Our second finalist of the year and our first female finalist is Amy Surasky. Amy is a founding Iron Tribe Member Athlete at ITF East Cobb outside of Atlanta, GA. Her husband Aaron and her oldest son also are athletes at Iron Tribe and it is her enthusiasm for her fitness community and her incredible leadership at her home gym that drew us to choose her as the next candidate. Growing up as a dancer and struggling with asthma made Amy feel that she would never run, lift or complete many other ‘I’ll never’ tasks, but she turned all of her ‘I’ll never’s’ into ‘I can’s’!

I have been transformed completely by being a member of ITF. Not only have I gained so much strength but also I am now emotionally attached as well. In my previous time I was a ballet dancer. I am completely flexible in my hips, hyperextended in my arms, but they have always been extremely weak. I thought all I needed once I stopped dancing was cardio and I worked out 1 hour every day. I had to work out for that entire hour to be happy. After hearing about ITF from my sister, I took the plunge to try this foreign athletic less than one-hour class and signed up as the 2nd athlete to join the new ITF East Cobb. I was a nervous wreck because I had never done this type of workout or been around coaches. It took months to retrain my body not over extending my arms, and learn to run because I grew up with asthma. My coaches Sam and Brian were patient and helpful in teaching. I am a dedicated person and probably attend 5 classes a week on average. I had the motto ‘I’ll never do this.’ And to my surprise I can now DL 190 lbs, Clean and jerk 100 lbs, Back Squat 140 lbs, do 3 unassisted pull ups in a row, have done 50 unbroken double-unders in a row (that’s where you jump rope and the rope passes under your feet twice each time), and so much more. My lifts might not seem very heavy; however, it took me 4 months to give up the trainer bar, I probably started at 55 lbs or less. So for me I have progressed significantly. I can also help my husband move furniture and it feels light! And what I like is there is so much more to progress. I have so many more goals to meet. ITF East Cobb has grown to 100 members or more. I have many friends that came with me. We have formed a family. We support each other emotionally. We have fun socially too. It is truly a supportive community. As the veteran athlete I love encouraging members and seeing their improvements as well. The idea of doing an hour long exercise by myself in my house seems so monotonous now. I thought I would be embarrassed working out in a group but the encouragement and positive influence as well as superior coaching has caused me to never want to exercise alone again. I treasure the 45-minute long (some time more if we stay after to chat) tribe class each and every day. My husband now is a member and my son. My two girls love coming just to watch and occasionally run with me or helping support others too. ITF has become a part of our entire family and now I feel like I have an extended family.