My Story & Mission
Although it's unpopular opinion, I think balance is often neglected in the health & fitness field. Balance is the most important aspect of exercise to prevent injury, increase strength, endurance, cardiovascular health, stability, and proportional/practical muscle growth. To focus solely on any one is sure to eventually have drawbacks. Health and injury prevention is the first priority in all situations; you require a balanced approach to achieve this.
I have personal experiences with this. In fact, my experience is what pushed me to become a personal trainer so that I can share this knowledge and train people right. I was over-trained so hard with such little rest that my body broke down more muscle than could be repaired, which threatened the failure of my kidneys. The majority of the field's activists are so narrowly focused and flawed in their judgements that injuries are unfortunately common, bodies are built for vanity (not practicality), and clients ultimately become turned off from exercise and lose all progress they've made.
After my experience, I decided to inform myself of the human body's many complexities. I read books, attended workshops, went to college for Exercise Science, and became a Certified Personal Trainer. How could my miserable situation have been avoided? Balance is key: eating more protein, taking rest days, and not working out so hard for so long. My wretched situation turned out to be a learning experience which sparked my internal fire to become a personal trainer and share this wisdom with others.
I believe overall health and injury prevention is the first priority. There are measures to be taken to build the foundation which limits risk for injury (although virtually all personal trainers neglect this stage, I do not). Next: goals, goals, goals. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? You need to have a clear vision in mind and I will get you where you want to be.
Practicality is another key focus. I believe body-building for vanity is impractical as it builds muscles that aren't utilized to the extent that it would be beneficial. Isolation of muscles doesn't provide a proportional, functional, well integrated and coordinated body. Sometimes it even contributes to injuries as a small part of the muscle is absurdly strong and the rest is not (for that visual "peak" effect), or the muscle becomes too strong for the good of the surrounding connective tissue. I always prioritize practicality, integrating muscle groups, enhancing coordination, improving performance, working the full range of motion of a muscle, and strengthening the connective tissue as well as the muscles.
I take a well-rounded approach to fitness, using a little bit of everything, while honing in on your goals and what's best for your health & injury-prevention. I think education is crucial, so I provide resources to let you learn more about nutrition, fitness, and the industry in general. We'll have regular discussion about these topics as I want you to learn when you're with me, balancing the mental aspects with the physical benefits.
Finally, fitness is a life-long pursuit and your health is an investment. It's not a one-and-done type of deal. Your motivation is crucial to succeed. What will you do when I'm not training you anymore? Most personal trainers want you to rely on them so they have a steady influx of cash. I'm more concerned about the impact I make on you and your wellbeing. Through our discussions, the resources I provide, and my "homework" assignments, I send you on a very straightforward path to success. I'll motivate you, encourage you, and we'll build long-term, sustainable success as you improve, learn, and grow. The more time you spend with me, the more motivated and competent you'll become, until you don't need me anymore. I want you to use me as the stepping stone that will get you the body you deserve -- and allow you to sustain that success for your entire life!
2012-2016 --- 5ks and Cross Country --- (practical experience)
May 9th, 2015 --- Finished Newburgh Half-Marathon --- (practical experience)
June 5th, 2015 --- Ran My First Spartan Race --- (practical experience)
July 16th, 2016 --- *Completed My Spartan Trifecta* --- (practical experience)
October 18th, 2015 --- *Finished Hambletonian Marathon* --- (practical experience)
November 18th, 2016 --- *Graduated Marine Corps Bootcamp* --- (practical & learning experience)
January 2017 --- Hawaii Nutrition & Wellness Seminar --- (learning experience)
April 28th, 2018 --- Spartan Hurricane Heat 132 --- (practical experience)
2017-Present --- *Exercise Science Curriculum SUNY Orange* --- (learning experience)
2018 --- Lifeguard & Swim Instructor --- (practical & learning experience)
2018-Present --- *Crunch Fitness Personal Trainer & Group Instructor* --- (practical experience)
December 5th, 2018 --- My College Capstone Presentation (Topic: Exercise Motivation) --- (learning experience)
January 12th, 2019 --- Self-Massage Workshop --- (practical & learning experience)
Certified Personal Trainer by NASM
CPR/AED Certified by American Red Cross
Senior Fitness Specialist by NASM
Silver Sneakers Certified (in specific classes) by Tivity Health
dotFIT Certified Practitioner by dotFIT
Spartan SGX Certified by Spartan
Get to Know Me Personally
From the very beginning, I've always been very active. I was born about two months premature. My parents tell me when I was in the incubator, every five minutes I would trip off their alarms as I would squirm and jiggle my way down and rip off all their sensors and pads. The doctor told my mom that she should buy roller skates because she'd be chasing me around a lot; I'd grow up to be a very hyper child. Not much has changed since those days. I still feel the need to keep my body moving. I get bored easily and can't stay doing one thing for too long. I need a change of pace and scene every so often to keep myself lively.
