As a personal trainer and fitness instructor at Rock Creek Sports Club and Balanced Athlete Fitness Studios, I've been in the fitness industry more than 20 years. I am a certified Personal Trainer and a Group Exercise Instructor through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), hold a Comprehensive Pilates certification with Balanced Body, and a Certification as a Balanced Athlete Coach. In addition to my practical fitness jobs, I hold the position of a fitness manager as the Programming and Pilates Director for both facilities.
What makes your training style unique?:
Pilates and Balanced Athlete are a natural extension of my philosophy of “functional fitness"--both elongate and strengthen, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility through the development of stability (sounds like an oxymoron, I know!). Both Pilates and Balanced Athlete are invaluable for injury recovery, sports performance, good posture and optimal health. Teaching clients how they can be active for a lifetime, even through injuries, aches and pains, illness, or life’s set backs is a rewarding part of my client relationship.
If you could change one behavior you see in your clients, what would it be?:
I'd love for my clients to try not to look backwards and stop fretting over what they used to be able to do. "Focus on the here and now, give each training session as much of your 100% as you can. Each day, each week is different--bring your "A" game, whatever that may be for today, and the gains will come."
What is your favorite exercise? Why?:
My favorite exercise is dancing like a maniac at a club, wedding, etc. I love the gym, and I love my workouts, but on the dance floor, I can just let go -- my discipline to form, pushing weights, being mindful in Pilates and Balanced Athlete -- are all important to me. But, since giving up dancing to pursue a career in fitness, dancing is still near and dear to me, almost meditative.
Briefly describe your weekly workout schedule. Is it seasonal? How many rest days do you take each week?:
I teach or coach approximately 8 classes a week, so I get much of my exercise in front of a class. However, each week I try to teach or do two HIIT sessions, two Pilates workouts (Mat or equipment), and one or two heavy full-body weight training sessions. My rest days usually total 2-3. Recovery is everything.
What is your favorite outdoor Washington D.C. activity? Do you have a favorite hike or run?:
I love to take walks. Rock Creek Park happens to be close to Rock Creek Sports Club so I will sometimes slip out and take a 30 minute brisk walk or jog down into the park and neighborhood.
How do you recover from a tough workout?:
Foam rolling is an important part of my post-workout recovery (after I chug my kale smoothie with brown rice protein and almond milk). Just taking a day off exercise and making sure I get enough sleep and water are also key.
What is your favorite place in DC to get a healthy meal?:
I love a hearty salad. If I can find a salad spot, like Sweet Greens or Cava, that's where I head. That hasn't always been the case--I have to confess that I am a former sugar and bread junkie. Making changes to a diet that reduces inflammation and cures disease has increased my quality of life. If I can refrain from processed foods and sugar, and get about 15% of my diet from animal products, anybody can.
Do you have anything on the horizon you would like to share?:
As the first to bring Balanced Athlete to the Washington DC area, I am excited to educate people in the Balanced Athlete method. It truly is where exercise is headed--we all must be more thoughtful about how we move, and correct faulty movement patterns before adding load (i.e. heavy weight or explosive movement). Johnny Gillespie, founder of Balanced Athlete, opened my eyes to the importance of building stability in order to promote healthy flexibility, and how it's so important to keep the mind engaged during exercise.