Tonight I ventured over to the Middleton Fire Station and spent 45-minutes sweating. Punching the air, kicking the air, jumping in the air. Basically doing anything that deprived my lungs of air. I did it with some very fit women around my own age, one brave guy . . . and a 69 year-old woman. Who wasn’t even really breathing hard while my eyes were about the size of the dinner plate of my fantasies, my lungs begged for mercy and my legs threatened to disjoin from my body and walk home on their own. Judi Haag is a rockstar. And I don’t bestow that title on many. Tonight she joined me and about a dozen other souls for a Monday night bonus class at Woodall Training (which is usually the source of my TRX pain/joy). One daughter, Kari Woodall, owns a successful and intense TRX training facility here in Middleton. Another daughter, Trina Gray, is the owner of Bay Athletic Club in Alpena, Michigan. Two incredible daughters who are among the superfit and who have made it their life’s work to inspire and motivate others to do the same. Clearly, Judi set the standard and set the example. I met Judi two weekends ago at her daughter’s client appreciation party. Luckily, I’m a client and got invited and went and had a fantastic time (there was dancing involved). I knew she was “Mom” before I was introduced. Judi has eyes that genuinely sparkle. Her smile is sincere. She looks right at you when she talks to you, interested and friendly. Her conversation is animated and real. She’s not a small-talker. She’s one of those people you just want to be around because she makes you feel like you are funny and interesting and . . . that you matter. You’re worth her time. Isn’t that how moms are supposed to make their kids feel? But Judi not only does that with her kids, she does that with everyone. Did I mention that she is a rockstar? I’m not joking. Physically, she is a powerhouse. You wouldn’t necessarily know it because her physique, while solid and toned, is also soft and elegant. But don’t be fooled: Judi will kick your a$! in a plank contest any day and twice on Sunday. In class tonight, she punched and kicked and sweated it out like it was a warmup. Judi has also toughed out the rigorous challenge of breast cancer, which requires a mental fortitude I just can’t fathom. Looking at her healthy glow, strong body and sensational smile, you’d never know that she’s looked cancer straight in the eye and said: “Bring it.” We all need role models, no matter how old we are. As women, we are daughters and we connect with mothers who are living the way we hope we will be when we are 50, 60, 70 and beyond. When I see Judi stepping up and taking it all on - Turbo Kick class to cancer - with grace and strength and a smile . . . I only hope I can be a fraction of that kind of role model for my own daughter. Rock on, Judi.

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