Steph graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in accounting and has spent the last 20+ years working in corporate America. Thanks to the support of her husband Mike, they both decided it was time to quit her job and move back to Illinois to start PraxisFit. Steph believes that taking chances can be scary, but if you don’t try you will never know your full potential.
Fitness has been one of Steph’s passions and she has always wanted to create a gym that helped people become the best versions of themselves. She also wanted a place that didn’t feel like work, but a place that made people feel comfortable, encouraged and good about themselves. Steph has her CPT-NASM certification and currently has certifications in Youth Exercise Specialization(YES)-NASM and TRX Certified.
TJ holds a bachelors of science degree in Physical Education Studies from Illinois State University. As Senior Director of Strength and Performance, TJ is a certified personal trainer through ACSM, a youth speed and agility specialist through IYCA, Olympic Lifting certified through IYCA, High School Strength and conditioning specialist through IYCA, Animal Flow certified, TRX certified, Myofascial compression techniques through Trigger Point therapy, Rocktape certified.
TJ is married to the most wonderful woman in history and they enjoy spending time with friends and their dogs. TJ is passionate about helping people empower themselves to make their dreams their reality.
For more than 20 years as a fitness professional, Stacy believes that to exercise, it MUST be FUN! While attending her class, she just might get you to sing along with her and the music. Perhaps you haven’t done much exercising because it feels intimidating and anything but fun. That’s ok! She’ll meet you right where you are and you’ll feel welcome immediately. Stacy enjoys celebrations, good food, friends, and family. She believes long-term success and freedom in health is NOT found in endless calorie counting, macros, points, or torturous workouts and the very reason she created a health and wellness program, BOD E TALK, our affiliate, where members have lost thousands of pounds. www.stacysummers.com
Q: What MUST you do?
A: Live abroad. I love anthropology and the study of various cultures. I really enjoy people and making new friends.
Andrea loves to get people dancing, sweating, smiling, and laughing all the way through their workout! She is a certified ACE (American Council on Exercise) group fitness professional and also holds licensures and certifications in Zumba, Spin, Kickboxing, PiYo, Barre, Turbokick, and H.I.T.T. Andrea has lived in Geneva most of her life and regularly competes in marathons, triathlons, and races where mud and/or chocolate are featured as the main event. She loves Jesus, her obnoxious Greek family, the trendiness of kale, in that order, and the sonorous sounds of vocal acoustics in the shower. Her book about faith and fitness was released in 2017.
Q: What other jobs have you held?
A: I used to work for the Onion where I relished having the opportunity to put my sardonic humor to good use!
Fun Facts: Joseph has been a firefighter for over 10 years, he’s a Lawn Care Nut (LCN), oh… and he is petrified of spiders 🙂
Chrissa Flaks began teaching group fitness classes in 2011. She teaches many formats including cardio, strength, boot camp, kickboxing, circuit, TRX, HIIT, cycle, barre, PIYO, and Yoga. Chrissa’s mission when teaching is to help participants develop a love of fitness so that they have the desire to integrate it into their lifestyle on a consistent basis. Chrissa loves adding variety into her classes – a hobby of hers is spending a lot of time on YouTube and Facebook to gather unique ideas for classes! Chrissa teaches band full-time at two middle schools in Geneva, IL with her husband, Jason. She is a mom to twin girls Vivian and Eliana, Ethan, and Evelyn.
Q: What might we not know about you?
A: I’ve been playing the flute for over 25 years – yet I’m afraid to step foot in a Zumba or any dance-type class.
Track and Field created the foundation of LaShawn’s passion and dedication to health and fitness where she found much success. All her life she has been surrounded by sports and athletics. She began teaching Group Fitness in 2011. Her Specialties include HIIT, strength, and dance fitness! In her spare time, she loves going out to dinner and a movie.
Q: If you only had 15 minutes, what would you do?
A: Get a foot massage.
Jolene has been a fitness professional and in the industry for over 20 years! She is certified in every possible format and knows how to deliver a crazy fun, challenging, yet safe workout with lots of encouragement and energy! She is married to her sweetheart Andy. They enjoy traveling together and taking care of their cute pups.
Q: What would you rather not do?
A: Jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
Misti is an active mom of two young adults, Jake and Grace, who also enjoys cooking and creating in the kitchen, reading and traveling. Misti holds of B.S in Health Education, is a Certified Health Coach through IIN, TRX qualified and has completed a 750-hour Pilates certification program. She has been teaching Pilates classes for two years and enjoys challenging everyone who comes to class while maintaining its accessibility to all ages and abilities. She believes moving well and eating well can transform lives from the inside out.
Q: What are you afraid of most?
A: I am afraid of heights so when I turned 45, I went skydiving with my son.
Kristen is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in Advertising. She worked in sales and project management for 12 years before leaving the corporate world to devote more time to her growing family. As a mother to two young children, she is kept quite busy at home. She enjoys reading (when time permits!) and traveling with her husband, Mark, when they can carve out some time away. As a competitive athlete in her younger years, she was able to get back to incorporating fitness into her lifestyle after her second child was born. While she always enjoys a tough, vigorous workout, she has come to realize the fantastic benefits of incorporating yoga into her daily routine. Kristen is Yoga Fit-Level One Certified and looks forward to meeting you on the mat.
Q: When do you feel most grounded?
A: When I’m in my parent’s backyard
While new to the instruction circuit, Melissa brings over 20 years of group fitness experience to her classes. She thrives on the motivation that comes with group fitness and believes workouts should be fun, productive, challenging and spark a little bit of friendly competition. Whether you are new to fitness or a veteran gym rat, Melissa encourages everyone to try something new. Changing up your routine with a new class or new format can change your state of mind, body, and spirit! Melissa resides in Batavia with her husband, Chuck and two children, both in middle school. Like most parents, most of her free time is spent in the car, but she truly loves watching her kids participate in volleyball, basketball, and baseball.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I am an Adult Education Instructor at Waubonsee Community College.
Jennifer Blahnik been teaching 20 years ago. Her accent will tell you she’s from the south; however, she resides in Batavia, and is married to Kevin and has two beautiful daughters. Her friends describe her as bright, inspiring and full of ENERGY!
Q: Who do you admire?
A: I admire my friend Jeff Roberts who recently passed away. I’ve known Jeff from the gym for 15 years. He’s had Parkinson’s for as long as I’ve known him. Jeff never missed a cycling class or a day of Bible reading.
After losing 60 lbs pounds, Susan became ACE and HIGH certified. She loves to teach and inspire others in their healthy lifestyles. While she’s always been active, her fitness journey came later in life. In her free time, she loves to play with her dogs, read and cook. She’s always on the lookout for the next best recipe! She, along with her husband, Dave, and their two dogs (who bring them much joy), Pokie and Spike, reside in St Charles.
Q: What do most people not know about you?
A: I was a majorette for 10+ years. I can still twirl a baton with the best of them!
Having confidence and positive mental health about your body is a great way to stay motivated about your workout regimen. So, silence that inner critic and don’t be afraid to strut your stuff at the gym.
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