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Amy, Head Coach and Founder of Thrive

NASM Personal Trainer, ETP Nutrition Certification

Life's a journey.

“You can’t wait for things to be going well to start thriving.”

– Arianna Huffington


My journey is far from over. I proudly admit that I am and always will be a work in progress.

I am a mother of 3 children under 8, an Ironman athlete, a former public school district communications director, and a late-night wine and potato chip connoisseur (thus the need to create a balanced meal plan).

In 1998, I became a competitive triathlete while majoring in English at Cal Poly SLO. I have experienced top 5 age-group finishes at Ironman Lake Placid, Napa Valley Half-Ironman, Wildflower Triathlon, Des Moines Marathon, Santa Barbara Half-Marathon, and even the Davis Turkey Trot thanks to incredible coaches and mentors, an inner motivation to compete and perform, and a relentless work ethic.

 In 2011, I suffered severe muscle atrophy and post-partum depression after 12 weeks of bedrest and giving birth to twins. Setting a personal goal to regain my physical strength and mental well-being, I created and followed a holistic plan that has guided me to my fittest and strongest self yet.

 Where are you on your journey? Let Thrive provide you with the tools and resources necessary to grow physically, nutritionally and emotionally. There is no limit on your growth when you become comfortable with being uncomfortable!

- Amy

 
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Thrive Trainers

 

Our highly qualified trainers & movement specialists help you Live Your Best Life!

 

 

Coach Amy

Amy Spence

"You can’t wait for things to be going well to start thriving." - Arianna Huffington

My journey is far from over. I proudly admit that I am and always will be a work in progress. I am a mother of 3 children under 8, an Ironman athlete, a former public school district communications director, and a late-night wine and potato chip connoisseur (thus the need to create a balanced meal plan). In 1998, I became a competitive triathlete while majoring in English at Cal Poly SLO. I have experienced top 5 age-group finishes at Ironman Lake Placid, Napa Valley Half-Ironman, Wildflower Triathlon, Des Moines Marathon, Santa Barbara Half-Marathon, and even the Davis Turkey Trot thanks to incredible coaches and mentors, an inner motivation to compete and perform, and a relentless work ethic. In 2011, I suffered severe muscle atrophy and post-partum depression after 12 weeks of bedrest and giving birth to twins. Setting a personal goal to regain my physical strength and mental well-being, I created and followed a holistic plan that has guided me to my fittest and strongest self yet. Where are you on your journey? Let Thrive provide you with the tools and resources necessary to grow physically, nutritionally and emotionally. There is no limit on your growth when you become comfortable with being uncomfortable!

Coach Lori

Lori-Benedict

Lori Benedict

“I was born at a very young age.”

My health and wellness journey began in my 20s as I pursued a nursing career and battled Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease. I share my story not because I want pity or sympathy but because I want to give hope to others who suffer from autoimmune diseases.

My first symptoms of Celiac disease began when I was 11 years old. They were intermittent and I never sought medical help. I had worsening symptoms during nursing school but those were always attributed to stress. I developed Hashimoto’s disease during my first pregnancy. It wasn’t until years later I finally had a physician put the pieces together to convince me that I needed to acknowledge address the diseases that were causing harm to very part of my body. Since then, I have successfully navigated my way through safe, healthy food choices before the gluten-free diet emerged and before the FDA mandated allergen labeling.

My fitness journey began as a form of physical therapy when walking was difficult and stairs were a challenge. I couldn’t run to the mailbox, but I could get on my bike and ride for hours. I began cycling and completed several 75- and 150-mile bike races.

I like to think of myself as outsmarting my disease. Nutrition and exercise are two of my go-to medications with the best results and minimal side effects. My repertoire of delicious clean recipes will be introduced to Thrive, including gluten-free options. My autoimmune diseases are still present; there is no cure. Yet living a healthy, active lifestyle has enabled me to surpass all of my doctors’ expectations.

As a Registered Nurse for 28 years, I understand the benefits of self-care and practicing mindfulness in daily living. My academic training and specialty training in diabetes, public health and community education will support the well-being goals of Thrive athletes.

