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Occupation: I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I started back when I was 16. I used to manage clubs, but I’ve done everything. Now I work for a Y in Fairfield, for myself, and at the Fairfield Senior Center. I probably teach about 18 classes to all levels of seniors, as well as everything from Zumba to bar. I sub every once in a while at local clubs in Southbury and Anytime Fitness, too. TLC Sweet Souls Rescue is my side passion. We became a 501(c)(3) in November 2014. We help local dogs, but the bulk of our dogs come from the South. Most are small dogs under 30 pounds. Everything I do in life, I’m really grateful, because I love what I do.
Family: My mother died about ten years ago. She was my best friend and my best advocate. My dad died when I was 14 years old, so we grew up really quickly. I come from a family of three girls. I have a sister five years older who is a dog groomer, and she shows Cavalier King Charles dogs. My other sister is five years younger and is my dearest buddy. We partner with all of my Zumba stuff; we choreograph, practice, and teach classes together. My husband Jeff and I have been married for 24 years. He does heating and air conditioning.
Pets: I have two horses. My Morgan horse is 5 years old and recently sustained a really traumatic injury and we are praying for a good outcome. My other horse is a beautiful paint stallion. He’ll be 30 years old this year. Mouse is my teacup Chihuahua. She’s like an emotional support dog to nurture, love, hold, and bring your blood pressure down. I have a toy fox terrier, Kylie; a Jack Russell Chihuahua mix, Teddy; two miniature Pinschers, Ruby and Mimi; a rat terrier, Libby; and I have an older miniature Pinscher named Tutie. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.
How long have you lived in Newtown? About 24 years. I’m originally from Fairfield and my husband is from Darien, but after we met and got married we moved to Newtown.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like getting together with friends and family. We have a big fire pit, and we like to entertain. Also, I love to dance. I am a forever student, so I like to take classes to learn new techniques.
Do you have a favorite author? I love all the James Harriot books, like All Creatures Great and Small.
What is your favorite travel destination? My husband and I just went to the Dominican Republic and really loved it. I took Spanish for five years and one of my goals is that I want to become fluent. I would love to go to Mexico or the Dominican and teach some dance classes and speak Spanish.
What is the best part about Newtown? I feel safe here and people are friendly. Also, our restaurants are great. My favorite place is the Barnwood Grill.
Who and what have been the greatest influences in your life? My mother. She was always my biggest fan. Also, in high school I took a class called Humanities the same year my father died. It was all about attitude, opportunity, and focusing on the good. It was one of the most positive, upbeat classes. I was so grateful that I was in there at a time when I needed it.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My mother. She was the strongest most courageous woman I know, and she gave me and my sisters a great foundation to stand on in our lives. She acted as both a father and a mother to us, and she did a great job.
Who is your favorite musical artist? John Denver. He was a great environmentalist, humanitarian, and his music to this day moves me and sings to my soul. I think he was ahead of his time.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? Do what you love and love what you do. Then it will never be work, it will be a joy and a pleasure.