What I Learned About Myself Through CKO

June 3, 2018
​Growing up in a loving, big family of 6 kids was not easy, especially when your parents were not the richest on the neighborhood block. So for me, it was easy to slip in the cracks of emotional eating. When I was young, my oldest brother would tease me all the time about how fat and ugly I was. I specifically remember one time when we were on a family reunion and he had all the cousins tell me I was too fat. In 8th grade, my best friend at the time, had taught me how to be bulimic. This did not last, because little did she know, I have a fear of throwing up and absolutely hate it.

Therefore, I tried other outlets… the slim fast shakes with one meal a day, running 3-4 miles a day, anything to get my weight to come off and stay off. It was a lot of yo-yo dieting. In 2009, during a routine bloodwork checkup, I was diagnosed with having a slow active thyroid and was put on thyroid medication. However, in 2010, when my grandfather had passed away and I decided to escape it all by joining the military, I took myself off the medication. While away in training, we were taught basic combat movements, (i.e. take downs, grappling, kicks, punches, etc). This excited me so much and I knew it was because I had always been fascinated by boxing. In 8th grade, I remember watching the reality TV series “The Contender.” It was where Sugar Ray Leonard and Sylvester Stallone coached amateur boxers as they competed with one another in an elimination-style competition. While watching, I told my mom I would be a boxer someday and she refused that I “mess up my pretty face.”

When I returned from military training I knew I had to be involved in a gym that had some type of boxing and that’s when I stumbled upon CKO Kickboxing. My first class was in February 2013 and although I was shaking after class from its intensity, I knew it was for me! I was only a member for a short time before the owner approached me about being an instructor and I immediately jumped at the opportunity. I started instructing at CKO North Brunswick/East Brunswick.

Fast forward almost two years later, still teaching and loving CKO!  Finally, I had found something that had given me the results I had always desired:  a tone body, healthy attitude, happiness, you name it.  In October, 2015, I tried the CKO in Edison/Woodbridge/Clark and became a member there and was hoping for another instructor opportunity which came in March 2016 and lasted until Sept. 2016 when I chose to leave because I needed time to regain a personal sense of myself.  At that time, I felt unsettled and lost, so I reverted back to eating and putting on weight.  It was ironic because I was studying for my personal trainer exam, training  to be a role model and helping others with their weight gain journey, but I was putting on weight.  I passed my exam, but the whole time I was studying I kept wishing I could be a trainer at CKO again.  In February 2017, a friend encouraged me to reach out to the Edison/Woodbridge/Clark owners to see if they would have me back and they did!  I was now back on staff at these locations but this time as personal trainer, instructor and front desk associate.

You see, even over the course of five years of being a CKO member and then instructor and then member again and then instructor, I put on weight, and lost weight back and forth. The time I was putting on weight was when I was away from the thing that brings me the most joy and passion, which is CKO. It is obvious I cannot stay away from it. CKO has completely changed my life in the best ways providing me with so many great once-in-a-lifetime experiences; such as, forming new friendships, taking a cruise to Bermuda, kickboxing center court at Madison Square Garden with 50+ other instructors, and so much more. CKO even taught me how to be courageous, brave enough, willing enough to get out of my own comfort zone when they gave me the most special opportunity to walk across a stage in a bathing suit at the CKO Transformation Show in Mohegan Sun this past April. If you are looking for a fun workout, full of high energy, that will leave you feeling more confident than ever, and that has the ability to give you memories to last a lifetime, you need to come try a CKO class today!