Faces of Long Island celebrates the uniqueness of everyday Long Islanders. In their own words, they tell us about their life experiences, challenges and triumphs. Newsday launched this social media journey into the human experience to shine a light on the diverse people of this wonderful place we call home.

‘I saw how happy people were in fitness classes and how happy it made me.’


“I never thought of being a fitness instructor. I was always an athlete growing up. I was going to school to be a teacher and then changed my major and ended up graduating with a communications degree. I worked in marketing in the city. This was around the time when boutique fitness really was becoming very big. I was starting to realize I didn’t like the 9-5, going on the train, being in the city. I worked in social media when it just started, so it was super fun, but I was drained. I was burned out at 24 years old. I saw how happy people were in fitness classes and how happy it made me. I was like, ‘I want to make someone happy like this. So why not make the jump?’ But at the same time, I was nervous because I was like, ‘OK, I switched from teaching to marketing; now I’m going to switch to fitness?’

“My dad was always his own boss. He always reminded me, ‘You should work for yourself. You should make your own money. If you can, start your own business somehow.’ It was always ingrained in me that I would somehow do something on my own.

“I’ve been in fitness for eight years now. Once the pandemic hit when I made an LLC, I made a website and my on-demand subscription. 2020 is when private training became bigger.

“The Long Island fitness community is a strong, tight-knit community where a lot of people know each other, have worked with one another, taken each other’s classes. It’s nice that when I think of each modality in fitness, I can think of someone to suggest for yoga, Pilates, barre, Zumba, a strength class, a nutrition coach. I love meeting people in the fitness community and creating relationships with different instructors and business owners.

“A lot of time, people are scared to just start. People come in and they want to go in the back corner. It’s like, ‘No, come closer to me so you can actually see what you’re doing.’ They also are already comparing themself to the person that’s in the front, in the great outfit, and doing everything without taking a break. You don’t know how long that person has been doing that. Just pay attention to yourself and your body. You just have to get out of your head and step into the workout.”

Interviewed by Tracey Cheek