I started my fitness journey without any major goal. I didn't specify a number of pounds in mind to lose, or dress size to fit into… I just remember feeling the need to move, knowing it would help me to simply "feel better". I started attending Emily's Bootcamp classes and I was instantly relieved knowing I found an outlet for grief I was coping with at the time.
For me, fitness was more of a mental journey than a physical journey. By committing myself to a program, I earned a sense of accomplishment just by attending. "Getting my blood flowing" felt great physically, and I noticed a dramatic change in my mood and my overall attitude. My confidence started to develop when I was able to beat my PR's, and I developed a sense of pride in my "goal crushing." It was amazing realizing what I could accomplish when I tried, and when I surprised myself by succeeding, I wondered where else in my life I might be more capable than I once thought I was not.
Before working out, I always had the tendency to say, "I couldn't do that." Or, "That looks like fun, but it's not really something I would be good at..." Or, "I would look so ridiculous trying that." I was also lazy when it came to exercise and I rarely went out of my way to do any sort of physical activity.
I was lucky enough to have amazing trainers that always saw me as being more capable than I saw myself. They never made me feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, weak, "ridiculous", or self-conscious. Instead, they guided me and challenged me to push myself, they built up my self-esteem, and helped develop a confidence I never had before. It was as if they could see all of my potential in front of them and they gently nurtured it out. I started to crave exercise and I enjoyed the way I felt after a long workout. I felt "better". I was lifting heavier weights at the gym so I knew I was getting stronger, but I didn't realize how much it would impact daily activities outside of the gym. Everything started to feel easier and I had more energy throughout my day. I was sleeping better and no longer needed the mid-day nap that I used to rely on to give myself a physical and mental break mid-day.
I am in better physical shape since deciding to exercise regularly, but the most powerful part of my fitness journey was the impact it has had on my self-development and mental health. Now when I am faced with a difficult situation, I have no doubt I can overcome. I am no longer afraid to try new things in fear of failure. It's amazing how "just working out" builds so much more than just muscle. I am passionate about using fitness and nutrition to aid in mental health and self-confidence.
I was lucky to have amazing, caring trainers, and what they have done for me is why I want train. I want others to know that I started the same way everyone else does.
The light of my life is my son, Michael, and keeping him busy and entertained is my favorite way to stay active. We hike often and he always counts on me to throw him on my shoulders when he needs a break. That added weight is my favorite "no equipment needed" exercise. I enjoy using time in between classes at the studio to crank the music and get my own workout in. If I happen to have extra free time to myself, I love running up in the Boston Hills either at sunrise or sunset. The views up there are worth enduring the cardio and truly feels like therapy. I always feel so refreshed after a run. The winters here make for a shorter running season, but snowboarding and sledding with my son are how I love to sneak in outdoor exercise during the older months. (If you have ever carried a toddler up the sledding hill at Chestnut Ridge, you know that IS a workout!)
Having a child, I know how valuable time is with and without him around. When I'm with him, I want to be able to enjoy him completely, and when I'm away from him, I want to make very good use of my time, because I know it is limited. This is an understanding we have at the studio and we make great use of time for everyone involved.