I Am

I am

I am a West Virginia farm girl at heart.  I thrive on fresh air, big gardens, and lots of trees.

My college years (2001-2005) were spent in Salt Lake City, Utah earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.  Dance is one of my passions and at different times in my life has also been my occupation through teaching, performing, and choreographing.

I love

In 2007 I married an amazing man.  Tate is patient and intelligent, athletic and determined, adventurous and brave; many qualities that, lucky for me, have had a very positive influence on me over the last dozen years!  His path to become a doctor of chiropractic moved us from Salt Lake City to Portland, Oregon.

I live

Portland was like coming home.  The city embraced me.  I danced in a company, produced my own choreography, worked at an amazing yoga studio, and started teaching fitness classes.

I travel

When Tate graduated in 2008 the economy was rocky and Portland was flooded with chiropractors.  We have always loved to travel, especially in Latin America, so when an opportunity to live and work for a year in Lima, Peru, arose, we jumped on it.  Living abroad was amazing and we decided to extend our adventure with a six-month backpacking trip through South America and Asia. You can read more about it here.

Living outside of the United States and all the creature comforts that come with your own culture taught me innumerable lessons about myself and how I relate to the world.  It has also led me to discover how I can create and gracefully maintain physical fitness and health while away from my gym,  fitness magazines, health food stores, routine, and support network.


Day to Day

In 2010, after 18 months of living abroad and traveling we “settled down” in Charlottesville, Virginia.

These days, life revolves around working at Tate’s  chiropractic clinic, teaching dance, and offering fitness training and Pilates classes in my studio.  You can check out the clinic here and Gracefulfitness Training here.

I’d love to hear from you!  Send e-mail to gracefulfitness@live.com

I eat for pleasure, I eat for health

Food is amazing.  It’s a life force.  It’s a pleasure.  It’s a past-time.  It is medicine.  I eat whole, real food because it makes me feel like a whole, real person and connects me with the essence of the food.

I move

I grew up without a television and spent my days playing in the fields and gardens or creating dances on the front porch.

I’ve never thought of myself as exactly athletic, but always active.

Dancing has always been my priority and passion.  As a dancer I am extremely grateful to have grown up in a studio with teachers that never once mentioned my weight or shape, a very rare phenomenon in the dance world indeed.

When I was about 16 my mom signed us up for a family membership to the brand new gym in town.  I became a total gym rate.  I loved getting sweaty, feeling my heart beat fast, and engaging my muscles in new ways.

I quickly saw how exercising improved my dancing, my mood, my energy, and yes, my metabolism.  I was hooked for life and this pure love of exercise and all of its benefits has led me to writing this blog and teaching classes.

Gracefulfitness is infusing your life with movement that makes you feel good.

Gracefulfitness is acknowledging your body’s boundaries while still working to that edge of challenge.

Gracefulfitness is always striving to be authentic in your body.

Gracefulfitness is finding strength, confidence, and balance despite the reality of body image issues and negative self-talk.

Gracefulfitness is relinquishing excuses and getting moving yet languishing in rest when the time is right.

36 responses to “I Am

  1. Hi, nice to meet you !

  2. great blog Faith, welcome to cville!!!

  3. i live in c-ville, too…and am also from WV! found you through reading kath’s blog. where do you teach? liking the town?
    chat at ya later :)

    • Where are you from in WV? I am from Summers Co. but Lewisburg is more like my hometown.
      I am not teaching here yet, just arrived a few weeks ago, and I am LOVING C’ville!

      • great to hear! i’m from wheeling, in the north panhandle, and went to wvu. still have the family up there, but moved here for a job about a year ago.

        maybe i’ll cya around town some time!

  4. Hi! Nice to meet you! I found your blog through Aracoma’s “Like” in FB. I am Aracoma’s friend and she told me about your trips…which they sound awesome! I am originally from Brazil, but I grew up in Bolivia (right next to Peru and they are basically the same culture) and I married an American man. You know, the world is very small.
    Anyways, I love your blog. It motivated me to go back in to running (I’ve been procrastinating lately)
    I hope I have the chance to meet you some day and talk about your adventures in Peru. Do you like mountain climbing? I do and I did climb some mountains in Bolivia, like the Huayna Potosi and the Illimani. That’s in my bucket list to do it again, so who knows…maybe we’ll do it together? you are more than Welcome to come with me to Bolivia and I’ll be your tourist guide 😉
    Hope to keep in touch with you.
    See you!

