Christine Bullock took off the year following high school graduation to pursue her dream of becoming professional ballerina, a skill she’d been honing since she was three years old. It was only when she entered Chatham in 2001 that she shifted her focus and discovered that her passion for health and fitness could turn into a full-time career.
While she began Chatham as a ballerina, she was soon certified as a yoga teacher; and as an RA, she taught students yoga in a residence hall living room. Christine recalls being one of the only people lifting weights in the old Chatham gym, and was a ribbon-cutter for the 2004 dedication of the new Athletic and Fitness Center. As a student, she ran through Chatham’s campus to Carnegie Mellon’s, weaving throughout Squirrel Hill neighborhoods and back again down Woodland Road. This routine was where she blew off the stress of a heavy Chatham course load.
She credits her psychology professor and academic advisor, Tom Hershberger, with sparking the flame which ultimately lead to her tutorial, a study of the effects of yoga on psychological and physiological wellbeing. “I taught yoga and then tested the cortisol levels and mood of each participant,” explains Christine. Upon her 2005 graduation, she left Chatham and eventually landed in California where she cemented her passion for fitness into not only a career, but also a way of life.
Christine believes the key to a sustainable healthy lifestyle is to find what you enjoy and focus on the kind of activity you look forward to – mentally, physically and emotionally. In her role as a fitness instructor, she promotes short, effective workouts and metabolism boosts like colorful veggies, smoothies and soups – “Healthy food isn’t just tofu and sprouts,” she asserts. “If you have trouble sticking to a nutrition or exercise program, something has to change, something is not right. Don’t be afraid to mix it up to keep things interesting,” Christine says.
But perhaps the most exciting development in Christine’s professional career is being named as one of five finalists for Women’s Health magazine’s “Next Fitness Star” competition. She’s featured on the July/August issue cover, along with the five other finalists, each competing for a workout DVD contract. The winner will be chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, as well as fans. People may vote once daily until Aug. 3rd with the winner being announced live on NBC’s Today Show.
Christine credits her time at Chatham for making her the woman she is today. “It was such a tremendous time in my life. The small classes and the intimacy of the school developed who I was. It’s where I established my character,” says Christine. She considers women like her Chatham classmates when developing her fitness videos, “My videos are prop-free. They’re perfect for busy women and can be done in small spaces, like dorm rooms. All you need is a yoga mat and a pair of tennis shoes!”
“I’m so lucky to have the Chatham support system to lean upon. They are such amazing women. From business leaders, to full-time moms, to experts in every field. I’m thankful to be a part of this group of exceptional women.”
To take-on Christine’s weekly workouts and vote daily, visit http://thenextfitnessstar.com.