There has been some interest expressed in hearing my story and I’d love to share who I am and what brought me to this point with you all.
I am fortunate to live in California my whole life. Home for me is Oxnard- it’s a melting pot of cultures and has incredible diversity within the city depending on what part of town you’re in. Being the daughter of a emigrant Mexican man and valley-raised Japanese woman, it was a great place to grow up.
I’m grateful to have wonderfully supportive parents that encouraged and allowed me to try new hobbies and sports growing up. Through the years I got to try ballet, soccer, piano, golf (mom made me), ice skating, tae kwon do, softball…I’ve tried it all.
In 2010, some close family friends had found a hula group (Hula Halau O’Puananiha’aheo) that my mom and I joined. From the age of 10 until 17, we danced competitively, in shows and festivals around Ventura County, and for fun with our forever family. Through hula, I picked up the ukulele, the guitar, and the bass for a girl band with my hula sistahs.
When I got to Oxnard High School, I was introduced to water polo. I had no idea what the sport was and I didn’t know how to properly swim, but went for it anyways because one of my best friends was joining the team. All four years of high school, we spent hours in the pool after school swimming, practicing, treading water, and running drills to prepare us for the endurance and skill needed during games. I was excited to be named co-captain with Mollie, who had introduced me to the sport in the first place, during our senior year.
After graduating in 2008, I moved up to San Luis Obispo to attended Cal Poly. I had a little too much fun being away from home for the first time and returned to Oxnard after completing a lackluster school year. Thank goodness, because instead of the “freshman 15”, I had gained the freshman 20 and wasn’t fitting into my clothes anymore! I had been eating like I was still playing water polo but was mostly inactive during my time in SLO.
Coming back home was imperative for my health and fitness journey. My mom and I joined 24 Hour Fitness and began taking group classes together- Zumba, Step, and Body Pump were our favorites. During these classes I noticed how happy everyone was- sweating and working hard. I loved the energy and admired the instructors that were leading the classes towards their fitness goals.
I completed my AA at Ventura College and transferred to California State University Northridge to study Systems and Operations Management. While at CSUN, I had met a couple of vibrant young ladies who introduced me to Herbalife. That culture is full of like-minded individuals on the path to embody healthy, active lifestyles to share with the world. Herbalife opened up my eyes to the world of personal development. I loved the community, but didn’t feel like it was a permanent place for me. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without that very important stepping stone along my journey.
As I was finishing up my last few semesters in 2012, I realized that I wanted to be part of the health and fitness world. I just wasn’t sure how I was going to get there.
Fast forward to 2015, I moved to San Francisco to live with my then boyfriend. We worked together at Barry’s Bootcamp, which is a well-known boutique fitness studio that specializes in high energy, group classes with top-notch trainers and an incredible crew. I moved along the ranks from front desk, fuel bar, and made my way to manager on duty. During this time I had also decided to take the leap and study to become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, in hopes of becoming a Barry’s instructor.
A coworker of mine was working double duty at Barry’s and as a personal trainer at Equinox Sports Club SF. Hallelujah for Anthony! He introduced me to the club and the managers there which enabled me to land an interview to come on board as a personal trainer once I finalized my certification.
I was nervous out of my mind during the interview process. I had no formal experience as a trainer, but came as a humble student hungry to learn everything I could to help people on their fitness journeys. To my great pleasure and shock, they invited me to join the team.
WHAT?! Equinox was a place I had wanted to be a part of since I first stepped into one in 2011. I was willing to work in any position to just get a foot in the door and now my dreams were coming true in a way I never thought were possible.
As soon as I started there, I noticed that I was surrounded by so many well-educated and experienced trainers. I was in way over my head. There were many long 10-13 hour days, it was stressful learning how to build a business, and trying to catch up educationally with others that had studied kinesiology/exercise science in school.
With an incredible support system I was able to successfully build a full-time business at Equinox. It was mind blowing to realize that I was able to change lives through the things that I love and am passionate about- health and fitness.
Now I am back in Southern California, building my personal training business at Equinox Westlake Village with a new team and new clientele. Being a personal trainer at Equinox for the last 2 years has been nothing short of incredible. Although, the journey has not been rainbows and unicorns the whole time…I wouldn’t change a thing. So many wonderful trainers and managers I’ve had the pleasure of learning from, clients and families that I’ve been able to impact, and the experiences that came with it all- priceless!
My journey is just getting started and I am excited for the future ahead as I continue to learn, grow, and share with everyone around me.
If there is anything you’re interested in and might want to pursue for yourself, my advice is GO FOR IT! What have you got to lose?! There are opportunities out there for us, take them as they come, whether you feel like you’re ready or not. If someone else can do it, why not you?