    • Erika,
      Nice to meet you and thanks so much for reading Gracefulfitness!
      We haven’t made it to Bolivia yet, unfortunately, but we did spend a lot of time in the mountains of Peru and I think they have very similar cultures. I love hiking and mountain climbing and did a lot of it in Peru and Argentina!
      That’s awesome that you have gotten back into running, good for you.
      Do you live near Aracoma? We will be visiting her in the next few months.
      Take Care,

      • Hello Faith,
        Nice to hear back from you.
        I live in the same town as Aracoma, about 15 mins. drive from my house.
        Bolivia and Peru were the same country for thousands of years when occupied by the Aymaras and the Incas. Then the Spanish conquered the region when Peru, Bolivia and Chile were one country and the Capital was in Chuquisaca (or Sucre in modern Bolivia) Long story short, Peru and Bolivia are the same thing, we even share the Titicaca Lake and the Cordillera de Los Andes. Anyways, you’re more than welcome to come with me whenever I go there to visit. My only concern is the altitude of La Paz which the airport is at about 3800 mts. (12,464 ft.) above sea level and last time we went there my daughter got very sick. We’ll see how she does next time.
        Have a wonderful weekend and we’ll keep in touch :) Take care!

  5. Hi,

    I wanted to inform you of the 2011 Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference, scheduled for June 24-26 in Boulder, Colorado.


    This conference will be a gathering of bloggers from throughout North America who specialize in the areas of fitness or health. I live in Boulder and can tell you it is a very active, healthy city and the perfect place for this conference.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to be included in conference updates. Find us on Twitter @fitnessbloggers

    I hope you can join us!

  6. great blog!! check out mineee :)

  7. Just ran across your blog and thought I’d say hi! I really love the name of this blog so much and am enjoying what I see so far. I look forward to reading more! :)

  8. I just found your blog and wanted to say that of the many healthy living blogs that I have read, yours, I could tell at first glance, was well done and so relatable to how I think and live. Your photography is great too. Keep it up and I look forward to reading more!

  9. Oh my gosh, you’re my name twin! Sounds like we’re weight twins too :) How awesome is that!

  10. Hi Faith! I just discovered your blog via Kath’s. I made a new year’s resolution to feed my family real food, and I’m loving blogs like yours that offer me so much motivation and inspiration.

  11. Janine @ tratsie.blogspot.com

    I’ve always thought the same thing about Kettlebells… when I see people exercising like that and not paying attn. to form I get scared for them!
    Love your blog!!

  12. Faith, i finally got around to checking out your blog that yarrow told us about. it IS fun and visually delightful. even though your sister didn’t show up for work today, zenya called in (unprompted) and said mom was under the migraine. Torula and i cleaned the greenhouse anyway–without yarrow. then i cut a bunch of firewood for exercise. keep up the inspiring work and i’ll try to not be too worn out to read it occassionally. you’re doing a good job writing. chris

  13. Nice to meet you in the blog world! Saw you featured on Kath’s post today! Just wanted to wish you and your husband lots of success with your new business and congrats!!!!

  14. Hey girlie! It is so great to meet you! 😀

  15. Faith – I am so glad I stumbled across your blog I cant wait to read more!

  16. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all your entries about making things at home rather than buying. You make it look super fun! PLUS, you’re saving lots of money! Go you!


  17. I love you positive you are! I just came across your blog and will definitely be following, I also read your post about obsessing over your own body and not others- it sure is hard to do but is so important!!! :) hope you have a great new year!

  18. hey faith, this is jamie j from lewisburg and i am really getting into your story here. although i had a little laugh, i think when we danced together i was probably on the highest end of the size chart for costumes (which is probably why my mom made mine).
    shay is trading me a kombucha mother for some kefir grains, and gave me the link for your blog here to learn how to make and keep the kombucha. hope all is well, take care and maybe i’ll see you around town soon.

  19. I enjoyed learning about your and your path to fitness etc. It always interests me to learn how individuals are drawn into a profession in fitness. We recently started a professional personal training school in Fairfax, VA called Xercise International and we want to target students who are passionate about a healthy lifestyle as well as helping others. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I love your style of cooking, it mirrors my own. If I use a recipe, it is only a suggestion and gives me ideas. We took your suggestion on the spelt crackers-very tasty.

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