Hans Early-Nelson fell in love with welding and sculpting at an early age, but swimming was a harder sell. Now, swimming and other forms of exercise are essential to his work. Updated May. 3, 2013
How I Got This Body is a regular feature about real people and their quest for fitness. If you or someone you know would be a good candidate to be featured in a future column, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, age, contact information and an explanation of your fitness story.
Fitness instructor Bonnie Oliver of Maple Grove enlists the support of her family and friends to provide moral and physical encouragement. She’s surrounded by, from left, Peter Villagomez Jr., Peter Villagomez Sr., Areanna Villagomez, Paul Herskind, Felicia Vill and Dre Oliver.
SEW LONG, CARPAL TUNNEL “I went to vocational trade school to be a tailor and seamstress. I worked at Dayton’s and Neiman Marcus and had my own shop, and then I worked for Lossing Orthopedics, doing a lot of sewing and steelwork. I got carpal tunnel and at therapy they told me, ‘If you keep that up you’ll have to have surgery.’ ”)
Jewelia Wagner always knew she wanted to go to medical school, and she has always been active — the four-sport high school athlete and collegiate volleyball player helped coach high school volleyball during med school. She combined her passions by studying exercise and pregnancy in med school, and is now living them out: The new mom exercised throughout her pregnancy, runs regularly and is looking for a volleyball team to join.
Peter Hendrickson, an associate professor of music at Augsburg College, started biking when he realized it was the quickest, easiest way to get to his Finnish language class at the University of Minnesota.
How I Got This Body: Peter Hendrickson, 58, St. Paul, music professor and director of choral activities at Augsburg College, cyclist
Yoga has helped Brandyn Negri through a kidney donation, opening and closing her yoga studio -- and a car crash. The next stop on her yoga journey? Africa.
Judy Cooper Lyle works out at the Blaisdell YMCA three times a week.
Judy Cooper Lyle is a former chorus girl turned theater director/producer/fashion designer and fitness enthusiast.
How I Got This Body: Fran Bell of Chanhassen exercises six days a week. She loves the Marsh: A Center for Balance and Fitness, in Minnetonka.
Kelechi Jaavaid started gaining weight after he hurt his shoulder playing basketball. He found a unique way to think of exercise to get (and keep) the pounds off.
Tara Graff in her home workout room with son Nate, 14 months.
After putting on 52 pounds during her pregnancy, Tara Graff decided to lose weight by preparing for physique shows. Her son, Nate, 14 months, often joins her in her workouts.
Cyclist Cindy Colon on a ride around Lake Calhoun.
Jodi Adkisson worked out at Sky Zone in Plymouth.
Erin Jane Pitsor, right, worked with personal coach Casey Stenhjem of Stteele Fitness.
Jenna Hanson, survivor of 2 near fatal car crashes, at age 11 and age 17 does yoga, weights and other workouts to stay healthy. Here she is doing a king pigeon pose.
After two devastating car accidents, Jenna Hanson realized she could choose to take care of her body or live in pain.
When Signe Rudrud learned to swim at age 4, she remembers watching the lifeguards at Lake Nokomis and thinking, "Wow, they get to be at the lake all day." Now she's entering her senior year at South High School, and lifeguarding at Lake Nokomis is her job. Even as a longtime swimmer, her responsibilities have given Rudrud a new perspective on the water, and a new appreciation for the type of endurance required on the job.
When Gerry Uchytil and a friend heard about a hang-gliding club starting up in southern California in the early '70s, they sent for a kit and built a glider. Uchytil has been flying ever since.
Audrey Mundstock, center
Audrey Mundstock performs with the Twin Cities River Rats, a water-ski show team that wows crowds on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis every summer.
How I got this Body - Annette Fragale, 75 years, teaches yoga and othe...
Annette Fragale, 76, shares her passion for fitness by teaching yoga, Pilates, Chinese Wand and hula hoop, and she hosts a TV show, "Yoga on the Go!" Oh, and in the summer, she works as a magician.
Jackie Bechtold is a mellophone player with Minnesota Brass.
How I Got This Body: You'd be surprised at the physical demands it takes to be a part of a drum and bugle corps. Musical athlete Jackie Bechtold explains how she keeps fit by performing with the Minnesota Brass.
Gene Kay uses roller skis to keep in shape.
Gene Kay has been hooked on skiing since he was 6, when a neighborhood mom taught him how to glide down a hill near his home in upstate New York.
Don Potter and his German Sehepard, Reina.
