About 12 months ago, I met someone new. I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone and I didn’t think our relationship would intensify as quickly as it did. Before I knew it, we were seeing each other two, sometimes three times a week. Things got serious… fast.

Yes, it’s been a year since I met my trainer Valerie.

From the first moment I met Valerie (at Steve Nash Fitness Club), I knew she was going to be tough; she wasn’t going let me get away with anything. And she hasn’t! From food journaling to weekly weigh-ins to workout form and technique, she watches me like a hawk. But she also encourages me, cheers me on and pushes me to do things I never dreamed I could do.

Here are just a few of the motivational things she has said to (aka yelled at) me during our workouts over the past year:

“You’ve got this!”

“Don’t give up!”

“Foam roll tonight.”

“The Cubs have got this. I feel it!”

“Why are you stopping?”

“Don’t stop!”

“Are you taking your supplements?”

“You’ve lifted heavier.”

“Seriously. Don’t stop!”

“You can do it! Trust me.”

“Are you stopping again?”

“The Cubs are unstoppable!”

“Keep going!”

“You need to stretch more.”

“Stop thinking. Just do it!”

“Why are you stopping?”

“You can do this! I know you can.”

“Seriously, the Cubs are going all the way. I can feel it.”

And you know what? So far she’s been right about everything. (Even the Cubs!)