Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer + Founder of ASH FIT
How would you describe your athletic / movement / fitness practice(s)?
Two words: yin yang! It’s the perfect representation of my approach to fitness, how two opposites can simultaneously complement each other. In one realm, you’re explosive— focusing on agility and strength, challenging your body to react and push harder. In opposition, you’re grounded in stability and control with expansive movement. Fitness doesn't have to be one dimensional, I’m a big fan of cross training.
When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you say?
I tell them I like to move. And I’m thankful to work in an industry focused on movement. Whether it be as a fitness instructor and personal trainer or with Under Armour Corporate, I surround myself with things that inspire me!
What are the top three most important investments you’ve made in yourself?
Challenge myself I shattered my comfort zone when I moved to New York City only 10 days after graduation-- with no plan, apartment, or job! Sure maybe a little more planning would have been responsible, but isn’t that the beauty in it? It’s the unknown and how often a “plan” never actually goes as planned. Prepare for the unexpected!
Learn As much as I loved college, I had NO idea what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. Real world experiences are the best way to check off your list of things you don’t want to do and bring to light the things you do. I really fell in love with fitness. Now, I can’t stop myself from signing up for online courses and weekend training sessions. Every certification gives me the chance to teach someone else something that could positively impact their life. It’s incredible once you find your happy place, you want to know more and more about it.
Allow myself free time Creativity is best explored without boundaries. If we get too caught up in our day in, day out routine, we don’t allow ourselves to play and adventure. I always try to schedule some “unscheduled” time, where I get to do with it as I feel in the moment. My most productive times come after I get to play without expectation!
What prompted you to pursue a path (career or passion) tied to athleticism / fitness / movement?
I’ve always loved being active! Swimming, dancing, karate, roller blading-- you name it, I loved it. Athletics was always my happy place. As the story always goes, the older you get, the harder it gets, right? After two years of living in NYC, the pressures of working out to look good outweighed the fun in fitness. Overcoming my personal battles only fueled the want to help someone else ENJOY working out and loving their journey through the process.
From where do you draw your sense of inner strength?
I’ve watched my world crumble to pieces multiple times; seeing my dad battle life-threatening sickness for nearly two years, losing my sister to meningitis when I was twelve, and having my heart shattered. It’s true, it never really gets easier but you do get stronger. You realize that regardless of how much it hurts, you WILL make it through. We have the ultimate choice as to how we respond to trying times. I try to keep that with me always. One foot in front of the other will always get you there.
What makes you feel strong/confident?
SAYING NO! (Even typing it feels so good.) We live in a world so saturated with demands, deadlines and societal pressures — that the word “NO” has become our most powerful and unused asset. I feel most confident when I stand up for myself and what I truly feel is right. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that you can never help others until you learn to help yourself.
What makes you feel amazing in your own skin?
Loving myself through the process of owning myself. We’ll never be in this exact moment more than once. We’re always moving and changing. The same thing goes with our bodies. We’ll lose weight, we’ll gain weight, we’lll wrinkle, change our hairstyle and change our clothes countless times. Knowing that I can love myself through those changes makes (insert Ariana Grande singing) me feel like a dangerous woman. :)
Do you think of yourself as a role model? Does that factor into the way you live your life?
We are all, at some point in our lifetimes, looked up to. Whether as a friend, sibling, teacher, parent, or boss we will be looked to for guidance. It is our opportunity to chose how we want to represent ourselves. So yes, I love to think that I can be seen as a role model. And I hope that I am always authentic. Regardless of what I do, I want people to be able to say, “She’s doing her thing!” The world needs more authenticity.
Favorite / current song on repeat?
UNSTOPPABLE by Sia. Y’all…. I know, but I can’t help it. This song is so real to me. For so long, I lived this life with a shield of armour and the image of perfection. I’m good, I’m strong, I’m perfect. But in reality, I was crumbling under the pressure. And when I finally broke, in my shattered pieces, I realized the real me was all I wanted to be. Not perfect, nor invincible— but unstoppable. Fall down seven times, stand up eight. I fell in love with my real self and my strength to get back up and try again! So yea, It’s my go-to, lift-me-up song.
Favorite motivational saying / quote / advice?
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
I’d like to meet the person that created the word “standard” and punch them in the face. Comparison is the hardest challenge we can take on. Who are we to define the norm? We have to be in love ourselves for who we are, not who we are in light of something or someone else. When we stop trying to run at the front of the race, we start to notice the epic scenery that we’re passing by.