The Dog Trainer’s Human Trainer

About a year ago, I decided that I wanted to be  one of those people who loves to workout. You know those people that actually crave it and have to go to the gym? I’ve never been one of those people. When I was in high school and college I loved to ride horses, play volleyball, tennis and surf, but I never really went to the gym and I got into a rut once I graduated. Life became all about work and definitely not about working out. Luckily, I LOVE my work and I was walking dogs for about 6-10 hours a day, but once I started doing mainly dog training, I started to put on some extra L-Bs. So I decided that I needed to train myself to be in better shape and learn how to make it a part of my life- for my happiness and health.

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Then I met Nadiah Gittens-Reilly, who is my neighbor, friend and one of San Diego’s best personal trainers. Ever since working out with Nadiah my happiness has increased dramatically and I’m finally turning into one of those people who loves to be active at least once a day. The absolute BEST part is that we workout on the beach with my dogs and we watch for dolphins and seals (Daisy looks for birds) while doing downward-dogs and bicep curls. Here’s a video of us jumping for joy and screaming in the background because we were so happy that the dolphins were jumping out of the water coming right towards us. This was one of those moments of happiness that we’ll never forget!

Nadiah is truly an inspiration with her healthy lifestyle and beautiful outlook on life. She’s one of the most happiest and positive people that I’ve ever met and I’m so grateful to have her in my life. We talk about the power of positive reinforcement training and how it’s so much more effective to set people and animals up for success by creating attainable goals for them so that they will continue to work towards them. Creating balance and being able to achieve reasonable goals is the key to long-term changes. You’re not going to lose ten lbs in one night and you’re not going to cure a dog with aggression towards other dogs in one day. It takes a a lot of commitment, patience and little steps to make big changes.

In order to keep up with a healthy lifestyle or to change a dog’s bad habits, it’s important to stay positive, be patient, have fun and motivate yourself and your dog with rewards. Having someone to work out with adds a whole new element of fun and motivation. Without Nadiah knocking on my door in the morning, I definitely wouldn’t have had the commitment to work out for a whole year and make exercise a priority in my life. Having three workout buddies- Nadiah, Daisy and Taj- really motivates me to get outside, have fun, be happy and stay in shape!

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Now if only I could cut out the vino, then I would have abs of steel… baby steps right? ; )

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