Raised in Santa Fe, NM, Chelsea’s love for physicality and athleticism began at the National Dance Institute of New Mexico where she studied Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Modern dance for 13 years. Before graduating high school, she performed on stages across the U.S. including City Center in New York and the White House. She attended college at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a contemporary dance major until a reconstructive hip surgery in 2009.
9 months later, she found herself 30lbs overweight, out of shape and unhappy. In 2010 she began training at a kettlebell studio in Santa Fe, NM and a new passion was found. Through “hardstyle” kettlebell training Chelsea became stronger and healthier than she’d ever been. Upon moving to NYC in 2011 she began working at Equinox, where she spent 3 years as a top producing personal trainer. In February of 2014 she left Equinox to found Athaya Fitness, a personal training and wellness company specializing in body transformation, injury rehabilitation and sports performance. Her experience with dance, Pilates, yoga, kettlebells, Olympic weightlifting, injury rehabilitation, and bodybuilding has inspired her to develop a unique method of training that works for all levels of fitness and is applicable to any goal.
Today she has taken her fitness career one step further by joining the Wilhemina Models’ Fitness Division and now our FHITfamily! She hopes to impact as many people as possible through fitness – the same way it inspired her in 2009, and she hopes to be a positive example of what it means to be a strong woman!
NCSF Certified Personal Trainer, USA Weightlifting, USA Track and Field, Functional Movement Systems
1 First FHIX experience?
My first FHIX was a doozy! Eric and Dennys were teaching, and I instantly fell in love (and not just with their abs). Their energy and positivity was intoxicating and the FHIX definitely required my A-game. I felt that I finally had found a group fitness studio that offered everything I was looking for as a professional: fun and functional programming, great music, supportive community and spectacular coaches. I was instantly hooked!
2 Who is your FHITspiration?
My NYC fitness tribe! I am blessed to know so many inspirational women who are changing the face of fitness and redefining what it means to be a strong woman. I am inspired by their ambition, intelligence and grace every day!
3 Personal theme song?
“I’m Every Woman” by Whitney Houston. Need I explain further?
4 Celebrity doppelganger?
5 Favorite guilty pleasure?
Cheeseburger and fries
6 What is it about group fitness?
The energy of the room! When the studio is rocking, it can give you that little bit extra needed to conquer the day!
7 Post workout snack?
Smoothie! Current favorite: plant based protein powder, ¼ avocado, ½ frozen banana, a TON of spinach, splash of coconut milk, & 1 cup almond milk.
8 What is your sign? Do you read your horoscope?
I’m a Scorpio. It’s kind of shocking how on point my astrological sign is.
9 What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A movie star! An action star to be more specific. I still have a secret (or not so secret) fantasy of playing Wonder Woman one day!
10 Perfect Sunday afternoon activity?
Bike ride through the city! In the warmer months you can catch me commuting all over the 5 boroughs on my bike.
11 Best advice you ever received?
“Stop apologizing for doing what’s best for you!” It has completely changed how I approach business and relationships. How many of our heroes do you see apologizing for pursuing their dreams? The answer is none! The more you own your decisions, the more people respect you for them.
12 Most challenging exercise movement and why?
Muscle-ups! Being female, and carrying the majority of my weight (and strength) in my lower body makes exercises like pull-ups evermore challenging. It is a personal goal of mine to be able to do a strict, ring muscle up. I’ll report back in a couple months with my progress ;-)
13 Your biggest accomplishment?
This year I accomplished a childhood dream of being in a magazine! You can check me out in November’s Women’s Health, December’s Self Magazine (where I am featured as their Trainer To Go) and the January issue of Shape Magazine!
14 Your favorite book?
"Where the Red Fern Grows" - I cry every time.
15 Best vacation you have ever taken?
I just got back from a week long vacation in Costa Rica with my family. It was hands down the most relaxing, fun and best vacation I have ever had.
16 Favorite athlete?
Serena Williams. She is the best athlete in recorded history, period!
17 What is your favorite movie?
The Big Lebowski
18 Who you would love to meet and have dinner with?
Martha Stewart, especially if she’s cooking and if Snoop Dog is invited!
19 Favorite restaurant in the city?
20 Best gift you have ever received?
When I turned 21 my dad gave me a book he had been making for 20 years. It contained every program and ticket to every performance I was ever in, drawings and pictures I had made for him as a child, and his favorite photographs of our family and me. Needless to say I instantly cried, happy tears of course.
21 Favorite type of food?
Latin food! I’m a beans and rice with every meal kind of girl and have a huge weakness for platanos and yucca!