Debbie Thompson

My Story

As far back as I can remember I’ve been an active person. As a child I lived in England. I rode horses, was a competitive swimmer and played multiple team sports. While being active was wonderful, my eating habits were not the greatest. I was heavy and didn't feel good about myself.


When I was sixteen my parents moved to the United States. It was a hard move for me. I didn't "fit in". Thankfully I discovered weight lifting. At this time, 1980, it was not common to see females in a male dominated gym. While intimidated at first, I soon began to thrive. I learned basic lifting techniques while totally changing my relationship with food. My body and my attitude began to change.


I continued weight lifting throughout high school and in to my  college years.  Around this time I also started a career training Arabian horses.  It was physically demanding, and at times a dangerous job. I loved it. It did however have a negative impact on my body. I had many nasty falls. It was during a particularly  nasty  fall that my back was injured. More on that later.


In 1988 I decided to  compete in the Ms. Cincinnati Body Building Show. I came in second  in the lightweight division. It was a huge accomplishment for me. I was pleased with how far I had come and was excited to see how much farther I could go. However I had to hang up the posing suit after the show. I was pregnant with my first son. I also had to walk away from my career as a horse trainer.


 I went on to have three children in 4 years. Life was full with mom duties but I continued to train  in the gym as life permitted. Weight training helped me thru my pregnancies and certainly made the deliveries easier. My love of fitness inspired me to obtain a personal training license  in 1998. I wanted to be able to share my knowledge, training and love of fitness with others. A year later in 1999  I decided, on a bet, to enter the Ms. Cincinnati competition once again. This was exactly 11 years and three children since the first time. I put on quite a bit more muscle and perfected my diet.  I won the overall competition. I was  Ms. Cincinnati 1999.


With title in hand, my personal training business exploded. Life was good and I decided I needed a new challenge. I shifted my training towards endurance events. Again, on a bet, I entered a triathlon. Not having ridden a bike for several years, it was not a pretty sight. I finished the event, which included a 6 mile canoe, a 6 mile run, and an 18 mile bike, in less than three hours.  While i enjoyed all three activities I found that I really enjoyed the running. I decided from then on I would concentrate on running.


Running became my new passion. I would get up at 4:30 am and run 5 or 6 miles before work. On the weekends I started running longer and longer distances. In the back of my mind, I wanted to try my hand at a marathon. Over the next few years  I ran numerous 5k and 10k races.  In 2002 I ran the Air Force Marathon, which is held at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base. I finished the event in 4 hours and 20 minutes, which was exactly my intended goal of a 10 minute mile. I decided to tackle the Flying Pig Marathon a few months later. I knew this was going to be a lot more challenging because of the hills of Cincinnati. But I persevered and ended up beating my previous time at the Air Force marathon by seven minutes even though this was a much more challenging course.


A couple months after the flying pig Marathon I was involved in an automobile accident injuring my back  once again. This time the  injury required me to have  surgery. I endured two surgeries, the second of which involved spinal fusion. My neurosurgeon discouraged running.


It was time again to switch gears. I decided to focus my athletic endeavors towards dance. I found I loved any kind of dance. I poured myself into ballroom dance, Zumba and briefly belly dancing. 


In 2013 I once again returned to running. Even though I had spinal fusion I was able to complete the Flying Pig Marathon. Although slower than 2003, it was a total success proving that with proper training anything is possible.


Today I still enjoy dancing, running and strength training. I have also added yoga, kayaking and bicycling to my daily activities. I believe that fitness has enriched my life. I am able to do anything I want despite my back surgery. It is my greatest desire to help you achieve your fitness goals.

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