I always hated exercise. HATED IT. Years of being the last one picked for kickball and the first one pummeled with the dodge ball will do that to a person. I never played team sports in school, never practiced a martial art, and could barely tolerate wrestling with my little brother as a kid. I went out of my way to avoid having to do anything physical. All of my Most Embarrassing Moments of Childhood happened in P.E. class, which, by the way, was the only class in which I ever received a grade lower than a B.
I carried this attitude well into adulthood. I actually had a position on exercise. I was firmly against it, in the same way one might be firmly against clowns or the mistreatment of animals. I know I said on more than one occasion that I didn’t BELIEVE in exercise.
This changed for me one day in early 2005. I haphazardly said that my New Year’s resolution was to lose weight. Despite my lazy ways, I had been fortunate enough for most of my life to not be overweight. Most. My vanity finally got to me though, when one day I said sort of under my breath, “Man, I’ve really put on some weight,” and one of my very closest friends said quietly and without judgement, “Yeah, you have.”
Whoa. Most of us women have at some point or other said something about how we think we are out of shape, only to have our friends/family/significant other say, “No, no, no. You look great.” When someone you trust implicitly, someone who would never willingly hurt you says what you’ve been thinking but what no one else would step up and say with you, it makes an impact.
I signed up the next day at Urban Jungle, a local martial arts gym that has a cardio kickboxing class. Fast forward three years: I lost 50 pounds, but more importantly, some issues I had been struggling with my whole life had been thoroughly put to rest. Depression, insomnia, and chronic fatigue were all GONE, bye-bye, no sign of them ever returning. I became PASSIONATE about fitness for all of these reasons.
I had been tending bar at Onion Creek. My regular customers watched my progress, and many of them asked me repeatedly what my secret was. This led me to get more interested in the why and how of fitness. As I learned more and shared more with people who asked, they began asking me if I would work with them. This, along with the encouragement of my mentor – Michelle Camario Torres-Aponte, led me to pursue my own certification to become a personal fitness trainer.
I have now been training professionally since 2007. I am NASM certified, as well as ADAPT L1 (parkour) and MovNat L2 certified, and I am the co-founder of Urban Movement. I train my clients, who are some of Houston’s most interesting and talented folks, at Studio Fitness in The Heights. I am devoted to helping people get those benefits and rewards that I love so much from exercise. Beyond keeping my buns firm and my arms from being jiggly when I wave; beyond keeping me well, both mentally and physically; it makes me feel unstoppable. It brings me great joy to share that with other people, especially when exercise and a healthy diet are last resorts after they’ve tried myriad medications.
Other interesting facts about yours truly – I am a mother of three, a passionate supporter of the local arts and theater, a connector of souls, a creative light, a writer, and a devout listener.