Monica O’Connor

Trivia games master

Monica started out at Rogue as Jonathan’s client in October of 2011. At the time, she was frustrated with herself and with the fact that, despite all the different methods she tried, she was having very limited success losing weight and getting in shape. Things hadn’t always been that way though.

Growing up, Monica was very active, swimming, skiing, playing softball, biking and hiking with friends, and generally doing what kids do outside, playing. In high school, she was on the varsity swim team and the varsity ski team. She continued to be very active while she attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. It was a very physically demanding environment, requiring cadets to take PE classes every semester, to participate in some sport or athletic endeavor each season, and to pass the Army PT test every semester.

After graduating in 1986, Monica went on to serve in the Army as a Transportation Officer for a little over five years. Physical activity was still very much a part of her life, both as a job requirement – calisthenics and running every day and PT tests twice a year – and as part of a healthy lifestyle – aerobics classes, strength training, and occasionally swimming.

In 1991, Monica and her husband, Patrick, decided to leave the Army in order to pursue careers in the “civilian world” and to start a family. Fast forward ten years to August 2001 and they were now living in Scotts Valley, CA with their three children, Ryan, Daniel, and Casey.

Monica Lunges

While she was working and raising their family, Monica wasn’t as active as she had been in her earlier years. Fitness just wasn’t a priority; and it gradually showed. By the time they moved to California, Monica was not happy with her physical appearance or how out of shape she felt. She looked for some sort of activity that would get her outside and allow her to enjoy everything that California had to offer.

She quickly found triathlons – she loved swimming and biking and was willing to tolerate running in order to get fit again. Monica completed her first –the Pacific Grove Olympic-distance triathlon – on September 11, 2002. It wasn’t long before Patrick and the kids were doing them as well!

In December 2004, Monica and Patrick moved the family here to Colorado. Right away, they found and joined a local triathlon club. Again, the whole family got involved. What better place to get healthy and in shape than in the healthiest state in the nation, right?

Despite the activity, Monica still struggled to stay in shape. Over the years she had tried all different kinds of things to lose weight and get in shape – Weight Watchers, Body For Life, Adkins, Six Week Body Makeover. Triathlons, biking, swimming, cardio, cardio, and more cardio. She would lose weight, keep it off for a while, but eventually gain it back and end up worse off then when she started. At her heaviest, she probably topped out at close to 200 pounds.

But it wasn’t only weight she was struggling with. Monica didn’t feel like herself any longer – easily fatigued, quick to lose her temper, short on memory, brain fog, at times even depressed. She really needed to dig deeper to find out what was going on.

She did some easy blood tests and quickly determined that Monica had hypothyroidism. She started taking thyroid medication and soon started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Through it all, Monica kept doing triathlons and even completed Ironman Arizona in 2007.

Still, her weight loss efforts remained hit or miss. In September 2011, Monica ran into a friend who referred her to Jonathan. After her initial meeting with Jonathan, she was hooked. She started out doing two personal strength training sessions a week with him. After a month, she added two conditioning workouts per week as well. Within a year, Monica had lost roughly 50 pounds of fat and gained about 15 pounds of lean mass.

After almost three years of training with Jonathan and following his nutrition advice, Monica decided to take the Precision Nutrition Level I Nutrition Coach Certification course. She completed it in the Spring of 2014. Shortly afterward, Jonathan asked Monica if she was interested in becoming a coach herself. Although she had never really thought about it before, the idea really excited her. She trained and worked as an intern during the latter part of 2014.

On Jan 1, 2015, Jonathan hired Monica as a part-time coach and personal trainer. In April 2015, she was certified as a SFG Level I Kettlebell Instructor. She is currently studying to become a PN Level 2 Nutrition Coach, hopefully to be certified at the end of March. And she just started training in order to get her SFG Level II Kettlebell Instructor certificate in October 2106.

Monica Pull-Up