Theresa sadly was a victim of an abusive relationship, but she used this to fuel her brave journey into fitness. She talks to Sundried about how she turned to boxing to relieve stress and how she now helps other women in similar situations.
Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.
Over the last several years I have competed in several Warrior Dash mud races as well as completing a half marathon in our hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I must say that I love the obstacle races or any of the team races. There is a sense of comradery involved from all participants as well as the teamwork that is required to have a group of athletes finish strong; which I believe is the essence of life.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
My journey started out of a need to 'punch it out', a stress relief of sorts if you will. At that time in my life, I had just come out of a mentally abusive relationship. Honestly, I didn't even own a pair of sneakers back then. That was 13 years ago; which seems to be a lifetime ago!
I fell in love with the competitiveness of boxing and its conditioning. I started to love everything about fitness, but more importantly, a much bigger vision for my life started to blossom in my heart.
First, it was boxing classes that got me going, then it turned to the opportunity of teaching others some of the same techniques and fundamentals that I had learned. As I grew as a freestyle group fitness instructor I found myself being called to become a Les Mills BodyCombat Instructor. As I continued to grow as an individual, as an athlete, it became a very natural evolution for me to take the necessary steps to become a professionally certified personal trainer.
Through my connections in the fitness industry, I found a space to hold boxing conditioning/fundamental fitness classes as well as some personal training clients.
For me, the opportunity to be able to assist at least one other person to come out of a similar situation as me or any struggle that they faced was always a dream come true. Nothing brings joy to my heart more than watching those women who have given up on themselves finally come out of that dark place and start believing in themselves and creating genuine disciplines and habits that create real change in their lives. That part of my dream has finally come to fruition and I couldn't be more excited about that!
What are your training goals now?
Currently, I am working on attaining my Advanced Module Training Instructor Certification in Les Mills BodyCombat as well as a certification in sports nutrition not just for my own passion and education but as a way to bring more value to my clientele.
I will also plan on attending training this year to be certified in the Rock Steady program. This program specifically works with Parkinsons patients through boxing conditioning.
As for my personal workouts; I turned it up a few notches by hiring my own personal trainer who specifically trains athletes as well as working out alongside another personal trainer to take my personal fitness to the next level.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
Growing up I was not athletic at all! I hated sports, hated to sweat and did everything I could to get out of gym class at school. It's kind of funny looking back at the old me. Now, I live to be active and I love to inspire others to be more active as well.
What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?
You will heal, and then you will help others heal in ways you cannot imagine. Be strong, continue to move forward, and run towards what scares you because on the other side of that fear is a big beautiful and wonderful new life that you are going to excel in and love. Continue to learn, dream big, and you certainly will achieve it all, because you are going to work hard for this dream and you will inspire and assist so many people in your journey.
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I am a firm believer in enjoying food, but being smart about it. Food is fuel, not comfort. Depending on my specific goals at any given time, my regime is adjusted. I don't 'diet'. However, I always maintain a few staples. I love lean protein spaced throughout the day.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated?
I do what keeps me motivated......Variety! I am always changing up the workouts so they are never boring and never the same. I rarely involve traditional machines in my personal or clientele workouts. I try to find things the clients enjoy doing and incorporate them into workouts with an added push of some sort. I use the same philosophy I use on my daughter and her friends at meal time: You have to try it before you say you don't like it. So often people don't think they can do something so they don't want to try. We make a deal from the beginning to always try. The funny thing that happens most of the time is that the very thing people are afraid of, they end up loving.
Talk us through your training regime.
My personal training involves having a 'trainer to train the trainer' so that I do not have the opportunity to slack. This involves HIIT workouts, boxing conditioning, lifting and whatever else they come up with. I put my trust in them. Outside of that, I am always training for my Les Mills Body Combat classes. Strengthening my core and legs as this is imperative for the martial arts inspired classes of Body Combat. I am very interactive in my boxing conditioning classes, as well as the Body Combat, and get as much of a workout in as the participants do. On average I would say I get in 8 hours of my own workouts in a week. I am not typically a machine use kind of trainer. I stick with free weights and anything creative to keep it exciting.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I take additional classes that will help me train my clients better. Whether it's sports nutrition or learning new techniques in my field. The internet is a wonderful place, there is so much knowledge available to us now. I even learn things from boxing trainers of years ago via YouTube and the internet.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Patience. Rome was not built in a day, neither is a strong, healthy body or weight loss. It takes work, desire and determination. It will happen but there is no magic pill.
- Lifestyle. You have to be willing to change your lifestyle for change to happen. This is where the magic happens and results are lasting.
- Form and Technique. These are key. When you use the right form and technique you not only lessen the risk of injury but you also open the door to results. Trust your trainer or instructor.
If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would have to be a boxing conditioning workout. It combines cardio, lifting, plyometric training, strength, agility, discipline, quick thinking and is a huge stress reliever all rolled into the workouts. To me, it's the best of all worlds combined.
Why work with Sundried?
I love athletic-wear and wear it the majority of the time now. To find a brand that cares about how it sources materials and cares about the environment is huge in my book. I love everything about the values Sundried holds from being a part of an organisation that monitors the carbon footprint of the brand. For a company to do this proves it's not just something they say, but it is at the core of what they represent.
Favourite fitness quote:
When someone is just starting out......"What you think is impossible today, will one day be your warm up".
For the seasoned athlete......"When you think you're done, you're only at 40% of what you're capable of"