About SUMMER

About SUMMER

This is My Story

We all have a story to share, it’s what make us who we are. My story involves a love for the mountains and puppies, an amazing family, a brain filled with exercise knowledge, and a desire to create change in an industry I’ve been part of for almost 20 years.

Hey There – I’m Summer.

I’m super excited you stopped by my neck of the woods. GXunited is my baby and I’m the crazy brains behind what you see and experience here on the site. I know a thing or two about the world of group fitness and exercise science, but after lots of twists and turns in my career, have opted to approach it with a different mindset than many other businesses you currently see in the fitness industry.

You see, I don’t believe we should workout to look a certain way or be able to lift a specific amount of weight. I don’t feel that fitness should mean wearing your body out and never taking rest days. And I don’t think fitness exclusively means being inside a gym. Yup, you heard me right, the world of fitness should be about movement for the pure sake of movement. It should be about staying active to improve our quality of life, and doing everything we can to stay injury free.

A Few Crazy Years…

A Few Crazy Years…

I wish I could say I started my fitness career 16 years ago with this mindset; but alas I fell into many of the marketing traps and traditional mindsets of so many fitness professionals. I taught 20+ classes a week. I ate minimal calories to keep my weight down. I became a cardio junkie. And I had the mindset that more was better.

I prided myself in weeks when I would teach 20-classes, run 30-miles, and lift on my own. It was a sense of honor when people would call me ‘crazy’ for how much I worked out. But with that sense of pride also came illness, injury, and eventually an extreme case of overtraining syndrome.

Yup, I become an overtrained fitness professional (read that full story here). The final nail in my coffin came in 2015 when within 10-days I was in the emergency room twice, once for a blown-out knee (thanks BODYATTACK®) and the second for spitting up blood and having migraines so bad I would lose vision, speech, and pass out. Needless to say, I was a hot mess!

It was this experience, coupled with a few other crazy life experiences, and a personal connection to the Project Semicolon campaign, that ultimately created a shift in my mindset.

Today I embrace the notion that…

Fitness looks and feels different for everyone. Movement is art, and does not always have to occur within a gym.

Rest and recovery are key to successful, long term movement practices.

Injuries suck, and it is our responsibility as a fitness professional to decrease the risk and keep people safe. 

Mindset matters: more is not always better, depression is a real thing, and the words we say matter.

When Less Became More…

THE GXunited Blog

Since 2015 I have embraced the notion that ‘less is more’. I may no longer workout 2-3 times per day, or pound on the mileage on the road; but you know what?! I actually feel better than I have in years. I no longer wake up every day with headaches and an upset stomach. I no longer experience constant soreness, and I no longer have minor injuries that plague my daily life.

In fact, in 2016 my hubby and I packed everything we owned into a POD, and left our home in Florida for an unknown adventure. We wanted to experience life with less. We wanted to see the mountains and experience the beauty of nature. And we wanted to have no plans. With this I stopped teaching, hung up my personal training name tag, and simply explored cities and states I’d never been to.

We ultimately landed in Denver Colorado (where I’m now a full-time lecturer of Exercise Science), and continue to discover the beauty of human movement in the elements of nature.

It is this mentality, coupled with the belief that
we can do things better,
that shapes the future of GXunited.

The places & Things I’ve seen…

 

Throughout all this, I’ve had some pretty great opportunities within the world of fitness; including training athletes, developing certifications and CEC courses, teaching group exercise classes, and developing a summer dance program for kids.

I’ve worked in campus recreation, corporate wellness/fitness, and commercial fitness as a personal trainer, group fitness pro, and facility manager. I even spent a year working at IMG Academy, a sports performance institute for youth through elite level athletes.

I’ve traveled the country as a national presenter and program developer (I am the brains behind NETA’s Barre Connect Specialty Certification). And these days I shape the next generation of fit pros in my role as a professor.

But at heart, I’ll always be a coach and still love helping people “Stand Taller. Move Easier. Perform Better.” through well designed movement programs that focus on improving posture, mobility, and sports performance. I use a combination of my training in Yoga, Pilates, Kettlebells, and Suspension training to create diverse and well-designed workouts for both groups and private clients.

