It’s a well known fact that you never know who you might meet in the Florida Keys. Celebrities, adventurers, scholars and other interesting characters – they’re all here. That’s exactly what I thought the first time I met this dynamic woman sitting stylishly at the poolside bar. She is a Pilates Instructor, actress and model. Talk about using all of your assets! We met to discuss the possibility of her writing a monthly column for Island Jane about health, energy and other goodness.
What is a typical day for you?
Waking up early in the morning to teach group classes or private lessons throughout the day, at various locations throughout South Florida. I currently teach at the following locations: Ocean Reef Club, Miami Sports Chiropractic & Yoga Center, Pilathon, Inner Balance Mind Body Studio, & The Carillon Hotel & Spa.
What do you love most about your job?
I get to hang out in leggings and flip flops all day long. Oh, and hang out at juice bars drinking fresh smoothies! All jokes aside…. I love my job, because it enables me to have a work life balance and live a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly, I’m truly blessed and grateful for the opportunity to work with different types of people and guide them through a positive movement experience. I have an array of clients that I work with on a daily basis: athletes, golfers, dancers, yogis, fitness buffs, pre/post natal, cancer survivors, etc…
The most rewarding thing about being a Pilates Instructor is seeing my clients progress. It’s not about having a six pack or a tight body, it’s about having a balanced body and how the body responds to daily movement and activity. Most of my clients come to me because they are in pain or have some physical restriction and would like to improve their overall health. My job is teach them how to move with awareness, connect the mind to the body, live pain free and improve their overall well being and posture. It takes time and discipline to practice Pilates from a state of consciousness, but it’s an amazing path to authentic physical fitness. Learning to move with awareness brings about a beautiful transformation that comes from within and my job is to be their guide. Being a Pilates Instructor and energy healer is a truly rewarding experience!
How long have you lived in the Keys, and where do you come from?
On and off for 20 yrs with my parents, my husband and I recently bought our home in paradise in 2014. I’m originally from Miami Lakes and of Cuban descent. My parents and grandparents came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1962. I’m made in America with Cuban parts.
You have a special story about how you and your husband fell in love. Will you share it with us?
My husband Bernie and I are both Cuban American, with a fun & crazy Cuban family. We both had ties to the Florida Keys growing up. We’ve known each other since high school and used to run into each other during our summers down in the Keys.
Bernie & I shared our first kiss down in the Keys over 15+ years ago. At the time, we were in college hanging out with a group of friends in Marathon. The details are personal and close to my heart… but I can tell you it involved a bike ride to the beach, the moon and stars and a mind blowing first kiss. It was a truly magical kiss under that blanket of stars! (And yes, it was only just one kiss).
As fate would have it, our lives were temporarily destined for different pathways. A chance encounter and reconnection happened 10+ years later at a friend’s birthday gathering. I was supposed to be working that day but had a last minute cancellation. So I threw on a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of heels and decided to go. Little did I know I would meet my future husband. As soon as I walked into to the restaurant he stood up and never left my side. We talked all night long catching up on each other’s lives and sharing travel stories. At the end of the night, he told me he never forgot that night we kissed under the stars in the Keys. We’ve been together ever since. We married a year and a half later at Hawks Cay in the Florida Keys, not too far from that beach where we shared that first kiss.
How would you describe your style?
My style is always evolving. It’s definitely Island inspired with a fun elegant Caribbean flair. I love buying a few key timeless pieces every season and incorporating them into my existing wardrobe to keep things fresh. I also love buying cute inexpensive tops and pairing them up with a nice pair of white pants or shorts.
What is your favorite thing about living in the Florida Keys:
The laid back island lifestyle, the people, the warmth of the sunrises and sunsets, the pelicans, the sea turtles, the turquoise waters, the fresh seafood, the stone crab and lobster, the endless amount of outdoor activities, and connecting with nature. I love how everything slows down to island speed in the Keys. I was born in Miami, but my Caribbean Cuban blood runs deep. I was meant to live in the islands and there’s no place I’d rather be than in the Florida Keys.
If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney
What is your best advice for women inspired to live the Island Jane lifestyle;
Explore, smile, have fun, be safe, study, read and learn as much as you can, love unconditionally, love yourself, be true to yourself, listen with an open heart, dream big, work hard, surround yourself with positive energy and most importantly – Strive for Greatness!
What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind:
An energy healer spreading positive light and goodness to others and throughout the world.
Why are you an Island Jane?
I’m an island girl at heart with a pirate’s soul who is at home in the ocean. As a little girl, I spent a lot of time out on the beach and in the ocean with my grandfather. My fondest memories of us together were our late night swims in the ocean before bedtime. After our dip in the ocean under the dark blue sky, we would sit on a lounge chair looking up at the moon and counting the stars. The smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves crashing on the shoreline would put me to sleep underneath his warm hug. My grandfather raised an Island Jane!