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My Story

As an avid runner and triathlete, I often hear from people that they would like to run a marathon, do a triathlon or just go to the gym on a regular basis, but do not have time, energy or motivation for it. These conversations inspired me to launch Your Best Self Fitness and Health Coaching. As a coach, I hep busy professional reach fitness goals and master self-care. I empower my clients to discover and pursue their dreams, while living a balanced, energized and fulfilling life.

By having overcome numerous obstacles as I pursued my dreams of moving to the US from Russia, building a successful career in finance, summiting three out of the Seven summits - the highest mountain peaks of each of the seven continents - I have gained deep insights into developing mental and physical fitness, self-esteem, self-care and work/life/training balance. Though my training as a certified professional coach with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), I have gained knowledge and skills to help my clients achieve their goals and live life to the fullest.

I was eleven years old when I declared to my parents that I was going to move to the US. It was a brazen statement to make for a girl living in a small provincial Russian town in 1991. My dad just laughed at me. My family was poor and given the uncertain political climate in Russia at that time, my dream seemed crazy. Nevertheless, from that day forward my life was focused on accomplishing my goal. Learning the English language became my priority and I decided to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics. After graduating from the Linguistic University in Russia, I finally made it to the US. It took me more than ten years to realize my dream, but moving to the U.S. has crystallized my “everything is possible” attitude to life.

I have to admit that the experience of moving alone to a foreign country with only one piece of luggage and $200 in my wallet was challenging and scary. However, I knew exactly what I wanted and was prepared to deal with any obstacles. My goal of landing a job with one of the major banks kept me motivated to pursue a second Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Psychology. After three years of working at J.P. Morgan, I completed my MBA at Columbia Business School and continued my career in the financial industry.

My fitness journey started during the first year after my MBA program as I returned to the corporate world. My job was stimulating, but I was craving some  physical challenge. My family and friends were very surprised when I decided to climb Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, which rises to 19,340 feet (5,895 meters) above the sea level. The only time when I went camping was more than 20 years ago and I loathed it. It was beyond my wildest dreams that I would voluntarily want to live in a tent on a mountain for a week, without internet, shower or toilet, while dealing with altitude sickness.

I still remember that feeling of awe I experienced standing on the summit of Kilimanjaro, watching a moonset and a sunrise, shaking from cold and feeling completely exhausted, oxygen-deprived and ecstatic. By following my dream to climb Kilimanjaro, I have completely transformed my life. I have gained self-confidence, developed deeper self-awareness and become more focused and energized. Exercise has become an inseparable part of my life. After Kilimanjaro, I climbed Aconcagua in South America, Elbrus in Russia, three volcanos in Ecuador and Denali in Alaska. I have also become a passionate runner and triathlete and completed six Ironman triathlons consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2 mile run in addition to ten marathons and ultramarathons.

My desire to share my experience of overcoming obstacles and pursuing my dreams inspired me to become a coach. I want to help people discover and pursue their goals, while creating more fulfilling, balanced and satisfying lives.