Meet Your UW Fitness Day Coaches!

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We’re proud to announce the first 13 of 40+ coaches who will be joining you on field at Husky Stadium for UW Fitness Day! From competitive rowers and power lifters to gymnastics stars and salsa instructors, these inspiring individuals will be there to cheer you on and help you tap into your best self over the course of the afternoon’s fun, 45-minute workout!

More than 1000 UW staff, students, and faculty have already signed up to storm the field May 2, so be sure to secure your spot by registering today. To help you get pumped, we asked our first group of coaches what gets them fired up for fitness as well as what they can’t wait to experience alongside the UW community in little under three weeks!

Elise Ray
Head Coach, UW Gymnastics

Workout quote: “I can. I will. End of story.”

Role model: My older brother.

Favorite UW athlete of all time: Kelsey Plum

Words of encouragement:
Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your dearest friend. Be kind and loving.

Proudest fitness accomplishment:
I’m an Olympian, but I can honestly say I’m most proud of discovering what my body wants and needs now, in everyday life, and honoring that.

Who do you want to see at UW Fitness Day?
Anyone who thinks they can’t do it, but who shows up anyway!

Abigail Cromwell
Yoga Teacher

When I want to throw in the towel, I say:
It’s hard for everyone. You got this.

Proudest fitness accomplishment:
Winning the NCAA National Title with the Princeton Women’s Rowing Team. [The Tiger second varsity won the first NCAA title in 1997, the inaugural year of the NCAA Championship regatta.]

As a UW Fitness Day Coach, I can’t wait to…
Introduce people to yoga who haven’t done yoga before and to help people who have some idea about what yoga is to realize it is so much more.

Husky Fact: Cromwell holds a JD from the University of Washington School of Law where she founded the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Hannah Dingle – Pure Barre Teacher/Manager; 421 Reset Co-Founder

Favorite UW athlete of all time: Jon Brockman, UW Men’s Basketball’s all-time leading rebounder and second all-time leading scorer (2005-2009)

Words of encouragement: You ARE worth it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise and believe in yourself!

My role model is…my mom! She is selfless, encouraging, positive, inspiring, and hard working.

When I want to throw in the towel, I say: “Yes, you can.” There will always be moments when you feel frustrated or want to give up, but NEVER let anything defeat you!

Favorite part of UW Fitness Day: The people and energy surrounding the event! 

Melissa Maxwell – Senior Designer, UMAC; Competitive Masters Rower

Commitment is…doing the thing you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.

Proudest fitness accomplishment: Eight years ago I joined Team In Training (TNT), the endurance sports program of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Through TNT, I’ve been coached to complete three marathons and to become a competitive rower. I’m proud of each event I’ve completed, but am most proud of the funds I’ve helped raise for cancer research and patient care.

My role model is…anyone finding joy in what they’re doing, striving to improve.

The best part about UW Fitness Day is…
Seeing everyone enjoying themselves out there on Husky Field. It proves that exercise CAN be fun!

Julie Gillespie – UW Recreation

Favorite UW athlete of all time:
My mom, Joyce Tanac Schroeder.

My favorite workout quote:
“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up” —Jim Valvano

Words of encouragement:
Every little bit helps. Walk up the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little farther from away at the grocery store. Increase your lifetime fitness everyday!

My proudest fitness accomplishment is…
Running 7 half marathons.

Who I most want see at UW Fitness Day:
As many people as possible!

Coach Steph – IanFitness

Favorite UW athlete:
Isaiah Thomas. He has shown authenticity isn’t dead when you get to the big leagues.

My favorite workout quote:
“The hardest part is just showing up.” I first heard this quote from Ian Weinberg, owner of IanFitness. It’s a beautiful and humble moment when each client just shows up and everything else becomes so much easier.

My proudest fitness accomplishment is…
My 5x streak of completing the Tough Mudder. This year, I’ve made my new goal to sign up and finish a Spartan Race.

What are you most excited to experience on UW Fitness Day?
I’m excited for the crowd and the energy they’ll have! Also, to show everyone what IanFitness is all about!

Karen Cornelio – Zumba(r) Instructor

Favorite UW athlete of all time?
[Husky women’s soccer standout] Havana McElvaine ’17—inspirational!

My favorite workout quote: When in doubt, dance it out.

Words of encouragement:
If you’re moving, you’re already lapping the guy on the couch. And if you’re here, you may as well move.

