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Brian Crombie

ACE Personal Trainer


ACE Profiles |  Brian Crombie

My name is Brian Crombie and I'm an ACE Certified Personal Trainer from Portsmouth, N.H. I wanted to share a success story from one of my clients, Marianne Pernold:

"Stage I breast cancer came into my life at 62 and after doing all the prescribed medical procedures I beat it. THINKING I was done with hospitals, doctor appointments and medicines, I was in shock to learn 7 years later my cancer was now stage IV and had gone into my spine, breast and pelvic bones. After a radical mastectomy, chemo, radiation and somewhat of a mental "setback," I opted to get positive and go to the gym. So what do you do when you have breast cancer in your bones? You seek out a trainer and start a monitored scheduled work-out program. So, on a dreary February 2013 day, I hauled myself up the steps of the gym and talked to Brian Crombie, who had the reputation of being tough, trust-worthy, committed and kind. I signed up for 1/2 hour sessions three times a week but after my interview, I felt hesitant and wondered if I could really do this. Understandably, the first few weeks were scary and panicked when I was asked to lift a 5 pound weight 10 times, screaming, "How many more reps?" Because Brian knew my situation and total lack of left chest muscles, minor depression and anger, he was very patient and encouraging. The weights became progressively heavier and the reps more. Each session he guided me through aerobic, upper and lower muscle workouts and I found myself running up those gym stairs to start that workout.

Then in July, Mass General Hospital asked me to be part of a clinical trial for my particular cancer and our sessions became more sporadic and I was really weak from the new medicine and the weekly trips to Boston from Portsmouth. It was a very difficult time but I still managed to see Brian and with his gentle guidance, the weights and reps became more. I clearly remember one session where I forced myself to go to the gym, but after 4 or 5 weight lifts, just had to go home. Brian was very sympathetic and encouraging through those four months and I continued to show improvement. The clinical trial finished with great success in November 2013. My training schedule was more consistent afterward. Because Brian believed in my ability more than I did, the weights got heavier and the repetitions more ... and I wasn’t yelling at him any more.

Now I’m 70, in great shape, weigh 129 pounds, stronger than ever and those 5 pound weights are now 15 in each hand and I’m leg pressing 185 pounds. Brian Crombie’s workout sessions are different each time, never boring and we work so hard that I break a sweat within 5 minutes. I truly believe Brian saved my psyche and life, because without his loyalty and belief in me, I’d be on the couch feeling totally lost, weak, helpless and sad.  The cancer is being controlled with oral chemo and my workouts are getting better and better. I even have young ladies coming up to me saying, "I could never do what you do, Marianne." My doctor is totally amazed with my stamina and muscle improvements — all thanks to Brian Crombie!"



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