👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
As my 30th birthday quickly approaches, I look back only to see how far I’ve come.
I am a Baltimore native who followed my dreams to move north and pursue a career in acting. My name is Gabi Faye and my friends will tell you I am a feisty fashionista who wears many hats.
Aside from acting, I run two production companies, one on my own and one with a partner. Some of my career accomplishments include a recent booking on a new HBO series, in which I have a recurring role.
Last February, one of my films fiercely supporting the #metoo movement was showcased on billboards in Times Square.
I’m also a professional singer, I have performed solo at stadiums and concert halls including Carnegie Hall & the Met.
On the athlete front, I’m grateful to have been cast in several films which have showcased my athletic abilities.
I am a pole dancer, aerialist and acrobat. I love being upside-down and in the air. Growing up I took gymnastics and dance, it wasn’t until adulthood when I found cirque style dance, that I really came into my own.
I’m also a big advocate of healthy eating. I believe what you eat is equally, if not more important the physical workouts. I follow a strictly paleo and organic diet.
Most people believe in rice and chicken for muscle bulk, but I believe in the power of fruit.
I’m creative to the core, other hobbies I enjoy including cooking (surprise) playing ukulele, painting and drawing, horseback riding and caring for animals, meditation, yoga, reading and journaling.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
A typical day of training includes barre, yoga or dance class, stretching and hanging upside down/strengthening in my hammock.
I also use the melt method as a form of physical therapy to massage muscle fascia to help old injuries and prevent new ones.
Favorite training days include acro yoga, when I get to work with a partner on challenging poses and maneuvers, and the days I go to the pole or aerial studio.
I have my own hammock at home, so I do a lot of solo training there or I bring my hammock to the park, and play on the poles.
I train for a minimum of 1.5 hours a day, at least 4 days a week.
For splits I use multiple methods to achieve: these include passive (sitting in a split), active (engaging muscles in a push/pull effect for 30-60 seconds per stretch) and ballistic stretches (fast movements like power kicks).
The more ways you practice splits, the easier they become. Balances are something I love to work on.
I have a wrist issue, which forces me to get creative when I practice training.
I love forearm balances, and have been working on chest stands as well. I love these because they combine strength, balance and flexibility, and really challenge the body.
I have a regimented morning routine which begins with a 12-16oz glass of celery juice, followed by my workout, ending with a GIANT smoothie (48 oz).
I use Garden of Life’s raw fit protein, as their products are in alignment with my nutritional beliefs.
Going paleo, combined with my workout routines really transformed my body to shed any excess weight, and sculpt my body into lean muscle.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
If you’ve ever seen video of absolute senior citizens doing gymnastics, pole dancing or still doing splits, they are my inspiration.
I want to be fit and limber until the day I die. The human body is so pliable: it’s physical reality is a result of the choices you make on a daily basis.
I formerly had an issue pushing too hard, and I endured a very serious pole dancing injury.
I am highly competitive and I was training between 3-5.5 hours a day on pole the summer of 2016. I was training to compete in a national pole dance competition.
Doing a favorite whiplash move on the pole, I felt excruciating pain begin in my scapula and travel up my neck and down my arm. I ignored the pain and continued training excessively until the pain become so unbearable that daily tasks become inhibited.
It took a very long time and a lot of physical therapy to feel close to normal again.
Now I take it easier and listen to my body, as my shoulder has never quite returned to normal. If I sense any pain or crunching, I back off, and focus on other parts of my body.
I find motivation in wanting to look and feel strong and powerful. Even when I don’t feel like working out, I always feel so much better during and after.
I thrive on the soreness and muscle aches from a great workout, because its a reminder that I’m alive and working hard on my goals.
My advice for improving a workout regimen is just go. Do what you can, push yourself to do a little more and listen to your body. You only get one body.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I’m definitely the physically adventurous one in my friend group so I get tagged in all the cool new workout trends.
In the future I would love to try Cyr wheel, there is a new pole that swings around in air that I would have fun with, and the bungee workout is on my list of things to try.
I’ve done water pole dance with my mom, and we had a blast doing that together!
I’m rising to fulfill my potential in so many ways. Physically I continue to work on my dance, fitness and flexibility goals. I still want to compete in a pole competition, but know I need to cut out time to devote to retraining on the pole safely, with old injuries still tugging at me.
At this time, I choose to put more focus and effort into forwarding my career in film and tv, but a pole competition is in my future.
Bringing socially impactful films to life and making the world a better place through this art form is of utmost importance to me.
This is goal I work at daily. In acting, I continue to pursue interesting and meaningful characters to portray. I’m especially excited to learn new skills for roles, or combine talents for acting roles, like musical or athletic abilities.
I’m after a series regular role on a hit TV show, and some meaty leads in high budget features.
This past year my mother encouraged me to audition for a deaf character, as I knew a small amount of sign language. It was way out of my comfort zone, and I almost didn’t audition. I did, and ended up getting cast.
We too often under estimate ourselves, and this example is a lesson to me to always try and remember that my uniqueness could be just what someone is looking for!
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
In my fitness journey the biggest thing I learned and wish I would have followed earlier is to push yourself, but listen to your body.
Our bodies are so talkative and they give us so much information, but often times we are too focused on getting ahead that we ignore what our bodies are saying. This usually leads to setbacks.
Now when I’m injured, I rest that body part and slowly ease back into weighted or more complex workouts. I love MELT and use my roller and roller balls daily.
