What is MSA?

You don’t know how strong you are until your strength is tested. My friend’s strength is being tested. Her mom is fighting MSA and my friend, Candice, has completely altered her life to be her mother’s caregiver, a fearless caregiver that is.  A cancer survivor herself, Candice has fought her own battle before – underwent surgery, did radiation and is on medication. Unfortunately with MSA, there is no cure or  drugs to treat it. It’s like receiving “the death sentence” as Candice describes it. Here’s a quote from Candice about MSA:

    “Multiple System Atrophy is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that progresses very quickly. For those diagnosed, it is a death sentence. There are no drugs that stop it’s relentless progression. Over the course of 5 to 10 years, victims are robbed of their ability to walk, talk, chew, swallow and breathe. People diagnosed with cancer are offered tools with which to fight … surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. People diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy simply have no such tools to fight with. This disease could strike you or your loved one anytime between age 30 and 60.”

It is often times wrongly diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. And when I’ve mentioned MSA to others, they assume MS.  I for sure had no clue what it was and have not seen Mrs. Valenta since she has been diagnosed. She has completely lost her independence. I’ve always known Mrs. Valenta as a healthy, active person. Candice is a personal trainer and before her mom was diagnosed, her mom was actually one of her clients. Mrs. Valenta was at a point in her life doing things on her own, enjoying the empty nest. Today, she has a 5 month old grandson that she hasn’t had the opportunity to hold. It’s a devastating situation.

This month is the official MSA awareness month and I want to help her raise awareness. She went in front of the Commissioner’s Court to advocate that Bexar County recognize March as the official awareness month for MSA.

Here’s the video of her speaking in front of Nelson Wolff himself (her speech starts around 2:30).

I could not be more proud of my friend. She has hit every hurdle possible in her young life and she keeps finding a way to overcome them.

Please learn more about Multiple System Atrophy at www.MSAawareness.org.

Great job to San Antonio 8th Graders for their research on medication disposal

I was watching the WOAI news yesterday and was happy to hear about students at the N.E.I.S.D.’s STEM Academy “beating out thousands of teams across Texas” with their research on the negative impact pharmaceuticals have on our environment if not properly disposed.

They took 2 samples of soil, watering one with pure, distilled water and the other with water that was contaminated with a common medication. The first soil sprouted healthy plants while the latter didn’t even sprout. Their conclusion was that if we don’t properly disposed common medications today, we could be deteriorating our environment for generations to come.

When they did a survey to find out if people knew the proper way to dispose of medications, 80% didn’t know the correct way. Medications that are flushed down the toilet or dumped in the trash will contaminate San Antonio’s future water supply.

They are on a mission to educate people by developing a prototype for people to safely store discarded medication.

Wow, impressive stuff from our San Antonio youth.

Click here to check out their website.

Click here to read the full article.

Sitting is Killing You – Literally

These are some interesting facts on how sitting in a chair all day can literally kill you.

Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

Another CrossFit Experience With Elite-CrossFit

I’ve been meaning to post about my latest CrossFit experience. As you know, I started CrossFit last summer with Alamo CrossFit. I really enjoyed it but unfortunately, I only did it for 3 months. The location wasn’t convenient to my home or office location.

Recently, I received an email from Dennis Boline (fellow Racker and the person that got me into CrossFit) about a free all women CrossFit workout with Emily Van Vleck, CrossFit trainer with Elite CrossFit. Elite CrossFit works out at the University of Incarnate Word, centrally located in San Antonio.

What was this free workout all about? Well, Emily was turning 24 and to celebrate her 24th birthday, she wanted to offer a free CrossFit work out to women only. What a brilliant idea! It was a Saturday morning in March so the weather was perfect. Women showed up from all over the city. She grouped us by level of experience and in heats. For each level, there was a male trainer there to spot you.  Here was the work out:

WORKOUT (these weights are for Level 1):

  • 400m walk/run/jog
  • 24 step ups onto a 12′ box
  • 24 push press with a 25lb bar
  • 24 dumbbell swings with a 15lb dumbbell
  • 24 burpees
  • 24 walking lunges with a 10lb plate held overhead
  • 400m walk/jog/run

I know it doesn’t look difficult but you’re going for a time. I was coming out of my winter hibernation so I have to say, I was a bit out of shape. They took photos and here is one of me being super dramatic:

Emily was so awesome and I commend her for a job well done. She had t-shirts made, had branded water bottles and everything was super organized. Emily is actually from northern California, but has been living in San Antonio since 2004. She came to UIW for synchronized swimming and was team captain, All-American and three-time member of the USA National Team. She is currently the Assistant Coach of Synchronized Swimming at UIW. You can read more about her here: http://elitecoaches.blogspot.com/

I just received an email from her about a Summer Boot Camp she will be running. It sounds super awesome. Here are the details:

UIW Summer Bootcamp Program

Learn how to truly gain a level of fitness you have never experienced before. You will perform skills and exercises that will improve the 10 areas of fitness: AEROBIC ENDURANCE, STAMINA, STRENGTH, FLEXIBILITY, SPEED, POWER, COORDINATION, AGILITY, BALANCE and ACCURACY!

Class Times:

May 17, 2010- August 13, 2010

Monday- Wednesday-Friday

6:00am-7:00am, or




UIW Summer Bootcamp Program Fee: $275.  A savings of $175!!!

Click here to sign up: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/asp/home.asp?studioid=6898

This is a killer deal! I highly recommend going to Emily. It’s things like this that will help transition San Antonio into a healthier city.

2010 Brings You Coach Angela

Happy New Year!

So what’s new for 2010? I am coaching my first volleyball team! This is something I have always wanted to do but never ran into the opportunity. When my aunt contacted me about a volleyball club needing a volleyball coach for a 12 & under team, I jumped on it. I’m passionate about the sport and passionate about working with our youth so I felt this was my calling.

I can’t tell you how nervous I was meeting the parents. I have been in business for 7 years and have had to present to high profile clients and executive leadership numerous of times but never was I this nervous. These parents were meeting someone for the first time that would be working with their daughter for the next 6 months. I needed to earn their trust. Talking a bit about my experience helped. The next step was proving myself.

I outlined what I was going to go over in my first practice and reviewed it over and over and over and over in my head. Once practice came and I started running the drills, I realized that I was way ahead of myself. These girls are only 9 and 10 years old! I needed to teach them the fundamentals of just passing the ball and controlling the ball. I had to go back and re-outline my practices. I now have the hang of it.

Our first tournament was this past weekend. We are in the 12 & under division so I knew we were going up against girls that were older than my girls and had 1 year under their belt in club volleyball. Mentally, I was prepared for this. Was I prepared for our opposing team to be twice the size of my team? No! I showed up at 7:30am to see a bunch of mammoths warming up. I only had a few girls there and we were scheduled to play at 8am, against the mammoths! My poor parents were so freaked out. I kept my composure. I got my girls warmed up and ready to play. We had to play them so there was no use in freaking out. And although we lost, we took the mammoths to 3 games. Not bad.

We went on to lose 1 more match but won our last match, yeah! I was so exhausted by the end of our last match. I had such a blast and left with an amazing feeling inside. We are only going to get better and now, I actually want to play some more mammoths.

This year, it’s not about my success. For me, it’s about helping my girls succeed.

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