A BIT ABOUT ME
Fitness and mental health are closely intertwined yet not spoken about in conjunction. I'm here to fill that void and spread the message.
My childhood was a string of therapists and doctors diagnosing me with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. I wasn't a happy kid. My teenage years and early adulthood put me through a situation where I experienced severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
Besides fitness, my passion is acting. I went to LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, a conservatory-style high school, where I got my degree in Drama. I started working professionally directly out of high school, so I never attended college.
During this time, my mental state was darkest, as I had no structure, and many of my friends decided to go away to school. One day, my mom dragged me to a group fitness class at New York Sports Club, and my world changed. Moving my body was a part of my past. As a child, I was an elite rhythmic gymnast, competing at the Junior Olympics. Moving my body again felt like a reclaiming of my body. That was the beginning of my fitness journey.
I fell in love with fitness quickly for many reasons: My body was mine again, and I could push myself to do things I never thought I could; I was proud of myself, which was a foreign feeling; I had something to be excited about, and structure to my day. Fitness saved my life.
Mentally, I was in a much better place for the reasons listed above, as well as scientifically proven reasons. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an essential part in regulating your mood. That is only one of many reasons why mental health and physical activity are so intertwined.
To further increase the connection between mental health and fitness, everything must be intentional. Before every workout, I set an intention. When it gets challenging, I revisit my choice.
Why am I moving my body today?
Why did I show up?
Who am I doing this for?