Emily, 27 - Mindful Fighter
Emily is the fifth in the series, and what an incredible and dynamic addition she makes! Here's the back of her baseball card:
Soon-to-be Mt. Kilimanjaro Climber
It's hard to pick a title that fully encompasses Emily, but Mindful Fighter feels perfect. She's kickass while also bringing the most calming nature along with her wherever she goes. She's happy in the most mindful and realistic way, and courageous - seemingly unafraid to jump in to take on challenges. I mean, Mt. Kilimanjaro?! There's nothing this girl can't do.
Emily is an instructor - Zumba, Yoga & Boxing - and she leads her classes in hopes that each person is leaving having gotten what they came to get.
"First and foremost, I want people to have fun in class. Then, I want them to feel strong when they leave class. I want them to feel powerful when they leave class. And, I want people to feel happier — or lighter — when they leave class. To accomplish that, I try to help my dancers, yogis, and boxers identify why they come to class. I prompt them to ask themselves why they fight, why they flow, why they come to class, what they hope to get out of class — and then we work to accomplish that together."
Interestingly enough, Emily didn't always consider herself an athlete...
"When I was younger, I never considered myself an athlete. I played soccer (a little) and danced (a lot), but I didn’t associate that with “athleticism.” When I entered adulthood, I started to become really grateful for exercise, dance, and the athletic activities by body was capable of.
Sweat, sore muscles, and the mood-boost that comes with being active makes me feel like a bad*ss, powerful, strong woman. The strength and power combined with my calm, compassionate nature, translates into other areas of my life, allowing me to show up for my friends, family, co-workers, and clients."
She discovered her passion for fitness in college, and now as a woman in her 20's she finds herself in a unique position to help and inspire those around her.
"When I started to become really active in college and began teaching fitness classes at the University of Massachusetts Campus Recreation Center, I realized that a lot of my peers were drawn to — and even craved — some level of physical activity to balance the academic and social stresses of college. When I entered the Boston fitness scene, I noticed this was true for this community as well. People move to feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally. I teach fitness and movement so that others can get what they need. Being an athlete at my age allows me to motivate those older than me (like my parents), and those younger than me (like my siblings and their friends). I love that."
At first it seems like yoga, dancing and boxing might not be complimentary disciplines or movements, but then you consider that each one requires a grace and poise - and that each can bring that grace and clarity in a different form:
"I’m often asked what style of fitness I like best — yoga, dance, boxing, running, etc. It’s a hard question to answer because I can get what I need out of each of those. During each activity, I’m able to enter this meditative state where the rest of the world melts away and I’m completely focused on the task at hand. This is so therapeutic for me. I need it to be my best self. During yoga, we link the breath to the movement and get lost in the flow. In boxing, the music is loud and we are focused on punch combos, exhaling with each punch, and getting in the zone to win the fight. In dance, we groove to the music and get lost in the movement. Each of these activities brings me joy, mental clarity, and strength in their own way."
"Fitness makes me feel more confident in many different aspects of my life. It makes me feel confident in my body. It makes my skin glow. And, under the surface, I reach an amazing level of mental clarity that makes me feel confident in other areas of my life — work, relationships, decision-making."
This shoot was a photographer's dream. At one point a passerby asked if we were shooting for a fashion magazine - that's how well Emily owned it.
Oh, and we had ice cream for dinner afterwards.
Keep killing it, Em. I know you'll surmount any and all challenges that come your way, next up Mt. Kili.