My experience in group, or instructor led fitness goes as far back as 2003 when I started to become interested in Pilates and Yoga. One day, my dad and I were shopping at Barnes and Nobel and I saw a Denise Austin Pilates DVD called “Pilates for Every Body”. I recognized her because I used to do her workouts in the morning on cable t.v. when I was home for summer. She had 7am and 7:30 am workouts and I would usually do both. I loved her instruction! So thankfully that day, my dad bought me the DVD.
As I did her workouts, I began to learn more about the mind-body connection and the importance of feeling good about yourself. I played softball until I was 16 years old, so most of my life I stayed relatively active, but all her ideas and exercises were new to my young mind. She sparked my curiosity to not only learn more about Pilates and yoga, but to also continue to stay active in order to remain healthy and strong.
About a year after this, I stopped playing softball and I began to gain weight. Partially because I was significantly less active and still eating like a teenager, and partially because I didn’t make the team that year. I was down emotionally and consuming more calories than I was burning.
Once I realized I gained weight, my mom didn’t hesitate to help me find a solution. She took me to Jenny Craig to get me signed up with a meal plan, coach and weekly check- ins for support. This gift from my mom gave me the foundation I needed to understand the importance of proper nutrition and staying active for overall health and wellness.
At this time, we joined LA Fitness and that’s when I began taking in-person group classes. I was interested in water aerobics because I loved swimming so, I started attending aqua classes regularly, as well as yoga. Everything I was learning in the classes about fitness and myself, were only expanding on my experience doing Denise Austin videos. I loved the community, the challenge for my mind-body and I quickly (with that sweet teenage metabolism) lost 50 lbs. I kept most of it off throughout college, until I started an entirely new fitness journey after my 3 pregnancies. This experience in my teenage years prepared me for my post natal weight loss and fitness journey. So, I truly benefited long term from everything I learned in my teenage years.
The day I realized being a fitness instructor was something I’d eventually want to do was the day my Aqua instructor invited me to a training. At the time, I was only 16 and you had to be 18 to teach. She complimented my skill and passion and told me to call her in two years. I never did. I went off to college, but it was always an encounter that stood out in my mind. I just figured one day I’d do it. She saw something in me at the time that I didn’t see within myself. I was just too scared to pursue it.
But now, here I am. Thirty years old and 3 kids later, instructing classes at a more challenging level I could have even imagined. I’m thankful to everyone in my support system for the continued encouragement that has allowed me to just dive into this process. I look forward to helping others get results and especially to everything I will learn along the way!