Happy Thoughts

I found my passion in health and fitness and have had excellent opportunities to work with clients… YMCAs, fitness centers, medical office, personal training, group exercise, nutrition counseling, lifestyle coaching.

It is not an easy field. Adverse human behaviors and outside influencers make “being well” a constant battle. It’s feedback like this that makes the fight worthwhile.


I find myself smiling all the way through class. That is a great thing, Aarika. I have had a wonderful life of athletics and thousands of miles walking, jogging, etc. Then to break both feet AND have serious back issues really took me out of my game of a great life. But God is always so good to me. Putting you before me is a major gratitude gift. Your passion is not at all just about exercise. You are very educated about caring for the body. You put much time and thought into everything you do. When I went on a job interview for a top attorney in Palm Beach, at the end of the interview he paid me, what to this day is my highest compliment. He said, and I now, 35 years later, say it for the first time to you… YOU ARE DELIGHTFULLY REFRESHING! Thankful our paths have crossed on life’s journey!


First PLYOGA class today, and I loved it! Aarika is dynamic, bubbly, firm and encouraging all while teaching us plyometric moves and rest poses from yoga. She has the wonderful ability to engage you while keeping you on beat to excellent music. Loved the moves the music the personality! It has been a while since I have worked out and I feel really encouraged that this class will challenge me and motivate me!


Thank you so much for your help over the last 4 months. Because of you, I can see and feel improvements in my general health. Thank you for your patience and leadership in getting me to the point where I am physically. I must imagine it was quite entertaining on your end! 🙂 I wish much success and happiness in your future endeavors. You will be greatly missed!


For several years, I have been prediabetic, borderline high cholesterol, high triglycerides and generally obese. I had been on and off blood pressure medication for 10 years and was content that my life going forward was similar to the past. I had become a master of every excuse possible why I was so heavy, but changed nothing. My last doctor visit was in October, where he told me that he would not give me a prescription for what I cold control with the right effort. He gave me a goal of weight to lose by my May appointment. I realize this is a lot of backstory but I need to explain why this program has truly meant so much to me. Working with Aarika and the entire team that makes up our class, I learned the things that I could change. I did have the ability to become the parent I needed to become. I needed to be a role model for my boys and also be able to enjoy them growing up and not just sit on the sidelines and watch them be active. I have learned that missing one goal or one meal or one exercise session will not make me fail. I learned that small changes in what I already do can make a continuous impact on my fitness and weight. It has been 4 months since the inception of this program. I am in better shape now than when I was 30. I have not weighted 210 pounds in 20+ years. I am not where I want to be yet, but I am on a path to get there. I control my future and I control the change. None of these things would have EVER occurred without the [YMCA program brought] to AFL and the amazing job Aarika has done teaching us how to migrate to a more healthy lifestyle.


I recently celebrated a milestone birthday. However, I feel much more comfortable with and confident about myself and my physical fitness – mentally and physically – than I did earlier. I can get “up and down” (and especially “up”) much more easily and don’t have to hope that no one is watching. My clothes are beginning to fit again, and that is a fabulous feeling. I am more aware than ever of what I should be eating each day. Therefore, I am making much better choices about food. I have realized that I probably have been deficient in protein my entire adult life. After my first trainer left to take a full-time job, I thought I could continue with exercise on my own. It took me a year finally to admit to myself that I had fallen back into old habits and was not exercising at all. I am fortunate that I found another trainer who is awesome. Aarika is more than a physical trainer. She has made me aware of how and why I should take care of my “whole self” and how everything is related. She is an encourager but more importantly, she holds me accountable! The beginning of each training session includes talking about my health, the choices I have made and the difficulties and successes I have had during the week. She has a specific plan prepared for me during each training session and also gives me homework for the coming week. If I could age backwards, I would want to be like Aarika when I “grow young!”


Love my fitness class with Aarika. She is wonderful. She has great music and great moves for us to stretch and tone our body. We have all ages in our class here anyone can get in shape and do her workouts.


Before I started personal training at the YMCA, I considered myself to be very active and a healthy eater. Working with Aarika taught me to make sure I am getting the RIGHT exercise and the RIGHT nutrition. We met twice a week and did a variety of different workouts so I never got bored. I was able to incorporate group exercise classes and cardio on the days we did not train. I frequently travel for work and was able to take the workouts Aarika put together for me with me so that I could stay on track even when I did not have access to the Y. I used to go to the hotel gym and stare helplessly at the gym equipment, but now I have routines that I’ve practiced with my trainer and feel confident doing on my own! The nutrition guidance I received from Aarika really helped me to gain an understanding of what I should really be eating in a day. I learned that, yes, I can still eat carbs (I will not give up pizza or tacos!) and a variety of other foods but focused on eating the RIGHT foods and the RIGHT portions to make sure I am getting the proper balance every day. Now I know that if I am going to have an indulgent dinner, I make sure that I eat as clean as possible throughout the day with lots of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables so that I can enjoy my favorite splurge meals without any guilt! I’m excited to continue on a path of total body wellness and keep up my regular workouts and nutrition plan that is now a way of life for me.


Aarika was always prepared. Nutrition and lifestyle advice-check; workout planned and written out-check; homework-check; positive attitude, no excuses approach, and encouraging words-priceless! The workouts were fun. Aarika developed 4 workout plans for me, which allowed me to rotate between cardio with machines, weight machines, body weight and cardio. The intervals for each individual exercise were 30 seconds to one minute. We were always moving on to the next exercise, which kept it interesting.


Thanks for hanging in there with us for a whole year! I have enjoyed the time and the sincerity that you brought each meeting. Thanks for being real and letting us know that this is a journey not a “diet”.


I am a 54-year-old breast cancer survivor. I have never been really “fit” but was always generally active. Following chemotherapy, my energy level dropped, and for four years I had very little energy and no stamina. I knew I needed to start exercising, but I had no clue where to begin. I met with Aarika and realized that personal training would be the best way to get moving. Aarika taught me seemingly simple movements that allowed me to become comfortable with exercising. She was always upbeat and encouraging, holding me accountable without belittling me. Our sessions were always well-planned and thorough, allowing me to develop skills at my own pace. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and I enjoyed training with her.


Aarika as a trainer is many things. In particular the first word that comes to mind is diligent. She is on time with a written plan for that day’s workout and also a plan for you to continue on in between sessions. I love that she tailored my workouts to what I could get done. A busy day with 2 young kids doesn’t always allow long workouts, but she made effective workouts to fit into my day. She also helped me with nutrition and guided me on what foods to eat and what to limit, introducing this diet change a little at a time. She is a trainer that I’d definitely recommend to others. I’m still on my fitness journey, but I’m so glad that Aarika was the one to help me on this path of wellness.


I enjoyed working with Aarika. She took the time to educate herself on my physical challenge and developed a program that improved not only my overall conditioning but also addressed my specific needs. Aarika encouraged and motivated me for ten weeks. I recommend her without reservation.






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