[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″] Someone once told me, “Could you sit at the front [of the car] because you take too much space at the back?” I’ve always been made fun of because of my body-size and weight; yet all I could do was to smile and attempt to brush those comments away. However, it came to a point where I’ve accumulated so much hurt that I spent the majority of my life cultivating a sense of embarrassment and low self-esteem. Coming back to the US of my own accord was also one of the toughest decisions I’ve made – I’m continents away from many of my family and friends, and the thought of living in Boston with no one to depend on was petrifying. But, it was kind of a fresh start for me. Life happens, and I was tired of feeling anxious and insecure. So, with that in mind, I decided to take the first step to prove others wrong. Or that was what I thought.

Negativity aside, let me tell you a little bit about myself; My name is Desiree, and I’m about to work full-time as a Case Manager, and I’m also a part-time musician. I became a member at CSC around the end of October last year just because I didn’t want deal with too much slippery snow in Boston when winter comes. But boy oh boy, I did not know what I’ve gotten myself into.

I’m an introvert, and I was absolutely terrified of participating in group classes, so I started with working out at the machines on my own. However, *spoiler alert*: I wished I had stepped into those classes from the very moment I walked into the gym! I first started signing up for Boxing Bootcamp with Tom, reasons being (1) It was a pretty small class, (2) I wanted to learn self-defense, and (3) I wanted to feel like a badass (Okay, I’ll have to admit, this was probably the main reason). Instantly after the first session, I was addicted to it – I love how I was able to punch out all of the frustrations that I had inside of me, and did I already mentioned, I felt so badass. Soon enough, I stepped out of my comfort zone to try out other classes that I’ve never done before, and winded up loving Barre and Zumba. No matter how much the workout routine kicked my ass, I still come back for the adrenaline rush, the vibrant energy, the glistening sweat, and an exhilarating time. I feel accomplished and refreshed after each session, even if I wake up feeling like a marshmallow the next day.

I always look forward to going to the gym after a whole day being at work – really, it keeps me sane. Being miles away from some of the people I love, this community serves as a home away from home. The instructors and members of CSC are phenomenal and extremely supportive in every way, and I know for a fact that they are willing to go above and beyond to help me grow. Honestly, if the instructors hadn’t gently tortured encouraged me by testing my limits (yes you know who y’all are), and if fellow members, who are inspiring by the way, hadn’t cheered me on, I wouldn’t think that I would’ve brought myself back to get my butt kicked over and over again.

Remember when I said that I wanted to “prove others wrong” at the beginning? Well, that didn’t exactly happen. I did start out this journey with a fuel of anger and embarrassment because of what others had criticized to me. But over time, it became this voyage that helped me find myself again amidst all the pain. Sure enough, I started noticing changes: I lost a decent amount of weight; an increase in endurance, stamina, and strength; became so much more confident and positive; and learned to manage stressors so much better than before. Yet, what surprised me the most was the fact that I actually started to love myself, and that in itself is the biggest change. Yes, for the first time, it feels good to see the person in the mirror and think “I don’t hate you anymore”. It was a process, and it still is as I go through life’s shenanigans and overcome events in the past. This time, though, let me take out those boxing gloves and yell: “Bring it on! I got this!”

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Desiree trains with
Personal Trainer: Tom Nyilis


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