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Meet Tori Karsten of Training with Tori in West Loop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tori Karsten.

Tori, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My passion for sports started at a really young age and brought me to play Division 1 Field Hockey as a Scholarship Athlete out of the University of Delaware. After playing and competing all four years, I graduated with a Marketing degree and immediately entered the corporate world working in Sales and Advertising for about 5 1/2 years. While never losing touch of coaching, I continued to help out over the winter and summer seasons and came to realize that my true passion still was working with female athletes (specifically field hockey girls). I want to help other athletes find confidence in themselves through fitness and sport. I took many group fitness classes and felt the team aspect come back to me as I experienced highly motivating instructors.

I passed my Group Fitness exam through NASM and without a job lined up I knew it was a time to let go of the comfortable and jump into something I had a true passion in doing. I ended up landing a small group fitness job within the two weeks notice I had given my company, and from there have passed my Personal Training certification,Performance Enhancement Specialist Certification. I teach for big and small clubs and gyms around Chicago, and own my Personal Training business which includes private training, sports performance strength and conditioning as well as Field Hockey skills.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Easy? No, but if it were easy then I wouldn’t love it so much. From trying to make ends meet to figuring out a schedule that I can handle and be comfortable with has been a challenge.Every trainer goes through it so I know I am not alone, and it’s part of the job. Endless hours of studying,  practicing and running around from gym to studio trying to figure out where I will be at my best and offer the top-notch coaching I know my members and clients deserve. There are only so many classes and time slots that everyone wants to workout during and that can limit when I can train my clients and fit in classes than high school athletes as well. But when you can learn to ask questions and grow and learn from those around you, the road will lead you down the path that suits you best. If it was all easy then the result wouldn’t feel so great.

We’d love to hear more about your company.
My company is called Training with Tori and I have four main pods of work within that business. I specialize in high school athletic conditioning and sports performance, personal training, corporate wellness, and small group training.

As a former Division I athlete, I know all too well how important it is to head into your first year in college prepared physically and mentally and that specifically is my goal for the athletes who chose to train with me. I will prepare them to be a fully functional athlete who will be ready to perform at preseason and beyond.

I am most proud of my recent launch of my Field Hockey Conditioning and Strength Clinics which gain popularity and allowed me to work with 5 athletes last  summer. After working a few times a week they all made their high school teams (one of which had never touched a field hockey stick and within 6 weeks I got her ready and she made varsity as a Sophomore). My business has since grown and I continued to work with the High School girls on strength and conditioning in the Winter, and helped teach the Middle School girls the sport of Field Hockey. Going into the summer and preseason, I have already held another Female Youth Conditioning & Strength Clinic and will begin a 6-week PreSeason program July 1st followed by a 5-day Skills camp in August where they can brush up on their technique prior to Try-Outs.

My former training and endless pursuit to challenge my skill set of coaching and training keep me on my toes. I run. swim, lift, practice yoga, cycle, and continue to compete all to make sure I keep learning.

What were you like growing up?
I was always an active athlete growing up. I worked to be better and was known as a type 1 personality and focused sports girl. When doubted I certainly had the “I will show you” mentality and I took my school work and sports very seriously. I was and still am a natural born leader and oddly enough had more pleasure in assisting a goal rather than scoring it. My game sense was my greatest asset and have always loved the analytical and thought-provoking side of team sports. While being serious in what you do, there is must always be time for fun and enjoyment, especially in youth sports.

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Image Credit:
Ken Etzel, Nathan Sports Performance

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