Our Aevitas Fitness family is full of the most amazing people! This Aevitas Athlete Spotlight segment is all about Meredith Streeter and John Bensetler, who work out at Aevitas Guilderland and are VitaFIT mainstays.
If you don’t know Meredith or John yet, this should give you a peek into who they are, and why we decided to spotlight them! If you do know them already, you know that they are really fun people to work out with. Even if you already know them, keep reading – you might learn something that you didn’t know before!
Question: Hi guys, tell us a little about yourselves (where did you grow up? where do you live now? family? careers? etc).
Meredith and John: Meredith grew up in Plattsburgh, NY and moved to the Capital District to study Environmental Engineering at RPI. After college, she started working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the Division of Water, where she takes great pride in doing her part to help preserve our natural resources. John grew up in Bolton, MA and from a young age was involved with the family software company. A wandering path has taken him from an uninspired start at RPI, IT work in Clifton Park, getting his degree at UAlbany in 2013, working as a developer in Schenectady, and finally getting called back to work for the family company as a telecommuter (the switch to working from home was not a very large one). We currently live in Albany.
Q: How did you two meet?
Meredith and John: We became acquainted in college, but never really hung out back then. We started dating a few years later after reconnecting in Boston through a mutual friend. In March, we will celebrate 21 years together.
Q: What was your experience level with athletics and exercise prior to joining Aevitas?
Meredith and John: For the last 8 years we have been heavily focused on distance running – some 10Ks and 15Ks, but mostly half marathons and marathons, with a bucket list goal of running the six World Marathon Majors (we’ve run Chicago and New York and are signed up for Berlin in 2021). Meredith also enjoys taking yoga and barre classes and before running took over, was a pretty consistent gym-goer. John grew up playing soccer but has been forced to accept that his knees and ankles will no longer allow him to think he can keep up with the kids in the open leagues. Maybe after Covid he can consider an old man league.
Q: How long have you been members at Aevitas?
Meredith and John: We joined Aevitas specifically for the VitaFit program in January 2020, as a way to add focused strength training to our fitness schedule and to help build a foundation for running.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Aevitas?
Meredith and John: We really like the varied workouts and the camaraderie of taking group classes. When it’s a really hard workout, and you don’t think you can bear to do another burpee, it helps to have the coaches and our fellow classmates there to keep you going. We likely wouldn’t push ourselves so hard ferda gains if we were on our own at home, and would always skip leg day.
Q: Favorite movement you do at the gym and why?
Meredith: I love upper body weight related stuff, since that is what I joined to work on. I like the torpedo curl to press and when we do presses with the plates.
John: I like the single arm torpedo row in plank, since it sneaks the core work that I hate into an upper body strength move that I like.
Q: Least favorite movement you do at the gym and why?
Meredith: I have really delicate hands, so I’d say anything using the pull-up bar.
John: Pushing plates across the floor, it feels like some sort of eternal torture that the greek gods would dole out.
Q: What are some of your interests and hobbies outside of the gym?
Meredith: Outside of the gym, I spend a lot of time running or reading, and we enjoy visiting breweries with our friends. We love to travel and see the band Phish. A lot of my hobbies work well together, so we’ve thrown half marathons into trips to Greece and Iceland, or combined Phish shows in Chicago or Colorado with amazing breweries.
John: I’ve recently rediscovered a love of watches and watchmaking. If I could go back and choose a career again it would definitely be as a watchmaker.
Q: How has VitaFIT helped you in your day-to-day life?
Meredith: I struggle with lower back pain and further strengthening my core and doing consistent strength work in general has really helped that.
John: Lightheartedly I would say that the soreness has taught me what muscles are used by simple tasks like climbing stairs or simply sitting, but it does actually help to remind me how lucky I am to have the mobility that I do.
Q: If you could have any famous band/musician perform at your next birthday, who would it be?
Meredith: I’ve seen the band Phish live over 150 times, so without a doubt that would be my choice.
John: James Brown, no question.
Q: Who would win a contest of [fill in the blank], Meredith or John?
In a contest of anything involving memory, Meredith would always win.
Meredith, John, thanks so much to both of you for taking the time to share a bit about yourselves with the rest of us. We are so happy to have you two in our community!