All throughout my childhood, I've been a very shy, introverted kid. I'm still very introverted, but I'm a little more outgoing and ambitious than when I was a child. To be introverted doesn't mean you're shy; it means being around other people can sort of drain your energy. I love meeting new people, communicating, and socializing in certain environments; I live for it. But regardless of how much I love it, I do need to go home and recharge. Spending time reading, meditating, watching movies, working out, or silently working on my laptop at home or in a cafe. This is where I can rejuvenate myself. My alone time is precious.
The activity that originally sparked my interest in fitness was actually tennis. I've never been super competitive. I like to take things at my own pace, work on self-improvement, and not have the added pressure of being responsible for someone else's success or failure. Tennis is an individual sport, and that's why I think I loved it so much. I used to play Wii Sports as a kid, and I was the absolute best at tennis. I would just get in the zone and I could play for hours without even realizing it. One day, as my friend and I were passing by our school district's tennis courts during the summer, I told him I really wanted to try tennis without even thinking. At that point in time, I didn't even consciously recognize that I wanted to actually, physically play tennis... not until I verbalized it.
So I started playing tennis for a few years and I absolutely loved it! I loved it so much, I wanted to find new ways to move my body. A martial arts instructor taught Kung Fu in the same facility that I played tennis, so a few years later I ended up trying that and stuck with it for over 2 years. When I was in 8th grade, I decided I wanted to try running too. As well as loving the idea of individual sports, I was also in love with the idea of practicality. Sports like running, swimming, cycling, and climbing have always been of huge interest to me. I told my parents I wanted to run for the cross country team. From their perspective, this was coming from left field as I've never expressed interest in running before. Instead of explaining my passion to them, I decided to show them. I proceeded to take a nice brisk jog around my neighborhood, and when I came back, I felt so good, I decided to take a 2nd lap. In love with my enthusiasm for the sport, my parents agreed that I should join the cross country team -- and I did! I ran cross country from 8th-12th grade, and throughout high school I also did indoor and outdoor track. Kung Fu eventually led me to Karate as I loved martial arts so much. I wanted to try different styles (and between you and me, a cute girl I was really into did Karate, so I wanted to switch over there to spend more time with her).
