Meet Our Trainers

  • Eric Su

    Like many personal trainers, Eric Su played a lot of sports as a young man. He had well-rounded interests, including football, basketball, and tennis. But after breaking an ankle, which required surgery to repair, he spent time in physical therapy to further his recovery. “Physical therapy opened my eyes to how I could help people,” said Su, a Personal Trainer for the Glen Ellyn Park District. “I decided to learn more about how I could make it a career.”

    During college Su worked several internships, then decided to change the direction of his career to better fit his lifestyle. He owned a fitness facility for ten years, and eventually switched gears to become a personal trainer. “I liked the idea of having the ability to solve a problem to help change a person’s life,” said Su. “Even after all this time, I like having the power to help people get in shape to be healthy and to feel better.”

    After working in the business for over 15 years, Su has seen what works and what doesn’t. “Everyone is different; knowing the type of person I’m working with and understanding what will work for them allows me to tailor a precise workout,” he added. “The challenge today, especially for people over 40, is finding time and motivation to stay consistent with a fitness regimen. For those under age 30, many are doing what’s trendy, versus what’s effective. Social media isn’t doing them any favors by suggesting “anything and everything” that may not be best for an individual person. My job is to educate and motivate my clients.”

    Su serves a wide spectrum of clientele, and is proud of his success stories. “I had a client in his fifties who wanted to get in shape to try out for a baseball team. He’d be competing against younger guys for a spot on the roster. He worked hard, and was successful in making the team,” said Su. “I also went on a journey with an older gentleman to help him rehab from an old shoulder injury. Over time, I was able to help him improve his strength and range of motion.” Su is also currently training a high school football player being scouted by several Ivy League college football programs.

    “I specialize in a more functional-based strength program, with cardiovascular conditioning. That means I have clients use their bodies as machines instead of using actual machines. I create and design workouts using tools like straps, free weights, and stability balls,” explained Su.

    Su’s past experience with physical therapy gives him perspective when he’s working with a client. “People need to understand and communicate their physical limitations and abilities, and realize their expectations may not match their current fitness level,” he added. “It’s imperative to understand what’s appropriate to avoid injuries from overtraining. I teach special movements and techniques to help clients avoid pain and re-injury of an old trauma.”

    Su offers the following advice to anyone wanting to get healthy and fit: “Go into it with a positive and specific mindset,” he said. “This is a lifestyle, not a “quick fix”. There’s a process, and the mindset will give you long-term results, not just instant gratification.”

  • Patti Lawler

    As a hairdresser, Patti Lawler enjoyed helping her clients discover a new hairstyle, color, or cut that increased their self-confidence and made them happy. Now, as a personal trainer with the Glen Ellen Park District, Patti continues to help people by training them to improve their physical condition, their eating habits, and their motivation levels in their quest to develop and maintain a healthy body and a positive self-image.

    “After doing hair for 13 years, I had my first child and started providing hair services out of my home,” said Lawler. “I joined a workout facility and started working out. I loved it, so I got certified to teach group fitness classes. I found that I really enjoyed helping people in the wellness center, by showing them how to use the machines and discussing their fitness plans.”

    Lawler has been a personal trainer for nine years, the last four with the Glen Ellyn Park District. “I like helping my clients with their journey toward a healthier lifestyle; some are in a rut and just need something new, while others want an intense, challenging workout experience,” she said. “I tend to specialize in strengthening, toning, and increasing flexibility for clients, but I also offer boot camp-style workouts. I currently teach seven group fitness classes for Glen Ellyn Park District.”

    The words “boot camp” can be intimidating, but Lawler insists that it doesn’t have to be. “I take my clients’ goals and personalities into consideration when I develop a workout plan for them,” she added. “I modify the workout for each client based on what they’re like and what they’re capable of. I work with clients of all ages, with all levels of capability.”

    By helping increase each client’s motivation level, Lawler helps them see that they can do things they didn’t believe they ever could. “I like to be with them during their “aha” moments, when their self-confidence goes through the roof.”

