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Group Fitness fosters growth, happiness, and success.  Once we make time to better ourselves, that positive energy gets transferred to other aspects of our lives.  The excitement and high off of group fitness brings life to our busy days. The connections we make in group fitness classes allows us to network with like-minded people who we would have never met before.  Once we find programs we like, we gain the confidence to try new things on our own whether it’s in the gym or in the workplace.  An active life helps you to evolve physically, mentally, and emotionally into one strong #SweatSuccess!

However, getting into a Fit Life and keeping it up throughout our busy weeks is not always easy.  June’s Fit Leader of the Month, Catherine Forino, shows how fitness helps her to make things happen.  Catherine started coming to my classes last year and we instantly had “a thing”.  She found her spot in the class, she modified for her injuries and didn’t seem compare herself to others – I LOVE that.  Catherine also SHOWS UP.  Whether it’s 630PM on a weeknight or 10AM on a Saturday, she makes her work outs happen.  That says something about who you are. It shows your ability to prioritize (even if you forgot workout socks that day ha!) and dedication.  That’s why I am so excited to introduce you to “Cat” and share a bit of her inspiring story:

IMG_0477M: What does a Fit Leader mean to you?  

C: To me, a Fit Leader isn’t necessarily the most fit person in class — it is more so someone who encourages others and themselves to do the best they can at whatever fit activity they do. Fit Leader’s aren’t judgemental of others in their class or at the gym — they are friendly, encouraging, and inspired by others.


M: What do you do for work?

C:  I am the Marketing Coordinator at a Tech startup called ShopKeep. I started out in sales at ShopKeep for 1.5 years but it was time for a change. I needed a position that I could grow in and that was less stress on a daily basis – so I made the move to Marketing back in August of 2015. Having less stress at work and having more set hours has definitely allowed for my fit life to grow.


M: How has fitness enabled you to make things happen in all parts of your life?

C:  Fitness has only been a part of my life for the past  9 months or so. I worked out a few years ago here and there but due to a shoulder injury I couldn’t for quite some time. Fitness has made me more confident and active in my everyday life. Even if I’m not necessarily going to class or the gym I try to choose more active activities.  For instance I used to sit around and do nothing on Sundays, or just do laundry; now, if weather permits, I get out on my bike and ride to a park, over a bridge, or to a flea market to get some exercise and socializing in.


IMG_0476M:  What workouts do you NEED? Why do they work for you/why do you love them?

C:  I absolutely need cardio sweat party — it is my number one class!  I also really enjoy riding my bike, as I mentioned. It’s hard to do in the colder months or when it’s raining but on a beautiful day I love to just get out there and do a 10 mile ride around Astoria. I also try to sign up for organized cycling events like Bike the Branches in Brooklyn or Women’s rides out on Long Island.


M:  How do you balance your fit life with your personal health, social life, and career?  Any tips you can share?  

C:  My fit life has become a lot more important to me and I reserve certain days of the week for workouts. Unless there is something I HAVE to do on one of those days or if I’m sick I make sure I get to the gym or a class (typically Monday, Wednesdays, Friday mornings or nights, and I try my best on Saturday mornings…plus that hopeful Sunday bike ride). I try to schedule my classes and gym times around my work schedule and work neighborhood. Living in Astoria and working in western SoHo isn’t always easy but I make the workouts happen.


M:  How do you keep fitness social?

C:  I am an incredibly friendly person. I will talk to just about anyone around me in class. I always like to chat with people before or after classes and sometimes even during if I have a quick question. I feel like I have “class” friends who I look forward to seeing every week and I even reconnected with an old high school friend through Cardio Sweat Party!


M:  You come straight from work.  Any tips on prioritizing your workouts?13434929_1406323909383589_8383750103979693716_n

C:  Cardio Sweat Party is  the class I have to prioritize the most for since it isn’t close to my office. I try my best to get in a little early that day or just get my work done by 5:55pm on the dot so I can change and run out right at 6pm. Other classes I’m usually able to say eh, no need to rush out of work today I’ll take a 7pm class instead.


M:  Who’s your Fit Leader inspiration?

C:  My mom is my fit leader inspiration. She is 62 and in great shape. With age comes certain physical flaws but that woman can ride a bike further and harder than any other 50+ year old I know. She has always been incredibly active and I really hope that in my adulthood I am able to do that as well.


M: That’s awesome!  Final question: Do you have any funny stories from exploring your fit life?

C:  When I first got into fitness, I tried a new butt-focused class. I did it on a Wednesday and that Saturday I went home to Long Island — my parents looked at me like I was crazy because I literally couldn’t walk straight and I looked like a pregnant woman when I tried to stand up and sit down… I was in SO much pain but it paid off in the end! Oh, and I learned I am no good at strictly dance choreography classes….I look like an idiot.

M: Hah!  We’ve ALL been there!  


Cat, you’re empowering, inclusive, funny, and committed.  I am so proud to honor you as this month’s spotlight Fit Leader!  

To stay connected with Catherine, tag us on social media @sassy_catfo and @Mzmotivational to show us how you’re celebrating YOU with hashtag #FitLeaderFriday!