Bachelor of Science in physical education, 1992 | Personal trainer, Cincinnati
Strong Start | Blanton was a member of the women’s basketball team from 1987-1991 after being heavily recruited coming out of high school in Lexington, Ky. She chose Xavier so her parents could watch her play.
Record Breaker | As a starting guard, Blanton set—and still maintains—the second-highest record for three-point accuracy in a career, just four-tenths of a percentage point behind leader Jennifer Parr. She is also a member of Xavier’s 1,000-point club.
Off the Court | After graduation, Blanton taught at private schools in Cincinnati for a few years. “I’ve always been active and have always had an interest in health and physical activity, and I thought I would enjoy teaching kids. It kind of ended up leading me into what I do now.”
Change of Pace | Eventually, Blanton found her calling as a personal trainer and became certified through the International Sports Science Association. “I started with two or three people and supplemented my income by working at GNC. Most of my clients now are elderly. They really enjoy working out.”
Internal Medicine | In July 2000, Blanton began taking a prescription medication that caused her to break out in a rash, which the doctors treated, unaware it was an early indicator of a much more serious problem. By February 2001, Blanton started exhibiting nausea and lethargy before contracting jaundice. She was sleeping 30 hours at a time and had stopped eating.
Emergency Situation | When tests for Hepatitis A came back negative, doctors ordered a liver biopsy, which revealed that her liver was 90 percent dead. “The medication attacks the liver and you don’t realize it. The liver can’t flush it fast enough over time. It sends your liver over the edge and goes into acute failure and you literally have four weeks to live.” They moved her to the top of the liver transplant list, and almost a month after her first symptom, she received the new organ.
Speedy Recovery | Blanton bounced back quickly, which she attributes to her good physical condition. “They said it would take me probably three months to return to work and I returned in a month and a half. I was hiking four-and-a-half miles four weeks later. I was lifting weights five weeks later.”
Good Example | “My clients always ask my opinion about anything medical. I always say you should go to your doctor, but I’m usually pretty accurate. They see from example how being in good physical shape I’ve been able to bounce back and continue my life. As far as the way I train myself, I’m just as strong and lifting heavier today than before, which is a surprise because that was something the doctors didn’t think I could do.”