There are times in your life when you know you need a change and an opportunity presents itself that just feels right. For me, this is one of those times. When I graduated from college 7 years ago, I couldn’t wait to get to New York fast enough. And although I struggled to pay rent and couldn’t afford to feed myself some months during my first year here, I loved being here. A couple years later, when I finally got to a place where I was financially stable, I liked it even more. The only thing I didn’t love was my job. I wanted to work in fitness, although I wasn’t sure in what capacity, and I was scared to go back to making nothing and to being able to afford food. Nevertheless, I started seeking out opportunities. After interviewing for manager and social media positions at a few different studios, I found a listing on Craig’s List for an “Assistant Instructor” at the Fhitting Room, and by some miracle, I was hired. Finally, I had a job that I loved and that challenged me. And even better, I found a wonderful mentor to help me learn and an incredible family that inspired me to pursue my passion.
I was then introduced to the warm community of CrossFit Metropolis. I fell in love with community aspect of CrossFit, and discovered that I really loved coaching people to become better athletes. That in turn led me to CrossFit Solace (Solace New York), where I was fortunate enough to be a part of the original coaching staff when they opened their doors, and it’s been full speed ahead in fitness every since.
In my 3 years at Fhitting Room, I’ve developed significantly as an instructor and programmer, expanding my role to include overseeing all programming at the studio. In the job department, I’m pretty happy. Doing what I love but still eager to learn and grow. Never bored. Never comfortable. However, New York is starting to wear on me. As huge of a city as it is, it can be an extremely lonely one. As somewhat of an introvert, I don’t always mind that. My job requires a ton of social interaction and that can be very draining. I treasure the moments where I can be completely alone. And being a part of great communities definitely helps appease some of that loneliness. But there is something missing. I’m not sure if it’s the depressingly long and cold winters, the fact that people here have a lot of trouble slowing down, or just a feeling of being claustrophobic in a concrete jungle – probably a combination of all three – but I know that it’s time for me to say goodbye. The beauty of being a coach is that you can take your skill set anywhere, and there’s no reason to stay in a city that is no longer making me happy. I know there are so many things that I take for granted living here that I am going to miss once I move away – Seamless, 24 hour bodegas, taxi cabs, being anonymous, pizza, bagels, frequent trips to lululemon – to name a few. Who knows, I may come running back. But if I don’t go, I will always wonder what would have happened.
One of the things I’ve learned over the past few years that makes this move easier is that when you are removed from your immediate family, the people that you work with and train with every day become your family. While I love my New York family and will miss them more than words can describe, I am excited for the new family that I am about to join. It’s time for a new adventure!
While I am extremely flattered that everyone is so interested in my life, I am starting to feel like a robot answering the same questions over and over again. So I put together a little Q&A that hopefully covers all the most frequently asked questions.
What are you going to be doing in Grand Cayman?
I’m going to be coaching at CrossFit 7 Mile. I will be a full time coach as well as programming for their CrossFit Lite classes. Their business model is a little different than most gyms – when a new member joins the gym, they are required to do 15 personal training sessions with a coach before jumping into CrossFit classes. This ensures they have a good grasp on the foundational movements and also alleviates some of the stress of the coaches, allowing them to run a smoother class. As you can imagine, member retention is much higher under this model as the coach who did the 15 initial training sessions becomes that person’s “coach for life.” So I’ll be doing a mix of coaching classes and personal training. You can read more about this model here.
When is your last day at the Fhitting Room?
My last day at Fhitting Room will be this Sunday, July 3rd. I am teaching 9 classes over the holiday weekend, so I hope to see everyone at some point – no excuses (don’t worry, the Hamptons aren’t going anywhere). Sign up.
When do you leave NYC?
I’m leaving the city on July 9th to go home to Houston for a few days, and I’ll be heading to Grand Cayman on July 14th.
That’s so soon! How did this happen?
Two months ago, on a chilly April day, I was venting to a friend about how ready I was to call it quits on NYC, and she told me about a coaching opportunity in Grand Cayman. It sounded a little crazy to me – I mean, leave the country? That was a bit extreme, but I figured I would at least find out what it was all about and go from there. After a phone call and a couple of email exchanges, I was on my way down there to check out the gym, coach a few classes and figure out if I thought island life would be for me. Not surprisingly, I fell in love with the place.
What’s the gym like?
Hot! It will definitely be an adjustment getting used to working out with no air conditioning. The heat there is on a whole different level – in fact it reminds me of Houston weather – only with a beautiful beach to make up for it. The community at the gym is amazing. I immediately felt like I connected with so many of the members and coaches there.
How long will you be there?
TBD. At least a year and if I love it, who knows what the future holds.
Are you moving alone? Do you know anyone there?
Yes, I’m moving alone. The only people I know are those I met while I was down there, but I feel like they are already my friends! And I’m excited to meet new people.
Do you know where you’ll be living?
Still figuring out that part…
How do your parents feel about you moving?
My parents were surprisingly calm about the whole thing. They are kind of used to me doing my own thing and making my own decisions at this point. Ultimately, they want me to be happy and I know my mom would rather come visit me at the beach than in the city any day.
Won’t you get bored there and miss the city?
I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing the same things that I do here – eat, sleep, train and go to work. In my free time, rather than sitting in a dark apartment or going to a park with thousands of other people, I can chill on the beach.
Will you make sure to wear sunscreen?
Can I come visit you?
It depends who’s asking. Just kidding, of course!
How long is the flight from NYC? From Houston?
4 hours from NYC. 3 hours from Houston. Direct flights!