Cover Athlete: Gail Reodica

Pulled herself up through the pain of miscarriage by finally prioritizing self-care

Written by Stephanie Kewin
Photography by Paul Buceta
Makeup by 
Monica Kalra

Hair by Laura Christine Clark

Fitness and nutrition coach Gail grew up playing—and excelling at—lots of sports, including baseball, basketball, track, and volleyball. However, she didn’t dive into lifting until (much) later in life—even though living in her family home would have made it pretty easy to do so. There was always something available to ensure exercise could be done at home. Gail recalls, “My dad was always on top of getting the latest and greatest gym equipment. I had a lot of fun on the hydraulic rower machine in the 80s. Then the new evolution of the ab roller in the 90s. Also growing up I remember having this giant home cable gym setup that at the time I never appreciated. It sat in our basement for a long time and was generally used as the ‘extra chairs’ during our family parties.” Despite the accessibility to equipment and exposure to exercise, Gail admits she had zero interest in working out. She says, “I actually hated the thought of any kind of exercise. Unless it was a type of sport or activity, I wasn’t having it. I could only be active in a way that was fun or competitive and exercise simply sounded tiring and boring.” 

Her perspective changed when she got a bit older though. “When I hit my late 20s it was clear that I needed to do something different. Barely active without the accessibility of organized sports, I sat at a desk 9-5 every day and was spending nights and weekends going clubbing and drinking excessively. It was through Facebook that I came across posted photos of me and my friends that did not look so favorable. So I first found fitness in a very superficial way, really just wanting to lose weight.” 

She started off with a women’s bootcamp and enjoyed the support and community element. Gail lost a bit of weight, but then plateaued. She then ventured into CrossFit and loved the community and intense workouts. But then, Gail suffered a devastating miscarriage at the age of 29 that threatened to derail her relationship with her husband. And her fitness. After some time and healing, Gail came across Jenny and STRONG Girls through witnessing her cousin’s transformation with the program. Gail could not believe the difference in her body composition, and she wanted the same for herself. So she reached out to Jenny, and the rest is history. Gail says, “It was a no brainer after chatting with her. Jenny quickly became my coach (and lifelong friend) after that. She introduced me to a nutrition plan that was tailored to my training and lifestyle at the time and incorporated my CrossFit and boot camp training along with some weight training days to really focus on building muscle. 

“The miscarriage was a huge turning point. Finding fitness helped me carve
out time for me to heal mentally and emotionally from the trauma…”

As my trust grew for Jenny, I went all in 100 percent, leaving the CrossFit gym and the boot camp and investing in her completely. She got me to focus on weight training—and even kept the cardio to a minimum, which I was grateful for—to really start gaining muscle. Within that year, Jenny not only got my weight down, but I started seeing muscles that I had never seen before! It was a dream come true thanks to her. Because of her too, I have since continued to maintain the lifestyle she first introduced me to.” Gail concludes, “The miscarriage was a huge turning point… [But] it didn’t just help me to change my body composition, it allowed me to carve out time for me to heal mentally and emotionally from the trauma of miscarriage, and it proved that taking care of myself will help me take better care of those around me. I cannot pour from an empty cup because if I’m empty nothing around me can be full. Fitness helps me feel full, strong, and capable of accomplishing anything.” 

Get STRONG(er) with Gail Reodica