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Activly Engaged: Rina Nisman


Spread Your Wings and Fly, Towards Your Fitness Goals, with Rina Nisman

Can you keep a secret? Oh yeah, for how long? Think back to when you were either asked to keep a secret or felt compelled to conceal your own. Remember how that made you feel exhausted or paranoid, maybe? Depending on the severity of the information, it might have made you physically sick. There are approximately 7,000 different rare diseases that affect about 30 million people in the U.S., and most of these diseases do not have cures. Some rare diseases affect an individual's physical appearance, like Klippel-trenaunay syndrome (KTS), and others do not. Imagine keeping a part of your body a secret for 25 years. That would be hard, especially as a teenager who is a dancer and a cheerleader. Certified personal trainer, Rina Nisman discusses how heavy keeping a secret can be and how fitness gave her wings to fly high.


Born in Riga, Latvia, Rina, and her parents migrated to Brooklyn, NY, when she was two years old. They moved to Staten Island, where Rina grew up when she was eight. Due to her parents' strict academic standards, she was an avid reader and stellar student. Academics weren't the only thing that her parents had strict standards about; Rina grew up active, doing aerobics, tap/jazz, and she even attended tennis camp once or twice. However, fitness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Sick of suffering from gastrointestinal issues (GI), Rina's dad introduced the 20% to their family, "He helped himself. He started doing yoga every single day and changed his eating habits." As a result, sodas were not allowed in their home. Although Rina's life may have appeared ideal, she struggled with a secret. She was born with KTS, a rare congenital vascular disorder that affects an individual's limbs. It can cause varicose veins, too much bone and soft tissue growth, and or discoloration of blood vessels. For Rina, it caused "bumps and bruises" on the bottom of her right leg. As a child, other children would ask her questions about her leg. As she got older, she became embarrassed. When she couldn't wear long pants, she hid her condition with a bandage. She followed that regime for 25 years. However, she did find some relief at 13 when she started her fitness journey. She quickly discovered that she loved lifting weights:

It's one of the most beautiful things you can feel. The gym is something that I could control. Your mental and physical strength are things that no one can take away from you

Rina was in her mid-20's when she grew wings that lifted her off the ground of guilt, like a graceful Pegasus. She was no longer ashamed of her condition; Why should she be? It was something that she had no control over. She was born this way. Rina credits her revelation to fitness. Fast forward a few years, and Rina became a certified personal trainer via the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) in 2015. She completed her Master's of Business Administration (MBA) while working full-time as a pharmaceutical sales rep, in 2017. She is certified to teach barre, is currently studying for her nutrition certification, and speaks fluent Russian. She's a human health and fitness encyclopedia. She's one of the best, and she's currently accepting clients at fitwithriri.com and @motify. If you're not ready for one on one training, she also offers live classes via Instagram @flyhi_fitness and @beRevolutionarie.

Look, we get it. 2020 could have been better in a plethora of ways, and if we're honest, 2021 won't be perfect either. That's ok; Progress, not perfection. That's what life is at the end of the day, a series of progressive steps, one experience at a time. If you're considering taking the next step, I encourage you to take it with Rina. She treats her clients like she treats fitness; she makes time for it.



ACTIVLY ENGAGED

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© 2020 by Anna Bilha