iGnite Spotlight: San Diego Leader Carissa Seaton
Professional Career Outside iGnite
My educational background is marketing and speech communication, and right now my time outside of iGnite is spent raising my 3 kids and 2 Italian Greyhounds and I volunteer at the kids school and church.
I have always been active, I played varsity soccer in high school and danced. And then like everyone else in the 90’s- rocked step aerobics in college. After my second baby I couldn’t find a gym with childcare for my 2 littles so I started collecting workout DVD’s. Sometimes that meant having the kids in the pack and play next to me and tossing toys in snacks in so I could finish- but I did it! When we moved to Switzerland I really got into running and ran my first half marathon- a really cool race that started in Switzerland, and then went though France and Germany before finishing back in
. I also discovered a cool class called Friskis & Svetis (loosely translated “fun and sweaty” in Swedish). It combines movement to music and body weight exercises. I was asked to try out to become a leader and had to fly to Sweden 2 separate weeks to do very comprehensive training. That’s when I moved from fitness enthusiast to teacher. I was pregnant with baby number 3 by this point and did my certification class 6 months pregnant! I think there is still a video floating around the European Friskis & Svetis sights of me leading with my big ol’ belly. I didn’t really want to jump back into teaching when we moved back to the states until I found iGnite. I love our holistic approach to women and am grateful to be part of our amazing group.
What do you love most about being an iGnite leader?
I love the community iGnite inspires, and I think it’s really cool that as a leader that I get to take more ownership to make sure everyone feels welcome and supported. I also LOVE watching our members get stronger, and I get to help them do that!
What have you learned from your iGnite experience?
Last year I had surgery on my foot. I have an old injury that needed some TLC. It was so hard to come back from that and start from scratch with my strength and cardio ability. Everyone at iGnite was so encouraging and nonjudgmental and it was humbling to realize how supportive we are! The power of women is an amazing gift.
Is there a goal you are working toward?
Because of my foot injury, I have had to put running on the back burner for a while - my goal in the next year is to run some sort of race and be ok that I won’t be as fast as before. In the meantime I am working on heavy weight lifting and calisthenics. I am determined to master pull ups! I am making progress but I’m not quite there!
As an iGnite leader, what is your "special sauce"?
Encouraging stability and flexibility. I found my flexibility in my 30’s so it’s never too late! Those stability muscles help us throughout the entire day so I always incorporate some stability work in my classes. Safety is a fitness core value for me and I always try to make everyone laugh at least once during class- laughter is always special sauce!
What are some of your passions?
I am a voracious reader and I actually love working out. I love to dance. Watch out world if there is a DJ event! Thanks to the moves (including 2 international moves) our family loves to travel. I have 7 states left to visit in the USA and South America is on our bucket list!
What are your 3 favorite exercises and why?
My favorite 3 exercises are running, squats, and push ups. Running feels like meditation to me and squats and pushups pretty much hit all your muscle groups.
Do you have a favorite fitness professional that you follow?
Sometimes I forget I’m not actually friends with Jillian Michaels. Her home DVD’s were my lifeline after kids 2&3. I still like to break them out when I need a little spice in my workout routnes. I try to follow a couple of holistic trainers on social media to give me inspiration when I plan my classes.
What’s your life motto/philosophy?
Just keep going, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes the best you can do for that day is just show up! Give yourself grace and say no to things you don’t really enjoy doing (I’m still working on that last one!)
Who Inspires you the most and why?
My mom. She was constantly sexually harassed as a young nurse by doctors (as was standard at the time) so she went back and got her BS in Business Administration and her MBA and rewrote all of the sexual harassment policies in her hospital (they still stand as she wrote them). In an American healthcare system that is pretty much only focused on profit- she always advocates for patient safety and quality of service. She has written several books on healthcare quality and was just elected president of the National Association of Healthcare Quality. She’s a rock star!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t take credit for your kid’s successes and don’t take credit for their failures. Just encourage them to be the best version of themselves they can. Parenting can seem like a rat race and this helped me have some perspective.
Something people may not know about you?
After college graduation, I boarded a plane to London so I could experience the world before jumping into a career. I had 1 week of accommodation booked and had to find a place to live and a job. It was terrifying to do that by myself but I did and I’m still proud of that!
When you’re not leading or taking iGnite classes, we would find you…
We are still pretty new to San Diego so most of my time is spent acclimating our family to the school, neighborhood, and city. But I love entertaining and prosecco!
What is your favorite color?
Orange, orange, and more orange! It’s such a happy color, and also the color of the Tennessee Volunteers. Go VOLS!
What are you looking most forward to?
My favorite thing about being in Southern California is being so close to Disneyland. We went last year during the Christmas time and I think I was the biggest kid in the family. We’re going back again during Thanksgiving and I am definitely the most excited.
What is your favorite book and why?
Pride and Prejudice. All 3 of my kids have names that connect back to Jane Austen in some way. I love stories with happy endings, and I’m also married to a Brit.
Do you have a favorite tv show?
I still rewatch Gilmore Girls when I need to veg out. We did a driving tour of Connecticut because I was convinced I wanted to live there after that show came out.
Do you have a favorite concert or musician?
I am a Nashville girl so I love live music! We try to go to a concert every month or so as a date night. I love a lot of different kinds of music and my playlists are very international and eclectic.
What do you typically eat/drink throughout the day?
What is your fitness/health philosophy?
Fitness should be challenging but sustainable and safe. And variety is the spice of life - as well as fitness.
What does a typical week of “working out” look like for you?
My favorite exercise is whatever I’m doing at the time! I love it all, running, heavy weight lifting, calisthenics, hiit, barre, yoga - you name it and I try to rotate it in during the week.
What life, health, fitness, lifestyle, marriage, and/or parenting advice do you have for women?
I have moved 10 times in the last 15 years of marriage (including 2 international moves) and my biggest feedback from all of that I’m going to borrow from Nike- Just do it. I think we try so hard to do everything perfectly and Pinterest worthy - but really our kids just want us there and present.