The Beginning of Something Bigger than Myself

I have been thinking a great deal about how to start this blog, what to post first, and how to phrase it.  There are so many areas of the fitness world I want to share with you all, and so many areas I have yet to discover.  My hope is to be able to explore the industry with you, and to share my insights and journey on this road to a new career.  So, I thought it'd be best to start out with a little bit more about me and where I started, and also for me to tell you the reasons WHY I am so passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and helping others do the same.

I suppose you could say my fitness journey began when I was little, when I participated in gymnastics to stay active.  I think this active lifestyle, combined with an appreciation for healthy dietary habits that my parents instilled in me, laid the groundwork for a healthy life early on.  However, the passion and drive that I have now started only about 3-4 years ago when I began cardio-kickboxing classes at Agostini's Academy of Martial Arts & Fitness.  I started attending just for something fun and active to do in hopes of meeting some new people and getting back into exercise.  I never expected for it to take the turn it did into group fitness instruction.  

I started out like any brand new instructor - nerves getting the best of me, standing at the front of the class, heart pounding (more from nerves than from exercise) and feeling terrified.  I'd never taught group classes before and at the time, I HATED being in front of an audience.  Public speaking was my worst nightmare, let alone exercising while doing it.  There were many nights I'd think to myself, "What did I get myself into?  I'm not cut out for this, I don't know what I'm doing and the class KNOWS that."  So, I took a backseat for a while as an instructor and instead became an observer, learning how to teach.  The owner of the studio was incredibly patient, as were the women who attended the classes.  After a while, I got back into it and my confidence slowly grew.  As this happened, my passion for the fitness world started to grow, too.  I began personal training lessons with the owner, and started to research the nutrition side of training.  I was eating cleaner, drinking more water, and really focusing on how training + proper nutrition made me feel.  Let me tell you - I felt great!  I was gaining more confidence as an instructor, training frequently, and discovering that this was a true passion of mine.  

I wanted to help people become more confident and better, healthier versions of themselves through fitness and nutritional guidance, just like I had.

The wonderful women Angela (bottom right) and I are honored to have trained during Agostini's 12 Weeks of Christmas Fitness Challenge (2013-2014).

Toward the end of 2013, I really discovered that not only is this fitness thing a passionate hobby of mine, but something I've come to LOVE.  One of the other instructors at Agostini's approached me one day to ask if I would like to create a "fitness challenge" for some of our loyal participants.  It sounded like a fantastic idea!  She and I put together a 12-week program for a few of our members, offering not only source material on the nutrition side of fitness, but also at-home maintenance workouts and small group training sessions in addition to the classes we were teaching already.  We designed the group training sessions to be more personalized - a way for the challenge participants to get more one-on-one time with the instructors.  The challenge turned out to be such a rewarding experience not only for the participants, but also for us.  Seeing those women develop their confidence and dedication to exercise and become healthier because of it meant that we had done our jobs.  THAT is the reason I want to make this my career.  To see the transformation that happens to lifestyle habits, and subsequently, physical and emotional wellness, when the mind is trained for positivity.

There is so much negative self-talk in this world regarding body image, eating habits, and ways of life.  I want to help give the tools and knowledge necessary for change in the positive direction.  To help people of all ages become healthier, happier, more confident versions of themselves, one workout and one healthy meal at a time.  

To truly make a difference in people's lives is what I am after - to help them make permanent lifestyle changes for the better.  THAT is my mission - to be a part of something bigger than myself.

I hope you will join me on this journey and follow along as I embark on this new career path.  You can follow me here on this blog, and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.  Shoot me a message via email or leave a comment below!  Please share this blog with your friends, family, or anyone you know looking to make some positive changes in their life.  Thank you for reading, and here's to a healthier, happier you!