When I turned 40 years old, I decided to better my health. I’ve always felt somewhat healthy but considering the big 4-0 and my family history, I was compelled to make a few changes. I came across studio s one evening while on my way to dinner. I briefly peered in the window and saw an intimate space with hard working students and observant instructors. I told my dinner group I would catch up with them and when I walked into this inviting space, I was immediately greeted by Susie. Little did I realize that fortuitous meeting with her would lead me on a long journey to better my body and my mind.
Over the years, my training with Susie has expanded from weekly Spinning sessions, to strength training classes, and finally one-on-one coaching. Initially, my goals were pretty superficial. Superficial goals are not good enough for Susie. She dug deeper. We discussed physical limitations, injuries and she helped me open up about my social/ personal life. She prepared me for the physiological barriers I may encounter. We developed a plan with lofty but attainable goals and we went for it!
Susie pushed me to go harder when she knew I could do more. She knew when I was struggling and adjusted accordingly. She checked in on days when I worked out off-site, and even on my rest days. Best of all, Susie always made herself available if I needed her.
I am currently on my second extended coaching session with Susie and although our goals have changed, the approach hasn’t. I am genuinely happy that I walked into studio s that evening and met Susie. I needed someone in my corner for this journey and I couldn’t have picked a better person. I don’t just consider Susie the best coach I could hope for, but now consider her a friend.
Susie’s coaching goes beyond fitness; she encourages me to live a fuller life. She lifts my spirits and helps me believe I can achieve my fitness and health goals. Through the way she lives her own life, including setting challenging goals for herself, Susie is a positive role model.
If I could only choose one word to describe Susie Crossland-Dwyer, it would be “cornerstone!” When you work with Susie she’s never the center of attention, “you are!” while she stays in the shadows cheering you on, making you better, never pushing but nudging you to new limits. How she does this while still being your protective angel is beyond me.
How does she differ? Among the loud ego driven fitness people, Sus is a quiet force. Always watching, always thinking, always creating new routines to make you better. She’s a physical and psychological force that you want in your corner.
I never dreamed of training for a marathon, let alone completing one. Partially because I had no desire but also because I never truly thought I could do it successfully. After meeting Susie and hearing about her coaching program, something in me began to stir. A strong desire to grow in discipline and courage started emerging as well as the desire to accomplish something I never thought my body could do. I took the plunge and signed up for my first marathon/marathon training program. There was only one person/program I trusted to set me up for success and that was Susie Crossland-Dwyer. Her knowledge and expertise are what made me feel confident about taking on something so new and scary.
Susie’s coaching makes you believe you can do anything you set out to do and she gracefully balances that by always reminding you to listen to your body and stay in tune with what it’s telling you. Training for my first marathon with Susie remains by far one of the most powerful life experiences to date. I learned so much; not just about running but about myself. I will be forever grateful to Susie for offering a program that fosters both physical strength and personal growth.
Two and a half years ago I discovered I had a heart condition that severely limited
my cardio activity. In my mid-fifties I was scared and afraid of cardio and I knew I would never run again. I turned to my yoga mat and made peace with what I was dealt. And then … I met Susie and signed up for her “Ready to Run” program.
Susie has changed my life. She tailored my Ready to Run experience to be about me; my strengths, my shortcomings and my goals. Because of Susie I am stronger, healthier and happier than I was 20 years ago. Susie helped me flick the mental switch and learn to crush what I used to think was impossible. Now, in the morning I GET to run as opposed to HAVE to run. My yoga practice is stronger, I sleep like a baby and my happiness has spilled into every part of my life.
I no longer apologize for being slow because of my limitations. I am now lapping everyone on the coach. I am stress free, injury free and unequivocally joyful on my runs. Because of Susie I now call myself a runner.
Looking back to my workout regimen 5 years ago, I regularly rode my road bike with my husband and sometimes made it to yoga classes. While I always wanted to do more, I was way too intimidated to join a gym or go to other kinds of classes. After meeting Susie shortly after she opened Studio S and venturing out to try her spinning and Pilates classes, I became hooked. The small studio atmosphere and her enthusiastic and encouraging approach made me feel so welcome and comfortable as I tried new things. Between spinning, mat and/or reformer Pilates, and weekly personal training sessions, I was generally at the studio most days each week for a few years (which included all through my pregnancy!). It was due to Susie’s fitness philosophy and encouragement that working out became such a central part of my schedule. Her passion and commitment are contagious!
The past couple years have taken me away from such a consistent routine at the studio with a baby turned toddler, which has been a difficult transition after the studio and Susie playing such an important role in my life. This past summer, I started a journey I NEVER thought possible: I became a runner. I signed up for her Queen Bee Half Marathon training group having only run about 1 mile a handful of times with my son in the stroller before training started. Susie’s support and belief in me and what I could accomplish as well as all the information shared through the run group is invaluable. She loves what she is doing, loves sharing it with other people, and loves challenging what you think is possible for yourself. It’s infectious and effective – I met my personal goals for that half marathon and am now training with her group for the Flying Pig Half!
Ultimately, the people are what make Studio S what it is – Susie, the instructors, running coaches, and the group of clients are an inspirational and fun bunch of people working together towards a healthy and happy lifestyle and enjoying the experiences together. It is a place that I am happy to have as an important regular part of my life, and one that has influenced substantial changes for the better over the past 5 years. And Susie is the heart of it.
When I began searching for a coach, I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, but I knew I wanted someone who would provide accountability, motivation, and the knowledge needed to help me reach my goals. Susie offered this and so, so much more. Not only does she walk (lives and breathes and runs) the talk, and inspires others by simply living her life, but she is a wealth of information as well. By asking helpful question and gathering important feedback, along with metrics, Susie created a training plan tailored to my unique needs and goals.
While I’ve never actually met Susie in person because she coached me remotely, I feel like I’ve known her for years. She is incredibly easy to talk to, relatable, and encourages in a meaningful way, yet she knew exactly when I needed a push out of my comfort zone. She called me out when she knew I was strong enough physically but that my mental game needed work. She gave me the questions and the tools to dig deep and strengthen my mental game, all the while making it clear that she believed in me.
Despite some major setbacks, with Susie’s expertise and support, I met my goal, and felt the strongest mentally and physically that I have ever felt running a marathon. If you’re looking for someone who offers a unique combo of personality, expertise, and passion, look no further, you’ve just found your coach.