The Fitness Twins - Twice as Nice!
Our training began the moment we made our entrance into the world -- June 24, 1974 in Birmingham, Alabama. The second birth of six children, Adria was born first; then came Natalie -- who decided a breach entrance would be best for her. Weighing less than 4 pounds each, our lungs were underdeveloped. So we had to train not only our breathing, but also our minds, our motivation, our drive, and our nutrition. There was much development ahead of us, but through God's blessings and our determination to succeed, we pulled through. Interestingly enough, Natalie was the weaker of the two of us at birth, but she quickly grew to be a challenge for Adria to keep up with in development for the rest of our lives. And so it began that though we looked identical, our method of approaching training and other things was quite different.
We tell you this story of our beginning because your childhood can set characteristics in your lives and personalities and because we hope that through our unique Twinological Training system, you will learn that there is no one way to approach your training or nutrition, but different ways which work best for you.
Jumping ahead on the timeline, we proudly represented the Midfield High School Patriots on the playing field of fast-pitch softball and subsequently, upon graduation in 1992, received scholarships to Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. There we ultimately each received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Science and Minors of Business and American Sign Language.
While attending TSU, we knew that we had a love for health and fitness, but we had not fully realized that it would be "our calling in life". You see we loved the sport of softball. We had set school records and a Conference Championship Title in 1996. (This title placed Troy State Lady Softball Trojans in Alabama's sports history as the first division I fast-pitch softball team to reach the Regional Playoffs of the World Championship.) But we did not see softball as our career. We certainly saw it as an opportunity to accomplish a dream, but it was our business skills and degrees that would lay the foundation for our careers.
After graduation, we began working as Business Analysts for a company called EDS -- Electronic Data Systems. During our 4-year tenure with EDS, we worked hard at our careers in both business and information analysis; we worked on projects such as Y2K upgrades; and we continued our education in the Business Analyst field. But one question constantly hung over our heads... What role would fitness play in our lives?
Though we were working 60 hours per week and taking on 24-hour on-call rotations, we still dreamed of expanding our careers into the fitness arena. So we began competing in fitness competitions.
In August of 1998, Adria married Lenny Klein, and life appeared to be rolling right down the "normal" path, as we balanced our social lives with training for fitness competitions. We traveled daily for an hour back and forth between work, the gym and home in preparation for our fitness routines. We trained twice daily -- once prior to work at 6:00 am for a cardio session, and again after work at 6:00 pm for weight training and routine preparation.
This dedication paid off with our first competition held two weeks before our 25th birthdays. Natalie took first place and Adria took second in the Ms. Fitness Kentucky 1999. We both qualified for our first USA Fitness Competition and as if we didn't already know it, became "hooked" on fitness. We also knew that we wanted to teach -- to share the feelings of fitness, strength, confidence and self-empowerment that we had gained with others. We were high on life. And to top it all off, had begun planning wedding number two. Breck Carroll had proposed to Natalie.
But true to its roots, the old saying "you can't do it all" rang torturously true. We quickly realized that juggling long hours of work and full-time workouts was affecting our bodies and minds. We were individually feeling the "call" of something more. Call it twin telepathy or maybe being on the same brain wave lengths. Whatever it was, we knew there was a bigger plan for us, we just had to clear the fog to see what it was. We also knew that we had already traveled similar paths in our lives and were not about to change that now.
Listening to our inner self and opening our hearts to helping other people was not our decision, but God's. We had a new direction in life, being servants of the Lord and helping others learn fitness and nutrition so they could better build their temples -- their bodies. It was then we started our corporate wellness programs and began to see the magic unfold as others around us started to accomplish their personal fitness goals. It was awesome! It felt so good to help others, but because of our full-time jobs at EDS we were limited in our ability to move forward in fitness. So together, and with the support of our husbands, we made a decision to search for a new path. A path with opportunities which would support our love of health and wellness.
While attending the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, we were introduced to HEALTHSOUTH Corporation and were invited to attend a subsequent dinner banquet in 1999. There we met with the CEO of the company who offered us an opportunity to help build a program which would bring fitness and nutrition to communities and middle school children nationwide. In May of 2000 we resigned from EDS and joined HEALTHSOUTH's "Go For It!" Roadshow Nationwide Tour. During the two-week transition, Natalie married Breck and Adria traveled to Kentucky and claimed the Fitness Twins second major title, Ms. Fitness Kentucky 2000.
We traveled endlessly across the nation for the next three years, moving through airports and rental cars and sleeping from hotel to hotel. Flying approximately four flights a week (with four days out on the road and three days at home) we seldom had time to unpack our suitcases. However, the travel was all worth it, because we were helping millions of people become aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Demonstrating fitness skills, proper training and nutrition guidelines, we performed in front of 10,000 middle school kids a day, three to four times a week, for an hour and a half each day!
During this time, we were performing on a television program called "Go For It! TV" where for two years we reached millions of students nationwide. This was an amazing time in our lives. We were not only spokespeople in the field of physical fitness and health and wellness, but our winning streak continued with over 28 fitness titles which included two USA titles, and two World Championships. We also made history during this time period in the sport of fitness competitions becoming the first sisters to turn professional.
In Search of Quality Resources
While Mom is a wonderful resource, she was the exception to the rule. As our interest in the world of fitness continued to grow, so did our need to find quality resources for information. We wrote to numerous fitness stars and experts in the field and couldn't get a response. We ventured out to fitness expos and body building championships; but we still didn't find what we were looking for. What we did find surprised us. We found that people either didn't really know their own body, or they didn't know a lot about training and nutrition. We decided from that point forward that we would share our experiences and knowledge so that others could grow and share as well.
Will we stop here? We know not. We have many goals in faith, family, fitness and business. And we embrace the motto: "If you ever stop growing physically or mentally, you die." So as life continues, we know that we will continue in our education mentally, and our journeys physically, seeing just how much we can give and accomplish in a lifetime.
Our ultimate goal is to help people worldwide as we continue to educate ourselves and pass on our knowledge through future books, seminars and resources.
But our immediate goal is to help you. We hope that the information throughout this website and our upcoming book will help you achieve your goals and motivate you to work hard and be the best that you can be.