Initiation of My Fitness Lifestyle
By Darlene Rosa
Looking back, I wouldn't have labeled my younger self as the sporty type. As an introverted child, I preferred reading books, drawing, and playing with toys over physical activities. While I later developed an interest in running and had a genuine love for exploring nature, by the time high school rolled around, sports were the last thing on my mind.
College exposed me to various forms of exercise, including jogging, yoga, gymnastics, and kickboxing. While these were seeds planted for later exploration in my life, none of them truly captured my interest back then.
Post-graduation, I entered the corporate world, which turned out to be incredibly unfulfilling. I had an abundance of energy, and it was frustrating to be confined to windowless offices and forced to engage with computer screens over people when I longed to be outdoors. My life had begun to settle into a monotonous routine. Little did I know, my life was calling me toward greater freedom and entrepreneurship, where I could create my own schedule and spend time outdoors whenever I needed it.
One day, as I stood before my bedroom mirror, things began to change. I found myself caught in a moment of body-shaming as I pinched at the little bit of healthy fat around my stomach.
But then, something remarkable happened.
My inner voice, which I like to refer to as my Higher Self, that awareness beyond my ego, spoke out and said "stop criticizing yourself and do something about it." In that moment, I had a powerful realization about self-talk, it can make you or break you. My self-talk had been my worst enemy and I alone, held the power not only to transform my body but also to silence my inner critic and boost my self-confidence. It was time to take action.
With a strong desire to change but lacking clear guidance on how to start, I began with home workouts, relentlessly pushing myself through a then-popular high intensity interval training program. I'll never forget the sense of accomplishment and the pride I felt when I conquered my first push-up.
With that achievement as my inspiration and my increased fitness, I set out into the world of running, even completing several 5K races before eventually taking on my very first 10K race. Simultaneously, I immersed myself in self-education, consistently reading a multitude of articles and watching various videos on nutrition, veganism, weightlifting, bodybuilding, and running workouts.
To complement my running routine and become a stronger athlete, I joined a basic $10/month gym. My workouts gradually extended to 1-2+ hours a day, 4-6 days a week, in addition to my regular running regimen.
My passion for the gym was undeniable. I became not only addicted to the physical transformation I was undergoing but also by the shift in mindset it brought. I often found myself daydreaming about my training sessions during work, sometimes even creating workouts while on the job.
After about two years of consistent training, I decided to take a leap of faith, following my heart's passion, and embarked on a new career as a Personal Trainer in 2013!
Fitness has truly transformed my life in incredible ways.
Not only have I enhanced my own athletic abilities, but along this journey, I've had the privilege of connecting with numerous clients and assisting them on their journey to improved health and strength. I've been fortunate to work at some of the best gyms in New York City, collaborating with numerous talented and dedicated professionals.
My journey has also involved training alongside elite athletes and coaching, youth track and field while expanding my knowledge in fitness, plant-based nutrition, sports performance and psychology.
Throughout this path, I've grown my network to include hundreds, if not thousands, of remarkable individuals and had the opportunity to work with youth athletes as well. The connections I've made along the way have been truly meaningful, and I've forged some enduring friendships.
My desire, from the very beginning, has been to create a community of like-minded women who are enthusiastic about embracing a new lifestyle. I want to help women save valuable time and energy by sharing what I've learned through my own experiences. It's my goal to guide my clients toward a deeper sense of presence, joy, and gratitude for their bodies, starting with achieving an optimal state of health and fitness. By doing so, they can fully enjoy all that life has to offer.