How My Fitness Journey Really Happened

All trainers have a story as to how they started on their fitness journey. Mine is not much different than others. I was a pudgy kid who started jump roping for fun and ended up winning a 1st place Jump Rope Champion Ribbon from St. Columbus school in Kentucky and that started my fitness journey. Yes I did win a ribbon but I wasn't into fitness. 

What Actually Happened: 

At age 16, I was on television. Yep it's for real, I was an announcer for an television auction. I actually auditioned for it and beat out several, disappointed teenagers. 😊 That led to modeling in Atlanta, GA and that led to getting a few contracts then that led to getting an AA in Fashion Merchandising then that led to my utter dislike for working in the fashion industry then that led to my life completely changing for the better.  I moved to California, got married and bing bang boom I'm 30 years old, over 40% body fat, super tired, sluggish and just feel yuky. It wasn't marriage that caused the body fat. It was my bad eating habits, hormones and lack of activity. In college I drank 3 litter colas and ate pizza with snickers BUT I didn't gain weight however I was malnourished, skinny with no muscles and had minor kidney problems. Those bad habits carried over to adult hood and became worse.

A super honest sibling pointed out my change and she kindly gave me an immediate solution, "you need to workout" she said. I NEVER worked out, I was active as a kid; running, scootering, roping but a workout I never did. She gave me a complimentary gym pass and there we were at 6am in the gym the following Monday. I sat on the recumbent bike and peddled my way through 40 min of absolute bliss. I couldn't believe what I was doing. It was fun! I wasn't thinking oh this is going to cause me to lose weight. I was thinking wow, I feel great, I'm coming back tomorrow. That's exactly what I did, tomorrow became months and years of going to the gym. My body changed, my mind changed, my life changed. I was feeling great, I was more confident and I felt powerful. 

I Was Addicted

I became addicted to working out! Some may think that's a good thing but in actuality it was bad for me. I wasn't balanced. I was neglecting my responsibilities; getting to the gym and spending 2-3 hours working out meant more to me than being with my friends, being at home and going to work. During that time I learned a lot about how the body worked, how to eat to get the best results from lifting weights and how to push pass my perceived limits.  I also saw a lot of negativity in the gym. I saw how women of a certain age were neglected by their trainer! Their trainers would be looking around the gym being distracted while their client was struggling or not doing the exercise right. They would look at their watch like they couldn't wait until it was over. Even my first trainer was a nightmare; during our first meeting she wanted me to guess HER age plus told me about all her physical enhancement surgeries and HER competitions. She never asked me about my goals or what I have done in the past or where I was trying to go to. 


I Got My Life Right 

I finally got balanced and found a way to train sensibly. In 2015 I became a certified trainer because I wanted specifically to help women of a certain age to get strong, feel confident and be with someone who truly cares about their fitness journey. In 2016, I opened Gymnanigans on Tennessee St. in Vallejo. I initially started as a 1-1 personal trainer but as I became more popular, women wanted to train with me plus have a team they could thrive on their journey with. I started group trainings in 2017 and in 2019 I moved to Georgia St., Vallejo to accommodate larger yet intimate fitness groups of women who could get strong together. They became Gymnanigan Champions together. 


We're still working out together LIVE online Mon, Wed and Fri. Plus we're together on the Gymnanigan Training App. There are also a group of dedicated Champs who train 1:1 with me at the Gymnanigan Studio. We obey all health guidelines and still get in a Fit-tastic workout in. 

It's been a great journey and our journey will continue as long as we're able to get up, active, moving and grooving. We're champions and that's what we do. 


Ready to Join us! Schedule your workout today

What are you trying to achieve that you've tried before? Maybe it's time to try a trainer who's educated in strength and conditioning plus nutrition. I'm here for support and guide you through your journey. 



  • General Physical Fitness (pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting and carrying)
  • Kickboxing
  • Boxing 
  • Strength Training 
  • Modern Plyometrics
  • Flexibility 
  • Nutrition Counseling 


  • Thanks for sharing. I see you’re in the fight with us

  • Yes! Love this coach. Thank you for sharing your journey. You’ve been an inspiration to me. I love coming to Gymnanigans.

    GChamp Mel

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