This post is part of a series of interviews by real people who are going after their heart’s song. Whether they are taking baby steps or giant leaps, they are living their dream. Every Thursday, our featured Dreamer will talk about their challenges, inspirations, and tips about how they juggle their life with what they love to do. Be inspired in your own life to go out there and lasso that dream of yours. Find other inspirational stories here.
I am a fitness professional and owner of my own fitness business, SillyFit Inc. I currently live in south Alabama (our beaches are lovely!). I really started this journey to living my dream while still living in Boston. It’s funny. I remember in high school saying to all my friends and family, “One day I will live in Boston and be a scientist.” And I did it.
For 13 years, I was a neuroscientist and worked on various research projects for Harvard and MIT. It was exactly what I wanted to do. It was exactly what I went to college to do. However, I have always had a passion for dance and performance. Long hours in the lab and living a not-so-healthy lifestyle for several years started to show up on me physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I fell in love with a workout program called Turbo Jam–a workout I did at home, in my living room. I eventually lost 50 pounds and it sparked my love for fitness. I became a team Beachbody coach and fitness instructor just for fun in my spare time. It fueled my love for dance and performance…and I actually found that I could help other people see their true potential through health and fitness. It was so FUN, too!
When I moved from Boston to Alabama, I decided to retire from my career in neuroscience and focus on making fitness my business. I am still a coach and fitness instructor. I’m also a personal trainer and Master Trainer with Beachbody. I certify group fitness instructors in Beachbody Live formats and mentor instructors as well.
Can you tell us about your dream and what inspired you to go for it?
Honestly, I’ve never had a very specific dream…rather an overall feeling: freedom. I would dream about just having the freedom to do what served those I care about and allow me to do the things I love. Totally happiness. I think all of us just want to be happy. It looks so drastically different for every person, but when I see other people living out their passion, with a servants’ heart and truly free to live their best life, I’m completely inspired. I think inherently, we know when something’s not right in our lives…or “something has got to give.” I knew long before I discovered how to do it, that I needed to do it (seek out that freedom and happiness)…for my own well-being. Fortunately, I can do that while having fun.
What sort of challenges do you face and how do you get around them?
Every challenge I have faced (and there are SO many) I have been able to work through with faith that everything will be ok, things will work out, just keep going, stay the course. Naturally, I do revisit what’s working and what isn’t and will always “reinvent” myself from time to time. But I never just stop completely. I may pause, but never stop. It serves no one doing that. In terms of what sort of challenges…. it has a lot to do with knowing that there are always going to be disappointments. Not everything will work out exactly as you envisioned it. And sometimes, that’s actually good thing.
This is tricky to narrow down to “the most.” Personally, if I’m singing, dancing or laughing…I’m good. Professionally, and personally, I LOVE to teach, mentor, inspire excellence and really, truly…with every ounce of energy in my spirit: help reveal a person’s true potential. So many sell themselves short of their potential, whether it’s circumstances or environment or lack of belief are to blame. I do what I can–through health and fitness–to help them see their potential more fully.
Who supports you in following your dream?
Definitely my family and friends. I am grateful for all the support I receive from colleagues as well. I think we are all out to serve and it’s great to know it’s truly a team effort.
Who inspires you?
Every single person that has that spark of faith and belief in themselves…that fire in their belly. Each one inspires me in their resolve. There are so many people who inspire me…too many to name.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This one is tough, because I have so many expectations for my business, my leisure time and how I’m doing personally: spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. I would love to see my team of coaches expand into the thousands. THOUSANDS of us helping people get fit, healthy and live happy, fulfilling lives. I would love to certify and mentor new instructors totaling the thousands as well! I see myself dancing more…just for fun…perhaps even dabbling in choreography. I see myself stepping closer and closer to freedom.
What is the biggest tip you have for anyone looking to following their dreams?
I know…it’s so cliché — but seriously: don’t give up on your dream too soon. Your dream is a part of you…and extension of you. Don’t believe for a second that you don’t deserve it.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Despite what odds you are up against, always maintain your sense of humor. It’s a literal life saver. I truly think I might not be where I am today had it not been for laughing about a lot of it…because some parts of the journey can be quite ridiculous. But that’s just it…it’s part of the journey. Laugh about it and keep your chin up. The second you lose sight of the bright side, you lose a piece of that dream.
If you or someone you know, is reaching for the stars (big or small) and loving it, I would be honored to have them featured here! Please note, this is not reserved for artists only, dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it be crafting, doing yoga, chasing kids, coupon clipping, or playing golf. If it’s a dream and someone is trying to get their hands on it, I want to hear from them!