A Little Bit of My Story
Dance recital portraits circa 1998.
Growing up, I was a very hands-on, go-getter, tom boy. So when my mom asked me to help her paint the house, I was stoked!
There was a spot in the patio, behind a dresser that had a 20lb stereo on it that needed to be painted. With the care a child lacks, I pulled the dresser out, wedged my little body behind it, heard the snapping of the power cord, and felt a sharp pain light up my back.
The radio had fallen directly on my spine, and being the stubborn person I still am today, I tried ignoring it. “No blood, no hospital” was a less-than wise rule I had at the time. But after two weeks of unbearable pain, I went to the hospital.
And that’s when the x-ray results revealed some surprising news:
Not only did I have scoliosis, but my back was fractured.
I didn’t know it then, but this experience would set me on a path that would change my life.
If we can heal the physical and mental wounds we experience as children, it can help us find what we will share with the world.
My journey to becoming the movement enthusiast you see online, showing people how to move and heal their bodies through movement, began with me trying to figure out how to heal my own pain.
My wounds led me to find my passion.
As with most stories, it got worse before it better.
College was when it got worse.
Fried Oreos at midnight? Check.
Pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Check.
Alcohol and dancing until 3am on a Wednesday? Check.
In the back of my mind, I knew I was trashing my body.
My fear was that 20 years down the line, I would be following my family member’s steps into a diabetic, arthritic, and gluttonous life. I didn’t want to bury myself so deep in poor habits that I wouldn’t be able to escape.
I wanted to take charge, and utilize all of the self-discipline that I had learned in my youth to make a difference in myself. I didn’t want my memories of my early-adulthood being riddled with shame or a lack of self-love.
I thought: If I truly love myself, then what is holding me back from cultivating habits that make me happy on the inside and out?
Then I realized nothing was holding me back, all I had to do was start!
Start with the mindset that I can do whatever I set my mind to….and just go!
It was at this moment that I started my journey from flabby college rager to the complete fitness fanatic.
College graduation, May 2015.
After graduating college with a Bachelor’s in Sociology, and a minor in Exercise Sports Science, I immediately took a position at a law firm in Northern Florida to make a living. At this point in my life, I knew that whatever job I was taking on would be temporary.
Meanwhile, I had fallen into a bout of depression where I didn’t do any sort of activity other than yoga at home. The only aspect of my health that I was focused on was my nutrition, thankfully.
In hindsight, I can see that I was depressed because my job didn’t align with my passion.
Months had passed since I had done any type of structured workout, and my body began to feel it. The lack of strenuous activity was making my muscles atrophy, and causing my core muscles to weaken. All of the hours sitting at a desk started to cause excruciating pain in my lower back, and I began feeling the onset of a winging shoulder blade that would later be a challenge of its own.
The pain made me angry and more depressed. I felt like I had let myself go. I felt like the pain was mine to keep. Almost as if the pain was punishment for not taking care of myself the best way I knew how.
Then one day, a friend sent me a book called “The Four Fold Way”. My friend encouraged me to crack it open as soon as possible, for the book is reputed for helping people “find their calling.”
I opened the book with skepticism, thinking to myself “how is a book going to help me figure out what to do with my life?” With curiosity I read on...the premise of the book is that there are 4 archetypes of how one could be of service. There is the warrior, the healer, the visionary, and the teacher.
As I read deeper into each archetype, I had an aha moment! I was the teacher! How did I not realize this earlier? How did I not nurture my passion further? Why did I not see it before? It’s as if all the doubt my family had projected onto me became my own fear.
But my true self was fearless. My biggest fear was to die young because of my work, or because of my depression.
I didn’t want to look back and be a person at a dead end job with zero fulfillment. I wanted to drop everything, scream, and run as fast as I could. I wanted to let my true self out. I wanted to be wild and free.
To me, being wild and free was to follow my passion of health and fitness, and to be the “teacher” that I have always been.
I didn’t just want to show people how to improve their health and lifestyle, I wanted to lead by example. I wanted to be the curious, fun, and energetic self that I had always been. I had to go back to my ways and abandon any conventional type of expectations that I was holding onto.
A few months into being a fitness coach in Miami, FL (2016)
Shortly after coming to the realization that my path was that of the “teacher,” I knew what had to be done to fulfill all aspects of my life. I had to move back home to be close to my family, and I had to dive head first into my passion.
As soon as I moved back, my only goal was to become a certified personal trainer and to gain more experience training all types of clients. There wasn’t a moment of the day where I wasn’t planning or actively working towards pursuing my passion and turning it into a career.
I was obsessed.
My life seemed to be pretty simple when I moved back to Miami.
All I thought about was how to take the next step to achieving my goal. How was I going to make a living wage in an industry that I had never worked in? How was I going to meet prospective clients?
Naturally, I took everything day-by-day, not trying to stress too much about the details.
I knew deep down in my gut, that no matter what I dedicate myself to, I will succeed. I would tell myself that I was capable of anything I set my mind to, that adversity would only make me stronger.
Flash forward a couple of months, my aunt was one of my first clients who was truly committed to training regularly and changing her postpartum body.
We trained for weeks, increasing the difficulty level, and focusing on form and proper mechanics. Being that she has arthritis in the knees, balancing the muscle groups of the lower body and teaching her how to properly absorb impact was one of our main goals.
After months of training, she stopped feeling pain in her knees. She was able to do exercises she previously thought were impossible. We started shifting our focus from building a strong foundation to enhancing performance and improving coordination.
She felt better than she had ever felt in her life. To me, I felt as if I had given her tools that she could utilize for her entire life. She was empowered to start challenging preconceived notions of what she was capable of. She started to enjoy activities of her youth like jumping rope!
Once jumping rope become an exciting challenge to her, I knew that we had tapped into something different. This was no longer about trying to get back to her pre-baby body. This was about empowering each other to be the best version of ourselves. This was about going deep down within ourselves and proving that we truly can overcome any challenge we face. That is when I realized I was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing.
My purpose is to empower.
To empower others to take charge and put the pedal to the metal. To honor our bodies and learn how to move with grace and purpose.
Flash forward several years, I continue to be a student of my craft, both teaching and taking workshops to enrich my education.
I am grateful to be able to enjoy all of the beautiful pleasures of life while striving to expand my community and encouraging others to follow their passion and be the best version of themselves too.
To start training with me, check out my Bodyweight Fundamentals Course: