I’m from Rochester, New York, and moved to Buffalo in 2012.
I’m 32 years old.
I’m a high school special education teacher in the Buffalo Public School District.
What is your history with the health & wellness/fitness world? How has your trajectory brought you to where you are today?
I’ve always played sports since I was young, and was therefore introduced into the fitness world and working out at a young age. I continued to work out 4-5 times a week in college, which, I think, helped me stay focused and not fall into too many other unhealthy extracurricular activities, wink wink. After college, I moved to Buffalo and started taking classes at different places and eventually met MJ. I followed her to her new studio and never looked back. I had always thought teaching classes would be fun and had always wanted to try my hand at it, but never had the confidence to try. LUCKILY MJ came to my 31st birthday, and once I had some liquid courage in me I mentioned sheepishly, “Hey, maybe I could sub a class or two or help you out sometime!” And the rest is history!
MJ gave me some “how-to” tips for teaching classes and was absolutely amazing in building my confidence. Here I am a year later, teaching barre, spin, and bootcamp classes 3-5 times a week before and after my classroom job! I absolutely love it.
What is your primary role at SWEAT? How long have you been with the studio? Where else do you instruct, if anywhere? What is your major area of expertise?
I am an instructor at SWEAT. I teach barre, spin, and the 6 a.m. bootcamp classes. I have been an instructor for a year. It’s actually interesting to see how being a classroom teacher and a fitness instructor overlap. I actually think that being a fitness instructor has made me a better teacher.
Do you have a particular ethos about health & wellness/fitness that you wish to share or that would be inspirational to someone coming into the world with no prior knowledge or experience?
I think 99% of the battle is just getting to the gym. Once you get over the anxiety of just GOING and you get through that initial awkwardness of walking in somewhere new, you’re unstoppable. Never once have I regretted moving my body.
Do you have any tips/tricks you can share on how to succeed in reaching personal health & wellness/fitness goals? What are some best practices you’ve developed or witnessed in your time as an instructor? Some of the biggest or most common mistakes one makes when embarking on this journey?
I think people get overwhelmed when they start. It’s really about changing small habits to begin with. I also see people try and go balls to the wall / restrict the fuck out of their diet and run themselves into the ground. Sure, you’ll lose weight that way, but 9/10 once you gas out you’ll gain it all back and then some. Our mentality is developing healthy habits that actually last. Realistic habits that include eating real food (yes — gasp — carbs) and moving your body. It’s a simple equation. As MJ says, “Just don’t eat like a fucking asshole.”
Do you have any other words of wisdom or advice you can share with people considering a new fitness journey in 2020?
Just start. You’re worth it.