Coach Melissa

Melissa-Collier

Coach Melissa

mom, wife, friend, nature lover, strong, resilient

My desire to share my love of fitness, nutrition and wellness began in college as I studied Human Development at UC Davis and then earned a teaching credential. Being a teacher and role model for kids was how I realized I really loved teaching and coaching. Back in my younger days I had an intense view of exercise: lots of running and aerobics classes were my fitness choices. I ran many 5k, 10k and half marathons. As I have gotten older I still appreciate intensity but also low impact options as well. I have been swimming with Davis Aquatic Masters for 12 years and appreciate the benefits of cross training. Looking for something different, I began as a Thrive athlete over three years ago. I absolutely loved Amy’s whole-body approach to wellness and almost immediately asked how I could someday join the team. Last year I accomplished my NASM Personal Trainer Certification and became a Senior Specialist as well. Currently I am working on my small-group training certification. I love being a part of the Thrive community as an athlete and a coach!

During my Thrive journey I transitioned to a plant-based diet and enjoy sharing recipes for Thrive athletes looking for those options.

I have always enjoyed connecting with people and meeting them where they are. As a Thrive coach and mentor I love helping people make their individual journey by taking small steps until they have reached their larger goals.

I’ve started to view fitness as a process, rather than an end goal in itself. Why? Because of the many obstacles life has put before me. No matter what, showing up is the single most important thing I can do for my health and fitness.

 
 

Coach Sam

Samantha Wright

Samantha Wright

Proud corgi mama. Enjoys long walks down the aisles of Target. In a serious committed relationship with coffee.

My fitness journey began in high school as I participated in track, cross-country, and basketball as well as some extreme sports like quading and dirt biking. In college and while working full time I became so focused on my academics and professional career my physical fitness took a backseat for several years. I joined Thrive in 2015 as a participant and spent the following year getting in the best shape of my life. As a member of Thrive, I participated in the Lucky Run in Davis and developed friendships with other Thrive women. I have tried many different sports and exercise methods and have found Thrive to be the most fun and effective program for my personal fitness.

While working for UC Davis, I also became a campus Wellness Ambassador. In this role I have helped develop workshops to promote the physical and mental health of my colleagues. I have brought some of these workshops to Thrive with our Sugar Slash and Holiday Habit Challenge!

In my spare time, I try to focus on self-improvement and goal setting and have even attended a conference on intentional goal-planning. Exercise and fitness so are important me it is been instrumental in reducing my stress and increasing my personal growth.

Coach Leslie

Leslie Peek

Leslie Peek

Advisor. Mentor. Motivator. Coach

My fitness journey began years ago as a youth athlete, participating in multiple fitness activities including team sports. I played competitive volleyball and softball in high school and continued to play softball and took up soccer after graduating from college. After graduate school, I found that I had abandoned my physical fitness goals and realized that I needed to re-prioritize. At that point, I began training for a half marathon and completed several half marathons and one full marathon over the following several years.

After the birth of my second child in December 2015, I knew that I needed to again re-prioritize physical activity for my mental and physical health, and to be the best mom I could be. Soon thereafter I found Thrive and signed up as a new athlete. At that time, I was looking for a supportive community with accountability and realistic fitness goals. Over the course of the last three years, I have seen an overall improvement in my health and fitness, including shaving two minutes off my mile run! I enjoy continuing to set small, attainable goals for myself by training for endurance events that create community and challenge my physical fitness. Thrive continues to be an integral part of my personal fitness and I am excited to be both a participant and a coach!

I am very grateful for the opportunity to join Thrive’s coaching staff in the summer of 2018 and I look forward to this journey as a coach where I can help other athletes achieve their personal fitness goals in a supportive community. I am particularly motivated to support women in their journey through creating a balanced lifestyle where they can carve out personal time for their wellness to promote better health and happiness. I hope one day to become a life coach to connect all aspects of wellness for individuals looking to improve their lives.