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Rising Stars: Meet Francesca Petrolo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Francesca Petrolo.

Hi Francesca, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am from Italy, Rome, I am 34 years old, and I moved here in San Diego three years ago. I always been passionate about sports from equestrian, athletic, weightlifting and kickboxing. Years by years, I decided to focus more on the kickboxing field, and I competed and competed for ten times, one in boxing too. I loved so much this sport that, thanks to my coach, I became a coach as well and so now I have seven years in coaching.

At some point in my life, even if I was already a successful and independent woman, I decided to change in even better and I finally decided to move here in San Diego.

My first year was tough, an assessment to this new style of life. I was studying English only and training. Sometimes I was doing a free boot-camp all over San Diego in different parks for meet new people and so introduced myself as trainer and coach.

During this time, I also got more certifications with “hydrocore”, and Bulgarian bag “supples training”, “landmine” and kettlebell (IKFF).

I competed again in Muay Thai for three times, but then I had to stop because of the pandemic. It was at that point that I decided to create my own brand and outdoor space to help people to stay fit and healthy. Especially help people not to fall into depression and so I grow and grow as coach. Now I have my own fitness and boxing classes and different clients, American and Italian one.

I am studying a master’s in sport management, and I am working as a project manager at ABC (Any Body Can Youth Foundation) no profit gym.

I think that my constant curiosity and my open mind, my desire to always to learn new things and evolve as a person and as a trainer is very special. I love learning from others by asking questions and understanding how to improve, so then been able to help others by sharing my knowledge. We are here in this planet to serve others, share knowledge and love.

The present is our chance to do better and live fully. We do not know where we can be tomorrow so, I am proud of myself when every day I can help at least one person and I am even more proud when I am at ABC (no profit organization) working for the youth and see all of the kids happy and safe.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, it was not a smooth road at all. At the very beginning, I was victim of a house rental scam and I lost 2,000 dollars. My dog and I had to sleep in car and around a friend’s house and in a motel until an “angel”, Dave Zarella, called me from a post I posted on Facebook. Initially, I could not trust this man and, since I have a friend in the police, I asked to him to have this unknown person checked for me. Fortunately, he was a good man I decided to accept his help. He hosted me in his house for three months before I could find another place. With the time, I had to change place three times. Now, I am independent again and I am living by myself with my dog still which is amazing. I did it with my own energy and this is incredible, I never doubt it.

Over the years, I have had work refusals and small setbacks which, however, have not stopped me.

The pandemic keeps me stuck in America and I haven’t been back to Rome for three years, I can’t see my family and friends, and this is sometimes very stressful and it is another challenge that the life is offering me to face.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a boxing and kickboxing coach and I specialize in weightlifting and kettlebell, so this is what I do for living. I love to teach and share all my knowledge. 

Since 8 months I am into the practice of the steel mace flow which is a great tool to increase mobility, coordination and creativity and I have a client online from Seattle.

I do love to practice with the Weckmethod stuff, I usually use the bosuelite, RMT rope and the sole step. David Weck is a genius and the inventor of all of those which I had the honor to meet, learn and train with. His method is based on rotation movements and coiling core which have amazing applications for all the sports, so I am using it a lot with my one-to-one clients, especially when I have to teach Kickboxing.

During these years, I had the honor to meet an amazing person Christopher Daly co-founder of S10fitness with his best friends David Sten. They are the only gym in San Diego specializes in neurology and I learned so much from them about how to train the eyeballs and how they can impact our daily day and sports performance. So, I decided to start to work with them, at S10 fitness, and I create my new Functional Strength class called KBXG. This class is about train strength and mobility with kettlebells, but also build confidence and conditioning with kickboxing, which combined together are a great way to have better physical results in a short period of time. 

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
My advice is simple because every situation and person/personality are different. Wherever you are starting, go on your way without fear on making a mistake. If you have a dream that you want to realize, make it come true, none must stop you, no circumstance can stop you. No matter what, do your own things and if you are making mistakes even better.

I believed in myself so much that I would make it, even when many people didn’t believe in me.

It wasn’t easy for me, as it won’t be for you, but also if I did, you can do it too! If you love yourself and believe in your abilities, this is the most important thing, you are the most important person to trust, listen to all your red flags, listen to your feelings during your journey. Listen to them, understand them, and follow them; you will always be right.

Resilience is the right word and action that must never be missing.

In addition, I would also like to suggest socializing, do public relations helps a lot. After that surround yourself by people you can trust and who want to see you grow and be successful. Help each other strengthens and accelerate the achievement of future projects.

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