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How this two-time cancer survivor helps others channel their inner strength


Thumbnail for How this two-time cancer survivor helps others channel their inner strength
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We want to recognize the fitness instructors who don’t just look great on Instagram—but actually inspire us to be better. So together with ReebokONE, we asked you to nominate trainers for the second annual America’s Most Inspiring Trainer search. After over a thousand amazing stories, we’ve narrowed it down to 12 finalists—which means it’s time for you to choose a winner! Learn more about Lauren Chiarello below, and cast your vote by November 26.

Lauren Chiarello, New York, New York

Founder of Chi Chi Life; Barre, Pilates, and TRX instructor at Exhale Spa and Flex Studios

Her personal mantra

It’s a beautiful day to be alive.

Her favorite post-workout smoothie

After a good sweat, I love to refuel with a Peanut Butter Split smoothie from Juice Generation.

What inspired you to become a trainer?

Beating cancer twice inspired me to become a trainer. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 23, and once I finished my six months of chemotherapy, I trained for my first half marathon. Just after my race, I learned the cancer had returned. I celebrated my 25th birthday during a six-week hospital stay in isolation, and full recovery took nearly a year.

Around that time, a friend introduced me to Core Fusion Barre at Exhale, and my love affair with core strength began. My teachers helped me discover strength I didn’t know I had.

“We all have our own challenges (mine happened to be cancer), but when we provide support, we have the ability to shine bright together.”

Since then, I’ve run several half marathons, raising over $75,000 for cancer charities. In 2013, I ran the NYC Marathon with Fred’s Team, which took me past Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—the place that saved my life and helped me discover my life purpose.

What’s your fitness philosophy?

Fitness changed my life, and my hope as a teacher is to educate and inspire others through movement. We all have our own challenges (mine happened to be cancer), but when we provide support, we have the ability to shine bright together.

The winner of America’s Most Inspiring Trainer will score a one-year contract with Reebok and major coverage on Well+Good. Cast your vote now!

In partnership with ReebokONE

Photo: Jacob Smith

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Well+Good - 13 of the best monthly workout streaming subscriptions that cost less than $40

13 of the best monthly workout streaming subscriptions that cost less than $40