For the past four years, Don Potter and his German shepherd, Reina, have raced up and down hills on an almost-daily basis. They are, he says, "a perfect match" as workout partners.
Kathleen Cancilla enjoys watching TV while she hula-hoops.
Kathleen Cancilla recently rediscovered the hula hoop and adapted it to her adult lifestyle -- with surprising results. But the reason she keeps on hula-hooping, she says, is simple: It's fun.
Olympic curler Cassie Potter practiced at the St Paul Curling Club last week over her lunch hour.
Cassie Potter -- the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of curlers -- picked up the sport at a young age and went on to represent the United States at the 2006 Olympics.
Scott Smith takes time for a workout at St Thomas University.
How I Got This Body: Scott Smith's diving career began at 7, when he started jumping off houseboat roofs. Today, he coaches and competes.
Trimming trees helps keep Paul Jirik fit and trim.
How I Got This Body: For 23 years, Paul Jirik has been climbing trees for a living. It keeps him physically and mentally fit -- and, he says, it offers a welcome respite from his day job.
Twenty-month-old Matthew keeps his mom, Erin Arifin, busy and fit.
How I Got This Body: Before her son was born, Erin Arifin worked a sedentary office job. But staying home with her son, Matthew, now 20 months, has been a surprising fitness and wellness boost.
How I Got This Body: Mara Larson is a year-round bike commuter who rides 17 miles to work. She credits exercise for keeping her mentally and physically fit.
How I got this body: Salon owner Jason Deavalon's life was "a mess" until he learned about a friend's nonprofit organization, which eventually changed everything.
HOW I GOT THIS BODY: Carol Markham-Cousins, principal of Minneapolis' Washburn High School, says, "Energy creates more energy." She shares her twice-daily workout routine.
Dave Siskind's "new" bike has 25,000 miles on it. Another that he saved from the trash has 40,000. An older road bike has 116,000. Altogether, he has logged more than 500,000 miles over a lifetime of cycling.
Lori Keith finished the stretch run.
In this week's How I Got This Body, Lori Keith, a jockey at Canterbury, says people don't realize how physically demanding her job can be.
Louis Hauser, had polio, but has walked for exercise everyday for near...
Louis Hauser, once afflicted with polio, started riding his bike around the lake every morning about 40 years ago and has rarely missed a day of exercise since.
After 15 years and one bout of breast cancer, Mary Newstrom still fences three times a week as her main source of exercise. She also rides her bike, does yoga and lifts weights.
ONE TIME USE - DELETE FROM ARCHIVE AFTER PUBLICATIONJim Ogg attempt...
How I Got This Body: If you've ever done the plank to strengthen your core, you'll appreciate Jim Ogg's accomplishment.
From pitching for the Brooklyn Dodgers farm teams in the '50s to flyfishing in the Rocky Mountains to skiing in Worldloppet races to winning a volleyball championship with his 75-plus team, Cal Schadel is rarely idle.
A composite illustration of Jody Orfield who has completed 3 triathlon...
Jody Orfield reconnected with her best friend from high school at their 25th reunion and got inspired to train for a triathlon. Now she has six triathlons under her belt.
Dr. Brett Oden
A self-described nerd, Dr. Brett Oden wasn't athletic in the least until he turned 40. Now, he swims across Buffalo Lake nearly every day in warmer months and in the open ocean every winter in Hawaii.
For 20 years, Michelle Gayer nibbled her way through her work days as a pastry chef. Now, she's the mom who drops her kids off at school and runs around the lake before 8 a.m.
How I Got This Body: For years, Heidi Meyer noshed on baked goods and fast food with her co-workers as a 911 dispatcher. But when two of her co-workers had heart attacks, she committed to getting in shape.
Helen Lin practiced some of her moves as other members of the breakdan...
Helen Lin arrived for her first year at the University of Minnesota from Missouri knowing exactly what she wanted to do in college: break dance. She helped transform the U's club from a loose group of six or seven students to a thriving group of more than 100 that performs all over the cities.
While sons Josh Hayes, 7 worked an exercise ball and CJ Hayes, 9, ran a treadmill, Cullen did chest presses by lifting daughter Julia Hayes, 6 and son Jordan Hayes, 4 on a board.
Tiffany Sudduth, a bank employee by day, is showing and shaking her rolls of fat before the world at all hours while wearing nothing more than a two-piece bathing suit, a rainbow wig and a never-ending smile.
Larry Teckenbrock went through his 19 minute yoga workout he created on Wii Fit Plus in his home in Eagan.
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