Aniela and Jerzy Gregorek came to the United States from Poland in 1986 as political refugees during the Solidarity Movement. As a professional athlete, Aniela has won five World Weightlifting Championships and established six world records. Jerzy has won four World Weightlifting Championships and established one world record. They have also been professional coaches and personal trainers since coming to this country. In 2000, they founded the UCLA weightlifting team and became its head coaches.
Over the years, they have transformed hundreds of people, from housewives and physicians to athletes and celebrities, who came to them with every conceivable body shape and desire. Some wanted to improve their athletic performance; others had never trained before and wanted to lose weight and be attractive; still others just wanted to be able to get down on the floor and play with their grandchildren. But regardless of the words they used to explain why they wanted coaching, there was a clear pattern in their motivations: Everyone wanted to be youthful. Aniela and Jerzy have devoted the last three decades of their lives to finding solutions to this universal goal. In the course of this search, they invented The Happy Body program.
They have both earned MFA degrees in Creative Writing from Norwich University, in Vermont. In their free time, Aniela and Jerzy write poetry and translate poetry both from Polish to English and from English to Polish. Their poetry and translations have appeared in major poetry magazines. Their translation of Josef Baran's In a Flash was a finalist for the PEN USA West Literary Award in 2001. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Jerzy the Literature Fellowship in 2003 to support the translation of selected poems by Maurycy Szymel.
In 2004, after twenty-five years of marriage, Aniela and Jerzy were blessed with the arrival of their precious daughter, Natalie.