Nobody in this world wants you to succeed more than you do.  Well, at least that’s the truth for most people.  Or it should be for EVERYONE.  If not, you may want to recheck your priorities.

What’s great is YOU get to define what success means to you.  Success can mean having a lot of money, being selfless and serving others, being the best mother or father, being healthy, having huge biceps, a combination of it all!  Only you get to decide what success means to you!!


No one, BUT YOU, is going to put in the hard work it takes to get there.  You will have to wake up in the morning for work, prep your meals, go the gym, decide whether you get good sleep or stay up all night watching the damn Kardashians, and get up each day to chase after your dreams and live out your life’s true passion and purpose. (And if someone is doing all these things for you.. shame on you.. and grow up!!)

I am honored to have had the privilege of once working for, becoming very good friends with, and currently being coached by one of the most influential people I know on this planet, AJ Rivera!  As the previous owner of Rush Performance (now Driven) and currently blowing up as one of the most influential fitness business mentors in the world, AJ Rivera is a rockstar.  He’s been featured in SUCCESS Magazine,, and even interviewed by Facebook as one of their Success Stories!

Meeting AJ was the best thing that could have happened to myself and my family.  Within 6 months of knowing AJ, I had purchased my own personal training studio, became enlightened through his teachings and my mindset and views on life had been altered for the better.  I also had the honor of making a great friend that I believe I will be connected with for the rest of my life.

Kari believes that when you are doing everything in your power to make sure you are on the right path by getting your mind, body and soul in alignment with pursuing your passion, great things will happen for you!  This couldn’t be more true! Right before I met that AJ guy, I had just quit a job that did not value me for what I was worth and decided I would go find another fitness studio to pursue my career and passion for helping others.  Within a few days, I happened to walk into Rush Performance and met the owner AJ.  During my time at Rush Performance, (now known as Driven Personal Training) AJ and I would get all jacked up on C4 and pump iron together a few times a week.  During our cracked out lifting sessions (we didn’t do much cardio) we talked about anything and everything.  One of our talks that has stuck with me over the years was about staying comfortable.

Most people in this world are COMFORTABLE BEING AVERAGE.  WE BOTH AGREED THAT AVERAGE WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR EITHER ONE OF US!!  We envisioned much more for our lives, we both had big goals, we were both hyper focused and committed to making shit happen, and we had the drive and ambition to do whatever it takes to make a big impact on this world!!

When you look around this world today, you see too many people settling on a LIFE that is SAFE, COMFORTABLE, and AVERAGE.  Your life, your health, your career, your happiness, and your impact on this world and the people in it will be what you make of it.  If you are not willing to open your eyes and find your passion (or you just want to float on in this life) average sounds like the best option.  But if you take time to find what you truly are passionate about and commit to becoming the absolute best at it,average will not be part of your life.

Following this passion will require that you be willing to make a leap at some point and work your ass off to be successful.  Following my passion and becoming an entrepreneur, I have no guarantees.  There is no feeling of safety or comfort every month.  I do not have a paycheck that is coming every week or biweekly, which can be scary at times.  But what I do have is an incredible passion and love for what I do, a great purpose and meaning, a sense of accomplishment, not to mention an amazing, kick ass studio with the most badass athletes EVER.  

And guess what?.. I wouldn’t change it for anything in this world!! I honestly can say I don’t work a day in my life.  Kari and I made a huge leap when we purchased the studio and were scared, but with our hard work, lots of love, and positive energy we did it!! When you find your calling, set big goals for yourself, and put in hard work you can live your dream!!

And to leave you with a little AJ inspiration…here are my favorite quotes from him!

“If you wanted something easy, you should’ve sent out resumes not started a company” -AJ Rivera

“Fuck your feelings.  No one cares about your feelings.  You were put on this earth to help people, you are very good at what you do, do your damn job” -AJ Rivera (I may have added a few swear words, but this is how I remember it because it cut pretty deep lol)


How I Bounced Back When I Gained 25 lBS After The Loss of My Son Max

Struggling to get back on track?  We would be honored to help create a plan to get you feeling great!!

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How Does Mindset Play a Role in Our Program?

When making any life change, your mindset and approach is key to your chances of success.  Here at Driven, we work with each athlete to help them embrace the Driven Mindset, which is…

“Love Yourself, Make Positive Lifestyle Changes, Always Try your Best and.. STAY DRIVEN!!!”

When you embrace the DRIVEN MINDSET you are far more likely to be successful!! Loving yourself, committing to change, trying your absolute best, and treating yourself with compassion are pivotal to achieving your goals. When we do not believe that we can accomplish our goals,we basically give up hope before we even start.  We are then left crushed and filled with sadness and self-doubt, which leads us to abandoning these goals we have set for ourselves.  We then start to neglect the very things that will bring us good health and make us truly happy.  This form of neglect then becomes self-abuse, where we tell ourselves we are worthless and incapable of becoming the person we envision ourselves being and living out our dreams.

But of course, things change when we help others.   It’s so much easier to show love and truly accept another person through their struggles and help them when they are in desperate need of a few encouraging words. Unfortunately when it comes to our internal dialogue with ourselves and acceptance with our own struggles, WE ARE NOT SO NICE!!

If we can learn to BE KIND TO OURSELVES life becomes much easier. We learn to stop focusing on the need to be perfect and we can get excited about the progression you are making everyday!! PERFECTION IS BULLSHIT!! Everyone should strive to be the absolute best version of themselves and continuously try to progress over time!!

One helpful tip is to look back and see how FAR you have come and allow yourself to enjoy this wonderful process called PERSONAL GROWTH.  You need to keep yourself motivated and CELEBRATE EVERY NEW SUCCESS and new accomplishment along the way!! Without taking time to acknowledge your many milestones on your fitness journey, this process can seem excruciatingly long, never-ending, and you may become overwhelmed, disheartened, or even worse quit.

