Thursday, November 3, 2016

Walking Buddy - NEW!

Do you want motivation to get off the sofa, but joining a gym seems daunting? Then I’m the buddy for you!

As your personal walking buddy, we’ll meet up and go for a walk together. It can be a leisurely stroll or an urban hiking adventure, you decide. Walking is phenomenal exercise. A regular schedule can make a huge improvement in your mood, energy and physique.

Why a Walking Buddy? My personal story:

Growing up, I played many sports as a kid (volleyball, basketball, ran track, golf and soccer). As an adult I trained and ran a Half Marathon with my husband and did yoga a few times a week. Then I discovered weight training and now also do CrossFit. I was never great at any of these sports. Don’t get me wrong, I tried my best, well, I now try my best, but what I really love about sports is the social aspect of the community sport creates. My professional life shifted from a desk job to fitness in 2011 when I started taking what I learned from my trainer and applied them to teach my husband.

Through the passion of learning and coaching him, I got my Personal Training certification through National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and started working as a Personal Trainer with a large fitness chain. After only 1 year there, and being broken by the stress of sales, I made the decision to start my own business and therefore set my own goals.

I became a trainer because of my love for life and desire to help people meet their fitness goals. That ranged from losing weight to learning how to use free weights and feel comfortable on the gym floor and be productive outside of group training classes or cardio equipment.

So, five years later, I train awesome people through personal training, I have corporate clients that do group training and I coach CrossFit at Arena Ready in San Francisco. Now am offering a new service for people in the community that want to get off the sofa, but are not ready for an intense workout, called Walking Buddy, where we will walk around together.

This is not a new idea, clearly, we’ve been walking the Earth for thousands of years. However our environments have drastically changed. Family dynamics are different, stressors are different and we are sitting down now more than ever! I personally see as my father is getting older and needing surgeries to maintain his health, he is not bouncing back like before and needs more supervision. My mom is younger and schedules her errands and work around his resting times so she doesn’t have to worry about him feeling lonely or worried he may trip and fall when she’s away. It’s stressful for both of them. If only I didn’t live so far away, I would be his Walking Buddy! But in San Francisco, you and I live close, so let’s be Walking Buddies!

Get up and get out with me today! The first mile is on me. Email me at or call / text me at 415-763-7462.

Friday, July 18, 2014

My journey from desk job to Personal Trainer

I've been a personal trainer now for almost 2 years. However, I have not always been fit, working 7 years behind a desk and many years of education. I married the love of my life and we got caught up with working and entertaining without exercising regularly. Seems like all of a sudden, I was not happy with my body and finally after years of still no activity, I decided enough was enough and I got off the couch. 

First, I joined a gym with two of my female coworkers, but only went in and did cardio 3x/week. I gained 7lbs. and canceled my membership. I remember vividly one Monday evening picking my husband up from work, feeling like my pants were busing at the seams. I cried while waiting for him. Two things I learned about myself are 1.) I need consistency and 2.) I need a partner. With those two things I know I can be successful so I asked him to commit to something easy: running 1 mile with me, 3x/week for 5 weeks. He said yes! So we started THAT NIGHT! 

Setting out on a jog, I made it 2 blocks before I had to slow to a walk and catch my breath. It took me 18 minutes to complete that first mile. This was going to take a while, but we got in the rhythm and after the 5 weeks of initial commitment, we continued! At some point I was able to jog the entire mile and then we increased our distance to 1.5 miles, then 2, then 3 then 6 and a year later we ran the San Jose Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. We finished it in 1h 30m 18s together, holding hands across the finish line! Yet, I still wasn't what I considered "fit".

We kept running and I was also doing yoga twice a week. Then we moved to London, UK so my husband could take a 1 year work assignment. I tried running outside our flat along The Thames river, but it wasn't nearly as enjoyable as through the wide, empty streets of Palo Alto and I needed to make some friends. 

Time Out had this awesome write up of the hippest gyms in London. The description alone sounded so exciting, I made an appointment for a tour. That's when my fitness life changed forever because instead of getting a membership, I ended up getting an interview on the sales team! One of the things we needed to education our members on was the benefit of Personal Training. I had no idea what it was like, so I started training with one and wow, he blew my mind! 

