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Unread November 29th, 2009, 06:35 AM
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gemologygal gemologygal is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

Anna's work has influenced many of the positive choices I've made in my life.

I will never forget the first time I had heard of The FIRM. I was a 14-year old teenager in high school and I recall seeing the stunning magazine advertisments and I remember being so impressed. I had been wanting to start a new fitness program and The FIRM seemed like it would be a perfect choice. Once my mom was on board to try it with me, we agreed to order Volumes 3 and 6 (back when they were $50 for vhs!), plus the equipment. We were hooked and soon enough, became FIRM believers. As a teenager using The FIRM, the most important lesson it taught me was to build a strong self-esteem. Sadly, many teenagers go through their teen years with a loss of self-confidence. I was fortunate to have learned the opposite, thanks to the mind-body connection Anna's workouts fueled. What a privilege too to have been able to read and absorb the FIRM for Life book she and Cynthia wrote!

I added more tapes to my collection and loved the thrill of the purchase. When it came time to head to college, all of my FIRM equipment and tapes made the move with me into all of my dorm rooms. My confidence remained steady and my body stayed strong. Motivated and inspired by the philosophy behind The FIRM, I pursued and earned my bachelor's degree in Sport Science, with a concentration in Exercise Physiology.

Years later, when Anna shared the FitPrime vision with her devoted fans, she indicated that an "Angel" program would be in place to initially fund the creation of new workouts. Without a doubt I wasted no time sending off my $100 because I knew that whatever fitness idea Anna had, it was going to be golden and life-changing. I added more of her workouts to my collection and my body continued to respond in the most-positve ways. I'll never forget too the chance I had to talk to Anna over the phone one day when I called with a workout question. I told her that it felt like I was talking to a celebrity and I told her how much I respected and cherised the work she did for her fans.

No matter what, The FIRMs and FitPrime (basically, only Anna's creations) were constants in my life. I am 32 years old now, and it's been and 18 year relationship for me and Anna's work. When I heard about Anna's passing, I was so incredibly sad. She was a huge role model to me and her views shaped my life during the tender years when a person learns who they are and what they want to be.

God bless Anna and her family, and bless all of her fans and friends. Her work is priceless.

-Jen D'Arezzo
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Unread November 29th, 2009, 09:23 AM
LizO66 LizO66 is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

I was deeply saddened to learn of Ms. Benson's death. Like many others, the Firm has changed my life. I started as a young woman - an out of shape, a newly married step-mom living in a new country. I was rather depressed. A well-to-do friend lent me her work out tape, and I was hooked. It changed my life forever. I certainly saved up my pennies to buy those $50 video tapes before they were even made! I am still a deeply devoted fan of the 'original' Firms, Fitprimes, and basically anything Anna put her stamp of approval on! Though I never met Anna, she touched my life in a very personal way. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. Anna was a remarkable lady and will truly be missed...

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Unread November 29th, 2009, 09:43 AM
ncl ncl is offline
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I am sorry for your loss. I appreciate your continuing on with your mothers work and posting her obituary here. Your mother made a signficant contribution to the world. Because of her, I began working out regularly at her Columbia studio beginning in 1987 and have been an avid, regular exerciser since. I have seen many posts on other boards of many women saying the same. Though I never met your mother in person, she has influenced my life tremendously and I am saddened at the news of her death. You and your family are in my prayers.

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Unread November 29th, 2009, 01:29 PM
drthaisa drthaisa is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

I can only echo what everyone else has said about the influence of Anna Benson on my life. I had worked out off and on for years, but it wasn't until the Firm, back in 1998, that I found an fitness plan that I truly liked and to which I could stick. I can't claim to be completely faithful in my working out, but when I use the Firm consistently, I look and feel my best. I have raved about the Firm to many others.

What I admire about what Anna built is that she didn't create something that was a fad or only about appearance. The Firm workouts and food plans are based on plain good science and good sense. The Firm itself is about a lifestyle and a philosophy - about believing that you are worth the effort, about having a balanced life, and understanding the true priorities in life. Even though the Firm is in different hands now, the legacy that she leaves has and will live on.

My thoughts and prayers are with her family and everyone whose lives she touched. Thank you for sharing her with us.
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Unread December 3rd, 2009, 05:14 AM
mommy22305 mommy22305 is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

Dear Byrd,

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting this obituary and am just regretful I only heard of her passing today. I never met Anna, but like the many others who have posted, I do feel that she changed my life. I first heard of THE FIRM as a chubby teenager growing up in Goose Creek, SC. I had seen the fabulous TV ads for the Vol. 1 and knew that THE FIRM had a studio in downtown Charleston, 20 miles away. One of the very first things I did upon entering the College of Charleston was to sign up at THE FIRM studio first located on King Street, following it when it moved to Beaufort Street. I loved everything about it and was just so proud to be a member. When after two years of being a member, an instructor asked me if I would like to be one also, well, I was just in 7th heaven! She was always an elusive presence to me, but whenever she was in the studio, everything was abuzz!

I am 40 years old now and through many international moves across the Pacific and the Atlantic, I had somehow lost track of my old VHS tapes of THE FIRM workouts. It was only when I googled Annal Benson this past summer did I find Fitness Favorites. I felt like I had come home and quickly ordered several volumes at once, with plans to purchase more!

Anna is no longer with us, but I am very happy that her work will carry on. Thank you, Byrd, for shouldering the responsibility. My thoughts and best wishes are with you and your family.
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Unread December 3rd, 2009, 02:55 PM
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Tarheels Tarheels is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

Dear Byrd and the Benson family,

Anna and the Firm workouts have been a part of my life for over 15 years. I was fortunate enough to meet Anna, make friends through her forum and through her fitness vacations, and memories that I will cherish always. Anna had a creative spirit like no other. She has inspired me for over half my life, and I know she will continue to inspire me in all my fitness endeavors. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
~*~ Jenn ~*~

"Fitness is a journey, not a destination."
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Unread December 5th, 2009, 11:40 AM
peggylive peggylive is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

My entire body changed in the mid 1990's when I discovered The Firm and low carb dieting. For years I was running and eating a low calorie/high carb/low fat diet and not getting anywhere. On this forum, I had the chance to connect with Anna personally and discuss many health and fitness topics. I will miss her so much. There's not a workout DVD, health club workout, or fitness TV show out there today which wasn't influenced by her either directly or indirectly. Patty
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