instructors

How Our Fitness Pros Fell in Love with Their Careers

The P.E. Club Team

February is about celebrating passion and love.  If there is one thing we're passionate about at The P.E. Club, it's definitely fitness! Every employee @ P.E. has a love story and fitness journey that makes them a valuable, unique part of the team.  Our trainers & instructors share how they got their start as fitness professionals!


Question: Did you find the fitness industry or did the fitness industry find you? Share your fitness love story!

"My mentor, Debbie Frank, "discovered" me at Exhale working the front desk and scooped me away to become a barre teacher... the rest is history!"

-Kevin Murnane, Trainer/Instructor

"The fitness industry found me! I mean I always was a workout warrior, but when I tore my ACL April of 2015 I really had to make a decision about strengthening my body in order to keep dancing. So I fell into fitness!"

-Kayley Stevens, Instructor

"I found fitness in a time immediately after college when I was struggling to navigate my way in the world post graduation. I first turned to the gym as a way to get out my frustrations and anxiety about all the unknowns in my future- but I quickly fell in love with getting in shape and stronger and soon enough, I was working to make fitness that future!"

-Miriam Fried, Trainer/Instructor

"I found fitness as an outlet from stress when I was in high school. My daddy and I worked out every morning together from high school until I moved to NY. Then I met my husband at the gym and now we own a gym together. So I guess you can say that the fitness industry has been apart of my life, my love and my family."

-Nedra Lopez, Owner + Trainer/Instructor

"I would say fitness found me! After graduating college a friend of mine who owned a Pilates studio gave me a job at the front desk just to get me by on my first year post grad. I fell in love with the classes there and because of my dance background she asked if I was interested in teaching. I said "of course!"and began my training. After about 7-8 months of teaching there a friend/teacher I knew through the dance world recommended me to Nedra to teach at The P.E. Club knowing that I had a background in teaching pilates! I had my interview and we hit it off! After working at P.E. for a few months, taking classes and trying out personal training I really fell in love with how my body was feeling. I realized while I complained about "problem areas" on my body I was just talking and there wasn't a lot of doing. Realizing I was in control of making those areas change into the way I wanted them felt empowering! Although I haven't met all of my goals yet I am enjoying working on them. Wanting results immediately was usually why I didn't like to work out. Because that's impossible and without patience working out will only leave you frustrated! The process makes me feel strong and healthy so I am less worried about getting there quickly. I wasn't looking to get into the fitness industry but I am so glad to have made the connections I did because I am stronger today because of it!"

-Melody Domfort, Instructor

"Fitness fell into my lap. I always enjoyed working out in college and after, but I didn't exactly know how to dive into it as part of my professional goals. One day 5 years ago, I was dancing down the street with my now husband and a woman stopped me. She asked me a few questions about myself and then handed me her card. Living in NYC has taught me that there are some very interesting people living among us. I kind of laughed her off, but a few hours later I googled her name and realized that she was an established entrepreneur in the fitness industry. Long story short, I became an instructor, made my TV premier as a fitness model on HSN and later became a host on QVC. We have since parted ways, but I have a lot of thanks to give her."

-Morgana Mauney, Instructor

"I sort of found the fitness industry, I was always active as a child- basketball, dance, tennis but when I got into my teens I started going to the gym and loved it a stress reliever. I was also exercised to keep my body and mind healthy but then I started working at a yoga studio and fell in love with yoga and working out even more."

-Mayra Rodriguez, Front Desk Manager

"I've always been very active all my life. I was always a dancer, but started experimenting with track & cross country in high school. I was very fast and placed every race. However, my after school hours were so jam packed with physical activity that it started to take a toll on my body. As my times began to slide on the track and my body was giving out each race, I had to make the decision to commit 100% to dance. I maintained a passion for running throughout high school and into college, where I competed frequently in local 5ks and even ran my first half marathon! It wasn't until I moved to the city for my first job after college where I began experimenting with group fitness. I worked 40 hrs a week and was still trying to pursue my dance career, but I quite frankly couldn't achieve that balance. It was hard to go from being very active to sitting at a desk, so I joined ClassPass right away upon moving here just to get a feel for the options the city has to offer,. I quit a month in when I realized I was really only going to a handful of places and the booking process was too stressful. I just bought a gym membership to hold me over and took a few dance classes in the city every now and then. When I was referred to The P.E. Club by a friend for a job opening last year, my whole world was about to change. I got out of a negative job situation that took a toll on my mental and physical health, I was able to focus more on my dance career, PLUS I had the opportunity to teach group fitness and learn new modalities, such as TRX and heavy lifting 101. I now have truly found balance in my routine and my body has never looked better - not to mention I'm always learning new things and sharing my love of fitness with the world!"

