Monday, November 15, 2010

Cheryl Spooner's Testimony

Grateful for Inspiration--Palani and Carisse

A young friend’s status today on Facebook said, “It’s Friday, get your freak on!”

I read this sipping my coffee, and called out to Harold in the next room as he was slipping into a suit, preparing for work, “Harold, it’s Friday, get your freak on!” Then we laughed for the next few minutes, having never thought, heard, or uttered those words before, ever.

One is never too old to learn something new!

Something new indeed!

Only an hour from the desert climate of Las Vegas, winter snows can pile seven feet deep and elk graze in lush meadows. The Spring Mountains, and particularly their dominant peak, Mt. Charleston, stand like green alpine islands in a sea of sand and stone.

Because of the heavy winter snows, late spring through early fall is the best time to hike these mountains…Elevations range from 4,300 ft. up to 11,918 at Charleston Peak’s summit…

There are no bears in the Spring Mountains but there is plenty of wildlife including wild horses, mountain lions, and the desert bighorn sheep…
--From “Base Camp Las Vegas -- Hiking the Southwestern States,” by Deborah Wall
I had no idea this existed so very close to the glitz of the Las Vegas strip and the surrounding desert. However, one Sunday afternoon Palani posted a video he shot after he and Carisse reached the top of “Cathedral Rock” trail, in the Spring Mountains. Slightly winded, he highly recommended the climb, realistically described burning legs and breathing challenges due to the altitude, and finally spanned for the viewer to see the fabulous view.

I never would have known Palani, or caught that video, if I hadn’t called the Qua Spa at Ceasar’s Palace one day to ask about a session with their private trainer. The voice on the other end of the phone said, “What? We don’t have private trainers.”

From Chicago I said, “Yes you do, I’m sitting here looking at an article in your magazine that describes the training sessions and shows a picture of the trainer, Palani. I’ll be vacationing there soon and I’d like to train with him!” This was such a new feature to the Spa that all the staff didn’t even know about it yet.

From that day on, every time I visited, we worked several training sessions together. I knew I was in good hands as he studied all the angles of every move I made.  He led, adjusted, challenged and encouraged me throughout. Inevitably after two times through everything, I was ready to escape to the Spa sauna, steam room and pools, but there would always be a third circuit, and unbelievably, a fourth!

Over time we became friends and ultimately seeing his video at the top of “Cathedral Rock” trail was my inspiration for this year long challenge! He and Carisse, both top fitness instructors, are far more--they lead and inspire all those around them to follow their dreams, and to grab life and run with it, literally and figuratively!

Never too old to learn something new.
One step at a time.
Cheryl, we appreciate your kind words and all your devotion to living a healthy lifestyle. We are honored to be a part of your journey! - FitcampSD Instructors

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to know I have the FitcampSD six week challenge awaiting me on January 1st! Can't wait! I'm really looking forward to working with the trainers and getting prepared for my stair race up the John Hancock building in Chicago on Feb. 27th. If you're interested in my blog you can find it at

    Thanks for all your inspiration Palani, Carisse and Rhonda!