Pursuit Fitness and Performance (PFP) attracts a lot of couples who like to work out together. A more unique family combo? The mother/daughter pair of Liz and Jillian Alexander.
Liz is a reading specialist in the Pattonville School District. Years ago, when owner, Ryan Morgan, first started PFP, he offered a monthly special to celebrate teachers. Liz signed up. “I started feeling stronger,” Liz says. “It was the most athletic I’ve ever felt.”
She’s been a member since. Jillian, just 12 years old at the time, heard her mother rave about her experiences at PFP. As a club soccer player who was already tall and still growing, Jillian and Liz were interested in learning about ways she could avoid injury as she entered her high school years. PFP seemed like the perfect fit. “I tried it and I ended up loving it and it’s literally one of my favorite places,” says Jillian, who is now 14.
Liz continued with her group training sessions, while Jillian worked on personal training specifically designed for a high intensity soccer player. Shortly after the two started working out there together, another challenge presented itself. Liz was diagnosed with breast cancer. Liz opted for a double mastectomy, so even as Jillian continued to attend, Liz had to take a break from PFP.
“I was scared to get back to it,” Liz, who returned this summer, says. “I couldn’t even open doors after the surgery. How was I going to work out?” Liz decided to join Jillian in personal training sessions to ease herself back into the routine. She found that working out with her daughter was exactly what she needed. “She was my cheerleader!” Liz says. “We trained side by side and she encouraged me.”
Of course, Liz and Jillian both have plenty of cheerleaders found in the community of trainers and members at PFP. “They are such a genuine group of people,” Liz says, of the trainers. “Ryan is always a constant and steady word of wisdom to help you through. They are all both patient and encouraging.”
Jillian, who started running cross country for her high school this fall, agrees. “They adjust my workouts for either soccer or cross country,” she says. “And they’re fun to be around. They come to my soccer games, they support me, and they push me to do what they know I can do.”
Liz mentioned that the trainers also sent her personal notes, jokes and get-well cards after her surgery and during her recovery, further accentuating the family atmosphere both women felt at PFP. “It’s like one, big, happy family,” Liz says. “You know the person next to you is going to support you and cheer you on. It’s fun to work out with people who care about you. It really is a family there.”
Together, both Liz and Jillian have seen results that keep them consistent with their workouts—despite their busy teacher/student/soccer/cross country/mom life schedules. “For me it’s been all about strength and confidence,” Liz says. “And I like that my daughter gets to see that strength.” Jillian, ever the athlete, has also enjoyed the additional nutrition tips from PFP. “I’m making ten times better choices with meals (when left to my own devices),” Jillian says. “I feel strong on the soccer field. Everything has just improved.”
As Liz continues to get back into her routine cancer-free, and Jillian starts her journey as a high school athlete, this mother/daughter duo will always have PFP in common. “We’ve always had a very close relationship,” Liz says. “I’m so lucky.” Jillian agrees. “I see how strong she is,” she says, of her mother. “And I want to be like that when I grow up.”
GET TO KNOW LIZ & JILLIAN:
L: Kettle bell swings
J: Everything—I do not dislike any exercise. I will do anything they tell me to do, joyfully!
Least favorite exercise:
L: Star jumps
J: See above
Family: Liz is married (her husband coaches the kids’ soccer teams) and the couple have two children—Jillian and little brother, Lukas (11)
Favorite workout music:
L: I like country music, but they never play that at the gym! Ryan did once, years ago, and it was so fun, but I think I’m outnumbered…
J: Anything Taylor Swift and anything Drake
Go to healthy meal: Caesar salads or just a simple protein on hand to mix with rice and veggies
Go to breakfast: Eggs for everyone!
L: I’m just grateful that we’re at PFP and that we’ve met the people that we’ve met. It’s been an enhancement to life in such a positive way.
J: I agree!