An Animal Abroad

 After intense training and performing for more than four years as a professional dancer, I decided to change my career to physical therapy.  I noticed that my body began to change because my new study involved long hours of sitting. Even with a conditioning exercise routine, I was never able to reach the intensity I experienced during my dance education. That is, until I found ANiMAL Crossfit.

          Four weeks into my personal discovery at ANiMAL Crossfit, my mentality of living a healthy lifestyle and promoting that lifestyle has been enhanced to a new level.

          Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Dominican Republic with Cambiando Vidas, a U.S.-based organization dedicated in the construction of houses for financially troubled families. I traveled with law students and a few of my fellow PT students. We were on a mission to build not just a house, but a home, for a family in the town of San Juan and educate the community about the importance of exercise.

         Many of the people in San Juan are physically active through their style of living, but they are unaware of the importance of stretching and taking care of their bodies.I felt a duty to show the people I met from the community the importance of physical activity to promote a healthier lifestyle and different stretching techniques to help decrease injuries.

         By spending time with the children and teens, I was able to show them simple movements such as burpees, push-ups, and squats (which they absolutely loved).The children were eager to interact with us and through these simple skills, they were able have fun. We even started to lift each other because we were having a blast showing off who was the strongest in the community. Through play and fun, exercise was promoted.

         ANiMAL is teaching me that Crossfit does not only exist within the box, rather it’s a lifestyle that carries beyond borders through continuously accepting challenges and accepting no excuses. And CrossFit is not a selfish sport. It’s beyond a self-journey. It’s more than just strength, confidence, and focus. It’s about having the power to share this journey with others we meet along the way and leaving a mark they will carry with them to promote a more positive outlook in their lives.