Meet Gaby Rubeis, a full-time nursing student at Santa Fe College. In her free time, Gaby coaches group fitness classes at Swamp City Fitness. After a career in volleyball, Gaby is now a CrossFit enthusiast! Gaby already has an undergraduate and master’s degree but decided to further her education and is loving the clinical aspect of nursing. She has not yet decided what field of nursing she wants to go into yet but is considering trauma/ICU, psych or pediatrics.
What do you like most about CrossFit?
I love the people that I have met throughout my time in CrossFit. Whether at a gym I have been a member or coach at or a gym I have dropped in at, the people are always so awesome and fun to workout with.
What is the hardest part of it?
Mental strength. Sometimes you are mentally not all there and just not motivated to workout. Getting through a workout when your mind is keeping you back can be really tough. However, you never regret working out, so I just have to tell myself that a lot on those types of days.
What advice would you give others who want to get fit?
Just try something! I was a team sport athlete for nearly my entire athletic life, so I had never really had to just do my own thing in the gym. I always had a coach putting me through drills and what not, and I was terrified to try group classes especially CrossFit. I am a firm believer in exercise and moving your body, and it absolutely does not need to be CrossFit. Whatever keeps you interested and consistent and makes you happy is what you should do to stay active and healthy.
How do you balance nursing school, coaching and keeping your own health as a priority?
I have been so fortunate to grow up with an older sister who set an amazing example for me. She is an amazing athlete, and she has really paved the way for me in so many ways in my life. Prioritizing health and wellness is one of them. If you don’t take care of yourself, then how can you take care of others? It may seem selfish to some, but I think self-care is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. For me, my biggest form of self-care is exercising and taking care of my body. Exercising helps me stay focused in school, and helps me be a more pleasant person to be around. I make sure to exercise first thing every morning before I coach or do any school work so that I don’t even have to worry about fitting it in on busy days.
What obstacles do you face in maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Whether it be my body image, a skill I cannot do or cannot do as well as someone else or maybe a weight that I cannot lift, I find myself constantly comparing myself to others. I am constantly looking down upon myself. It is a bad cycle to get into, so that has really been a focus of mine both in school and in the gym. I have to continuously remind myself that I have made so much progress both in school and in the gym and really the only person I am competing against is myself.
What does your training schedule look like?
I typically wake up around 4 a.m. everyday and go train for about an hour or so before I coach in the mornings. I will usually do my lifting and a short workout, and then, depending on my schedule, I fit in a run or a CrossFit class in the evening.
What other types of exercise do you enjoy?
Running or walking and tennis (although I am absolutely terrible). I will still mess around with volleyball every now and then if my boyfriend is up to it! My boyfriend and I also go paddle boarding when the weather is nice!
Do you follow a specific diet or eating pattern? Do you meal prep? Any foods you limit or avoid? Do you count macros?
I first started changing my diet my freshman year of college, and I had gone pretty much full Paleo. I lost a lot of weight and overall felt really good physically and mentally. However, once I started CrossFit, I went a little loose Paleo where I added in things like oatmeal and potatoes, but I was still pretty strict with my diet. I was counting and logging macros, and I saw a ton of success. It really was not until I started dating my boyfriend that I stopped being so meticulous about my macros and meals, which has really been great for me overall. I think tracking your food is great, and it really works, but it started to overtake my life, and I was not enjoying going out to eat or hanging out with friends. I am slowly getting a better relationship with food and listening to what my body wants versus restricting it. When I was working full-time for a corporate office in Orlando, I would meal prep breakfast and lunch. During grad school, meal preps also included dinners as I would have to eat dinner during class at night. Now, because I do a lot of my nursing school lectures on Zoom, and therefore I am home a lot more, I do not meal prep as much anymore, but I am a creature of habit and eat nearly the same things everyday. Once I become a nurse and work in the hospital for 12 hour shifts, I will definitely bring back my meal prep!
How do you live a wellness360 life (balanced/well rounded/happy)?
Living a balanced and happy life is surrounding yourself with the people that want the best for you. I owe most of my healthy lifestyle and success to my family and friends. Without my parents, sister, boyfriend and friends, I would not be where I am today both in my schooling and in the gym.