I began fitness journey in 2001, as a junior at Clemson University. Since then, I’ve become a certified group fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates, Spinning (Star Level 2), and Piloxing. A workout junkie and health nut, I consider working out the highlight of my day, and consider being a group fitness instructor the most rewarding job in the world.
A Journey to Wellness: My Story
Throughout the past decade (and a bit), I’ve become increasingly more involved in the area of fitness. It has become my passion, and the more I’ve learned, the more focused I’ve also become on maintaining good eating habits and a healthy lifestyle. I have been fortunate throughout the years to see and feel the transformations take place within my own body, and also to also share my love of fitness with others as a group fitness instructor.
But that wasn’t always the case. People often ask me what sports I played in school. At 31 years old, I am quite possibly in the best shape of my life. But until about 10 years ago, an athlete I certainly was not.
The truth is, I was a drama and glee kid who was more concerned with not messing up my hair in gym class than being in any way involved in sports. I never considered myself to be the athletic type, and I took dance classes three times a week through high school, it’s not like I was sitting on the couch doing nothing.
As a junior at Clemson University, my life as I knew it changed – at least as far as fitness is concerned. One fateful night, my roommate asked me to go running with her, and I surprised myself by running a whole two miles – yes, two miles! – and not dying. So when she asked me to join her again, I figured, why not? Before long, I started to actually kind of enjoy it. And by the next fall I was running five miles a day, almost every day (my favorite route: two miles from my apartment to campus, three miles around campus on Perimeter Road, then a two mile walk back to my apartment. A friend’s boyfriend referred to it as “the Ironman Trail.”)
Once my final semester of college rolled around, I finally worked up the courage to set foot in our campus fitness center (note: this was during the time that our fitness center was closed to undergo major renovations … thus they moved all the equipment into the old bookstore. It was kind of a frightful scene – though I hear Fike was beautiful when it opened back up the next year). I started experimenting with the weights, but truth be told, I had no clue what I was doing.
After May graduation, I went home to mom and dad, and kept up with running, but I felt like something was still missing. In September 2003, I joined my first gym. And it changed my life.
Since then, I’ve tried classes from Pilates, to yoga, to TurboKick, to Spinning, to my newest find, Piloxing. At the encouragement of several instructors throughout the years, I began teaching classes in 2007 (if you’re in the D.C. area, you can catch my Pilates, Cycling and Piloxing classes at XSport Fitness in Alexandria). I worked consistently with a personal trainer from 2008 through 2011, and the wealth of knowledge I gained during that time was only eclipsed by the changes that I saw in my body as I pushed myself harder and learned to work more efficiently.
Perhaps most importantly, during these years, I’ve truly found my passion. When I’m working out, or teaching a class, or generally even just talking about something fitness related, I feel at my best. I get a feeling of confidence that I don’t feel anywhere else (though those who take my classes may not believe it, I’m actually a very shy person).