My Fitness Journey – Natalie Peterson

My name is Natalie Peterson and I am the Marketing Director at Imagine Fitness & Yoga. I also teach Yoga and Circuit training classes. You will also find me leading 1-1 personal training and Yoga sessions and the Free Monthly Nutrition Workshop alongside Jackie Farah.

My fitness journey began 25 years ago when I was on my first sports team, soccer. I decided I didn’t like it though, 6-year-old me hated running. The next year I played on the boys baseball team. I still have a very vivid memory of being teased for wearing very frilly girlie socks with my uniform and cleats. I thought I looked great!

After my brief experiment with soccer and baseball I moved on to basketball, volleyball & horseback riding. Those stuck with me.  My parents encouraged me and both of my sisters at a very young age to play many sports. Growing up I loved playing and exploring outdoors. Being outside riding bikes and playing tag around the neighborhood until the streetlights came on was how I spent my summers. As I got older I narrowed down my ‘play’ to just basketball and volleyball. I still play both sports

During college I kept up with both sports and did a little running as well. I was teaching group exercise and coaching the Freshman volleyball team at my old high school when I was inspired to return to school for my Masters in Exercise Physiology and make fitness a career. I loved the time I spent working with my group classes and the girls that were a part of the volleyball team.

The years I spent completing my Masters is when I learned how to lift weights and eat right. Up until then weight lifting was not part of my routine and I had yet to truly discover a healthy diet for myself.

I moved to San Diego CA and began a strength & conditioning internship at one of the top 10 gyms in the US and ended up working for 4 years along side some of the best trainers and people I know. I learned so much from my colleagues and clients there. Most importantly I learned what a gift it is to impact someone’s life with health & wellness.

My time in San Diego is also when I fell in love with Yoga and knew I wanted to teach. I realized that for me fitness means to train for life. I wasn’t going to only run or only lift weights or do Yoga. I wanted to train so that I was fit to do a little bit of everything.

I think that another reason that I train the way that I do is so that I can give the best of everything to my clients. I didn’t want anything to be missing in their programs. And I will never ask my clients to do something that I don’t do myself.  I wanted to make sure when we trained it was a mix of strength, flexibility, balance and nutrition. Without the education or experience with it in my own life it would be very hard to bring that alive for someone else.

Fitness has impacted my life so much, it has become a way of life. I have been injured, out of shape, too busy to get my workouts in, but thankfully always make my way back. Fitness is a lifesaver. Not only for my physical health but mental health as well. I know what a better co-worker, friend, spouse and human being because of fitness.