Fitness Fanatics



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Three athletes who live, breathe and eat fitness reveal their secrets on how they achieve a top level of performance. Finding the motivation is half the battle.

Becoming a top athlete doesn’t happen overnight. It takes commitment, years of it. These athletes dedicate their lives (or at least substantial parts of them) to training their muscles, fueling their bodies and honing their minds for competition. Even if becoming an Ironman isn’t in your life plan (Tony Stark said it himself, if we can’t accept our limitations, we’re no better than the bad guys), we can all take lessons from their approaches to fitness, nutrition and mental stamina. These three competitors let us in on what keeps them going when they reach a plateau, hit the snooze, or just want to grab a beer instead of pumping some iron (hey, we’ve all been there). Find out how they push themselves to perform and prepare to be the best in their respective fields.

 

Erek Nelson, Competitive Swimmer

“It’s cliché, but you have to look at your body like a sports car. You’re not going to put 86 octane in a Ferrari,” Erek Nelson says. Nelson’s Ferrari goes from zero to 60 in the pool six days a week, but he wasn’t always a finely tuned swimming machine. “It took me a long time and a lot of discipline over time,” he says, and he’s still tinkering with the engine.

Luckily for the rest of us, Nelson says getting started is the easy part. “Starting off, results will come quickly. Small things will make a big impact. You’ll want to go back because you like the results you’re getting,” he explains. Once you reach an elite level, things become more restrictive, and that can be challenging even for Nelson. “There are constant temptations. It’s about keeping your goals in mind at the end of the day,” he says.

Nelson teaches swimming lessons to people young and old and those with special needs – a source of inspiration to him and something he says everyone should do for safety reasons alone. “It’s very gratifying to give people the experience of water. Whether you’re an elite swimmer or not, you have to respect the dangers of it.”

 

John Duberley, Runner, Triathlete

Being part of a community of like-minded people keeps John Duberley motivated to perform. He works with swimmer Erek Nelson and met Kayla Edwards at a triathlon. “Seeing Erek’s work ethic makes me want to be a better swimmer. Kayla has given me tips on biking. It’s addicting to be around people who push themselves. Being around them makes me want to challenge myself more,” he says. After meeting them, Duberley went from being a full-time runner to training for bigger challenges like his first half Ironman competition.

Community keeps Duberley motivated, but it’s not the force that drives him to give his all and help others do the same. Duberley’s father passed away at a young age, his mother was diagnosed with ALS, and a close friend lost his life to suicide. “It’s not easy to say, but it’s important. They are the biggest reason I help others,” Duberley explained.

As a personal trainer, Duberley gets to help his clients develop strength through self-care. “For some people making money and having stuff motivates them. Self-care is my priority. As a personal trainer, I get to help other people find happiness and reduce stress. Being around people and helping them motivates me to help myself more."
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Kayla Edwards, Triathlete

As a single parent of a young son who’s about to turn two, Kayla Edwards balances the lifestyle of a competitive athlete with being a mom and working as the fitness director at the Country Club of Charleston. She makes health and movement part of her lifestyle. “Everyday I preach fitness, and I like to practice what I preach,” she says.

To do that, Edwards tries to find balance and play at the edge of her comfort zone in life and her sports practice. “Being a triathlete is a balance between all three sports. It’s fun to play with that balance,” she says. She finds that balance by asking herself, “How much is too much? Where do I need to spend more attention?”

She also works training in where it fits. “I make modifications so I can work out at home during nap time or run with the stroller,” she says. Edwards recommends making fitness work for your lifestyle, being realistic about what you’re going to take on, and just enjoying it. “You feel so good when you’re in motion. I’m a strong believer that you need to be doing something for your body to feel good.” 

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Events Calendar

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Scenes of the South

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 5

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 4

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 2

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 3

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 1

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

February Brews for a Cause

February's Brews for a Cause was held at the Drayton Hotel on Thursday, February 27th. South Magazine and Southern Eagle teamed up to raise money through a large silent auction for the Savannah Ambucs organization. Craft Beer samplings from Wild Leap Brewing, alongside appetizers from the Drayton Hotel were offered to guests.

2020 Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association held its annual Southern Coast Heart Ball on Saturday, February 8th at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with a silent auction, dinner and program, and dancing to end the evening. All proceeds went to the Open Your Heart campaign.

4th Annual Hearts for Healing Gala

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center held its Fourth Annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, February 7th at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Guests enjoyed gourmet dining, dancing, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the auction benefitted the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center's program for individuals with disabilities.

IDC Benefits the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

The LeClerc Family owners of IDC (International Diamond Center) in Savannah 349 Mall Blvd held a benefit to support the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire on Thursday, February 6th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Guests enjoyed light food and drinks, while bidding on several silent auction items, including autographed footballs and helmets donated by Anthony Lanier II.

Royce Learning Center Annual Low Country Boil & Oyster Roast

The Royce Learning Center held their annual low country boil and oyster roast on Saturday, February 1st. Guests enjoyed mingling over the seafood selection. Royce Learning Center meets the needs of children and adults with learning differences and literacy needs through its unique programs.