Moving Past Road Blocks and Making a Positive Impact
Growing up in a household that did not make health and wellness a priority, I was extremely uneducated on proper nutrition and the importance of physical activity. That combined with undesired genetics, I struggled with weight my entire childhood. As a result, I was constantly made fun of and had nicknames like "fatalie" and "dino the dinosaur". Going through grade school and middle school very overweight caused a lot of damage to my self-confidence and body image.
As I got older, this, combined with the additional family challenges, made it more and more difficult for me to cope with. I started playing more sports and trying to become more physically active in 8th grade, it helped but I continued to fluctuate with my weight until college. When I first went away to college I had some Tae Bo VHS tapes I brought with me and would do when the dorm lounge was unoccupied.
Yes, not only am I dating myself with VHS and the days when the only TV/VHS unit was in the lounge at school, I was rocking it with Billy Blanks, he was my boy. It was towards the end of my college career that I totally fell in love with the fitness industry.
I began to try to schedule my college classes around the group X classes I was taking. My favorite instructors began to encourage me to think about getting into the fitness industry. So, I did. I had been taking Pilates classes in Santa Fe as part of our required Acting curriculum, and continued training with a master instructor when I transferred to UArts.
My road as a fitness instructor started in January of 2004. I got certified in Pilates, Cardio Kickboxing, and Spinning early on, then Les Mills BodyPump, Zumba, Kettlebell, TRX, Personal Training, general Group Fitness, Hiit/Bootcamp, LM GRIT, etc. My most recent cert is Barre, and I am loving it.
I also completed my master’s degree in Wellness and Lifestyle Management in May 2017, with a specialty cert in Motivational Interviewing. I have also struggled with anxiety and depression on and off my whole life, as well as dealing with some horrific traumas, and I feel like without exercise/movement in my life, I probably wouldn’t even be here right now.
I am extremely passionate about helping people reach their health and wellness goals, and cope with the stressors of life through physical actiivty. I want to help people recognize that fitness and wellness are not about aesthetics, it’s about having a healthy mind and body. I am also a big believer of moving through whatever physical injuries or obstacles one might be facing, movement heals and if you can move or keep physical activity while not causing further injury then move what can be moved and how you are able to move. I have been in this industry since 2004, in various capacities (fitness instructor, personal trainer, group fitness sales with a major fitness corporation, group x director/wellness coordinator, wellness coach, etc.), and couldn’t see my life without it in some capacity.
It truly breaks my heart when people get discouraged that they don’t look a certain way, or can’t lose the amount of weight they want to in the timeframe they desire, or think they’re too old, or they have such-and-such injury so “can’t do anything”, etc.
I have worked hard to help people find any modifications and/or enhancements they need in order to do what they need to do to keep moving. I always say, as long as you’re moving safely for your body, AND you are challenged without feeling defeated, that is fantastic, and it is enough.
If that is different than the person next to you, or the person on tv/social media ads, who gives a shit, everyone is on a different path, everyone has different challenges, everyone has different circumstances that makes up who they are and where they are. There is no cookie cutter anything, everyone is different, therefore everyone’s needs, backgrounds, lifestyles, genetics and capabilities are different, and they should be treated as individuals.
I am far from perfect, but you better believe I try every day to be better, and work with what I have and where I am on that specific day. I want you to do the same--every day your 100% varies, based on any and all physical and emotional circumstances you are facing that day/week/month/year--treat yourself with compassion, but with vigor and motivation to be the best you can in that moment, and moving forward.