VIDA Specialty Squad: Christine Kontra
By Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor/member
Without a doubt, VIDA is home to the District’s best personal trainers. But did you know that many of our trainers also have specialized certifications and expertise? We call them our VIDA Specialty Squad, and they are definitely superstars!
Meet November’s squad member: Christine Kontra! She’s a VIDA personal trainer, manager, and group fitness instructor who is also a badass martial arts athlete. She recently won a world championship in kickboxing! Needless to say, Christine is a force to be reckoned with. We caught up with her to learn more about her fitness journey, why she wanted to be a trainer, and what she loves about martial arts.
What’s your fitness journey been like up to this point?
I’ve loved the gym, sports, and movement in general my whole life. I played basketball, softball, volleyball, and ran cross country growing up. Long distance running and yoga became my main focus and love since high school and through my twenties. I started training and competing in kickboxing in the last couple of years, and it’s been my favorite journey so far!
How did you know that you wanted to be a personal trainer?
I’ve enjoyed coaching and helping others reach their goals for as long as I can remember. I remember helping a friend practice to make the volleyball team in 7th grade (and she made it!). That’s the first time I realized that I loved working with others to improve their fitness, skills, and confidence. Later on, I met other trainers and teachers who worked full-time. I realized I could make a career out of it. I decided to leave my previous job working on the Hill to give it a try and have never looked back!
How did you get involved with martial arts?
It’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. I decided to act on it two years ago and started training in Muay Thai. A good friend of mine was competing, and she inspired me at a time when a stressful experience prompted me to learn self-defense and build confidence in myself.
I started out training a couple times per week to learn basic skills, and quickly increased my training to 5-6 days per week. I practice with other fighters several times per week, and supplement with strength training and conditioning.
What do you most enjoy about martial arts?
The personal growth is by far the best part of training in martial arts. It requires more focus, resilience, and the most diverse level of fitness I’ve experienced. You develop a combination of speed, conditioning, agility, strength, and the ability to be present while under pressure. It makes me a stronger (and fitter!) person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Oh, and all the amazing people that you meet in this sport! I’ve developed some of the strongest bonds of my life with fighters and coaches over the past two years. On top of it all, punching and kicking things is just plain fun.
Describe your typical workout routine.
Most of my workouts are built around training for fights. I also have a deep love for yoga and distance running.
What do you most enjoy about being a VIDA personal trainer?
VIDA is full of people who love what they do, and they are always learning and pushing themselves. And they have a LOT of fun. It’s a place I look forward to being in each day. Helping others improve their health, happiness, and confidence is incredibly rewarding. I love seeing people discover their inner athlete!
What would you say to someone who’s on the fence about working with a personal trainer?
Know that investing in yourself is worth it and something you won’t regret. You may learn that you can feel better and achieve things you never thought you could do, and that translates to life outside the gym as well!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If you are interested in martial arts or training, give it a try! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me — I’m here to answer questions or help you get started.