Welcome to the first in a new series on the blog called “Meet the Barre Tender,” wherein we learn some deep, dark secrets about our favorite B Present instructors. Up first is Meg! We sat down with her to find out what inspires her, what she loves most about B Present, and what a few of her favorite things are (spoiler: donuts and Jeff Samardzija).
Meg has been a personal trainer at B Present Studio since 2014.
How did you get into personal training? Did you always know that you wanted to work in fitness?
I got into personal training almost by accident. I was working at McDonald Physical Therapy, and found that I loved working one-on-one with the patients. I really formed relationships with them, because I would see them four times a week sometimes. Then I happened to come to the studio on the day it opened with a group of women from another gym. We signed up for a personal training session and Tammy was nervous about teaching us, not sure of what our “intentions” were! I loved it and have never looked back. As soon as we finished, I was like “This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m not going to go anywhere else, I’m just going to come here.” I found my passion and found something I love to do every day. I can’t get enough of it!
So it sounds like B Present kind of brought that passion out in you, and it wasn’t necessarily something you even knew you wanted to do.
Yes, definitely. Tammy had faith in me and believed in me before I even believed in myself. She and Bryan were very instrumental in helping me regain my self-worth. I was at a really low point in my life and in my marriage, and this was my safe zone. It was the only place I could escape to where I wasn’t feeling judged. It’s usually not like that with a bunch of women in a gym, so it was very refreshing to have that kind of bond here. Tammy saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. B Present definitely brought that out in me.
Why do you love to work with people one on one? What’s special about that?
I value that connection and the real friendships I’ve formed so much. I understand that this is a place for women to get away from worrying about work, kids, and everything else and just focus on themselves for awhile. That’s so vital to your sanity. I really enjoy getting to know each person that I train, exchanging funny stories, learning interesting things about their work and their passions and families.
Do you have a favorite go-to barre move?
And side plank, of course–one of my favorites!
Obviously we know barre is your favorite indoors form of exercise, but what’s your favorite thing to do outdoors?
I actually love indoor cycling also, but I don’t do it outside because I’m afraid of hurting myself–being a little clumsy, that’s just not somewhere I want to go! But I do enjoy running with my dog, Toby. My son Ethan and I spend pretty much the entire summer outside, going to the park and for walks on the Riverwalk.
What is the #1 most played song in your iTunes library right now?
That new one by Justin Bieber–“What Do You Mean?” Love that song!
What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Vacuuming dog hair–it’s constant.
What is one thing in your closet that you can’t bear to get rid of even though you know you’ll never wear it again?
My Little 50 jersey that I ran in my freshman year at IU. Our team was called “Soul Fly.” I’ll never wear it again, but I cannot get rid of it. I will always have it hanging in my closet. I still have my bib number too; I always keep those!
If you had to pick a different job other than the one that you have, what would it be?
Probably a lawyer–I was voted Most Argumentative in my high school class. Biggest Prep and Most Argumentative!
What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas! I love decorating, I love the family togetherness, and the cheer and joy and thanksgiving that’s in the air. It just makes me happy.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Hmm…[long pause]. Maybe Jessica Alba? She seems easy going but doesn’t take any nonsense and is kind of a badass. I would be honored if she would play me in a movie!
What is your favorite healthy food and what is your favorite splurge food?
I actually really like kale, and I didn’t used to. I put it on a cookie sheet with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt and bake it in the oven to make my own kale chips. My favorite non-healthy food is anything with sugar in it. Donuts–I love West End Bakery donuts. Those are my weakness.
What is your favorite city in the world and why?
Chicago, for sure. I am in love with that city. It’s alive, I love the energy, and I like how close it is to South Bend.
What was your all-time best Halloween costume?
Jeff Samardzija. I had a major crush on him and wore his Notre Dame football jersey with little shorts and a whistle!
What is the nicest compliment you’ve ever received?
Someone once told me I have a kind soul. I believe my parents have kind souls and I want to be like them, so that was probably the best compliment anyone could have given me.
What is one thing you’d like someone who’s never been to B Present to know about it?
It’s such a welcoming place. Even on your first visit, you feel like you’ve been here before.
Obviously we can’t not mention that you’re currently undergoing treatment for stage 2 breast cancer. What do you think about the inspiration that others are drawing from watching your strength as you fight this battle?
It’s actually very ironic. I remember in the late spring, before I got diagnosed, there was a woman in my spin class who did not have a wig on and had lost her hair, and she was fighting breast cancer. I just kept looking at her and it made me want to work harder. I felt so much compassion for her, and now I’m doing that for other people. I never would have imagined that someday I would have that same kind of impact on someone else.
Tell me what the B Present community has meant for you as you’ve met this challenge.
It’s been everything. I mean everything. I honestly believe things happen for a reason, and if B Present had not come into my life when it did, I would not be strong enough to fight to get to where I am today. I firmly believe that. B Present helped me rediscover my self-worth, and helped me find out who I am and who I want to be. If I didn’t have the studio and Tammy and the community here, I don’t believe I would have a strong enough mentality or the self-worth to put up a fight like I am now. So many people have done so many great things, and offered so much encouragement…it’s just beautiful. It’s more than I could have ever asked for or imagined. The thing I worry most about is how I can ever begin to repay everyone…I’m just forever grateful. It gives me goosebumps thinking about it. Life is tough, but if you have a team on your side rooting for you, you can do anything.
“Life is tough, but if you have a team on your side rooting for you, you can do anything.”
B Present Studio is proud to host a very special ladies-only “Barre for Boobies” workshop at 6:00 p.m. this Friday, October 9th, 2015. Let’s sweat it out in solidarity for our Meg as she continues her brave fight against breast cancer. Register for free here, and make your donation that night (suggested donation is $20+ with all proceeds going directly to Meg). Grab your pals and make it a girls’ night out; after class, we’ll head out to dinner for even more fun and friendship. See you at the barre!