This week on That Girl we are celebrating Vanessa Martin, a personal trainer and “fitness concierge” from New York City who loves nothing more than waking up early in the morning to motivate others with strength, fitness, power and fun. We love her positive, can-do attitude, and we’re especially inspired by her journey from a serious car accident back to fitness. Take a look at her story:
Vanessa Martin (second from the right in this photo)
27 years old
CEO SIN Workouts, Inc.
Fitness/health accomplishment you are most proud of:
When I was a freshman in high school I was in a serious car accident that left me unconscious with many broken bones including my left femur, which was shattered in multiple places. I distinctly remember my first day of rehab after weeks in the hospital and being bed ridden. My physical therapist took me in my wheelchair to the basketball court in the rehab facility and said, “Work hard for me when we meet no matter frustrations or pain, show up to our scheduled appointments even when you are tired and stay strong. I promise you before we are done here you and I will play one-on-one on this court.” Little did I know that today I would live my life by those words. The last day of my many months of PT, we both walked to the court this time and played first to eight on half court.
I was surprised to see my three-point shot was exactly where I left it, my memory of the game was spot on, and the squeaking sound of sneakers on a court still proved to be one of my favorite sounds in life. The only thing that had changed was my complete and deep appreciation for the ability to do what I was doing. Running, jumping, shooting….MOVING! It was that moment that I knew my life needed to be directed toward fitness, health and wellness. I pursued physical therapy in college and have now found through SIN Workouts a way to incorporate this appreciation of accountability, goals, partnership, inspiration and motivation. It was my hope to fuse my exercise science background with the fitness industry creating an infectious movement of fun, happiness and pride through group training. Yes, I got into a car accident, but I can say with confidence that there was nothing accidental about how that experience shaped me and led me to become who I am and where I am today.
What inspires you to get fit every day?
I now view training and working out differently. It was once all a matter of getting fit and striving to be the best. Today, my inspiration comes from the people I am surrounded by. It is an ongoing joke amongst my friends when they look at my set alarms at night. I feel excitement when these go off. I love the mornings because I view them as a new day to make memories and create experiences. My inspiration is knowing a client is counting on me to be their alarm.
What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
We all have moments where the idea of training seems daunting. It is easy to make excuses for why you don’t want to workout. I have identified these excuses in my clients; too tired, no time, getting to and from, etc. I have worked to eliminate these excuses by asking clients what they think they can become when excuses are eliminated. SIN stands for Strength In Numbers. I believe in this. When a client contemplates going to that workout, they know that they have a team of fellow SINners waiting and depending on them to be there. We have formed a support system, a fitness family. I train for others when I don’t feel like training for myself.
Favorite energizing meal:
Some may say I tend to get slightly neurotic/obsessed with the food I eat….they are right! I am by no means a chef, in fact the thought of grocery shopping scares me. However, I do LOVE to eat! That being said, I am a girl of routine when it comes to meals. In the morning before my AM workout, you will find me with a cup of black coffee and a banana without question. Another new favorite of mine throughout the day is Trader Joe’s rolled oats with strawberries, blueberries and banana. Mix in some peanut butter, organic raw cashews and drizzle with almond milk and I am in heaven. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised when I order a beat salad and double order of grilled chicken when we are out to dinner. If seeking a pre-workout jolt and sustenance I will have a scoop of Jay Robb whey vanilla protein powder, 2 scoops of 100% MR (lemon flavored amino acids) some frozen strawberries, water and ice.
What’s your favorite way to chill post-workout?
Each workout carries a specific preferred recovery. If doing yoga at the beautiful Pure Yoga studio, hands down it is followed by a steam, a shower and dinner with friends at my local stomping ground on the upper west side, Wine and Roses. After a high energy workout like a spin at FlyWheel or a class at Barry’s Bootcamp I am usually on an ultimate high. The best way to chill out after one of these amazing classes for me is to leisurely bike up the west side highway stop somewhere around the 20′s lock up my bike and just lay in the grass listening to music. This to me, is the ultimate cool down. In the winter I will stroll to Cafe Grumpy in Chelsea, snag my favorite seat by the window, drink the best cup of Guatemalan blend coffee and cozy up under the Christmas tree lighting while pretending to read but really getting in some of the best people watching NYC streets has to offer!
What is your top kick-ass workout?
To ask me to choose my top workout is like asking me my favorite movie! I cannot put a definitive answer on just one as they all provide me with such drastically different fitness highs! I can say that yoga has changed my life. I was apprehensive at first as this was wildly different than any type of training I was familiar with, but after my first vinyasa class I was hooked. It is a practice where you are continually growing, finding yourself and allowing my mind to turn off from the busy days of living in this city. Spinning is the ultimate definition of an intense cardio workout but more importantly a really intensely good time!! Bootcamp classes have really set the metric of what it is to cross train in a functionally based way. Not only do you get in your strength conditioning and cardio, but you do it in one of the sexiest, motivating and unique studio spaces in the industry surrounded by people all willingly signing up to get their a** kicked! Being in a room full of people who walk in with a, “yes sir, may I have another?” mindset is one of the greatest training environments I have ever been in!!
Where is your favorite/most unique place you’ve ever exercised?
Perhaps my most unique training experiences have been while on vacation where boutiques and even gyms were non-existent. In the middle of nowhere I can still find familiarity of the boutique fitness high by exploring the unknown and creating my own programs for the day. Creating exercises that require no equipment that are still fun, challenging and spontaneous is different and exiting. It shows me that anyone can workout anywhere when they have an open mind and creativity.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through sports?
Sport have shaped me to be the person I am today, and the biggest lesson learned through them is that it is not just the moment of competition that matters. It is not making the winning shot at the buzzer that defines the MVP athlete. What I preach to my clients is fitness, health and wellness is not a short-term endeavor. This is a lifestyle. If you finish on top at the end of a season, there is always next season. It is the energy, the focus and the drive during the “off season” that creates this lifestyle I am speaking of. I feel a true athlete is one that views off season as game time.
Photo: courtesy of Vanessa Martin