-Katy Kauffman, Creative Director + Instructor


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What @DailyDoseoFitness Actually Eats in a Day

If you follow trainer/instructor Miriam Fried on Instagram (@dailydoseofitness), you might be under the impression that her diet consists primarily of the three main food groups: peanut butter, chocolate, and pancakes. In reality, only in her dreams - and on her birthday - is that the case.

To put those rumors to rest, Miriam shared with us what she ACTUALLY eats in a day...


1.) Breakfast

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

This varies depending on whether I’m on the go or have time to make breakfast at home.

My go-to grab and go breakfast?  A Siggi’s yogurt with a little bit of granola.

If I have time to cook?  It’s ALWAYS a big veggie egg white omelette with avocado, and turkey bacon and whole wheat toast on the side.

2.) Lunch/Post Workout

Since I prefer to workout mid-morning, my lunch is also my post workout meal, which means it tends to be my largest and most carb dense meal of the day!  When you exercise, your body fuels your workouts using muscle glycogen.  After a workout, you need to replenish those glycogen stores as quickly as possible.  The fastest way to do this is by consuming carbohydrates shortly after exercising.  You should also aim to get in some protein post workout, as protein aids in muscle protein synthesis (AKA building muscle!) as well as recovery, by reducing soreness and fatigue.

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

This meal for me is where the magic happens!  Typically, this means protein pancakes or my current summer favorite, a protein smoothie bowl.  I'll blend some frozen fruit with protein powder and cashew milk, then top it with whatever my heart - and body - desires.

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

3.) Afternoon Snack

If you’re like me and are #foreverhungry, having readily available snack options always helps to keep me from wandering into Duane Reade and accidentally buying out the entire candy section when that mid afternoon hunger hits.  My favorite afternoon snack?  Rice cakes with peanut butter and reduced sugar jelly!  If I’m on the go, a protein bar works in a pinch, so I always keep a stash in my bag just in case.

4.) Dinner

Dinner varies for me, but it always includes lots of veggies and some form of lean protein.  My current favorite dinner is a giant mixed vegetable stir fry over rice with chicken or shrimp, topped with my homemade Thai Peanut Sauce!  If I’m out and about during dinnertime, you can usually find me at my favorite salad spot, SweetGreen (my current favorite is their peach and goat cheese salad).

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club
What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

5.) Dessert

Also known as: the most important meal of the day. 

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

Typically, this will be one of three things: 1) some of my favorite high protein ice cream, Halo Top Creamery 2) greek yogurt mixed with cocoa powder and stevia, or 3) frozen banana protein ice cream made in my Ninja blender which I’ll top with some combination of delicious toppings (always lots peanut butter, of course)!

One of the ways I’ve been able to keep up with my fitness lifestyle is by eating dessert every night.  I always crave something sweet after dinner - and in terms of living a long, sustainable, healthy life, finding ways to curb those cravings (without going crazy), rather than FIGHTING them has always been a better strategy for me.

Here are a few things to remember:

  1.  If you’re looking to get healthier, simply eating LESS isn’t always the answer.  Under eating is just as unhealthy as over eating.  Food is necessary to fuel our bodies, to push us through our workouts, to keep us alive and functioning as happy, healthy human beings.  Eating too little for too long can have an averse effect on your body and even stall your weight loss goals.  
  2. Healthy doesn’t have to be boring!  No matter what your favorite foods may be, there are most likely ways to make them fit your diet in a healthier way.  Love pizza? Try a cauliflower crust recipe or make a tortilla pizza.  Addicted to Chipotle?  Make your own at home burrito bowls with a healthy twist!  Eating healthier does NOT need to mean salads for every meal.
  3. Instead of thinking about cutting out certain foods or food groups, try thinking about adding more healthy foods to your diet.  Eat more vegetables.  Experiment with adding fruits and veggies of a variety of different colors and feed your body with nutrient rich foods that taste good and also make you feel good. 
  4. At the same time:  I don’t avoid carbs.  Nothing is off limits to me.  I just practice balance and portion control.  No food is “bad”.  There’s not one particular food that causes weight gain.  If the majority of your diet consists of those “good for you”, nutrient filled foods, there’s no reason a smaller portion of that diet can’t contain those less healthy, “good for your soul” foods in moderation.
  5. If you struggle for a day or two, if you go off your diet for any reason- don’t beat yourself up.  Don’t let that deter you from trying again.  Nobody is perfect.  We all have our good days and our bad days- but the good news is that tomorrow is ALWAYS a new day!  Just keep going!

There you have it!  As you can see- my diet isn't ONLY pancakes and peanut butter, but it definitely always includes them in moderation because they keep me happy, healthy, sane, AND curb my cravings.  You don't have to choose between eating yummy food or eating healthy food.  You can have your (pan) cake and eat it too!  

Follow Miriam on Instagram for more! @DailyDoseoFitness