Allison Blake has to stay in shape. If she’s not fit, her horse won’t stay in shape either. Allison owns a horse named Scoop, and the duo regularly compete together in a three-phase competition called Eventing. Three years ago, Allison was struggling with her exercise routine. She knew that it was important to keep her core, butt and legs strong for horseback riding, but when she’d try to exercise she often ended up hurting herself due to poor form. Then she found Pursuit Fitness and Performance (PFP). A coworker at Allison’s veterinary practice belonged to PFP and brought Allison along for a free class. “I liked the focus on correct body form and postural evaluations,” Allison says. So, she signed up.
Three years later, PFP has become a part of Allison’s life and an integral piece of her busy routine. Allison works 3-4 days a week as a veterinarian and has two kids, three cats, two dogs and a horse to take care of. Luckily, Allison’s husband, Cory, is a member of PFP too, and is familiar with the mentality of the gym. “I think the key to balancing it all is having a spouse that will work with you so that we both get time to go to the gym. Having the mindset that exercise is not an elective activity is really important.” Working in her group training sessions either before or after work gives Allison the flexibility she needs for her busy schedule. “I’m a planner and I need to have a plan to be sane,” Allison says.
Her planning has paid off. “(Before joining PFP) I had chronic knee pain and was not developing a well-rounded strength,” Allison says.
“The attention to detail (at PFP) and the focus on postural deficiencies allowed me to develop more strength in my core, butt and hamstrings, which has improved my horseback riding a lot.” Aside from her family, riding Scoop is the most important thing in Allison’s life. She’s been excited to see how her work at the gym has paid off in the riding arena. “Glute bridges, squats, RDLs and deadlifts all help with riding,” Allison says. “Plus, having a strong core is essential to holding your balance on a galloping horse!”
Allison has enjoyed seeing the physical results of her time at PFP, and is working on adapting the mental attitude the gym promotes as well. Though she is good at challenging herself with every workout, Allison still struggles with negative “self-talk,” which she says impairs her progress. She’s practicing the PFP principle to “be as nice to yourself as you would be to someone else.” The positive energy the trainers and other members promote makes this a possibility. “The trainers are always available with advice or adaptations,” Allison says. “And the community feel of this gym is great. All the members are friendly and we all encourage each other.”
Allison has felt herself gain more lean muscle mass and develop more energy since she’s committed to her group training at PFP. But most importantly, she’s been able to develop herself in order to maintain a lifelong passion—riding Scoop. She’s looking forward to seeing where her goals and practice—both in the gym and in the saddle—will take her. “I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and have been given the tools to be successful.”
GET TO KNOW ALLISON:
Favorite exercise: Sledgehammer slams
Least favorite exercise: Jumping Jacks
Family: Married to fellow PFP member, Cory. Two children, Ryan is 13 and Mallory is 10.
Favorite workout music: “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith or “Evacuate the Dance Floor”
Go to healthy meal: Spicy shrimp burrito bowl—spicy, grilled shrimp and corn salsa over Spanish or brown rice.
Hobbies: Horseback riding, reading and drinking wine with friends.