    Lawler’s advice to those who are considering working with a personal trainer is to fully commit to it, and to treat it like an important appointment. “I encourage clients to write their session in their calendar, to make it part of their weekly game plan,” she explained. “Consistency is key, along with a well-balanced program that includes cardiovascular training, weight and resistance training, and flexibility training. Stretching is a very important part of any workout.”

    Current clients say that Lawler makes workouts fun, and that she’s a good listener. “I start with an assessment for each client, including their health history, so I’m aware of any previous injuries or other physical limitations,” said Lawler. “I work with the past, present and future; knowing their past helps me understand where they’re at today, and informs my plan to help them get where they want to go.”

  • Stacey Lim

    An energetic and caring mother of two, Stacey Lim knows the true meaning of “personal training.”  Stacey was a dog groomer for 15 years before making a commitment to fitness and an eventual career change to personal training.

    “Dog grooming is very labor intensive, and I was starting to feel it every day,” said Lim. “And after having two children, I thought exercising might help me have energy to keep up with them more easily. I became passionate about fitness and decided to make it a career. I’m also proud that I’ve introduced healthy living into our household and that I’m being a good role model for my kids.”

    Lim spent a lot of time getting certified for personal training and has additional certifications for specialized workouts. “I’m certified in “Silver Sneakers,” a program that focuses on the needs of people in (or close to) the Baby Boomer age group,” explained Lim. “Through the program, my clients’ insurance provides free membership to Ackerman SFC and classes are included. I provide additional training, including chair exercises and more progressive training that gets them out of the chair. Many clients in this older age group have never worked out, ever. It’s a challenge, but they work hard and reap the healthy rewards.”

    Lim is also certified in TRX Yoga, which utilizes straps attached to a pulley system that’s bolted to a wall. “The straps help beginners learn the asanas, or the positions that we hold for a period of time while using special breathing techniques,” she explained. “One of my clients, a lady in her forties, couldn’t reach the floor when she started with me. Her knees wouldn’t let her hold poses for very long. She had back and neck issues and was taking Advil every day. After TRX Yoga, she feels much better, and doesn’t have pain anymore. She now takes Advil maybe once or twice a month.”

    It hasn’t taken Lim long to discover the keys to personal training success. “My goal is to make workouts fun. If my clients don’t enjoy coming to the gym, they won’t stay with it. I like to laugh and have fun with them,” she said. “Sometimes I’ll bring a boombox to play their favorite music.”

    Lim trains clients of all ages and enjoys putting together personalized workout plans for each  person based on their physical limitations, their goals, and their attitude. “I focus mostly on workouts that rely on using the client’s own body weight for resistance,” she explained. “While some senior clients will use machines for back support, I try to create a plan that includes planks, squats, and pushups, which don’t require free weights or machines. It’s important to change up each workout to avoid plateaus, so the client’s muscle memory allows them to continue getting stronger and losing weight.”

    Lim is looking forward to increasing her client base so she can help more people get fit and have fun while doing it. “I also teach clients things they can do on their own at home and at the gym, so they do it more often,” she added. “The best part about my job is building relationships with people so they make fitness a part of their life.”

  • Stan Emmert

    For the past 12 years, Stan has been training clients in New York and Chicago. He holds ACE and NASM certifications for Personal Training and Performance Enhancement. Stan believes in body transformation through diet and exercise. Specialties: Weight loss, core training, nutrition, and strength and speed training.

  • Constance Davidson

    While Constance was at Wheaton College for her undergrad, she competed in Track & Field while earning a B.S. in Applied Health Science. After graduating, she received her Personal Training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and began teaching kids fitness classes and training adults.

    As an athlete, she understands the craziness that life can bring, but also the importance of maintaining a balance between work, family, friends, traveling, health, wellness, and everything in between. Constance’s areas of interest include working with clients who want to push themselves to the next level or learn more about functional fitness in general. Constance seeks to understand where her client’s fitness level is and building confidence and consistency by sharing her knowledge, experience, and passion with others.

    In addition to her NASM certification, Constance has a TRX Functional Training certification and is a Diet and Lifestyle Intervention specialist. In her spare time, she enjoys training for triathlons, rock climbing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and dog.