I was born in Summit, NJ, and then moved to Austin, TX when I was in my early teens. I was a bit chubby in high school, and always wanted to be a dancer or cheerleader, but was too afraid to try out, because I just assumed that they wouldn't want me on the team.
When I landed in college, I gained the famous 'Freshman Fifteen.' I was studying Chemical Engineering at the time, and I suppose the added stresses of the topics sent me for extra portions at my 'all you can eat' dorm buffet. By the time I hit my second semester; I felt the need to lose weight and started running. I worked my way up to 6 miles a day, and the pounds melted away! All of a sudden, I was being noticed by boys at school. For the geeky girl who wore a pencil in her bun with no makeup in high school, this was something new and exciting! Fitness was giving me self-esteem. This was the beginning of how it would transform my life.
After taking up running, I quickly started in the weight room and found that I truly enjoyed lifting weights. It was incredibly intimidating walking into the gym, not knowing what I was doing. I looked around and would see so many (mostly men) lifting weights, and was determined to figure it out. Granted, I didn't aspire to pick up the grunting noises and flexing of 'the guns' as a lady, but I did want to at least know what I was doing to get more toned. So, I began to ask some trainers at the gym how to improve my form, and I was on my way!
After college, I moved to NYC and continued to take group fitness classes, which I had started in school when I had time. I really loved my Step instructor at NYSC (New York Sports Clubs), and he encouraged me to get certified. While I had always wanted to teach, the little chubby girl inside of me made every excuse in the book not to go do it. The biggest excuse was my day job at an Investment Bank downtown. I was working in the Investment Banking Division, and seemed to always be working. Somehow I managed to squeeze fitness in, but yet again, with the stresses of work, I began to put on weight.
Then one day, the bottom fell out. I thought my life was over - I got laid off! How could this have happened? I had worked tirelessly for over five years to make a career at the bank, and that was it? Just like that? After complete devastation and some time to think, I decided that it was time, no more excuses. It was time to get certified!
In 2005, I got my first certification, Primary Group Exercise, through AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America). After many weekends of rehearsal, I then went and auditioned at NYSC (New York Sports Clubs) with my choreography, and got the job! I have been teaching at NYSC ever since. From there, I proceeded to earn the following additional certifications/licenses which I currently maintain:
Certification/License Maintained & Year Achieved
AFAA Primary Group Exercise 2005
AFAA Kickboxing 2006
AFAA Personal Training 2009
Zumba® Basics I 2009
Turbo Kick® 2010
YogaFit® Level I 2010
YogaFit® Level III 2011
TRX® Suspension Training 2011
YogaFit® Level II 2012
Zumba® Basics II 2012
YogaFit® Anatomy & Alignment 2013
Pon De Flo® 2015
YogaFit® for Warriors (PTSD) 2016
YogaFit® for Warriors (Balancing the Parasympathetic Nervous System) 2017
YogaFit® for Warriors (Healing Emotional & Physical Trauma) 2017
Fitness has changed my life and my dream and mission is to help others achieve Fitness for Life.
Copyright © Kicking with Kara. All rights reserved.