This website isn't all pull-ups and workouts. This is about a journey: what it means to fight, push, pull, and to make a difference. Each day we are given an "opportunity", not a guarantee, to seize what we're truly after. Life is a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way. This is about taking chances and putting energy behind your passion. Following what makes you skip, run, jump, leap in the direction of your dreams. Stepping outside your comfort zone and drowning out the voice of uncertainty with the sound of your own heartbeat. This is about growth, progress, understanding, confidence. And most importantly, this is about what happens when hard work meets passion.
I did not just fall into the health and fitness field. I moved to NYC after graduating college without a job and very little direction, but I did know that I was ready to experience life farther from home than I had ever been. With a little savings, and the scary choice to sink or swim, I worked three to four jobs at a time for several years. During this time, I hustled, hardly slept and put in hours of work just to stay afloat. What kept me going was my desire to find a way to bring fitness and being active to life to as many people as possible. Being active saved me. It was an outlet when I was young and it still helps me through life’s struggles today.
Inside the four walls of my childhood Massachusetts home, life was chaotic and unpredictable. My brothers and I supported our own physical and mental health with constant activity. We would spend countless hours outdoors playing together. My dad was a basketball star in college and played professionally overseas so I naturally chose to play basketball as well. I was talented, but was I a natural star? No. I knew I would have to work on it every day, so I did. I wanted to be like him and to make him proud, and to one day play in the WNBA.
As I got older, home became more and more chaotic, and my love for basketball turned into a love for fitness across all realms. At 16 years old, I would run to the local YMCA, do some pull-ups and shoot free throws many times a week - I thought if I was going to be the tiniest on the court I damn well better be the strongest. Looking back I also realize this was the place I ran to escape and clear my mind. Being active became a part of my everyday life - I became fearless, motivated and dreamed really big. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.
It was no surprise then that when it came to picking a college, and a place to play basketball, I reached high. I was a Division Three recruit with a Division One mentality. I told my dad I wanted to be a walk-on at his alma mater, where he had been a star years ago. Standing at 5’6 I showed up to the first day of preseason with my hands full. The speed of the game, the size of the girls and their athletic ability was not only intimidating but downright next level. I did not try out for the team with expectations to play, I just wanted a jersey with my name on the back and for my family to read my name on the roster. I’ll never forget when the assistant coach tossed me a jersey and said “Walk-ons don't get to pick a size.” I held that thing up and it was practically a dress. It was then that a few dreams were born:
1) Play four years at a Division One program.
2) Become a role model on that team and make my teammates better.
3) Make my family proud.
4) Get a size small jersey by my junior year.
5) Earn a full scholarship for my last two years to help lighten the financial load.
It became my mission to prove to myself that I could do it. And I did.
I am sharing all of this about my life because my philosophy and ideals in training were born in that Massachusetts backyard, YMCA gym and Fairfield University basketball court. Life is an uphill battle. I have experienced so much from the highest highs to the lowest of the lows, but I have never stopped moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other with an optimistic view towards the future. I learned, and continue to learn, from everything I have come across. It is the experiences and hardships that once dragged us down that we turn into the blocks that build and hold us up.
For the longest time I could not say what I did as a career without putting my head down. I felt embarrassed, inadequate and many people would ask, “But what is your real job?” Today, I stand tall and say it proud every time never forgetting how I once said it. My real job is spreading my passion and changing people's lives for the better. I know it does, because it has been changing mine since I was a little girl. I have made a career from what I have been passionate about my whole life. My purpose and my quest is to spread more knowledge than just creative workouts. I want to share the importance of understanding one’s self worth, finding our strength and confidence, standing tall in the face of adversity and being proud of who we are. I want to reach as many people as possible and push them to become their most powerful self.
QUALIFICATIONS + ACCOMPLISHMENTS
NCSF Certified Personal Trainer
Over 11+ years of training experience
AFAA Group Fitness Instructor
In-office bootcamp extraordinaire - GOOGLE NYC & DISCOVERY CHANNEL
Certified Kettlebell + TRX Instructor
Reaching over 200k on Instagram @elisesbodyshop
Former Division 1 basketball player