Each week, we’ll toss out six questions to a local health or fitness expert. Topics will range from new workout trends to healthy eating tips and everything in between. We all have fitness goals: Here’s to helping each other achieve them.
Eliza Shirazi is a fitness instructor who has turned her passion into a reality through good old fashion hard work and dedication. While she works full-time as a ClimbCorps Member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Eliza spends much of her time motivating others through her Kick It classes at the Equinox Chestnut Hill and Dartmouth locations as well as The Studio Empower in Newton. With her energetic spirit and a contagious smile, Eliza will not only help you reach your goals, she will leave you feeling confident about your workout and ability to Kick It.
Caroline Earle: What made you decided to get into the fitness industry?
Eliza Shirazi: Dance consumed my life since I was a pip-squeak, but when I got to college there came a point where I knew dancing was not going to be my focus. During my freshman year I had a fight or flight moment; I could either let my love for movement and dance go forever or I could utilize my skills in a different way. After taking a group fitness class at school I thought to myself, hell yes, I can do this. Soon after, I was teaching and created my fitness brand, Kick It, which encompasses my kickboxing inspired classes as well as other signature classes.
CE: When you’re not at the studio teaching, what other physical activities do you enjoy?
ES: When I am not at the studio teaching I have been really into acro-yoga and I’m not sure many people know this. I think individuals who have that insane amount of chemistry and balance to create art with their bodies in such a way is so admirable. Naturally, I make my boyfriend, Eric, do this with me. He is the Fitness Manager at Equinox Dartmouth St., so we both have a love for fitness, he is pretty coordinated, and well, we better have chemistry. It’s been fun and is always a challenge.
CE: With the Olympic Games starting soon, is there a sport you’re most looking forward to watching?
ES: I am so excited for the Olympic games to start! Ever since I was little my mom and I would watch the figure skating competitions together, so I am most looking forward to that. I think it is one of the closest divisions in the games to dance so I love watching the technique and anticipation of all of their tricks they will bring to the ice.
CE: Where did you go to undergrad? What did you major in?
ES: I went to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and initially studied just Communication. After I found fitness I tacked on another major and graduated with degrees in both Public Health and Communication. Studying these two fields helped me carefully construct my fitness brand and understand people physically, mentally, and emotionally. I also studied abroad at The University of Cape Town in South Africa for a semester and continued my studies while also bringing my Kick It classes to their gym –such a successful and mind-blowing experience.
CE: Who is your fitness icon?
ES: I truly don’t have one fitness icon. I draw inspiration from a vast range of fitness professionals. Just to mention a few, I love the style of MizzFit.com by Bianca Jade, the young entrepreneurship of Jessica Bashelor, owner of The Handle Bar, and the daily words of wisdom I always read from Marie Forleo (who used to be a fitness instructor!).
CE: I know you’re very involved with ClimbCorps, how did you become involved and why?
ES: When I was on the brink of graduation I was job hunting and came across ClimbCorps at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It is the nation’s first service corps dedicated to health and wellness, and specifically cardiovascular disease. When I read the description I realized it was my resume in a nutshell and I had to apply. ClimbCorps has many components such as daily stair climbing sessions, community outreach, development, and prep for our big bi-annual event open to the public called, ClimbAmerica. We just finished up our January ClimbAmerica and now working towards the next one, which will be at Fenway Park! I feel very fortunate that this is my full-time job because I get to learn from my awesome co-workers and BWH, while simultaneously building Kick It.