My yoga trapeze stand has a been a saving grace during quarantine. I incorporate PT exercises into my workouts, and make modifications to things that cause me pain or upset injuries.
Instead of mourning what I cannot do, I celebrate what I can do and my creativity in finding alternate ways to stay fit.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet is pristine. If you want to a laugh going out to a restaurant, invite me to lunch. If you’re someone who doesn’t like request changes to the menu, don’t invite me to lunch.
I am strictly paleo and eat organic whenever possible. I often call restaurants ahead of time and ask if they can accommodate my dietary needs, and if not, I go elsewhere.
I find it much easier to prepare my own food. I may also get labeled as “boughie!” because I only drink bottled spring water.
I don’t track my food, I just eat when I am hungry and nourish my body with nutrient dense, quality foods. I shop mostly in the produce section.
“Cheat” days don’t exist in my reality. Your gut biome is the center of health, and “cheating” doesn’t only affect you for one day.
I am creative in the kitchen to accommodate what I choose not to eat including sugar, dairy, wheat and other processed ”foods”.
You would be amazed that my avocado chocolate mousse contains no processed sugars and tastes just like chocolate mousse. I use natural sweeteners like coconut nectar or “just date” syrup.
I take supplements daily, but never take man-made vitamins. I am very in tune with my body and have studied what foods I need for certain ailments or vitamins.
If I am experiencing muscle cramps, I know I am low in magnesium. Coconut products and hemp seeds do the trick to alleviate this.
I take turmeric, lemon balm, grapefruit seed extract (which is like nature’s antibiotic) and echinacea daily. I also eat raw ginger root and additional turmeric root in my smoothies/juices.
My immune system is very strong because of my diet. I rarely get sick, and when I do its much more mild then before I started this regimen.
I don’t really crave junk food anymore, I crave textures and tastes usually and I know how to feed these.
I’ve set my mind on success and I haven’t looked back. I did my first detox cleanse this year, and it was intense. To anyone interested, I recommend starting slow and building up fully to whatever cleanse you are partaking in.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
People who push the limits, and defy what seems possible and make it look easy – this inspires me. I was thrilled to find @acrowayfromhome and continue my acro journey with them, and take aerial dance classes at @innerspiritwhippany.
My friend Alison @bomchicka_wawa whose flexibility is breathtaking and she practices her craft daily. She was instrumental in taking my flexibility to the next level.
I love the couple @juliandaigre and @austin_raye, their athleticism is astonishing and I love how much they trust one another and create amazing duo workouts.
I love @polesportkids, because what they are teaching these kids is amazing. Russia is much more progressive when it comes to teaching kids pole, America has yet to catch up.
@Shaina66 is someone I look up to as well. She stayed active throughout her pregnancy, and is an incredible athlete and pole dancer!
I teach pole here and there at @alter_ego_pole_fitness, and I have so much respect for Caprice Burrell the studio owner.
Finally, I’m in love with @bossbabybrody and his entire family. Brody has no qualms, and is unapologetically himself. A great little dancer full of personality, he puts his heart into every dance routine he performs.
I believe that no matter what your “sport” is or what you are doing in life, you should do it with boss baby Brody pizazz and passion.
I’m very into self improvement books lately, and some that have really inspired me and changed my outlook are:
- Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself (Joe Dispenza)
- The Alter Ego effect (which I find works well when pushing myself in workouts)
- Unfuck Yourself (Gary John Bishop)
We are capable of so much, yet most of us have untapped potential because of irrational thoughts or fears. How far could you go if you get out of your own way?
That is what I am discovering. If you stop to think that our time on earth is precious, and we should make everyday count because we are finite, that’s pretty good inspiration in itself.
When you look around and see what others have accomplished, its inspiring. There is a world full of quantum possibilities, if you go out and work with dedication toward what you want to achieve.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
If you are looking to improve yourself, you have taken the first step already, good for you! Everyone can improve, even the most seemingly rich, happy and successful.
Striving for better is a beautiful part of our growth journey. I recommend asking questions, and surrounding yourself with people who are “better” or more experienced then you.
Improving comes when you allow yourself to fail, and to try. Your journey is not linear, it is unique to you.
I prefer classes to solo gym sessions. If you find something you really enjoy you will feel more motivated to participate. If you love working out it becomes something you look forward to, rather then something you “have” to do.
Let’s be honest, there are days you are not going to want to do anything. I find journaling or talking about why I am feeling some kind of way can help uncover any lack of motivation and address it.
Some advice I heard lately that really resonated with me is: “accept what you have and be happy, or change what you’re not happy about.”
Those are the only two options. They can be applied to anything in your life: your body, your relationships, your job, your financial situation and so much more
Identify things you enjoy, and try to do more of them, figure out where you are falling short or lacking, and decide if you are willing to accept it or not.
If not, be relentless in the pursuit of improvement. Discover information and resources to help you get there.
Every night I practice gratitude, and write at least 3 things that happened that day for which I am grateful. While you sleep, it’s much better to marinate in things you are grateful for then what you are lacking.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Yes. I take clients. I teach individual or groups classes. My specialty is in stretching/flexibility, balances, and cirque style dance: aerial hammock and pole dance.
I do also teach regular dance styles like hip hop and contemporary. I work individually with clients to achieve goals, and make workouts fun and challenging.
I’ve choreographed multiple stage productions, dance performances and routines as well as wedding dances.
Currently in the time of COVID, I work remotely, but normally I teach either in person or virtually.
I love helping people realize their abilities and gain strength, flexibility and confidence!