Read Holly’s Inspirational Story Here!

Holly Taylor


I have been amazed with my cross training results.  Here is my story.

First, you need to know a little bit of my back-story.  When I was 3 months old, my mom discovered that there was something wrong with my right foot.  Every time she tried to put a pair of shoes on me, my right one fell off.  She noticed that my right foot seemed to hang and when she tickled the bottom of it, I could not bring it up to a 90-degree angle like I could with my left foot.  This alarmed her so she took me to my Pediatrician and thus began a long search for the reason for my hung foot.  After many doctors and tests, it was determined that I had some neurological birth defect that caused my right foot not to respond like normal.  They could not exactly pinpoint the reason but believed that I had suffered some kind of nerve damage and the labeled it “nerve damage consistent with cerebral palsy (even though I had no other CP related issues).   They decided to try surgery along with grueling physical therapy to help give me more control of my foot.  They did a tendon transfer where they took a tendon from my lower leg and transferred it to my foot.  The surgery and therapy did help with my control and my foot did not hang quite as bad but it still hindered me from doing certain things.  My whole life, I have walked with a slight limp because I walk heel-toe on my left foot (like normal people) and toe-heel on my right foot. I could never stand or hop on my right foot.  I can’t skip or ice skate.  I can roller skate but it is pretty funny to watch.  Most of these things never bothered me because I knew no other way.  The one thing that did bother me was that I could never wear any shoes without a back. So, no cute flip-flops or slip on sandals because I did not have the control and strength to keep them on.

Flash forward to summer 2013.  I started my weight loss journey 4 years ago after getting out of a bad marriage. Years of stress had caused me to gain at least 80 pounds.  I weighed a whopping 250 pounds at my highest.  I changed my lifestyle and eating habits and lost close to 90 pounds and for the most part maintained it for almost 4 years (give or take 5-10 pounds).

I would walk occasionally but exercise was not my thing.  I didn’t like it and had no motivation.  I tried various things but just couldn’t stick with it.  Until, one of my friends started doing small group cross training and all her positive quotes on Facebook and the results I saw in her made me want to check it out.  After the first night, I thought I would die.  I could not imagine wanting to do this and actually paying someone to work me this hard.  But, I had given myself a challenge and I was going to stick with it for the free week.  By the end of the week, I was hooked. On June 17th I signed my contract and began this new journey.  I am addicted to my gym time and make it to class almost every night. By the end of the summer (10 weeks), I could not believe my results.  I now weigh the lowest I have every weighed…surpassing my 100 pounds (lost) mark (since I started 4 years ago).  I have lost 6% body fat and over 6 inches.  I thought that was amazing in itself but then I had an even more shocking discovery.

One of the exercises we do are these lunges on the war machine, which also involve hoping on one foot.  I could never do it with my right foot but one day, I did!  Then, we also do step-ups on bleachers, which involve stepping up with one foot while raising your other knee all in one motion. I could never do that with my right foot because I did not have the control, but guess what, one-day I did!  And I didn’t just do it once; I can do it over and over.  So then I tried to stand on my right foot and I could…without falling over!! I have never in my life been able to do that.  Each time I try, I can do it longer than the time before!

Then, came the biggest discovery of all…. I CAN WEAR FLIP FLOPS!!  My cousin recently got married on the beach and bought us all flip-flops to wear.  She knew that I wouldn’t be able to wear them all day but asked if I could just put them on to stand still for pictures.  However, I discovered that I could walk in them!  I was so shocked!  I wore them all day and all night and never had a problem!!  Apparently, I have built up so much muscle in my legs that it is able to compensate for my weak foot.  I am so excited!  It may not seem like much to other people but when you go 32 years not being able to do something and then within 2 months of committing to a training program, you can!

So, if you see me just standing on one foot or hopping on one foot for no reason, you’ll know why!!!  😉  I can’t wait for next spring and summer when I will now get to shop in the cute flip-flop and backless sandal sections.

Thank you Stephanie Ward for all that you have done for me!  I cannot wait to see what else you are able to accomplish!!!



I’ve been on this new lifestyle journey for many years now. It started with getting my nutrition under control and most recently learning what it means to be fit as well. I would never have thought that I would ever turn into an exercise addict but I have and love every minute of it. I want to wish my trainers, Stephanie Sharp Ward and Genise Whitehurst a very happy 2 year TRAINiversary!! Thanks for all you’ve done to teach me, inspire me, coach me, motivate me, and most importantly kick my butt every single day!! Love you both!!

Holly Taylor –  June 18, 2015


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