By Kelly J. Riibe, ’03
Alumni Profile ’03
Busy Does Not Begin to Describe Angie Henderson
UNL alumna Angie Henderson has accumulated a variety of job titles since graduating in 2003. She is a personal trainer, strength coach, triathlon instructor and event director. “I need to learn to say no,” acknowledged the Emerson, Neb., native. By mornings and evenings, Henderson trains clients. During afternoons and weekends, she coaches triathletes and plans races ranging from 2Ks to marathons. She credits her time on campus with leading her down this very active path. During her undergraduate years, Henderson studied sports psychology with Wesley Sime at UNL. “Working with Dr. Sime there was one of the best things I could have ever done,” said the former Abel Hall resident. Sime introduced Henderson to the “Play It Smart” program, which resulted in her moving to Houston to work with kids in inner-city high schools. She was employed as an academic coach. “You’re basically the guidance counselor just for them,” explained Henderson, who helped varsity football players make it to graduation. Henderson also had a second job, as a personal trainer, during this period. Her psychology degree helped her relate well to others and gain clients. She began training full-time and joined her current employer, West U Fitness, seven years ago. Her workout sessions are 30 minutes and similar to a cross fitness style, but with more monitoring. “My job is to warm them up, work them out and send them on their way,” said the former Campus Rec lifeguard.
All sessions take place in a studio, which offers a more intimate environment than a corporate gym. Equipment is minimal, and consists of a few weights, three treadmills and an elliptical machine. Ropes, balls and bands are also in use. Henderson explained that her “primary talent focus is group training;” however, no client is the same. She works with people ranging from youth soccer players to 70-year-olds. She sees clients who have never worked out before, some who are pregnant and others who race professionally. “I may see 25 people between the hours of 5 a.m, and 10 a.m.,” said Henderson, who minored in nutritional studies. Henderson also became a certified triathlon coach eight years ago. Initially she instructed beginners, but has progressed to working with athletes looking to earn their pro card. Henderson coaches for events ranging from sprint courses to the Ironman. She provides expertise for all legs of a triathlon, which include biking, swimming and running. “Cycling is my passion,” admits Henderson who placed first, in her age group, at the Omaha Triathlon three years ago. Upon entering the fitness industry, Henderson got interested in organizing racing events. She owns her own company, Limitless Race Productions, and also finds work as a consultant. “Endurance events have really taken off in the last decade,” explained Henderson who plans 15-20 events
annually. She recently put on a run for approximately 10,000 people in The Woodlands, Texas. It involved a 2K, 5K, half-marathon and full marathon. The event was a success but also had some drama. “We were literally about 30 hours out from the start of our race and we had no medals,” said Henderson. The medals had been pre-ordered but were stuck in customs. Henderson explained that participants need their medals to showcase their achievement. The feedback can be harsh if someone crosses the finish line and does not receive their hardware. Thankfully, through a chain of networking Henderson got her plea to a Texas senator, and he helped get the medals released in time. “Without medals, your event can tank itself,” Henderson said. “That means next year, good luck filling out those registrations.” In another incident, Henderson remembered working on a triathlon with a strong pro field vying for a large cash prize. During the event a lead kayak went the wrong way and took some swimmers 100 meters offcourse. Henderson clarified that it is a competitor’s job to know the route. The winner did not follow the kayak, and won by approximately ten seconds. This caused some controversy, as the runner-up felt he would have won if not for being misled.
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