After a few months of our training, I asked our husband down to the gym in our flat building to workout. I wanted to show him some of the cool stuff I'm learning. He said yes, so I wrote out a little program and took him through it. He is not a gym-goer, so I had to explain all of the exercises and demonstrate them to him. To my surprise, I really liked it and he said that for once he could really see the passion in my eyes and knew that this is what I was suppose to do with my life - be a Personal Trainer! In shock, I said I'd think about it. It was several months later, but I finally decided to go for it, so I called NASM and they sent my studying material all the way to London where I began studying immediately. 

Right before our move back to the states and only after a few months of studying, I sat for the NASM exam. I was unsuccessful in my first attempt. After reading the questions, I clearly did not know the material like I thought I did. I remember feeling so embarrassed and tried so hard to keep myself together as I took the hour long tube ride back home. It was a packed train that goes from Heathrow Airport so it's packed and everyone is excited to either get home or start their vacation...and there I am in tears. It took me a month to pick up my study materials again. 

After our time in London was up, we moved back to the Bay Area, but this time in San Francisco. I mystery shopped a bunch of gyms to see where I'd like to train and eventually work. I found an awesome trainer at Crunch and immediately got started with him, but didn't tell him my background. The training style was different, the city was different and I went through a time of being angry and frustrated because change is hard. I finally told my trainer I was studying and he was so excited for me, thought I'd be great at it, and offered to help me study! WOW! I passed my exam the same week of my interview at Crunch and got the job offer. 

I was a Personal Trainer at a large chain gym in SF for about a year. I got to meet so many awesome people and learned many valuable skills. After a year, I decided to leave and start my own businesses. This is where I started re:Fit Body. I work mainly out of Alex Fitness on Market and run a Saturday morning Full Body Fit (Better than Bootcamp) in Duboce Park. It's been a few months now and my excitement for fitness is growing and I'm starting to seek new challenges in my fitness goals, my clients fitness goals and also spread the word of fitness, coming from a regular person that's fitness minded.

My certifications are NASM CPT, NASM PES, TRX, TRX Rip Trainer, dotFit, RockTape & Poliquin's BioSignature Modulation, however my passion is much more personal than that. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

UEFA in London

London has been an even more excitable city this past week being the host of the UEFA Championship matches. Hyde Park hosted an 8 day free festival with a variety of events. The most important was getting your picture taken with the cup.

Here I am with the Women's cup.

Then, we turned the corner and saw the men's cup! The line was pretty long and I made a B-line to it. Hubby looked at me and said, "Are you serious? This line must be an hour long! Are you really going to wait?" All I said was, "Yes." So he disappeared for a while and brought me back a bottle of water. I was still only 1/2 way there, so he disappeared again until I texted him that I was next and to rush back over.

I got into position and he went to take my picture. The nice woman there said, "How about both of you. A family picture." Hubby responded with, "No thanks. Just her." I had to laugh! They were honestly surprised that he did not care.

The men's cup!

Tickets for the men's game Saturday were impossible to get. It was reported here that some people paid up to £3,500 for some tickets. That's about $7,700 (approximately). For ONE ticket! I opted for the £5 tickets to the women's game. And they did not disappoint. It was a French team vs. a German team. France one 2-0 and was interesting the entire time. It was hosted in Fulham and lots of locals were disappointed they did not work harder to promote the game. Fulham has a really neat old stadium. I will return for more matches there. I'm sure they will not cost £5 however.

Saturday came around and all I could think about is: Where are we going to watch the men's game? We're walking through The British Museum and I am hardly looking around because I'm too busy searching for pubs that have TV's and Sky Sports. Over two hours before the game even started, I said, "We have to find a place NOW." Once again, hubby thought I'm crazy.

We walked by and stuck our heads in several pubs. We finally settled on one and even got a table! I came prepared with two games in my bag. We ordered 2 pints and started playing card games.

