Inspire Me! Leaping Forward with Inspiration from Some of the Best in NYC.

Congratulations! You have made it through the winter doldrums, and spring is around the corner!  On the East Coast, that means we probably have one more snow storm in our future to contend with, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. Today marks a Leap Year on our calendar, and I thought it would be a great idea to leap forward ourselves, out of whatever winter rut we may have dug ourselves, and into some motivation and inspiration.  So I turned to my #FitFam - some of the most inspiring fitness professionals I know in New York City, to help.  These folks are people who in one way or another inspire me, not just through their amazing classes, but by who they are outside the studio.  The positive energy they give day in and day out, when no one is looking, not just when they are "on the microphone", inspired me to ask them why they do what they do.  And as an added bonus, I asked them to throw in their most motivating jam these days, because let's face it, our Playlists need a little refresher too.  Read on...

SusanSweats:  Tell me what inspires you?  Why is it that you do what you do?  And... what is your go-to inspirational jam these days?

1.) EMILY COOK HARRIS, Founder/Head Trainer of EMpowered, Instructor, The Fhitting Room

I do it for that moment when I see my students' faces light up because they can do more than they thought possible. They can jump higher, lift heavier, run faster than they knew - that moment when they shatter old beliefs about themselves and start to create new ones. Fitness is the foundation for being your best. Then you can start dreaming bigger for your life - owning your power in your career & your relationships. You upgrade what you believe is possible for yourself. And that starts with that moment you push past your self imposed boundaries and challenge yourself in your workouts. It's bigger than fitness. I am helping people kick ass at life. It's the most fulfilling thing to know I helped light the spark in someone - to own their power and never settle for less than.

I just rediscovered this old song and it gives me life. OneRepublic - I lived.


2.) GERREN LILES ReebokONE ambassador and Equinox GF Instructor.

So many trainers and coaches take pride in being motivators and inspiration to others. In truth, us "Fitpros" are humans too - with flaws, fears, doubts, and mountains to climb. The one thing that equalizes us all is our health and our bodies. Knowing that I can show the best of human potential through my own efforts, and encourage my clients to discover the limits and wonders of their own bodies, we can have the confidence to take on any challenge the befalls us.

Phenomenal - Eminem
Me, Myself, and I - G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha



What inspires me is watching my clients, change, get healthier, stronger…better.  Seeing someone get past adversity and limitations to evolve into the best version of themselves… That’s truly why i do what i do.

Summer Sixteen - by Drake… I don’t know why but this song gets me wound up for a workout. That and Swimming Pools by Kendrick Lamar



This is an easy one. 100% the clients and my desire to help people be better, do better, and feel better. I often see forms and bodies change much before the client sees it. Seeing the strength and the progress is my biggest reward. Seeing the clients realize that results are taking place is a trainer's best feeling. The smiles, the feel-good vibes, the appreciation, the motivation, the fact that clients come back for more. A trainer's day can be made or can be broken over clients' satisfaction - I live and breathe the feedback, truly value every input and take it deeply to the heart.  If I can lead by example and help others do the same, I've succeeded with my Mission.

Like everyone, I'm getting into Beyonce's Formation, but also on a 2 year-cycle come-backs with Clarity (Zedd), and Scream (Usher)



What inspires me as a fitness professional is seeing the results clients make not only with their bodies but with their minds and character. Getting people to lose weight is easy, teaching them how to be mentally and emotionally strong and soft at the same time, that's the fun part. I don't care about calories and crazy workouts, my goal is to train you how to survive this tough ass world while still keeping your good heart in tact.

Why I do what I do?  Because despite a tough upbringing, I feel like I'm the luckiest person in the world and I want to pay it forward. I believe I can influence influencers, and make good people stronger. I believe after I've helped enough people and created enough systems, I would one day reach my modest goal of changing .0001% of the world.

I listen to orchestra style soundtracks by Hans Zimmer, he is the music composer for many blockbuster movies. I like listening to soundtracks because there are no words, and what ever emotion I am feeling at the time will put the words into the soundtrack while I'm listening.
"Man of Steel (original sketch book)"- Hans Zimmer
It's a 30 min song that I listen to everyday.  This specific cut of the song is hard to find but you can listen to any of the songs from the man of steel soundtrack to understand what I mean.

"Mountains"- by Hans Zimmer
It's from the interstellar sound track, this song is only 2-3 mins and I play it every morning.



As a former professional dancer turned fitness professional, I am inspired on a daily basis to teach people the ins and outs of fitness through movement. I do what I do because dancing is my passion, but fitness through the vehicle of dance is rewarding. As a fitness professional, it's not all about me, it's about being able to connect to clients individually, which can make all the difference in someone's life.  Being able to see a client's progression from one day the next, and witnessing his/her accomplishments one step at a time, is what really motivates me. I wear many different hats for my clients, because I want them to be their best, and there's nothing better when a client comes up to me after a class or a private session and says how much I have helped change their life, and that just by being at`the studio, it has helped them that day. I love what I do.

Oh my gosh! SO many songs to choose from, so here are a few of my favs:
1. Downtown by Mackelmore & Lewis
2. Uptown Funk, Bruno Mars
3. What do You Mean, Justin Bieber



Inspiring people to be more confident.  I started working out not for muscles or abs, but to just feel stronger.  And when I noticed the changes happening, I became more confident in myself in every other aspect of my life as well.  The confidence to love who you are and where you are going is more powerful than anything else.  It is where you love yourself, and that is what I want to inspire in people.  And when I do, I am amazed and awestruck that I was able to be a part of that.  "If you can't love yourself, then how in the hell are you going to love anybody else?!  Can I get an Amen!" - RuPaul

Runaway - Galantis
Follow me - Hardwell
Say Love - JoJo




I'm honored to fill my days inspiring people to realize that there's potential for greatness in each person and each moment. I've made my passion my career and I wake up (with the roosters) grateful that I get to share my love of fitness with others. As the Head Instructor and Director of Training at SWERVE, I'm honored to be able to teach new instructors and share with them all that I've learned. I teach not only scientifically about keeping our riders safe, but through all of my spiritual work, I guide them to inspire their students from a deeper level. My goal and inspiration each day is to live as an example for all of my students, to inspire them to live a passionate life filled with love, and for me, that starts with loving your body and keeping it strong and healthy no matter what.

Song that is inspiring me - I Can- NAS


9.) ME :)

I never thought that I would find a new passion at this point in my life.  When I discovered fitness, it was like an "a-ha moment" for me.  Spending most of my life in other roles: excelling academically,  working for the best firms in Finance, and then, happily as a wife & mother,  I never considered myself an athlete.  The people on this page (and many not included) are responsible for bringing out a part of me that makes every other part of me better.  The strength, empowerment, and confidence I have gained from changing my body, and conquering limitations I had imposed on myself, is invaluable.  Every day you get a chance to surprise yourself in fitness. You get a chance to improve, conquer, defeat.  When you have even the smallest personal victory, you are that much tougher in life. I do what I do because I want to share my experience.  If I can keep inspiring, keep telling my story, then maybe other people will be motivated as well.  Fitness, self-discovery, and self-love are ageless.  It is never too late to discover your true passion.

Fave jam currently:

  1. Unstoppable, Sia (she can do no wrong on the entire new album)
  2. Lights, Bobby Greene