This year, I am starting a new monthly series spotlighting some of my amazing clients and Achieve with Athena ambassadors! If you missed January’s spotlight, you can meet Kelsey here.
Now, it’s time to meet Ashley! Ashley and I have been working together since June 2020, and we were recently so excited to welcome her new baby to our community!
Ashley learned how to take on a challenge in a way that was sustainable, not rigid. I think a lot of you will be able to relate to her story!
*Responses have been slightly edited for clarity.
How long have you been working with Athena?
I signed up for Athena’s 1:1 Best Self Coaching program in June of 2020, during the pandemic, with my wedding coming up in October. I had taken Athena’s classes as part of Seaport Sweat, followed her on IG, and participated in some of her online classes, but now it was really time for me to commit.
After I completed her Best Self 1:1 program, which provided me with the fundamentals needed to be my “best self,” I fell in love with the Empowered Together Coaching Club, her ongoing membership program, and have been working with this group of women for the last year and a half.
What did your fitness and nutrition look like before working with her?
I wasn’t completely new to working out, but up until working with Athena I typically did arms and leg days by stringing together a bunch of random exercises and calling it a workout. I also ran, and I’d trained for two half marathons, but only focused on running rather than complementary strength training.
With my nutrition, I was restricting myself to 1200 calories a day, but had trouble with going overboard on weekends or not eating one brownie but the whole tray!! It was not healthy!
What are some of the most impactful changes you’ve made over the years? Have these changes helped the way you show up outside of the gym too?
Throughout Best Self Coaching, I had personalized workouts catered to my goals. Athena even included cardio days and sprints, so I could do the running I enjoyed on top of strength training – she never wants your program to be about her agenda or for you to stop doing activities you love.
We tailored specific goals, talked through any road blocks, and monitored my progress during our 1:1 calls. It was during those calls we broke A LOT of bad habits I was falling prey to, including: 1200 calories a day, cutting out carbs and sugar completely, and eating on a strict schedule. This was a clear indication of Athena’s knowledge as she creates sustainable programs for her clients, working to eliminate diet culture from their lives.
Athena is not afraid to tell it like it is. We had many conversations where I would complain of strength progress stalling or weight plateauing and she would ask, “Have you increased your weights lately?” or “How are you challenging yourself more?” or “Are your expectations realistic?”
We both knew the answers, but it drove me to be more patient when I needed to be, start increasing those weights when I was ready, and the challenge became exciting. It was my first experience with “non-scale victories”: simply adding 10lbs to a hip thrust was a personal win, and it felt good!
Besides pushing her clients to be the best version of themselves, in and outside of the gym, Athena also focuses on self care, something I often skip. The Best Self program is literally that: not just about your strength, weight, or gym performance, but really about making sure you show up 100% every day in all areas of your life.
“The Best Self program is literally about making sure you show up 100% every day in all areas of your life.”
What advice would you give to someone who feels hesitant about working with a fitness coach?
Working with a coach allows you to see the deficits you don’t even notice, in your workouts, nutrition, or consistency. Athena creates workouts to give you a well-rounded training session. Most importantly, it takes the thought out of it for YOU. Coaching makes it easier for you to show up and crush the workout without piecing it together, or knowing your meal is balanced, or just be validated that results take TIME!
If you could only do one strength move for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
This is a tough one!! I really enjoy weighted Bulgarian split squats. I love my strong legs and bum and I feel those areas are targeted when I do these. I also feel like a total badass afterward!
What are you excited to continue focusing on in your journey?
Life is full of transitions and Athena has armed me with the knowledge to go through different seasons of life. I started the Best Self program when my focus was fitting into my wedding dress, but I’m now entering a postpartum phase that will require a different kind of training.
I know I can trust Athena, especially since she has a legitimate pre and post natal fitness certification, to account for those changes whether I am doing 1:1 training or ETCC.
It is also beneficial to know I can always set up a 1:1 call to talk through life’s changes while staying on top of my fitness and nutrition – Athena’s main goal is always for her clients to feel like they have a coaching option that meets them exactly where they are and with the level of support they may need at different phases of their lives.
P.S. If you think the Best Self coaching program might be a fit for you, book a connection call with Athena now – so you can complete the program before her maternity leave!