May 2023 RISER of the Month
Before Allison Billingsley was even a Glen Ellyn resident, she found RISE. She and her husband Lance were checking out Glen Ellyn as a potential place to move in the winter of 2016. “We parked in front of the studio and I took a peak in,” she says. “I saw that they had TRX, and Lance said maybe you could work here if we move here. The rest is history.”
Today as a RISE an instructor, Allison’s biggest motivation is the RISE community. “I have a class full of RISERS holding me accountable,” she says. “They also motivate me to want to make every single class more challenging then the last! I love creating different class formats.”
As for her future-fitness goals, Allison wants to always be moving and challenging herself physically. “I love working out and don’t know what I would do if the ability was taken away from me,” she says. It’s something I have been doing since I was in grade school. Growing up as an athlete. It was a huge part of my identity. Staying physically fit also helped me overcome stress, anxiety and an eating disorder and body dysmorphia that I fought for many, many years.”
There’s no doubt Allison is an inspiration to all RISERs who have taken her classes and we are beyond grateful to have her. Allison, your killer workouts, positive vibes and REAL takes on life make us all better. We couldn’t have a more well-deserved RISER of the Month. We love you!
Read on to hear more about Allison’s background, wellness mindset and goals.
What draws you to the RISE community?
I absolutely love the community RISE has created through the years. It’s a true testament when you see people who have been taking classes here year after year. The Challenges are amazing and just keep getting more creative each year.
What is your wellness mantra and routine for yourself today?
When I was younger, it was all about how hard I could push myself - how fast I could run, how lean I could get, how heavy I could lift. Now that I’m almost 52, I’ve realized I can’t think like that anymore. I’m trying hard to listen to my body, which has been a very hard pill to swallow. I’m no longer running long distance or doing full-out HIIT. I’m focusing more on long walks, lifting weights five days a week, focusing on a more macro-based diet and getting more sleep, which is huge! I’ve always been a five hour per night sleeper.
It’s all about maintenance now. Taking care of your body but slowing it down a bit. I’m not going to have the body I had 10 years ago (hell, not even the one I had five years ago). I’ve learned that I need to focus more on my health, both mentally and physically, and less on what my body looks like. I want to be the grandma that can still run and spin her grandkids around because my body is still strong!
What RISE classes get you most amped up? And what classes are your favorite to teach?
Bootcamp and kettlebell have always been my favorites. They challenge my strength and endurance, and the classes always have such a strong energy.
I love teaching all my classes. It’s hard to choose which one because they are all so different. TRX is the most challenging to teach because of how technical it is and it’s so fulfilling when the transitions and movements start clicking for everyone. But, with all my classes, what makes me the most fulfilled is when someone tells me that they feel stronger. That they are grabbing the heavier weights, or they are developing muscles or they were able to hold a TRX side plank for 30 seconds. That’s why I love what I do!
What is your athletic background?
I grew up as an athlete. I started travel soccer when I was young. Swimming and diving during the summer at our local swim club. Soccer and lacrosse through college. While growing our family I focused primarily on weight training and TRX. I caught the running bug in my early 40’s and set a goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon in my first marathon. I accomplished that and qualified two more times and was a marathon running nut for the next few years. I retired my long-distance running shoes when we moved to Glen Ellyn. Now I love lifting, hot yoga, walking and Peloton tread bootcamp classes.
What is your top healthy living tip?
Don’t be afraid to eat. Food is fuel and food is wonderful. Enjoy every single meal and don’t feel guilty if you choose to have that bowl of ice cream. Your kids are very perceptive; they watch you. Create a positive relationship with food for them!