Our Founder's Story
My name is Yasmin Vera, and I am the founder of Fun Fitness Globetrotters. I was raised by two workaholic medical doctors. My parents, both immigrants to the US, felt they had to work twice as hard as others because they were foreigners. And they did. As a child, I rarely saw my mother, an incredibly strong, brilliant woman, because she was working +24 hour shifts in her private neonatology practice; when she made it home, she was, not surprisingly, too exhausted and stressed to meaningfully interact with me and my brothers. My father, a kind-hearted man, tried to pick up the slack, but he too had enormous work pressure and stress.
Growing up with two highly driven professionals, it was a foregone conclusion that I, too, would be a professional. Not a doctor though. As long as I could remember, I knew I was going to be a corporate lawyer. And not just trained in US law like my law school cohorts – I was going to also be trained in the laws of the United Kingdom, like my beloved grandfather, Cambridge-scholar and cricket legend Dilawar Hussain.
So I worked. All-night study sessions in college to graduate in the top of my class so I could get into a top law school. But that wasn’t nearly enough. Because I needed great grades in law school to achieve my professional dreams – first, a job at a top law firm, and then, an in-house position with a company, with dual licenses in California and the United Kingdom. So a lot more all-nighters in law school followed. And eventually, I achieved my dreams –I was an associate attorney at the top Silicon Valley law firm, and later, an in-house counsel. Ten years after passing the California bar, I passed the United Kingdom bar and became a UK solicitor.
With each professional success, I thought: "Now, I should be happy, I'm living my dreams." So why did it feel like a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from? Why was I starving my body of nutrients and subsisting on fast food? Why was I constantly stressed out and exhausted? Why had I given up exercising and sports, something that had brought me so much joy in my school days? Why was I constantly fighting with my parents and brothers? Why did I fantasize about driving off the highway and killing myself on my commute home from work?
And then my mom got ALS. Just a few years after my mom hit retirement age. So instead of finally getting to spend time with her family like she had planned, my mom was spending her time shuttling back and forth from doctors’ appointments as her body attacked itself.
And that woke me up, big time. I realized that life was too short to go through the motions, to be unhappy. I realized I didn’t want to sacrifice my life to the professional gods, like my mother had, only to contract a fatal disease when it was time for payback.
So I took a leave of absence and, on a lark, went to the beach in the Mexican Caribbean. The first time I saw its turquoise waters as my cab drove me to Cancún, I involuntarily gasped, it was that beautiful. While I was in Mexico, I started making some changes. To my nutrition –fresh fruits, salsas, guacamole, homemade tortillas, freshly caught fish, and liters of water became my new diet. I became a regular at my hotel’s gym, and exercised hard, leaving the gym drenched in sweat. I started having fun again, body surfing in the inviting Caribbean waters, visiting Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes.
And I started feeling good, feeling the way I thought I’d feel when I got that Silicon Valley job, or that in-house position, or when I passed the California and UK bars, but never did. The stressed out, exhausted lawyer was transformed. Into a healthy, happy, fit human. Someone who was starting to love and respect herself, little by little.
In my hotel’s gym, people new to exercise approached me for help -- with the machines, with their workouts, even with their diet. So I helped them. And I loved it. Loved helping them get healthy, because I knew how it could transform their lives, just like it had transformed my life.
My "clients" would leave their sessions with me happy. Afterward, I thought that when they got home, they wouldn’t yell at their kids, like my overworked, overstressed mom, because happy people don’t do that. And then the kids wouldn’t get into fights or act out, because why should they? They knew they were loved. They'd have positive interactions with other kids. And these other kids would be happy. And so on and so forth. I thought that one single training session could create a trickle down effect of happiness that could change the world.
So now I had a new dream – a dream where I helped others transform their life just like I had through fitness, nutrition, fun, and the power of self-love and self-respect, in an incredibly beautiful and relaxing beach environment.
So when I returned home, I got certified as a personal trainer, and launched Fun Fitness Globetrotters.
This is my story – the sadness, the shame, the stress, and the ultimate rebirth and transformation.
My transformation can be yours, and together, we can change not only your life, but the lives of your children and others you love, when you join us on our yoga and fitness retreats.
Meeting US Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg in law school, that's me on the far right.
Me as an in-house counsel.
Relaxing with Fun Fitness Globetrotters clients after a beachfront training session. That's me on the far right.