Read my full resume over on LinkedIn.

The places & Things I’ve seen…

 

Throughout all this, I’ve had some pretty great opportunities within the world of fitness; including training athletes, developing certifications and CEC courses, teaching group exercise classes, and developing a summer dance program for kids. I’ve worked in campus recreation, corporate wellness/fitness, and commercial fitness as a personal trainer, group fitness pro, and facility manager. I even spent a year working at IMG Academy, a sports performance institute for youth through elite level athletes.

I’ve traveled the country as a national presenter and program developer (I am the brains behind NETA’s Barre Connect Specialty Certification). And these days I shape the next generation of fit pros in my role at MSU Denver.

But at heart, I’ll always be a coach and still love helping people “Stand Taller. Move Easier. Perform Better.” through well designed movement programs that focus on improving posture, mobility, and sports performance. I use a combination of my training in Yoga, Pilates, Kettlebells, and Suspension training to create diverse and well-designed workouts for both groups and private clients.

Read my full resume over on LinkedIn.

I’m an Exercise Science Geek…

I love learning, and I’m always striving to better my craft. Each course I take, article I read, and interaction I have shapes my philosophy and skills as a fit pro. These are my certifications and trainings.

EDUCATION

M.S.: Kinesiology: Sports Psychology
University North Carolina Greensboro

B.S.: Exercise & Sports Science
University North Carolina Greensboro

B.A.: Dance Studies
University North Carolina Greensboro

PRIMARY CERTIFICATIONS

NSCA
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

ACSM
Certified Exercise Physiologist

Yoga Alliance
200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher

ACE
Primary Group Exercise Certification

Road Runners Club of America
Certified Running Coach

SPECIALTY CERTIFICATIONS

Balanced Body
Pilates Reformer Level 1 Training

BOSU
BOSU Complete Workout System

Les Mills
BODYPUMP, CXWORX, RPM, BODYFLOW, BODYVIVE, BODYATTACK, GRIT

TRX
Group Suspension Training

Schwinn Education
Indoor Cycle Training

YogaFit
Level 1 Yoga Training

EDUCATION

M.S.: Kinesiology: Sports Psychology, University North Carolina Greensboro

B.S.: Exercise & Sports Science, University North Carolina Greensboro

B.A.: Dance Studies, University North Carolina Greensboro

PRIMARY CERTIFICATIONS

NSCA: Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

ACSM: Certified Exercise Physiologist

RYT: 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher

ACE: Primary Group Exercise Certification

AFAA: Primary Group Exercise Certification

Road Runners Club of America: Certified Running Coach

SPECIALTY CERTIFICATIONS

AFAA: Kickboxing, Mat Pilates

Balanced Body: Pilates Reformer Level 1 Training

BOSU: BOSU Complete Workout System

Les Mills: BODYPUMP, CXWORX, RPM,

BODYFLOW, BODYVIVE, BODYATTACK, GRIT

TRX: Group Suspension Training

Schwinn Education: Indoor Cycle Training

YogaFit: Level 1 Yoga Training

A Few of My Favorite Things…

A Few of My Favorite Things…

My professional life has been pretty amazing, but there’s more to life than simply hanging out in the gym. Here are a few things that make me, me…

  • I love mountains.
  • Puppies make me happy.
  • Traveling is awesome.
  • Fitness is fun.
  • Artwork is amazing.
  • I suck at, but love, Trivia night.
  • Penguins are adorable.
  • My hubby has stuck with me since 2002.
  • We’ve lived in 8 cities, across 3 states.
  • My parents are living it up in NC.
  • Chocolate Chip cookies are my weakness.

More by Me…

I love to write (thanks MeMe), and aim to bring you new ideas to ponder regularly. As the founder of GXunited, you get to hear a lot from me, but if you specifically want to read my articles, check them all out here. Or shoot me an email and let’s connect!

Learn more about GXunited here.

“I hope we make you challenge the status quo, rethink what you know, and discover new group fitness experiences”

-Summer Sides,
Founder of GXunited

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