By Kim Smith
Strong, determined, loving, hard-working, giving, faithful, and kind are the many words that best describe, Gena Lee Wright. She is a wife, mother, and loyal friend. A native of Salemburg, NC, Gena is truly an amazing woman. Her spiritual belief in God became stronger and more evident when she was told the lump they discovered back in 2008, was in fact cancer. A former co-worker reached out to Gena, and shared her story of battling cancer and depression, as well as the tools she used to get through it. She recommended running because she too, had issues with her body rejecting the medicines for treatment. She said running would help Gena gain back control of her life. That’s what exactly what happened. The very next day, Gena began to run on a treadmill. She soon started running outdoors with a local run group. Gena continues to enjoy running today, while being a representative and face for Komen Race for the Cure foundation. She leads group runs and encourages other women to fight cancer through running. Running, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and taking control of her life, Gena was able to beat the disease and completely get off the medications.
Gena and fitness became an inseparable, unstoppable dynamic duo. She moved forward, pouring her light into every soul she meets. Her fondness for fitness began on the pavement and grew when she began running half and full marathons. Running was the beginning of Gena’s beautiful love affair with fitness. Soon after, she participated in boot camp workouts, swimming, weightlifting and biking. Incorporating all of these things into her regular routine afforded Gena the opportunity to become a triathlete! Recently, Gena took things a step further and became a certified personal trainer through the American Council for Exercise (ACE) to help others get healthy and fit. She has encouraged many women who were deathly afraid of the water to learn how to swim. She set a goal to have 50 women learn to swim in 2017 and she is targeted to have more than that stroking by the end of the year! Her energy, love and light is so strong that everyone she encounters is impacted in a positive way. Gena’s latest undertaking is small group fitness classes. Groups of four have enlisted Gena to personal train them one, sometimes two days a week where she incorporates running and weight lifting for toning and endurance. She structures the classes based on simple exercises and routines that allow those who come to be able to do them on their own. Homework is given and each week, Gena builds on what was already to build strength and muscle tone. Once a week Gena also leads a boot camp workout. These full body workout classes are open to women and men to build strength and fitness through a variety of intense group intervals over the course of fifty minutes to an hour.
When you ask Gena what she wants to do next, she has a bright sparkle in her eyes and you can see the wheels churning in her expression. She may hesitate to answer but soon after, you’ll receive a Facebook invitation to a swim party, group bike rides, group run or brick training of some sort. Gena has a passion for exercise, health, and getting others to understand that they can do ANYTHING they set their minds to. She holds everyone accountable for what they need to do and trains on an honor system. Not wanting to disappoint her, everyone who works out with her looks at it as if they are partially working out for her, so Gena commands everyone’s utmost respect. She has gone above and beyond inviting a nutritionist to share healthy eating habits. Most recently, Gena has assigned members of her small group workouts to teams to compete on five different groups in their first Triathlon! She knows everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and refuses to let anyone give up on themselves. “Trust your training” is one of the things Gena preaches to all. She takes pictures after every workout and says in a stern voice when she is done, “This will be on the INTERNET!” Gena Lee Wright is truly every woman!