My fitness journey started roughly two years ago when I was in the midst of one of the most stressful, emotional, hectic and demanding points in my life. Looking back, this is probably one of the most critical moments in my own personal growth and development, not to mention the point where I started to make myself a priority. I had always been overweight. ALWAYS. I grew up with two tall, lanky stick-thin siblings, so I stuck out like a sore thumb, but just attributed it to getting the short end of the stick by way of genetics and I didn’t think much of it other than that. I played volleyball through middle and high school, but I just wanted to play the sport. The whole conditioning and being an athlete thing was never a top priority to me...I was just there to have fun and win. Then came college, I stopped playing sports and partied and slowly watched my weight go up and up (no regrets though, undergrad was dope). Then came pharmacy school and I had moved out of Philly for the first time in my life and was eating my feelings as a distraction from being lonely, sad and hundreds of miles away from everything I have ever known. Fast-forward 2.5 years later, I was stressed out finishing pharmacy school before heading off to clinical rotations all the while figuring out post-grad plans when I was left completely heartbroken by a guy. Between the heartbreak and feeling overwhelmed with my work-life balance, I had A LOT to cope with.
What really sparked me to put my health and wellness first was a mix of not wanting to be the biggest person in my friend’s wedding and wanting that revenge body (queue Khloe Kardashian reference here). So, I started running. Slowly through running I was starting to feel better all around, plus the running gave me time to destress from school, work and my personal life. I started eating way healthier than I ever have and actually putting effort into my diet. Slowly over four months my runs were longer, I felt so much better and I was less depressed about my personal life falling apart. I moved back to Philly semi-permanently to finish my clinical rotations and knew I had to up my fitness game. I joined a kickboxing gym and was loving it. The new workouts were completely out of my comfort zone, but they pushed me mentally and physically. Kickboxing was an outlet to help me get over the anger of being heartbroken and the added stress of my final year of school. Somewhere along the way I realized none of the accessory bullshit actually truly mattered and I needed to be my own priority. My health and wellness was more important than a revenge body to piss someone else off. I wanted to do this for me. I wanted to set a goal for myself so that on graduation day I could look back and not be embarrassed by the way I looked, but rather, be proud of not only graduating pharmacy school, but also kicking my own ass into shape and achieving a state of mental and emotional wellness. So, after shedding some 70ish pounds, doctorate in hand and having permanently moved back to Philly, I was feeling awesome. As with most things in life the good comes with the bad. I began to plateau with my personal fitness goals and my favorite trainer left the kickboxing gym. I was feeling a little unmotivated and unsure of where to go next. I had learned about Ripped since it was all over my Instagram feed and a few friends of mine had also been interested in trying it. So, I signed up and after my first few classes I loved it. I knew Ripped was going to be my new happy place. The trainers were so positive and pushed me to get out of my comfort zone on the treads and with the weights. I was so lost my first class, but the trainers took the time in class to give me tips and make sure I was comfortable. Shortly after, I joined full time and it has been one of the most beneficial choices yet on my fitness journey. Not only are the workouts consistently challenging, the trainers notice my accomplishments and push me to go even harder. No other gym I have been a part of has taken the time to get to know me, let alone notice hard work and let me share my personal fitness journey with them (Thank You, Alexander!)! It’s been roughly 8ish months and these workouts are still kicking my ass. Ripped has helped me tremendously to challenge myself outside of the gym as well. Growing up in Philly I would always see the Broad Street Run every year, but never in a million years imagined I would be running in it myself. Ripped has given me the tools and the motivation to continue to challenge myself mentally and physically so much so that I decided to sign up for the Broad Street Run in May (and to my surprise finish it quicker than I anticipated ~90min!). With that being said, if you’re still reading this and are hesitant to step out of your comfort zone, stop waiting and just do it. No one’s going to do it for you except yourself. You’ve gotta learn to be your biggest motivator. Plus, you’ll thank yourself later. If you really want an amazing experience, come check out Ripped…you won’t regret it! The trainers are always welcoming, positive and make you feel like you belong no matter what your fitness level is!