Member Spotlight – Karl Winter

Member Spotlight – Karl Winter

We’ve told you before that Top Level Fitness is a family! Karl has been a part of this family for a while and is always working extremely hard during his workouts – you can tell this by the amount of sweat on his shirt! Read on to get to know Karl a little better and understand his determination at TLF.

 

Get to Know Karl Winter!

Background
In no particular order: back in the day I was a hippie (we called ourselves freaks, remember), a ski bum, worked as a line cook to support the ski bum thing, worked in the spring, summer, fall on construction and mining crews to support the ski bum thing. Lived in Colorado for 7 years and during all the above I managed to finish college. As it turned out I was very good in the kitchen and trained under Swiss and German chefs during my stint in Colorado. However my world started getting “small” and at 28 I came back to Chicago to get serious (whatever that means).

Somehow I managed to work for someone I did not like at all and looked for a new direction. I found it at DePaul in the Applied Computer Science field. Twenty months later I was writing code and getting better and better. What is the reward for getting better and working hard? More work! And through all the above, two passions remained constant, my love of skiing and spending time in the mountains during the summer months.

Side note: Skiing has been with me for nearly 40 years, I can’t help but get pretty good at it. Back in the late 80’s I was racing on a recreational basis. I was in Jackson Hole for a fun week with a group and Arnold (the Terminator) shows up. He entered the local race course. When I saw that I could not resist, I HAD to race as well. Guess what, not only did I beat Arnold, I crushed the Terminator Not many people can say that!

Current
My wife Shari and I own Winter Ski & Sport, a group ski travel tour company. We have been in business for 33 years and WHQ is in Downers Grove. We move about 5000 people per year in groups of 20-400. It’s a fun business but in the end it is all business and very competitive.

Hobbies
Skiing, fly fishing, outside in the Rockies or elsewhere west. I spend the majority of my time gardening, mostly the ornamental variety. Seven rose bushes, marigolds, additional annuals basil, tomato plants and more went in the past two weekends!

TLF
I have been a part of TLF for nearly 3 years. I lost 44 lbs and took advantage of all the benefits. You can get winded quickly skiing at altitude (above 8,000). However I could recover quicker than at any point in my life and skied for longer periods of time. Hiking in the summer months became a breeze. All this before disaster struck. Material from a L3 herniated disc settled in the nerve canal and compressed the nerves. In fact some nerves were pushed out of the canal. The resulting symptoms included sciatic nerve pain (both legs), loss of use of gluuds, hamstring, quads, calves and all “twitchy” movement in the ankle/foot area. I had trouble walking two blocks and TLF was out of the question. Surgery was required.

None of the above kept me from the dinner table and the weight I fought so hard to lose returned. About 8 months passed before I returned to TLF. I am so glad to be back and while my calves still fail after continuous work, all the other muscle groups in my legs are fine, with the additional exception of the twitchy moves in the ankle/foot area. I am working towards 100% recovery!

Cheat Food
Nearly everything within arm’s reach has the potential to be a cheat food. If I had to pick, it would be something other than celery that goes crunch and is accompanied with a dip. However, in our home we consider bacon a vegetable…that’s OK right?

Karl Winter 2

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