I graduated high school in 2016 from Minisink Valley. 2015 was a life-changing year for me. This was my major transition. I began to overcome my shyness, explore possibilities for my future, and shape into the person I am today. Physically, I became the most physically fit I've ever been in my life: I did not believe in limits. Cross country 5ks turned into 10ks and eventually I ran my first half-marathon in Newburgh when I had just turned 17 years old. I told one of my coaches that I wanted to run a marathon, and he laughed, thinking I was joking. Fueled by his lack of seriousness in my conviction, I pushed myself to run a marathon... at 17 years old... and I succeeded! My time was 3:39:39 when I finished the Hambletonian Marathon in Goshen on October 18th, 2015. I discovered that almost every physical feat stems from technique. Everything is mental. Learn to perform movements safety, effectively, and efficiently, and you're already more than halfway there. I read the book "Chi Marathon" and only went on three long-distance training runs to prepare for my marathon. Technique is everything. Furthermore, I completed the Spartan Race trifecta this same year! The Beast race was a force to be reckoned with. Combined with poor preparation (with snacks and water), cold weather, and not truly knowing what I was getting into, that was one of the hardest experiences of my life. But I finished! (You can peep my finisher photo at the very top of this page, with me covered in mud and my arms spread wide in victory)
If you can recall from my previous paragraph, 2015 was the year "I did not believe in limits." I was learning to use my body, and became so intrigued, I thought the human body had no limits. The only limitations were in the mind. I wanted to challenge my limits, so I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Here is what I actually wrote when I enlisted:
My ship date was changed to 22 Aug 2016. I graduated bootcamp on 18 Nov 2016 and was later sent to the Infantry Training Battalion which I graduated from in January of 2017. My MOS: 0311 Rifleman. Originally, I wanted to be Recon so I could challenge myself harder and see more action. I'm glad I didn't. As I would later learn, the body does have limits, and although mental limits can be broken, they exist for a reason: to protect us. I developed a condition known as Rhabdomyolysis at bootcamp (in which I was treated at the hospital for longer than a week to prevent my kidneys from failing) and a second time in the fleet when I was stationed in Hawaii in 2017. Rhabdomyolysis is the presence of a destructive enzyme in the blood due to intense amounts of muscle breakdown. Despite what you might think, not every workout is making you stronger. If you push yourself too hard, to the point where more muscle is breaking down than can be repaired, you're actually losing muscle. I lost a ton of muscle. I lost my muscle and my kidneys almost shut down. My body couldn't properly function for days on end. So yes, the body has physical limits. Mental limits can be bypassed: my mind told me not to keep going many times, but I ignored that voice in the back of my head. I discovered that these voices exist for a reason: so we don't accidentally harm ourselves. We need rest and recovery. You can read more about this here.
Upon my discharge from the Marines, I made it my personal mission to learn how my situation could've been prevented. The answer was simple really: just incorporate more rest and recovery. Eat a little bit more, especially protein. Take things a little lighter when I workout to ensure I'm gaining muscle and not losing it. I did my research on the condition at home using google, but this wasn't enough. I immediately started going to college for Exercise Science to learn all the complexities of the human body and best prepare me to become a personal trainer (which had been my dream ever since I was taking Karate in high school). My Capstone presentation (the culminating event for Exercise Science students) was on "What Motivates People to Exercise." I read many studies and books, including my favorite "No Sweat" by Michelle Segar. What I came to learn was most people have their motivations in the wrong place. They're focused on long-term goals, which actually serves to make one less likely to exercise in the long term (exercise becomes a chore). Exercise is most beneficial when it's focused on immediate short-term goals which can be achieved with every workout such as trying to de-stress, reach a PR, get the heart rate up past a certain number and keep it there, challenge yourself, clear your head, or just have fun. When exercise is paired with a short term goal like one of these, every workout is perceived as a gift because you're focused on the enjoyment of the experience. Anyway, fitness is only beneficial if you commit to it. It's not a one-and-done thing. It's most helpful if you commit to it your entire life, and that's only going to happen if you enjoy it, so better find a way to enjoy it! If you're pushing yourself through every workout and you're not enjoying it, it's not realistic to assume you'll stick to it in the long run. You might gain a lot of muscle or lose a lot of fat, but you'll probably eventually lose your progress if you're not enjoying the process.
So this brings us right up to the present moment! I've been working for Crunch in Middletown since they opened August 31st 2018. I'm a personal trainer and group exercise instructor for the following classes: Tread n' Shed, HIIT Accelerate, Bodyweb with TRX, SilverSneakers BOOM MIND & BOOM MUSCLE, 30 in 30, and Slammed. I've completed my Associate's degree at SUNY Orange. I'm a huge fan of meditation, journaling, vision boards, practicing gratitude, presence, and reading. I absolutely love trying new things. I've tried yoga, zumba, acupuncture, and went to a self-massage workshop. I'm always looking at new certifications, workshops, and learning opportunities. Even outside of work, I feel my best when I'm in a totally new environment with totally new people. Building this website, creating this business, and crafting my community impact projects has made me the most excited I've been in years.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my entire life story! I hope you learned a little about me and where I'm coming from. Now that you've gotten to know me, go ahead and book your free consultation session with me below! Also, if you'd like, check out some of the videos that I've posted below. They may give you a better visual representation of my personality and training style!