A perfect body is meticulously chiseled. There’s no magic bullet or easy formula to erect a successfully crafted human machine. It’s an astounding work of art created by our Maker and sculpted by sweat, toil, obsession, and passion.
Sarah Wood has always advocated for physical fitness. During her middle school and high school years, she was on the cheer squad and the Cheers Elite travel team. There were countless hours spent in the gym practicing tumbling moves and preparing for competitions. A healthy body required nutrition, hydration, movement, activity, goal-setting, and mindfulness to be at your best everyday.
Physical fitness was only part of the well-rounded education Wood pursued in high school. She was a member of the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) a student organization that promotes family as the basic unit of society. She also earned her own spending money and learned the value of a dollar by working part-time after school at Chong's Restaurant in Paducah, Kentucky.
Being at your physical best requires energy and the ability to set goals, focus, prepare, and practice. This was Wood’s approach in all things as she matured and grew into a fabulous role model for her children, young mothers, and working women.
After graduating from Lone Oak High School in 2004, Wood began her studies at MSU (Murray State University) in Murray, Kentucky. Majoring in both Spanish and German, she jumped at the opportunity to study abroad in Germany and Costa Rica once opportunity knocked.
While in Germany, she visited Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic known for its bohemian lifestyle and love of the arts, architecture, music and history. In Costa Rica she improved her Spanish, studied the culture, embraced the lifestyle, and participated in sports like surfing. The opportunity to study overseas ignited a passion for travel and a desire to see the world.
Her laser focused psyche continued as Wood made her way through college. She continued to work at a local Chinese restaurant close to campus and started teaching at Lakewood Gymnastics, the home of the Cheers Elite competition squad. Lakewood was known for its championship teams and its ability to produce gymnasts and college-level athletes.
The MSU Racer received her Bachelor of Science degree in 2008 and left her ‘old Kentucky home’ to reenact the role of LouAnne Johnson in the movie ‘Dangerous Minds’ starring Michelle Pfeiffer as the English teacher at an inner-city school in Palo Alto. For Wood, it was a high school Spanish teacher in Memphis, Tennessee. After a ‘brief stint’ in the jungle (as it was called in Dangerous Minds), she returned to Kentucky to continue her education and work.
After returning back home, Wood spent several years teaching gymnastics and earning a paralegal degree. Always on the go, she picked up running. There was also time to explore other interests. “I was single and loved to travel,” she continued, “Any chance I got I’d jump on a plane and go see the world.”
To improve endurance and stamina, Wood hiked the trails of Land Between the Lakes in western Kentucky and climbed the hills at Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. After a ‘hard days work’ from teaching, studying, or exercising, “You might find me at a local bar on the weekends with my girlfriends,” said Wood.
“I met my husband on Facebook,” she said. Mike and Wood had a mutual Facebook friend, Susie Foreman. Susie worked with Wood’s mom and Aunt Kristen in radiology. Susie’s nephew was Mike’s roommate. One day, Mike was scrolling through Susie’s friends list and saw Wood’s picture. They chatted via Facebook and decided to meet up. Wood said, “When we met there were zero expectations.” Obviously, there was something to it.
Mike was in the Army and a pilot stationed in Florida. On a trip to Kentucky, Wood invited Mike out for drinks with friends to celebrate a birthday. After that, the couple started dating. Then, Wood packed her bags, moved to Tampa, Florida, secured an apartment, found a job as a paralegal, and started life.
It was during this time that Wood started training for half marathons. She joined a running club and absolutely ‘loved it.’ As her fitness efforts continued to refine, so did Wood’s body. She added weight training to the routine in the pursuit of better definition. Wood said, “It felt like family at the gym and I loved it.” As the workouts advanced so did the love between Wood and Mike. After a year of dating, it was time to try cohabitation. Shortly after moving in together, the two got engaged and wedding bells were about to ring.
Picture a ceremony with a beautiful girl in white wedding dress, military men in full uniform, swords drawn, a glorious ship, and it's not a fairy tale...it's a wedding extravaganza. The Woods had a beautiful church wedding in South Tampa followed by the ceremony of ceremonies. The reception was on the S.S. Victory, a WWII cargo ship.
There was an arch of swords ceremony, an old English and American custom, which gave a symbolic pledge of loyalty to the newlyweds from their Army family. Only the newly married couple were allowed to pass under the swords. After walking through the tunnel of soldiers with officers holding swords high, they were met up with a surprise, a ‘Welcome to the Army’ sign. “And I got swatted on the rear,” said Wood.
Being ‘in the Army’ secured Wood’s desire for travel. After getting married, the couple traveled to Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Belize, Vietnam, and Japan. After extensive travel, Wood started a graduate program to earn a Master’s degree in adult education and human resource development.
After making a life in South Tampa, Wood was content and happy. After all, she was in school again, there were lots of friends, and a new running group. In 2014, Mike received orders to move to Fort Worth, Texas and immediately after the move was to be deployed. Wood said deployments lasted anywhere from nine months to a year. She decided to stay in Florida until it got closer for Mike to come home. One week after deployment, Wood found out she was pregnant.
The next nine months were spent alone without Mike during the entire pregnancy. When he returned, Wood had packed up the Florida house, bought a home in Texas, and was about to give birth to their firstborn Fiona.
As part of the graduate program, Wood did an internship in Human Resources. Her plan was to go back to work when Fiona was six months old. Surprise, baby number two was on his way.
As a stay-at-home mom, Wood had to figure out her next move. At one point, she sold makeup and an athletic leisure wear online. She wanted to get back into her workouts. Wood joined a Fit4mom program that was a fitness class for moms and babies. Mike received orders again and the next destination was Largo, Florida.
There was no Fit4mom fitness program in Largo so Wood bought a franchise and started fitness classes. Wood said, “I’m hooked on fitness. I feel weird if I go more than a day without a good workout.” And this workout ethic shows in her physique, attitude, and approach to life. “I enjoy physical challenges. I enjoy reaching goals. I love my friends and love how I feel.”
Then, the pandemic struck. “When COVID hit, I had to shut down Fit4mom due to the numbers allowed at gatherings,” said Wood. This is when she moved fitness training to the internet to help people get fit and stay active virtually.
Along with coaching online or offline, Wood partnered with an athleisure line and a fitness nutrition line. The income source helps maintain Wood's fitness requirement costs without a brick and mortar storefront. And let's not forget, she works part-time as a litigator paralegal at a local law firm to help the family's bottom line.
Wood's children Fiona (5) and Emery (4) enjoy watching mom move. Fiona is active in gymnastics and likes unicorns and Emery infiltrates enemy territory by way of his ninja warrior classes or maybe a dinosaur or two.
No surprise, the family enjoys outdoor activities. They swim, bike, kayak, paddle board, hike, if it’s outside, they’ll try it. Wood said, “However, when dad’s gone, the whole dynamic changes from a two parent home to a one parent home.” The kids act out because they miss him and when he returns there’s a ‘whole learning curve to get acquainted again.’ It’s all part of military life.
Wood said the highlight of her day is reading to her kids and working out. You can catch Wood on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.ramage.77 If you’re looking for a workout coach, give her a shout.