“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
Ciao a Tutti e Benvenuti!
My name is Natascia and I live in Cambridge, MA with my wonderful husband Dustin and our 5 month old puppy, Luna. I am from Arco, a small town located in northern Italy at the north end of the largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always had a strong attraction for the United States. I had a dream , “Un Sogno nel Cassetto” (Dream in a Drawer) that one day I would live in the United States and fully immerse myself in the language and the culture. In July of 2000, I’d received a sign when in the local news paper I stumble upon the term “au pair”. An au pair is a foreign adult between the ages of 18 and 26 employed by a family to look after the children and help with the housework in return for room, meals, pocket money and an opportunity to learn the language. ‘This is your chance,’ something whispered to me. However, the time was clicking. At the beginning of October I was turning 27, that meant that I had less than 3 months to find ahost family in US. I applied right away with no so much hope. Needless to say, on October 2nd I left my country, my job, friends,family and friends and start new to live my dream and embark on a journey of a lifetime. My family thought I was crazy, except for my mom that was very supportive and saw a chance for me to re-create my life. Change can be really frightening, but it also bring lost of new opportunities. My life has changed immeasurably since I jumped off the cliff and found that I could fly. I found the life I was looking for.
My family means the world to me! My husband was the best think ever happened to me, a gift sent from the Universe. I believe everything happens for a reason, and the reason for me to come to the Boston was to meet my soul mate, the love of my life and my best friend Dustin. He is the most supporting,encouraging, understanding, unselfish human being I’ve ever met and he make me laugh like no one else can. He makes me strong, when I am weak. he makes me laugh, when I cry. He makes me happy, when I am sad. He is just perfect for me. He leads me through life and is always there to remind me of what really matters. He is the love of my life and the one I can’t live without. I also have the privilege to have not one but two wonderful and caring families; my blood family in Italy and my adopted family here in the US. Although I am not always close together to my blood family, we are always close in heart and I know they will love me no matter where I go or what I do. Once or twice a year we go to my hometown to visit my parents, my two brothers: Giuseppe and Michele, my sister Samanta, my three nephews: Patrick, Davide and Federico, and my niece Elena. I love each one of them, we siblings have always been very close and I miss them very much. Thank God for Skype that allow to make internet video calls for free. I see my sister and my niece almost every day, which really help when I am nostalgic. Since the first day Dustin’s family took me in and treated me like family. His parents are all so wonderful, I found encouragement and precious friendship in them. I couldn’t ask for more I value their opinions and their love and support. They respond with truth, honesty and whole-hearted kindness. I’m so blessed to have them as part of my life.
I’ve always been athletic and love working out, so being fit has always just been a way of life for me. Being into fitness really makes you realize how strong of a person you are physically and mentally. The discipline you must have in order to succeed and see results is so self rewarding. While in Italy, I was regional champion in aerobics, which led me and my team to be nationally ranked. Since then, I worked with different types of fitness including lifting, aerorbics and kickboxing.
However, prior to March 2010 I had never run regularly, so I never really considered myself to be a runner. Until one day I decided I needed a change in my life, something new and challenging. I swore that some day I’d run a marathon. So to start off I signed up to run a Half Marathon to test my endurance, after that I started running. I absolutely fall in love with it. It was something I looked forward to, a comforting moment of solitude fueled by endorphins that allowed me to hit the reset button on my day. After I completed successfully my first Half Marathon, I felt ready to add milage and I started to follow a Marathon training without being officially signed up for one. I wasn’t really sure if I could run that far yet, so I patiently waited while I was actually enjoying very much my journey.
On July 30th I took the courage and signed up for my first Marathon. This event was going to mark a new beginning, a new era in my life therefore I wanted to be meaningful. I chose the Maine Marathon that was going to take place on October 3rd for two reason: Maine is the State where my husband is from, where we crossed path for the first time and October 3rd was going to be the 10th Anniversary of my arrival in the USA. I was so excited yet nervous. Crossing the finish line was an amazing feeling. I sped through that final strectch and proudly accepted my medal. I felt triumphant. I felt on top of the world. That very moment in my life committed me as a life long runner. That feeling, the before, during and after of finishing my first finish lines, was all worth it. I felt so accomplished, empowered and inspired. I finished in 3:31:08 and reached my goal qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I gain a confidence that allow me to believe that anything is possible. The dedication, perserverance, and tenacity that goes into the months of training is worthy of the title, marathoner. Seeing my family at the finish line was incredible. It meant the world to me to have those closest to me there to celebrate my victory.
