It’s nearly 5,000 miles from Renton to London, but it’s not too difficult to get a taste of Olympic action close to home.
Local trainer Anya Tronson has worked with volleyball player Misty May-Treanor since 2005. May-Treanor is a two-time gold medalist and will be competing in her fourth Olympic games in London later this month. Tronson works for Competitive Athlete Training Zone, or CATZ, which has a location nearby at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
The two had a chance meeting. Tronson was working with the U.S. national men’s indoor volleyball team for CATZ at the American Sports Center in California, when May-Treanor happened to be there with her husband to see their niece play basketball. Tronson introduced herself and asked May-Treanor to go through a session and give some feedback.
“She came back later and tried the program,” Tronson said. “We really had just great communication . . . We have a lot of things in common, so that’s really allowed us to have a good working relationship.”
After going through the first hour-long session with Tronson, May-Treanor “almost puked and died,” according to an excerpt from her book “Misty.” From then on Tronson said everything was about working toward the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
May-Treanor was impressed with the variety of the workouts with Tronson, and the fact that Tronson was in there, working out with her.
“Anya worked out right beside me, which made our sessions much more intense because she never stopped pushing,” May-Treanor said in her book. “She’s a five-foot-four dynamo, whose nickname is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. She packs a big wallop, moving from on exercise to the next, mixing card, sprints, core, agility, and strength.”
It’s high praise coming from an athlete like May-Treanor, who holds the women’s record for most career tournament victories, at 110. May-Treanor and her partner Kerri Walsh are also the only beach volleyball team to ever repeat as Olympic gold medalists (2004, 2008).
Tronson was fortunate enough to be able to go to Beijing with May-Treanor for the Olympics in 2008, but she won’t be able to travel to London this year. She traveled to Los Angeles to train with May-Treanor for a week before the Olympics and will send along workouts. When May-Treanor competes, Tronson will be watching on TV, a nervous experience.
“Getting through the qualifying rounds if the most nerve-wracking because you just don’t want a mistake,” she said. “You don’t want an injury or anything.”
Aside from May-Treanor, Tronson has also worked with the U.S. men’s indoor volleyball team that won gold in Beijing in 2008, former Seattle Sounders player Tyrone Marshall (now playing for the Colorado Rapids), Chivas USA player Danny Califf, London Olympics 800 meter competitor Amy Atkinson, plus London Olypmics beach volleyball team April Ross and Jenn Kessy.
“I’m really really excited to see them compete in London,” Tronson said. “It’s fun to see your athletes fulfilling their dreams. The Olympics mean a little bit more for me when I can cheer them on.”
She also sometimes helps out with Sounders workouts when the team’s athletic development coach Dave Tenney asks.
CATZ offers small classes and individual workouts for all ages and all ability levels. Everyone from elite, Olympic athletes, to those just hoping to get into better shape gets instruction from the same trainers.
“Any athlete from pretty much any sport can be trained here,” Tronson said. “We do the whole spectrum from sprinters to endurance sports and everything in between. College athletes, to 6-year-olds just having fun.”
CATZ is part of MVP Physical Therapy, so it’s a good option for athletes coming off of injuries. They can start with MVP for physical therapy, then slowly transition to CATZ programs to get them ready to compete again.
“I can take them to that next step and the physical therapist is still here to watch them,” Tronson said. “The last PT session and the first fitness session with me will usually be the same thing.”
Go to catzsports.com for more information on what CATZ has to offer, prices, and contact information.
Women’s beach volleyball starts July 28 and runs through Aug. 8. For a full schedule and results, go to london2012.com/beach-volleyball/schedule-and-results/