When hubby went to get the 2nd round and order dinner, he came back and said, "I don't know how to tell you this, but the kitchen is closed and all they have are nuts and crisps." I looked at him like he had 3 heads and said, "That won't work. We need food. Let me look for a place." So I looked on my phone and headed out. I came back a bit later with Subway! I haven't had that in so long and it was delicious. Made me think of all my old coworkers back in California. We were obsessed with eating there! Not a bad place to frequent.

So we watched Machester United lose. :( Oh well, we were surrounded by about 30 people in this small room upstairs above the bar and more people down below. What a fun night in the streets - before the match. Pretty much went directly to bed after the match! It was a long day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Place of Yes...

My Place of Yes - thanks Bethenny, lead me to an amazing adventure on a motor scooter with a private tour of London's best shopping & dining! This is how it all began:

I decided I would try again today to get set up with a SIM only card on my shitty unlocked G1 phone until we can get properly set up with mobile phones and broadband at home. T-mobile & Vodofone don't open on Mondays until 9:30am, however CarPhoneWarehouse opened at 9am. They are like a broker for all the different brands.

While waiting on help there, I bonded with a woman over our love/hate relationship with phones & technology. I advised her to stick with an Android device, but for her sanity on battery life avoid the HTC devices. I absolutely love their overlay and I put up with carrying a charger around with me because I loved it so much, but it's just not practical. I wished her luck and went to Vodofone to get my SIM card.

Upon checking out in Vodofone, there she was again! We started chatting and she clearly knew I'm from America because of my accent. She went to school in the states and I told her I arrived in London 3 weeks ago and I'm here for one year. It's been very difficult getting set up with everything and she felt my pain. Then, Emma, invited me to coffee! I of course said yes, and it was fantastic.

Thank goodness I had my notebook with me today because she gave me the BEST run down of all the fantastic shopping all over London and the most amazing places to eat. I took notes with such passion trying to get all the street names and all the details she rattled off! An hour and a half went by so quickly.

She was so overjoyed about some of these areas, she insisted on showing them to me personally! At that very moment! She did not need to be at work until 2 and her little motor scooter was just nearby!

If you know me at all, the only mode of transportation I have been in besides the usual car, bus, train, plane etc. is my bicycle. My self-powered bicycle. I grew up in the country of Southern Illinois and had many girlfriends that had older brothers with 3 wheelers and 4 wheelers. I turned down countless offers for rides. I just didn't trust any of them and I knew they just wanted to show off. I did not want to end up dead. However, I said yes today and for the next two hours Emma took me ALL OVER London on her motor scooter! It was absolutely fantastic!

It was an experience of a lifetime. I wish I had photos, but honestly, I was holding on those "oh shit" bars on the side the entire time! I do have the helmet hair to prove it though. We exchanged contact information and I hope to treat her for dinner at one of her fab recommendations soon! It's good to say yes!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A wedding, a move premier & everything fancy - Oh my!

London is amazing in many ways. We've been here 2.5 weeks now and it's a roller coaster ride for sure. I've had the good fortune of being here at one of the most exciting times in my generation: The Royal Wedding of Will & Kate. Or should I now call them the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge!

So last Friday hubby and I head out to meet up with our friends to get a seat along The Mall area somewhere for the parade route. I was skeptical because the crowd they were predicting was massive. I didn't want to get in the middle of a riot. Well, now I know better. Everyone was so polite and nice. Not a lot of shoving or yelling. It was totally foreign to me! And when people in front of us got up on someones shoulders, other people behind us said, "Hey - please get down. We can't see from back here." And they did! No yelling, no complaining, no fights. I was amazed.

Aside from the shock of the tone of the crowd, we were in a pretty good spot and got some OK photos. My friend, on top of her husband's shoulders got some GREAT shots, but mine were just ok.

The Queen!

Then, just by luck, the opened the gates and we got to walk down The Mall and into the circle in front of Buckingham Palace to watch the balcony appearance. I was simply amazed at how close we actually got!

2nd Balcony Kiss

Just when I thought things in London couldn't get any better: the London red carpet & premier of Water for Elephants was yesterday. I messaged two friends about going and neither of them could make it. The thought actually crossed my mind that I would just stay at home. But then I decided to say yes, I will go - alone. Then the thoughts came into my head, what if I can't get in? What if it's full? How long have people been waiting? We stood on our feet for HOURS for the wedding. Was it even worth my going?

