Executive Producer & Senior Director Video Programming
"Stella me enseñó que se puede llegar a cualquier meta!"
Almost 7 years ago, around Christmas of 2005, I came across Stella Shalem's advertisement as a running trainer in Miami while shopping at Whole Foods on South Beach. Little did I know that exact moment was about to change my life in a profoundly positive way. I remember coming to her with a passion for running which I had built up from my days living in West Palm Beach. She took what I had started and turned it into an obsession...which I was totally ok with :)
Before Stella, I was never really into heart rate monitors or plyometric type exercises, or even stretches that really help you get the most out of your running. When I say that she is worth the money and then some, I speak from the heart and from experience. Her training is incredibly well rounded and suited specifically to your goals; whether that be weight loss, running faster/longer, toning up, competition, et cetera.My first "running" meeting with her happened at the Flamingo Park track off Alton Road. It was a general assessment of my overall condition. Since I had been running around 4-5 mile distances in West Palm, I considered myself in pretty good shape. However, my body was not used to all of the cross training Stella was about to provide, so it came as quite a shock to my system. After the initial hump of acclimation to her exercises, I was on a whole new plateau. Running was seen in an entirely different light and became even more so, a lifestyle! Competitions had never really been on my radar screen and I came to her just wanted to be a better runner I guess. I wanted to become super healthy and strong. Not only did she get me there, but we also competed in a couple half marathons in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the first being just ONE MONTH after our first consultation at the tail end of 2006. After 2 short months, I ran the Fort Lauderdale 1/2 in 1 hour and 34 minutes! That was an incredible feeling and one heck of an accomplishment!
Our training was probably 3-4 days a week at the most, which started off as running predominantly and then spread into other sprints, jumping exercises, fast paced movements, and eventually weight training in the gym. We even had a session where I followed her on the bike along the Venetian Causeway, doing all kinds of strengthening and endurance training. I remember that before the second 1/2 marathon in Lauderdale, not even 2 months after starting with Stella, we had a workout inside on the treadmill. She pushed me harder than ever before, but within my limits. The incline was pretty steep (maybe a 6 grade or something like that) and the conveyor belt was movin'!
During my most difficult stretch, she read my heart rate monitor and it was something like 150. Prior to her training, it would probably have been at my max heart rate around 175 or 180! She said to me, "You are now a machine! I've created a machine! How do you feel?" And to be honest, I felt invincible. A few days later, I was finishing in the
top 100 in the Lauderdale 1/2 marathon.
I'm not going to lie when I say you have to meet Stella halfway. My diet was darn near excellent and I wasn't abusing my body with alcohol or other substances. (Stella will also help you with your diet, so no need to worry!!) It took that type of commitment to be able to perform during her workouts, especially in the hot Miami sun. BUT, the
benefits are endless! I'm now living in Austin, TX...still a runner, still incorporating Stella's techniques, still wishing I had her by my side in my workouts.
Lastly, from a friendship perspective, I found Stella to be a remarkable person! Someone so genuinely interested in your progress not only as a runner, but about you as a person and how running carries into all other aspects of your life. We both share an incredible zest for life and I'm so happy to think she is helping so many people find a better life through her work. It truly IS her calling! -Rod Crosby, Austin, TX
"In no uncertain terms, working out with Stella changed my life for the better. As a result of her efficient workouts and dietary tips, she helped me become a faster runner. The proof was not only in how great I looked and felt, but also in my performance. With her preparation and motivation, I gathered the courage to participate in a wide variety of races over a short period of time: two 5Ks, a 10K, and two half-marathons. I set personal records in those races and it was all thanks to Stella. Later, when I became pregnant, Stella modified my training program so I could maintain a high level of fitness without compromising my safety. Above all, Stella's approach is sustainable. Even though I've had to cut back on our workouts since becoming a working mother, I've been able to apply what I learned from Stella in order to return to my pre-pregnancy weight. I even completed a full marathon!" -Sarah B., 35, Miami Beach, FL