I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school. The one thing I really felt passionate about was fitness. I used to be overweight, and I looked for schools to help me with that. I found the World of Fitness Living-Learning Community, and it ended up changing my life. Not only have I grown as a leader, but I’ve also learned that I really do love helping people. Right now I’m working for University at Albany Campus Recreation at the SEFCU and Indian Quad gyms teaching Insanity on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. After I started Insanity, I realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Being in college and teaching and instructing all these different kinds of people, with different backgrounds, and different personalities, has enabled me to integrate them into my own being and knowledge. I’m able to talk to and relate to so many different people.
Fitness shouldn’t be about the aesthetic display of your physique, it should be a reflection of who you are. Take advantage of all the wellness centers that we have here, and all the free group instruction classes. It all comes down to intrinsic motivation. You should be able to wake up in the morning and say, “today is the day that I’m going to take charge of my health, take charge of my life, and take charge of me.”
Sophomore year, before I started Insanity, I was depressed, for a while. There’s a mentor I had, an advisor. Her name is Barbara Brown from Advising Plus. She is literally my second mom. She helped me realize that I wasn’t alone. She helped me stay on track. You cannot allow yourself to plunge deeper into that nasty abyss. Because once you get used to that feeling, it becomes second nature. I felt like I was weak to ask for help. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting help. If I didn’t get help, I would probably still be where I was or even worse. That’s the scariest thing. It’s not about you. You always have at least one person who cares about you. You never want that person to see something bad happen to you. You don’t want that to be the very last memory that you leave here. You will never know your full potential unless you wake up and get started on something. Even if it’s just one goal a day, get started on it. Don’t leave things to chance. Because then you’ll never get anything done.
College is a time for discovering yourself and what gives you goosebumps, your passion. Learn to see things and live for the present, and learn to love yourself. Nowadays we’re not taught how to love ourselves. Where ever you are, whatever sort of state of mind that you’re at, it’s all temporary. Make sure that you leave your mark on earth. We live very short life spans. You want to be able to say “I actually made a difference.” That’s my goal. That’s really what I want everybody to aspire to.”
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Photo by Naomi McPeters