I’ve continued running and racing, and I still enjoy it so much. I love the atmosphere and energy at races, as well as the camaraderie found throughout the running community. Running simply feels natural – running is something that we as humans are supposed to do! Running has given me back everything that I have given to it. It has given me enjoyment in myself and my experiences. It’s empowered me like I never expected. It’s introduced me to the most fabulous people I could have hoped for, and has given me a stronger connection to friends and family already in my life. It’s opened doors in all areas of my life that I never expected.
My Journey to Become a Wellness and Life Coach
As I’ve already mentioned, I am very passionate about fitness and I know that I always wanted that to be part of my life. Combining my love for health and wellness with my career would be the perfect marriage. In 2002 I even got certified as a Kick Boxing Instructor from The Aerobic and Fitness Association of America, or AFAA, the world’s largest educator of fitness professionals, but the language barrier and the lack of confidence kept me from pursing my dream. Until recently. I have gone through many life changes. I feel ready to support others to come through their life changes. When we are caught in a life change, we must hold on to the hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know because I have seen it and with the right support came out the other end – healthy, happy and living for today. I believe each one of us has the potential to be whatever we want to be and ultimately meet our goals, achieve our dreams and live the life we desire.
In August 2010, I certified from Road Runners Club of America(RRCA) as a Certified Distance Running Coach. The Road Runners Club of America is the national association of running clubs, running events, and runners dedicated to promoting long distance running as a competitive sport and as healthful exercise. The course was taught by RRCA Coaches, Patti and Warren Finke. Both Patti and Warren have completed over 170 marathon distance or longer events. In addition to teaching coaching certification seminars, they are the founders and directors of the Portland Marathon Training Clinic. Patti is also an exercise physiologist. Since then I helped few friends training for a Half Marathon. I love to see others surprise themselves at their ability to do something they never thought possible; to get to the point that they look forward to getting out for a run because they’ll enjoy that incredible feeling of accomplishment at the end of a run or race. I find it very gratifying to share tips and tools learned both through experience and training and I believe that setting small goals works well with building up strength and endurance. I realized then that coaching has always been an integral part of my life. I’ve always loved to just listen to my friends and family and let them talk their frustration, concerns or celebrations. I’ve been told from friends and strangers that I am inspiring and motivating. I was destined to do what I love for a living!
To add to my knowledge, in September of 2010 I signed up for the AFAA certified personal trainer workshop that it was going to come to the Boston College the next February. The workshop was few weeks ago and it was very intense and educative. The curriculum included anatomy and kinesiology, fitness assessment testing procedures, nutrition and weight management, special populations and medical considerations, leadership and motivational skills, exercise programming in the weight room and wellness programming and screening guides. On the last day I took a written and a practical exam and in 6 weeks I will know if I passed.
Wellness and Life Coach
I learned that wellness is a multi-dimensional concept that incorporate the Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual aspects of a human being. Wellness is a process, a way of life that can be approached with prevention and holism; the integration of the mind, body, and spirit for optimal functioning. Optimal well-being is also called “Zest for Living” and that is what I believe each individual should try to achieve. While I think fitness is crucial, it’s only one component of wellness and I want to address the whole picture. I realize the incredible benefits of positive psychology and working with someone who helps you clarify what you really want in your life and supports you encouraging and empowering you to move towards their goal. I feel ready to support individuals with their personal issues that are holding them back from being their best. I’ve been there and I know how liberating it is to let go of those fears and make the necessary adjustments to live life from a place of confidence. This is why I am currently studying following a program that is accredited by the ICF (International Coaching Federation) to become a Wellness and Life Coach.
I’m also very passionate about photography, Visual and Performing Arts, design and anything that has to do with using your creativity and imagination. I have a degree in Graphic Design and use it for making cool things and being creative. I like to doodle and make cool things in Photoshop and Illustrator when I have some extra free-time.
” Every challenge in your life helps you to grow.
Every problem you encounter strengthens your mind and your soul.
Every trouble you overcome increases your understanding of life. “
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” ~ M. Gandhi