My name is Mandy Leonards and I am the owner of Body Life Works. I am a USAT Level 1 Coach and a Certified Ironman Coach.  I have worked in the fitness industry since 2005, and am a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Fitness Instructor in many different class formats. I wasn't always an athlete. 

I hope that the fact that I am not the most medaled athlete, or the fastest out there won't deter you from trusting me. I wanted to send a little note of appreciation and also to let you know why I have decided to do this side hustle.

Once upon a time, Mandy was an overweight girl. I was a chubby kid, always picked last in gym class, and I didn't play any sports at all.

When I was a sophomore in college I went to put on a dress that I had bought 2 weeks prior for a formal dance that my boyfriend (now husband) had invited me to go to. I couldn't zip it up. In two weeks I had suddenly gained enough weight that the dress wouldn't zip. Embarrassment was an understatement - but really I couldn't figure out how I had let myself get so unhealthy. 

That night I looked at the red itchy stretch marks I had on my stomach, and decided enough was enough. I was tired of feeling the way I did. I had just met an amazing guy who loved me for ME and thought I was beautiful even in my heavier state. (he's a great catch!) I told him I wanted to feel better and he was incredibly supportive. The next day I told him I wanted to go for a run. He went with me. He was a fit 165 at the time. I was running SO slowly that he was walking next to me. I made it a block. Nevertheless, she persisted. I started with consistent workouts and watching what I was eating and 3 months later I had lost 20 pounds. 

From there, my passion for fitness exploded. I ran my first half marathon my senior year of college in about 2:20. I ran it the next year in just over 2 hours. I continued to run a half marathon every year until I had our first daughter in 2008. I decided I wanted to learn more and help others, so I got certified as a personal trainer while I was in graduate school for my MSW. I trained clients and taught fitness classes (I taught cardio kickboxing, strength classes, Insanity and BodyPump) on the side because I loved it. AFter my youngest daughter was born in 2011, I told my husband that I had this dream to open up a fitness studio where I could somehow incorporate emotional wellbeing into it. We took a big leap and I signed a lease on a brick and mortar. The studio was so much fun but it didn't last. I had to get out of the lease after 18 months because of the cost. But I cried so hard that day. I felt like I lost a part of myself -- I loved training those people SO much!

AFter that, I found triathlon.  I met MY coach at a soccer game for our daughters who were playing together in 2016. She was wearing an Ironman hat and I started asking her questions. I asked her if she would help me run my first marathon. Before this I had had NO formal run coaching ever.  I had just followed online template half marathon plans. They worked, but I was always around the same time. The first workout she gave me I was like -- what is this?! ahaha! And a triathlete was born. I had never swam in open water, never ridden a bike except for my mountain bike I got when I was 12. I didnt know a thing about power, FTP, Vo2max, or if I would panic in open water. 

Needless to say, I was hooked after my first Tri. My first marathon with my coach I ran it in 4:23. My second one I ran in 3:40. I did my first 70.3 in 2018 and have since done 5 of them. I was injured in mid-2019 .... which took me out the rest of the year and then Covid hit so I am just getting back to things too, and my injury took my running speed away quite a bit. But I will persevere and get back to what I can. I will tell you guys something -- I really do NOT care if my coached athletes are faster than me, in fact, I hope they are!! Nothing gives me greater joy than helping others reach their goals.

 I read everything and soak in all things coaching related and training related I can so that I can be a good coach and decent athlete. As a licensed psychotherapist, I naturally have a skill set for coaching,  and I do have a lot of experience with fitness coaching and personal training. I understand that this is a process, and we are not all in a race to be pros. We have jobs, lives, families.... I strive to help you reach YOUR goals, wherever they may be, and help you fit your plan around your life. Even if you are only here thinking you only want me for race or two right now, I hope we build the type of coach/athlete relationship that you will want to keep reporting in for the off season/base building time and make more goals along the way that you may never think are possible for yourself.