete. But, you really have to see it to believe it. The camaraderie is incredible! There is nothing else quite like Tri-Fitness!
BSR: Would you like to add anything else for our readers?
Tracy: I would encourage others to grab your life and enjoy what God has given you! Start wherever you are because it is never too late. You are worth it and being healthy is a gift you give yourself. Anything worth having requires work. Don’t be afraid of the work. Sometimes it’s in agony where we find exactly what we’re made of! Tri-Fitness is an event anyone can do. Trust me, if I can do it , you can too! No time like the present. Train!