We are so close to the official start of summer, and what better way to kick it off than to congratulate one of my bestie beasts on winning this month’s ‘Member of the Month. She is the POSTER CHILD of no excuses, no BS, and no frills… she is the real deal. Stella shows up pretty much every day of the week, bright and early at 6 AM, ready to conquer the world. She’s SUPER competitive, but always with a smile (those are the ones you gotta look out for! =) Her commitment to health, fitness, and improving herself, has resulted in massive results, not only in weight loss, muscle and strength gain, but also in endurance and overall fitness level. Great job Stella, I love you so much sister!
Wow so you’re almost 40… and a mom? Have you always been athletic?
Yes, I was always into sports as a kid. I was on the swim team and in water polo, in both high school and college. I’m super super competitive… I’ve just always been that way, and sports has always been a huge part of my life. My husband is on the same boat … we love being active, especially with our kids.
How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
My friend joined actually, and she told me about it. I kept seeing KEEN show up on social media, and it took me two full months after my friend invited me to join, to actually come to my first class. I had always been into fitness, but at that time, I hadn’t worked out in a while and was at my highest weight ever. I remember walking in at 6 AM, and back then, 4 years ago, Ankeen only had a few people at that morning class. I’ve consistently been coming for 4 years now, at least 4-5 times a week, at 6 AM, bright and early!
What’s the biggest improvement you’ve seen?
Definitely my energy level and my endurance in general. I mean my body is completely different too, and clearly I have more muscles tone, but my endurance is so much better now. I don’t feel like quitting ever in a workout, and I am able to keep going and have a great day after an amazing morning workout .
What was your first experience at KEEN?
I remember my first class was heavy on pushups, and I hadn’t ever done real pushups. I remember doing just one, going down and up, was impossible for me. Now I can do a ton… in fact, in my 2-minute pushup challenge I did 69. I love seeing progress like that when you reflect back over a long period of time.
What made you stay so persistent?
Well like I said, I’m a SUPER competitive person, especially with myself. So giving up and not coming back to master the push-ups, or the next workout, was just not an option for me.
How does working out affect your personal life?
KEEN is my sanctuary … It’s my go-to place where I don’t have to think or worry about anything: life, kids, work, whatever. That 1-hour is my time of meditation. It allows me to go home and be more calm. Everyone in my family knows this is my ‘me-time’, and they see me more happy afterwards, and of course, that allows them to be more happy.
Haha you said the gym is your sanctuary… you realize we have like gangster rap or reggaeton blasting all the time right? Does that help your ‘meditation’?
Haha I love the music.. It pushes me so hard. Ankeen is ON POINT with the music.
What’s one of your favorite exercises?
Bear Complex: I love it. I knew you would say that.. All the gym beasts say that.
Well because it’s mostly upper body and I love working on that! But you know what? It’s also a lot of lower body. I love it because it’s such a full body movement.
Does your husband know how much of a badass you are?
(immediately responds) Yes! He calls it the “KEEN Cult Club” … He knows I can take him down in anything fitness (editor’s note: Stella’s husband literally walked into the gym when we asked this question)… haha!
What would you say about Ankeen and how does she influence your experience at the gym?
She’s is the super woman of fitness, and she makes every class just so much more enjoyable because of her genuine dedication, her extreme passion, and her motivational energy. She literally loves every single one of us, and we feel it. But let me be clear… she’s FAR from being a softy. She will stare you down if you pickup a light weight that’s not challenging for you, because she genuinely wants you to achieve your best. She is what makes this gym so special, and it’s why I have been so loyal to this place. She is a lifetime friend.
Tell us something that we don’t know about you?
I think people at the gym who know me, or my friends and family, know how OCD I am about cleaning and organization. It’s actually really really bad, and it’s getting worse by age. Like after a crazy tiring workout, I’ll be super exhausted, but I HAVE to organize the dumbells all in ascending order, with the numbers facing up, and all aligned properly.
What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
Dubai… I actually lived there for 2 years. My husband got a job opportunity there, so we packed up our bags and went. It was awesome. Were you scared at all? Not all, but it was hard because we had to shift our life entirely. It was difficult for sure, but an amazing experience. We met people from all over the world. My daughter actually went to preschool there. Of course my parents were in shock at our initial decision, but it was a good family decision for us.
What advice would you give someone who is hesitant to try the gym?
You know what… every person I have a class with who is trying out their first class: I tell them, you GOTTA stay consistent. You GOTTA commit to it and then you will see results and progress. I know making that first decision to get here is so difficult, because that was me 4 years go. But it’s all about just doing it and getting here. You will LOVE your new KEEN Cult family haha! And you know what, it’s totally OK to throw up on your first day. Just Sayin’
Any routine outside of the gym that helps you?
OMG I’m all about routine haha… remember I’m OCD. But with my husband, we love doing active things together… like hiking or walking the dog.
What is your food indulgence?
I can’t really say I’m a food fanatic or a person who watches what I eat either … but my go-to cuisine is sushi, for sure. Albacore and salmon sashimi is my JAM!
What’s your jam right now?
I’m such an 80s music fan, since I grew up with an older brother, and so anything 80s, especially the old school stuff. Like Madonna, Prince… omg even Elton John. You’re not going to include that right? (hehe of course we are)
Joselitos in Montrose, FOR SURE! Margaritas Baby!