This year, I am starting a new monthly series spotlighting some of my amazing clients and Achieve with Athena ambassadors! These women have participated in a variety of my programs, and I hope that you will be able to relate to some of their experiences and see all the different ways that coaching can help you reach your fitness and nutrition goals. 

First up: Kelsey!

Kelsey and I have been working together in a coach-client relationship since 2018 (and before that as colleagues at the Charles River YMCA!), and I think that her experience with working on her mindset will resonate with many of you. 

*Responses have been slightly edited for clarity. 


Meet Kelsey!

How long have you been working with Athena?

Athena and I were first colleagues at the Charles River YMCA in Needham. The way she worked with her clients and taught classes really stood out to me among all of the other healthy living staff. I hired her first as my personal trainer, and then began working with her in a coaching capacity shortly after we both left the Y in 2018.

What did your fitness and nutrition look like before working with her?

Before I met Athena, I was living a pretty unhealthy lifestyle, between how much I was working/commuting, what and how much I was putting into my body, and what I thought was a good workout.

I was operating under an all-or-nothing mentality – I felt like I needed to spend at least an hour in the gym to get in an effective workout, and oftentimes I wouldn’t go at all if I didn’t have that time in my schedule.

I was trying my best to eat “healthy” (read: cutting out carbs and eating boring salads with dry grilled chicken) during the week, but then would go totally crazy on the weekends and wonder why I was feeling awful about myself on Mondays.

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?

OMG – where to start! Honestly, the mindset shifts when it comes to my priorities has been huge. Having a foundation of skills and strategies from Athena was invaluable, and during the pandemic, I was really able to hone those skills!

After only a short time of having more time to focus on myself than I’d ever had before, I started seeing even more physical results, and my mental and emotional health improved exponentially!

For the first time in my life, I feel STRONG in every aspect of the word. The confidence and empowerment, along with seeing what my body is capable of has been truly life-changing.

I’ve been promoted at work recently, my relationships with family, my partner, colleagues, and friends are stronger and healthier, and I am just all around happier with who I am.

My newfound true commitment to myself has also inspired other people in my life to do the same, and I think that speaks volumes in itself!

“For the first time, I feel STRONG in every sense of the word.”

What advice would you give to someone who feels hesitant about working with a fitness coach?

I will be honest that when I initially started my 1:1 coaching with Athena back in April 2018, I was definitely not 100% ready to do so. I felt like I needed to do SOMETHING, but my heart and brain were not on the same page.

I learned a lot during that time, and she set me up with so many foundational tools for success. I still needed to do a lot of mindset work (which only I could do for myself), so after my 16-week 1:1 coaching program ended, I chose to stay a part of Athena’s Empowered Together Coaching Club where I could continue my momentum.

This is where so much of my growth over the years has come from. I’ve still been able to get guidance from Athena, while being part of an incredible community of women who are non-judgemental and so supportive!  

My advice is that you need to be READY to understand where you are, explore why you have the obstacles you do, and then be willing to get out of your comfort zone and commit to making real lifestyle changes if you want to get the most out of it.

Athena is really great at what she does, but you will only get out what you put in. She will meet you where you are and hold you accountable, but she won’t – and can’t – do the work for you. It can be a huge investment to have a coach like this, but if you are really ready to make changes, the benefits, growth, and lessons learned past the money spent is INVALUABLE! 

If you could only do one strength move for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

Deadlifts and back squats for life!!

What are you excited to continue focusing on in your journey?

I’ve always been a lower body lover because I’ve always felt like I’m stronger there. But this summer, I purchased The Push-Up Project and seeing the gains in my back, shoulders, and arms has been so cool! Pull-ups are next on my list! 

I’m also excited to fine-tune my nutrition and make other small changes now that I am more in tune with my body and what it needs to be strong.

If you’re unsure where to start, book a connection call with Athena and she can help you figure out the right place to be, whether it is 1:1 coaching, ETCC, or one of her other programs. There’s no shame in not knowing where to start – it’s overwhelming as hell! Athena will help you figure it all out and truly has an option to meet you exactly where you are today! 🙂