LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER: A SHARED PASSION FOR FITNESS
When BurnThis ambassador Alyssa Brylynskei shared the story about her mom and their joint fitness journey, we immediately knew that we had to meet them and learn more! Alyssa is a yoga instructor who challenged her mom to participate in a weight loss challenge at her hometown nutrition club. After winning the competition, mom Denise now owns the club herself! Read on to discover how fitness is front and center in their lives.
Q: As a monther/daughter super into fitness how do you motivate each other every day to push yourselves to the limit and continue challenging your bodies to stay healthy and fit?
A: (Denise) We live in different states so to keep each other accountable and motivated we will share text messages or fitness and healthy recipes to one another on a daily or weekly basis. By knowing each others’ goals we can encourage each other long distance. As I am approaching the age of 50 this year, I want to make sure I am instilling in my children and grandchildren that you can achieve goals at any age. If I am telling them to eat healthy and take care of themselves, I need to practice what I preach, so my children motivate me to push myself to become better and better in nutrition and fitness. When Alyssa and I are able to get together, we have a blast in the gym. We show each other new workouts and it is a time for us to laugh and enjoy our mother daughter time.
Q: Who got into fitness first? How did you push the other to become as excited about fitness as you were?
A: (Alyssa) My mom has always been kind of into fitness & yo-yo dieting but nothing had ever really stuck. I remember her exercising to workout tapes in our living room when I was growing up. I guess I did it back then too: dance workout with Barbie! During high school I started dabbling in yoga. As I got older it really hooked me. I came out of a class one day at the gym and just thought: I could teach this. So I did. Yoga really changed my outlook on life. I started to pay attention to how I treated my body and my nutrition. I found a protein shake shop near our home and became a regular. I joined a running club there and my coach was holding a weight loss challenge. I encouraged my mom to join. She did and won. The rest is history. She now owns that shop and helps so many change their lives. I’m so proud of her.
Q: Alyssa, you were formerly a competitive cheer veteran. What was that like? How does that inform your fitness routine now?
A: (Alyssa) Competitive cheerleading was awesome! I was never very coordinated (dooming my childhood dreams to become princess ballerina;). Cheerleading taught me to push hard and work for my goals. Making Varsity Co-Ed my freshman year of high school was a big deal for me. I used to practice scorpion everyday standing on a soup can until I got it. It showed me what hard work and dedication do for a person. I was always a very shy kid, but I could go out on the mats or on the fields and do routines without a problem. That performance aspect really helped me when it came to teaching yoga. I didn’t have the typical anxiety of speaking in front of a group when I first started. I was able to be myself.
Q: Denise, you won first place in a 9 week body transformation challenge for women over 40. Congrats! Could you tell us a little bit more about that experience?
A: (Denise) It was a amazing experience as I said I will be 50 this summer. My personal goal was to be in the best shape of my life before I reached that age, so I entered this Metro wide challenge in MN to do just that. I actually took the category for 1st place in Body Sculpting over all so I competed against women in their twenties as well. That was an amazing feeling right there knowing that the second place winner was in her twenties. But what I really was trying to achieve was to push myself to be better, to know that I can do it. I worked with a trainer that has placed in 5 Fitness shows herself and knew what it was like to be unhealthy and over weight in her own life prior to getting healthy herself. Not that I was unhealthy when I started with her last year but knowing she had to work to get to where she is now and what that felt like. I learned more about nutrition for the athlete and how to really change your mind: thoughts to push yourself beyond what you think you are capable of doing because if there is a will there is a way. I told myself every day I was a Winner. I had a setback during my training: I injured my rotator cuff and had my right arm in a sling for a bit, but I did not let that stop my training at all. The best part of it is the feeling of accomplishment, setting out goals and achieving what you really wanted to do. Also knowing that my family was cheering me on through the whole period was great, the support from my husband, my children, during this time was so awesome to have and to feel. One highlight was that Alyssa was unable to come to MN for the day they announced the winners, but I did not know my daughter Lauren face-timed Alyssa so she was able to be a part of my day too. That was so awesome to feel that support from my family. I was surprised with this after I came off stage. Got to love technology!
Q: What is your message for people looking to change their lives through fitness?
A: (Denise) That fitness does not only change your physical appearance, it helps you mentally to feel good, and so much more! But if you do not have a good nutrition plan with that fitness, it is as if you are on a hamster wheel going around and around not getting the results you are trying to achieve. I did that for years, thinking I could out-exercise a poor diet. Now I know the value in the proper nutrition and what awesome results you can receive from the hard work you put into your fitness.
(Alyssa) Like Nike says: just do it! Your life will never be the same and fitness will change your life from every angle. The beginning will be tough and slow but the results will come and then you will crave it. You don’t know it until you get here, but living this lifestyle is the most amazing thing you could ever do for yourself. You’ll have more energy, more drive, better willpower and more confidence. These things spread into your career, relationships and general daily life.