With the right mindset and a program proven to work, there is nothing stopping you from achieving the health and happiness you want and deserve.  If you work hard and put in the effort you will see results you never thought possible.  You can ENJOY THE BEST QUALITY OF LIFE imaginable!!!

To schedule a Free Transformation Session and get a customized fitness and nutrition plan, apply here:


Why is Nutrition So Vital for FAT LOSS TRANSFORMATION goals?

A quote that I have been using over and over again for 10 plus years is..“YOU CANNOT OUT EXERCISE IMPROPER NUTRITION”

Nutrition is said to be about 80% of your fat loss goals.  It is the leading factor to whether or not you will achieve incredible fat loss and see a shift in your composition that will allow you to enjoy a strong, lean, and healthy looking body that is free of unwanted fat!! And who doesn’t want that?

It all starts with finding the right nutrition plan that will work for you. Many people make the mistake of aiming for perfection right off the bat.  Too often we hear stories of men and women who get stuck in a cycle of yo-yo diets and end up gaining back all, if not more, weight in the end.  Instead of going from horrible habits to perfection overnight, it’s best to create a plan that includes a handful of small, manageable changes.  This helps increase the chances of creating concrete lifestyle changes that last for years.

Your nutrition should be structured with the intent to have your body start promoting fat loss instead of fat storage while maintaining muscle growth.  A plan should consist of good quality whole foods that will give your body the right fuel and nutrients it needs.

Meal planning and preparation has helped many people (including myself) be prepared to take on the week with a structured plan for success.  This means having the right ingredients on hand!!  Without shopping and making sure you are loaded with all the foods you need for your snacks and meals this will never work!!

Another good practice I recommend is allow your body to heal and release water bloat by avoiding the foods that contribute to systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation is chronic inflammation throughout your body that is caused by the crappy foods we put into our bodies. This inflammatory response is known to cause weight gain, drowsiness, skin problems, digestive issues, and is a host of diseases like diabetes, obesity and cancer. Foods to avoid are sugar, gluten and refined flours, dairy, artificial sweeteners and additives, saturated fat, and processed junk.

Most importantly, these changes do not have to be complicated or feel overwhelming.  We’ve helped hundreds of people make sustainable changes that lead to amazing results.  With a little education, support and accountability, real changes are very much within your reach!


4 Reasons Why Driven Is Unique

Did you know that there are nearly 20 different fitness studios in Arlington Heights alone?  With so many to choose from it’s important to find a fit that’s right for you and your goals.  To help you in this search I’ve complied a list of 4 Reasons Why Driven is so UNIQUE and SPECIAL….

1. Our Amazing Athletes!!:  Driven is EXCLUSIVE!! We don’t just take anybody. There are many other fitness studios in this world who will take anyone who waves a credit card in their face but we are different.  We protect Driven’s great energy and amazing atmosphere by only selecting the most positive and motivated individuals. Because of this we have the over 100 of BEST Athletes in the world who work hard everyday to motivate, support and inspire each other to be the very best versions of themselves.

Not only will you get education, motivation, and accountability from our coaches, but when you meet the other Athletes that form your “CREW” you will get all of that help from them as well!! They will rally behind you when you need support to give you that extra boost of motivation.  And it all comes from a place of LOVE and shows that they actually care about you!! Pretty Awesome!!

2. Our Fun, Uplifting and Super Positive Atmosphere:  When you are surrounded by an amazing group of people with similar goals in a fun and uplifting environment, you have no choice but to succeed!  When you come to Driven you are welcomed into our Driven Family on day 1!! At the end of each workout you will get a high five and a “Great Job!!” from your fellow athletes!! WE LOVE TO HAVE FUN!!

If you are a slacker, don’t work well with others, think it’s stupid to celebrate other people’s successes, have a bad attitude or do not have a SENSE OF HUMOR. please stay home or go elsewhere. Driven is a zero drama zone. When walking in it is required to leave the work drama, political views, religious beliefs, and all other negative opinions at the door!! What can we talk about then?!?.. ANYTHING ELSE!! We have adult conversations and say “bad words” once in awhile. Because of this (and some other things) WE DO NOT TRAIN KIDS!! Besides.. IF YOU ARE TALKING YOU ARE NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH 😉

3. Our SUPER PASSIONATE COACHES:   In this industry there are too many Personal Trainers who give us a BAD REP!! Many trainers are either “collecting a paycheck” or only training people because THEY, THEMSELVES love to workout and don’t understand the importance of this PROFESSION. When someone has a bad experience they may never find the help they need leading to a life of physical problems including illness, decreased quality of life or even death.

We go by the Title SUCCESS COACHES at Driven!! We take our jobs seriously as WE SAVES LIVES!!  How??  We help our Athletes make positive lifestyle changes when they stop living a life controlled by depression, anxiety, and self-doubt, and start LOVING THEMSELVES.  These changes help them become STRONGER, HEALTHIER, and HAPPIER and allow them to enjoy the quality of life they truly deserve.

We take great pride in helping our athletes achieve the results they desire or BETTER!! We teach that being strong, healthy, beautiful, and confident through healthy changes needs to become your LIFESTYLE!! We want to avoid the “quick fix” mindset and focus on living life to it’s fullest by FEELING and LOOKING AMAZING, FOREVER!!



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April Live Q&A Session

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Driven Deal Breakers…Requirements To Become a VIP

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Life Is Too Short….


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Moms…Your Kids Are Your Reason…Not Your Excuse!


If you’re ready to put yourself first and regain your energy and confidence, sign up for a Free Transformation Session here: