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Alumni Spotlight – Lacey Stone

What is your occupation?

I am a fitness professional and founder of Lacey Stone Fitness LLC, which combines personal training, nutrition coaching, cardio coaching, and life coaching. I am also a personal trainer and fitness class instructor at Equinox fitness clubs in the New York City area. Earlier this month I had my debut as a featured trainer on MADE, the MTV reality show in which adult experts help teens and young adult transform themselves and their lives as they chase their dreams. I just filmed two more episodes, which will air in a couple of months. In addition, I do motivational speaking engagements for Nike, Google and Dove, and I’m working on a book about fitness.

Where did you grow up? Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

Where do you live now? New York City

Years were you at UMaine? 1998-2002

In what area was your degree from UMaine?

I graduated summa cum laude with a major in psychology and a minor in political science.

Why UMaine?

Coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie. It was the year after Cindy Blodgett graduated and the UMaine’s women’s basketball team was the talk of the town. Basketball was my heart and Coach Palombo-McCallie was a fantastic coach. I came to Maine on a recruiting visit for basketball and I loved the family feel of the campus. I felt like I would really enjoy the campus experience and excel academically. Everything for the most part was within walking distance, and there was a great psychology program.

Did you do any other major extracurricular activities besides basketball?

Ha ha! Have you played Division 1 college basketball? I mainly focused on basketball, schoolwork, and having some sort of a social life. Those didn’t leave much room for anything else. I studied abroad my senior year in London. There’s a wonderful study abroad program at UMaine. The director was amazing. The program helped me understand that life didn’t have to be all about basketball.

Did you have any favorite professors or classes?

I loved Professor Linda Yelland the most, hands down. With basketball I had to travel a lot for road trips. She would tape her classes on VHS and leave them in the library so I wouldn’t have to miss a class. She has no idea how much that helped me.  I honestly watched every class I missed. She was a wonderful professor and very entertaining. She has a great heart and I could feel it.

What was your most memorable moment at UMaine?

Defeating Stanford in the NCAA Tournament my freshman year. Amazing.

Favorite places on campus, outside of the gym?

I loved the library. There were huge windows overlooking the beautiful snowy nights. I spent many nights sitting on the top floor studying into the wee hours of the night. Also, Governor’s Restaurant for breakfast after practice.

How did your studies at UMaine prepare you for your career now?

Psychology is a great major for your future. I work with people everyday and I have to understand how they think and why they do the things they do. I got a lot of that from my major at UMaine. It was huge. Being motivated to work out is all about a mindset, and psychology is all about the mind. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Obviously the years of basketball experience and hours in the gym helped with the physical side of my fitness profession.

What was your career path like after graduation?

In the summer of 2002 I looked for a job in Milwaukee, but I knew immediately high heels and suits were not for me. MTV came to Milwaukee to do a show for the baseball All-Star game, and I got a job working as a production assistant locally. I did such a good job they told me to come to New York City, so I did. For two years I worked as a production assistant for MTV and CBS Sports, and on the side, to pay for my gym membership, I trained clients at Equinox in Greenwich Village. While working at Equinox I fell in love with the fitness industry and realized that there was real potential to make it into a high-earning career.  I knew that working behind the scenes in TV was not for me, so I left MTV and CBS in 2003 to pursue a career in fitness. I feel blessed that I was able to find a career that I am so passionate about at such a young age.

Have you worked with any celebrities or personalities?

I’ve worked with Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster, Brooke Shields, America Ferrera, Amanda Peet, Piper Perabo, Natalie Morales and Jenna Wolfe of the Today show, and John Roberts, who is the CNN American Morning co-anchor.

Do you enjoy doing public appearances, both live and on TV, and speaking to groups?

My main career goal is to make a positive impact on the world through fitness. I love doing TV because you can touch millions of people and teach them that working out isn’t something to be afraid of; rather, it’s something to incorporate as a ritual in their everyday life.

You designed a fitness program called TheBigGAME!, an exercise program which replicates the intensity of athletic drills and the game experience. Is it similar to the game situations you were in while playing basketball for UMaine?

TheBigGAME! is absolutely modeled after my sports experience at UMaine. There is no negativity. Everything is about positive reinforcement. The class is an athletic-inspired full-body conditioning class to get your rear in gear. TBG! is just like a game. It’s divided into quarters, with the finals in the fourth quarter – a celebration of spirit with all the moves learned throughout the course of the hour class. It’s meant to feel like a real game.  The underlying message of the class is to teach each and every participant what it takes to be a champion, to never give up, to bring it 110 percent, and always do your best.  There is a lot of camaraderie, clapping, and high fives. When I’m teaching at Equinox you can hear it throughout the entire gym.

UMaine recently opened a new campus fitness and recreation center. How important is it for college students to be active, and how can busy students integrate exercise and activity into their lives?

College can be a very confusing time when you’re just coming into your own. Feeling good about yourself and your body is crucial. If you don’t feel good in your own skin it affects everything. If affects confidence, self-esteem, the whole shebang. Fitness is crucial with all of this. Keeping that body ready and raring to go is key to confidence when entering adulthood and scoring that first job out of college.  As a women’s basketball player I used to have to wake up at 5 a.m. and run before the sun came up. Do it before class, in between classes, after class, but do it regularly to see optimal results. And lets be real, it’s so cold outside during the winter, nobody really cares what you look like in class. My advice is, make a plan where working out is like a class on your schedule you have to attend, otherwise you aren’t going to pass.

Do you still keep an eye on UMaine basketball?

I keep an eye on Duke, where Coach Palombo-McCallie is now coaching. However, I do hope the Black Bears are still rocking Alfond Arena!


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