Well, I went anyway. It was a long tube ride followed by not having any idea where I was going. I arrived about 2 hours early and one section was already full. But not all of them were and I got in the 2nd row! Oh, and I made some new friends too! At first I stood there with my kindle reading some book. But then I thought to myself, we're all here because we loved the book, or is it because we love Robert Pattinson? Hm. Well, regardless we all have the same opinion on something, so maybe I should put the kindle down and start talking with the other women around me. And it paid off!

Here we are waiting for the red carpet appearances to start:

And my trip was completely worth it. I'll let my photo speak for themselves! Enjoy!

The dashing Robert Pattinson

The beautiful Reese Witherspoon

The brilliant Christoph Waltz

As you can see, I'm glad I listened to myself, got off my sofa and went. It was fantastic and I made some new London friends! I don't think I can top the last 5 days! But I have many weeks to at least try!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A hop, skip & a jump across The Pond

We've been in London just over 1 week now. We really brought the California weather with us - it's been absolutely beautiful so far with only one rain shower and that one had lightning & thunder - something we don't get in California that much. It was delightful, but only because we were at home relaxing and not out and about.

Here are my observations & what I've learned so far:
- Service at restaurants & pubs is very different. You have to know what you want and do most of the legwork. That being said, people don't work for tips here.
- The price is the price. Tax is already included!
- Women dress like they are stuck in the 80's. Sometimes in the worst of the 80's or slutty. I haven't seen a whole lot in between yet.
- I saw 26 flats before selecting the one for us. I am very happy with our selection.
- We can't get the keys to our flat until the landlord has 6 weeks worth of deposit and the first months rent.
- You can't get a bank account until you have a local address. Or at least, that's the easiest way to get one.
- A wire transfer from our US account would take a week to clear because of all the holidays we're celebrating right now.
- You can't get a mobile phone until you have a local bank's debit card.
- You can't get internet without a land line.
- Google Maps on my phone now cashes the tiles, so even though I do not have a mobile here yet, I can cash the maps and still get help to make my way around and feel secure while I'm alone running around.
- UK TV is awesome! Tons of nudity on over the air TV, not cable! Vogue UK even shows nipple!
- Men take their shirts off in the parks here. EW!
- The London tube system is very organized.
- Real Ale beers are amazing!
- Plugging your laptop into the 110v "Shavers only" plug in the bathroom will charge your laptop. Once. And then the plug doesn't work any more.
- You can't blow dry your hair the bathrooms here! With the voltage being 220, it's too dangerous to have something plugged in that could fall into water.
- Instant boiler kettles are my new best friend.

We have yet to really go sightseeing yet. We're waiting for our friends & family to visit so we can go with you! Up until now, we've been exploring a lot of the neighborhoods to help us get a good frame of reference for a place to live and also understanding when we here about places, what that means in terms of location, look & feel.

It's time to gear up for the Royal Wedding! The decorations & barricades are going up all over the city. It's a fantastic time to be in London. You can feel the excitement in the air.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My sneeze just scared me!

I am sitting on the floor of my living room with my MacBook Air, Kindle, purse and 4 suitcases. Everything else we own is now on a truck to some location for either storage or shipping. And I keep thinking of things I forgot to pull out to take - like my homemade cookbook with all my favorite recipes (sorry, "favourite" recipes), the case for my laptop, the latest issue of Vogue I haven't read yet and I'm sure I'll think of something else.

My butt hurts from sitting on the floor and I just sneezed, which echoed and just scared me that someone was at the door - probably another Jehovah's Witness trying to get me to go to some event next week. No thank you.

I remember this same situation almost 5 years ago, on a different laptop, with no internet or smartphone (I had the Motorola Razor - black!) with a sore butt waiting for the movers to arrive with the very little furniture we moved here.

So much changes in 5 years, yet nothing at all. Life is what you make of it and the next chapter is going to be amazing! I can't wait hubby! Watch out London - here we come!