My proudest fitness accomplishment is…
Figuring out how to make Zumba work in a very unique environment like UW.

Who do you want to see show up at UW Fitness Day?
I hope I see you all! Particularly anyone who has been in a class with me, but new friends are also really exciting. One of the best parts about UW Fitness Day is the overall unity of everyone involved.

Sara Lopez – Lecturer, College of Education

Favorite UW athlete of all time:
Gretchen O’Donnell (UW student 1910-1912) an advocate for women’s rowing, team captain, advocate and ambassador for the women’s program and served as the Assistant coach under Hiram Conibear.

My favorite workout quote:
“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” —Jerry Rice

My proudest fitness accomplishment is…training for and then finishing the 2016 Seattle Half Marathon (Walking) with my 77-year-old mom.

Who I most want to see at UW Fitness Day:
Everyone in the UW community! This event is about celebrating physical activity…whatever that looks like for each individual!

Albert Kim – Personal Trainer, 24 Hour Fitness

Favorite UW athlete of all time:
Nate Robinson (UW Men’s Basketball 2002-2005)

Workout quote:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” —Bruce Lee

Words of encouragement:
Consistency is key to achieving your fitness goals. Start with something sustainable and work your way up slowly.

My proudest fitness accomplishment is…competing in two powerlifting competitions where I squat 505 lbs and deadlift 550 lbs.

Who I most want see at UW Fitness Day:
People of all different fitness levels, ages, and backgrounds

Daniela Gallardo
Co-director of La Clave Cubana

Favorite UW athlete of all time: I’m more of a team fan, so I’m a fan of UW Volleyball because it reminds me of my college days when I used to play!

Favorite workout quote: “The body achieves what the mind believes”

What do you say to yourself when you want to throw in the towel?
There’s only one life, so don’t waste it and go and be the best version of yourself!

The fitness accomplishment I am most proud of is…I can proudly say that I support myself by doing what I love which is dancing!

Who do you want to see show up at UW Fitness Day?
UW President Ana Mari! Along with anyone interested in being active and pushing themselves to be better!

Danika Drugge  Group Fitness Instructor

Favorite athlete of all time:
Bethany Pupava, my former gymnastics teammate.

Favorite workout quote:
“Better sore than sorry.” I don’t know who said it.

Words of encouragement:
Fitness doesn’t have to mean changing every aspect of your life. Baby steps are just as valid and usually more practical.

The fitness accomplishment I am most proud of is…rowing on the UW’s women’s crew team for a year when they told me I should be coxswain instead.

The best part about UW Fitness Day is…all the energy everyone brings. There are so many people and seeing them have fun while learning something new and being active is really special.

Brian Fisher
November Project Seattle Co-Leader

Favorite UW athlete of all time:
Krista Vansant ’15. I’m a lifelong volleyball player and she is a legend!

What do you say to yourself when you want to throw in the towel?
I tell myself to go just a little further and then I can decide if I’m ready to quit.

Proudest fitness accomplishment:
I’ve run a couple 50k trail races that I am pretty proud of, but I think I’m more proud that I started running in the first place. If you told me 10 years ago that I’d be a runner, I would have called you a liar.

Who do you want to see show up at UW Fitness Day? I hope we see someone show up who might feel a little intimidated by group fitness events. Being willing to put yourself out there for the benefit of your own health can be the most rewarding experience!

Teresa & Chris Koeppel
TRX & Indoor Cycling Instructors, UW Recreation

Workout quote:
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” –Plato

Words of encouragement:
We believe you can do anything you put your mind to. We really believe that.

Proudest fitness accomplishment: Teresa busting out her first few pull-ups after many months of working toward them with Chris’ coaching.

Who we most want see at UW Fitness Day: Everyone! It’s like a great party where you burn calories instead of consume them!

Most excited to experience as a UW Fitness Day Coach: Coaching together! Being outside and active with old and new friends.

Looking for more reasons to join us for UW Fitness Day on May 2? We’ve got seven right here. A very special thanks to US Bank, UW Medicine, University Book Store, UW Athletics, UW discount fitness partners, AT&TKIND Snacks, and Coca-Cola for partnering with us to sponsor this event!

2 Thoughts on “Meet Your UW Fitness Day Coaches!”

On April 14, 2018 at 3:21 PM, Rose Sombong said:

Can I participate on this Fitness Day event even am not a student nor a staff member of UW?

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