FITNESS
HEROES
by Darcy Costello, b the site

It all started with a simple question we asked readers: “Who gets you in the best shape, Baltimore?”

We immediately realized it wasn't as simple as we thought. Response — via Twitter, email, Facebook — was immediate and staggering. We received close to 600 nominations for your favorite workout leaders in just a matter of days, from big-name fitness centers and boutique gyms to yoga instructors and personal trainers.

And these people were much more than just someone telling you to get down and give them 20. Your responses were heartfelt and passionate — the nominees helped you lose 40 pounds, became personal friends who visited you in the hospital when you were ill. They inspire you, brighten your mood, make you feel like you can accomplish anything. And they make you sweat — a lot.

It was a difficult task narrowing down the men and women, your fitness heroes, we chose to profile. But it wasn't difficult to see a clear answer to our original question. Who gets you in the best shape, Baltimore? It's these devoted and passionate people.