Meet Colleen, August’s Instructor of the Month at MINT! Colleen describes herself similar to her faithful four-legged companion Sabrina – compassionate, dedicated and someone who loves really hard. You can find Colleen teaching FLEX Strength Training, Power Playground and boxing.
Did you know that Colleen was an endurance athlete for several years running two marathons, several triathlons, and riding her bike across the country? This may come as no surprise to those who know Colleen because she is a natural athlete.
It was Colleen’s first week at Carolina and she was in her mandatory fitness course, intermediate jogging when another first-year asked her if she would go to a Zumba class with her. If Colleen is being honest, which she always is, she wasn’t all that excited to attend a Zumba but she was desperate for new friends, so she agreed. Surprise! She fell in love two songs in. She went back by herself the next day and decided in that moment that she was going to be an instructor. She enrolled in the Fitness Instructors Training Program the next semester and fell down a long dark rabbit hole of teaching every format she could learn.
She initially moved to D.C. to work in sexual violence prevention and began taking fitness kickboxing as a much-needed stress reliever. Through these classes, she had never felt more strong, confident, or capable in her body. To put it simply, she LOVED it; going to class religiously. Her instructor at the time, Chris Torres, noticed her and encouraged her to enroll in his Krav Maga program. The moment she tried it, it felt right. She was moving her body in a way that felt meaningful and powerful. Chris encouraged her to keep coming back but she was crestfallen. She explained that her job barely covered her basic expenses and she couldn’t afford the extra membership. Chris told her that her work was important and to keep coming back and that they would figure it out. Thankfully, she did.
During her time with Chris she observed him training another woman for an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fight and was in awe. At that moment Colleen knew that she wanted to step in the ring so she approached Chris and asked him what doing something like that might entail. He laughed and joked “If you take every class I offer for a year, I’ll train you for a fight.” So, she did. She trained before and after work every day for several hours, never missing a class. Two years later she had her first boxing match!
Fighting is Colleen’s passion. She trains through boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and krav maga and competes regularly. She runs a feminist fight club called Guerrera where she works with women to cultivate aggression and helps give them the tools to feel strong and capable in their bodies.
Colleen knew she wanted to be an instructor at MINT because of the support she received from the staff and the faith they placed in her to be creative in my role. She loves the down-to-earth community atmosphere that MINT provides, encouraging everyone to be themselves. When asked what her favorite thing at MINT is? Her response: THE PEOPLE. She believes that MINT is full of absolutely incredible people and is so grateful to call them her friends, colleagues, and students. Her MINT family has helped her through some of the toughest moments of her life and has helped her celebrate some of the best!
Outside of MINT Colleen is a competitive fighter and Krav Maga instructor. She is currently testing for her black belt in Krav Maga and competing for a National Championship in Kickboxing this month! She spends about 4-6 hours a day training with her best friend (and MINT fixture) Sabrina, by her side.
Learn more about MINT and all of our classes and instructors online today, www.mintgymdc.com