Meet SELF’s 2024 Everyday Athletes

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Social: @amandaeting
Age: 39
Location: New York, New York
Occupation: Physical therapist for performers and fitness coach at Mark Fisher Fitness
Best thing to do outside of fitness: Attend live concerts and Broadway shows, go to dance class, spend time with my dog Weezie.
Favorite exercise: Overhead presses.

A physical therapist working with Broadway performers, Amanda Ting moved to New York City in 2012 without a solid fitness routine of her own. Upon her clients’ recommendations, she popped into Mark Fisher Fitness—an inclusive exercise haven that helps “people who hate gyms find their fitness home,” as its site explains—and soon became a regular. “I really loved weight lifting and kettlebell technique, as well as the strong group of friends I had made,” Ting tells SELF. She was already planning on getting her strength and conditioning specialist certification (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) when workers at the studio approached her about becoming a trainer there. “It’s truly come full circle,” she says. “I’ve been honored to guide many through the program that changed my relationship with my body and fitness.” Now, she helps people new to exercise etch out their own start. “Find a class or a workout that appeals to your sense of fun,” she says. “It’s about finding what feels and works best for your body. Know that you deserve space—physically, vocally, emotionally—and find power in that.”

Paris Alexandra

Katie Thompson

Social: @paris_alexandra
Age: 35
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Occupation: Founder of the Brooklyn Wellness Club, writer, and yoga and mindfulness facilitator
Favorite workout song on repeat: I really love all things Tasha Cobbs! All of her music is so inspirational and hits the spot.
Least favorite exercise: The stairclimber.

When Paris Alexandra first got into fitness more than 20 years ago, she started small. “I began my fitness journey by taking walks, and it later transformed into running, weight training, biking, dance, and then yoga,” she tells SELF. “I have always been incredibly inspired by the power of movement, and how it has supported me in self-confidence and unapologetically showing up for myself as myself.” She founded the Brooklyn Wellness Center—a multicultural and multigenerational space focused on holistic well-being—as a way to help others tap into their creativity and find what they need to thrive. “People from diverse bodies, traditions, backgrounds, and gender expressions come together in the name of being well and redefine what healthy looks like for them,” she says. “I want to see all of our stories celebrated, and for everyone to know that they are worthy of being celebrated, simply because they exist.” For people who don’t see themselves represented in traditional fitness spaces, just know this, she says: “You belong in every room that you step into.”

Photography: Katie Thompson. Creative direction: Amber Venerable. Wardrobe styling: Kat Thomas. Hair: Chika Nishiyama and Avery Golden. Makeup: Monica Alvarez. Production: Melissa Kramer. 

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