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Robyn Bumgarner

ACE Personal Trainer, Health Coach

Channahon, IL

ACE Profiles |  Robyn Bumgarner

My name is Robyn Bumgarner, and I am an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. I am also currently studying to become an ACE Certified Health Coach. My journey to a profession in the health and fitness industry began back in 2000, when I looked in the mirror and realized I was obese. I had outgrown my last pair of pants, and it occurred to me that I would have to go to the plus-size clothing. I felt I simply couldn't afford to keep buying bigger clothes, so instead, I took my money to a weight-loss group that focused on portion control, fruits and vegetables, and long-term lifestyle change. I lost 50 pounds on the program. I kept the weight off and used the knowledge I learned in the weight-loss group to lose weight on my own after two pregnancies.

In 2010, I ran my very first 5k race. Shortly after that race, I learned I needed biopsies on my right breast. The biopsies showed my entire right breast was consumed with tiny pockets of breast cancer. I sought several opinions on my case, and all the doctors had the same recommendation: Bilateral mastectomy. I was floored. I was in my early 30s. I was simply too young to have cancer. By day, I would make doctor's appointments and fight with my insurance company. By night, I would run to release the tension. Running was the only thing in my day that made me feel healthy and strong. While I anxiously awaited my mastectomy surgery, I trained for and completed my first half-marathon. It was December in my upper midwest hometown at the time, and I couldn't find an organized race to sign up for. Instead, I mapped a 13.1-mile course through my neighborhood and ran my first half-marathon alone. Two weeks later, symbolically, I spent 13 hours in the operating room undergoing bilateral mastectomies with immediate reconstruction. Afterward, I spent 4 days in the ICU and 8 weeks resting at home to recover. If you place the scars on my torso end to end, they would measure more than 3 feet long. But I was pronounced cancer-free! I had a fresh start and a fresh chance at life. The very day I was released to resume normal activities, I laced up my shoes and ran 2.5 miles. I continued to train, and later that same year, I ran the Chicago Marathon. I had to take two weeks off training for one final reconstructive surgery, but I was a success. Nine months after an invasive and aggressive bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, I was able to run 26.2 miles. I even beat a few thousand other marathoners that day!

Since then, I have participated in numerous 5k and 10k races, five half marathons and a second full marathon. I discovered that regular strength training is integral to staying injury-free. I also began taking nutrition very seriously after cancer, realizing fully that the health of our bodies begins with the food we put in our mouths. At the encouragement of friends and family to use what I have learned and lived to help others, I signed up earlier this year to complete both the ACE Personal Training Certification and the ACE Health Coach certification. I am excited to have the knowledge to help people change their lives, and I am proud to be a member of the ACE family!


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