Our trainers are the reason Foundation FIT is the best place to train (and CrossFit Wando is the best CrossFit gym in town.) We hope you enjoy these conversations and the opportunity to connect with our trainers to learn how we got here and why we love doing what we do.
Stacie Barclay is a Personal Trainer, CrossFit coach, mom of two, and all-around light at Foundation FIT. She’s an OG trainer who has been with FFIT since the beginning.
Tell us a little bit about how you got into fitness. Were you always interested in exercise and wellness, or did that come later in life?
I grew up playing all kinds of sports, however, my town was so small that you didn’t have to have any actual talent to get on most of the teams! I ran cross country, played basketball and volleyball, all while doing a good bit of musical theater. (Again… small town, lots of opportunities because they were desperate for participants!)
In my college years, I began to really struggle with my weight. Years of yo-yo diets I had tried in high school really stressed out my endocrine system. By age 22, I was pre-type 2 diabetic, overweight, and really unhappy. When I finally committed to health and wellness as my lifestyle, I began to finally feel better and more like myself again. Shifting my mindset was a hard process, one that still to this day requires work, but it ultimately led me to pursue a career in the fitness industry! Health and wellness go beyond just the physical aspects of our lives and much deeper to our emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
How did you end up coaching and training at FFIT?
I continued my love for running (moderate distances) from high school throughout college, and loved trying new things at the gym. I got really into spin classes and became a certified Spinning instructor right after getting married! I absolutely loved being a source of encouragement for people on the same journey I was plowing through, not to mention the sweet Britney Spears headset I got to wear!
My spin class ended up crossing paths with a bootcamp that Dan and Sylvia were teaching at the time. Some of my class participants were longtime fans of the Darby’s and they told me I’d be a perfect fit for their plans to open FFIT. I interviewed with them, fell in love with their mission and the amazing people they were(are!), and the rest is history!
You’re a busy mama. Talk to us about how you balance home life and career and do it with a smile?
HA. My kiddos know that mom is always in a better mood if she’s been able to work out… It is counter-intuitive for a lot of moms, but taking care of myself the best way possible sets me straight to be the best version of myself in every other area of my life. It isn’t selfish; it’s actually the complete opposite. They get a better, happier, healthier mama, who maybe has a little more patience when I keep my priorities in order! I also am the queen of a to-do list, old-school-style with a pen and paper. Staying organized and ahead of the game keeps me sane while juggling all the different roles. With that being said, I screw up all of the time, so I’ve also gotten very good at asking for forgiveness! (They need to learn that too, right??)
What’s the most underrated exercise you wish more people would do?
Properly doing most bodyweight movements is more powerful than people think! For example, mastering a push-up with GOOD FORM is HARD… If you’ve taken my class, you’ve likely heard me rant about terrible push-up technique! Crushing the basics of fundamental movement also gives you a limitless toolbox of fitness options that can be done literally anywhere without always needing a gym setting.
What’s the most overrated exercise you wish people would stop doing?
Stop doing burpee challenges. Burpees are great, but like most things, in moderation!! Doing 1,000 burpees in 30 days is dumb. (Just my opinion haha)
What’s a major fitness goal you’re working toward right now?
I’ve recently gotten back into running, so I’d love to see a 5K PR in my future! I also have been working on handstand walking to make my kids think I’m cool. Maybe this summer, I’ll be able to HSW down the beach and blow their minds!
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about working with a trainer?
The worst thing that could happen is that you were miserable for a whopping 30 minutes or an hour. The best thing… well.. the possibilities are endless there! Having someone in your corner, a commitment in your schedule that you have to keep, a program designed for your individual goals and needs, and a personal motivator that ends up positively influencing your life outside of the gym … Chances are you’ll end up hooked, and far more likely to reach your goals than on your own!
What’s your proudest success story as a trainer?
I’ve had the privilege of working with clients of all ages, and it is so much fun watching each one of them find true confidence. Teaching teenage girls how to train and love themselves and their bodies is not only a blast with their youthful energy, but knowing they’ll one day be able to walk into a gym on their own and truly know what to do is incredibly rewarding.
On the other end, helping a grandmother have confidence in picking up grandchildren and being able to run circles around the kids is also pretty amazing. I’ve worked alongside clients who have had injuries, and seen them heal and grow, even during rehab stages. I deeply enjoy getting to work with people on an individual level and encouraging health and wellness to more than just their bodies but also their hearts and minds. I feel honored, humbled by their trust in me, and am so proud of all of them in many different ways!
What’s the best movie of all time?
I don’t know about the best… but I’m a sucker for “Dirty Dancing.” Whenever it came on TNT (you know, in the old days before streaming), I ALWAYS got sucked in. In general, I want to be laughing if I’m watching TV, so it has to be a comedy! Step Brothers, Trainwreck, and Just Go With It are some of my favorites!
You’re known around the gym for your great taste in music (and killer dance moves). What’s the one playlist or song you can’t help but jam out to whenever it comes on?
- N’SYNC “Bye, Bye, Bye”
- Literally anything by Britney Spears
- Lil John “Get Low”
Where are we most likely to find you on a Saturday afternoon?
In the summer, the kids and I are total beach bums, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband works most weekends, so we try to get out and find some adventure outdoors all year round! Some of our favorite things are finding new bike trails, the bamboo forest on Sullivan’s, or racing down the boardwalks at Shem Creek. We also love a good dance party in the living room to round out the day!
What do you look forward to most in 2022?
So much of 2021 for me was rebuilding from the wreckage of 2020… am I alone here??? I’m excited to move FORWARD… I’m hoping to take a more thankful spirit along with me in all areas of my life and be more present.
On the family front, my kids are at a glorious age of fun where they still like me, haven’t entered too far into pre-teen drama, but are old enough for bigger adventures! We are hoping to get out for a mountain trip as a family to get these beach bums some elevation and wonder at the vast beauty of God’s creation!
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