Sara Ellen Brown holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Georgia State University. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA and an ACE certified Personal Trainer. You can find her teaching group fitness at Vibe Ride in both the Grant Park and Midtown locations. Her fitness background includes Strength Training & Conditioning, Running, Pole Fitness, Barre, and Yoga.
I grew up believing that I was simply a bad mover. The YMCA politely suggested that I take up a new hobby after participating in their gymnastics program. My basketball coach sheepishly offered that I was a “great defensive player” after a season in which I scored no baskets. My PE coach shook his head at my Presidential Fitness Test results, but never really told me how to get better. By the time I got to high school I had pretty much given up movement. My sedentary lifestyle just compounded on itself, and soon I was overweight and feeling more helpless than ever.
When my son was born, I knew something had to change. I started out running on the treadmill, and the more I moved, the more I set out to learn about movement. I found that I was not, in fact, a bad mover, just an uneducated one. I became a voracious reader on exercise and movement. Along the way I found lots of good information, but I often had to wade through lots of bad information to get there. In order to sort through the mess, I decided to leave my job as a Director of Business Development and go back to school to pursue an Exercise Science degree.
Nine years after that first run, I’m pulling Olympic lifts, performing tricks on the pole and aerial silks, and continuing to move my body in as many different ways as possible. Yes, it took hard work, but more importantly it took smart work that stemmed from a deep knowledge of how to train my body to perform the way I wanted it to and how to live a lifestyle that supported that training.
I seek to transform an industry that has become saturated with professionals whose qualifications are based more on their own personal results and less on their knowledge of the human body and how it functions. This environment has created a culture of fitness focused on bikini bodies, mirror muscles, and rapid results (that don’t last), rather than long lasting functional fitness. Trainers are often able to describe to their clients how they achieved their own physique, but have difficulty relating to clients with different bodies and different goals. What’s worse, people are being trained to look good in a mirror rather than (and often at the expense of) functioning at their full human potential.
I understand that exercise can be intimidating and frustrating, even to those who are consistent gym-goers and class-passers. This is because exercise, while important, is only a small component of our daily lives. Even those who spend an hour in the gym every day are only 4% more active than those who are sedentary. Movement, on the other hand, encompasses everything we do. By teaching others to think outside the exercise box and embrace and master movement, I deliver the results the client desires but finds difficult to achieve in a culture that glorifies exercise but shuns movement. I believe that exercise should be goal-oriented, science-based, and empowering- enabling my clients to move more and more effectively throughout their lives.