The story behind Feel Good Fitness DC

You can learn more about my credentials here, but credentials are not the whole story for anyone. Following is some insight to what motivates me to do this work.

Big career change – buh-bye suits!

I’ve always loved being active, but I didn’t I didn’t always do it professionally. I was a desk-bound communications professional for more than (gasp) 20 years, and I enjoyed exercising in my free time. I started taking exercise physiology classes for “fun.” (Go ahead and laugh – you won’t be the first!)

Susan black and white 


Like so many other people, I was confused by all the hyped-up and contradictory information I read in the general media. Unlike other people, though, I went to school to find answers. I was really interested in the science behind many of the popular questions, such as: What’s the perfect exercise? How much time should I spend on cardio versus weight lifting? How many days a week? How much rest is too much or too little? Should I eat before exercising? What should I eat? Is the order of exercises important?

I had no idea that I would be introduced to an endless world of information, leading me and my future clients towards better, more effective ways to attain physical health than I had ever dreamed.

Functional training changed everything

I was fortunate at the time to live near one of the world’s authorities on functional fitness, Juan Carlos Santana, and I had the great privilege of training with his team for an entire summer at the Institute of Human Performance (IHP). Even though I have earned several certifications from highly respected organizations, I rely most on —and my clients benefit most from— the functional training concepts I learned at IHP.

This is me as a (much younger) triathlete, who was primarily motivated by the food at the end of the race.

This is me as a (much younger) triathlete, who was primarily motivated by the food at the end of the race.

Learning to work my whole body in 3-dimensional space made a huge difference in my functional ability, as compared with my earlier approach of trying to lift more and more weight in a machine while wondering why my back hurt. After all, wasn’t I fit? (I was able to push a lot of steel for a small woman!)

Back then, this newfound functional strength meant I could perform well at something I had dreamt of for years but had not yet attempted—triathlons.

Ten years later, my deepened knowledge of functional fitness would help me navigate the realities of a middle-aged body. That’s when my work as a fitness professional really started taking shape.

Age, injury and wisdom

After developing a hip labrum injury (likely from years of jogging), being diagnosed with osteoarthritis, unsuccessful surgery and lengthy recovery periods, I realized the approach to fitness that worked so well in my 20s and 30s had to change. I had to adapt to new ways of being fit in an older, changing body.

Seeing my new hip for the first time.

At that time, still a couple years shy of my 50th birthday, I didn’t know there was another physical challenge ahead: my total hip replacement in 2013.

Suffice it to say, I’ve come to know and understand my body, and bodies in general, in new and different ways – ways that are virtually impossible until you’ve lived long enough to understand them. Learning and understanding how bodies work is a lifelong quest, and it turns out to be my true calling.

I am constantly learning and sharing a variety of methods for achieving health that incorporates both body and mind. Ideally they work in harmony, but for most of us that takes time and attention – something I did not budget for in my younger years of rigorous workouts and a high-stress career. Today, focusing on my mind and body is the only way I can be my healthiest and do my best work for clients.

Credentials + maturity + creativity = a plan just for YOU!

Susan Silver Personal TrainerAfter more than 20 years in corporate, government, and non-profit work, I am all-too-familiar with demands of life in the fast lane. Few people have much time to spare, and everyone who invests time and money expects great results – the kind of results that come from a knowledgeable professional who knows how to work efficiently and shows you practical ways of fitting more physical activity into your life.

I also appreciate working with my clients’ particular needs, collaborating with the other healthcare professionals they rely on, and introducing them to healing practitioners I’ve come to know and trust. Here’s what clients say about working with me.

My service is not one-size-fits-all; I partner with each client to create a regimen that will truly meet her or his needs. If you haven’t already, check out What’s Different Here.

Get in touch with me if you want a sensible plan that works for your body, your goals, and your schedule, so that you can start feeling your best.

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