Terra Linda woman creates strength and wellness studio to empower teen girls – Marin Independent Journal

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Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal
Emily Switzer, 21, founded Anchor Method Marin, a strength and wellness studio for teen girls.
Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal
Anchor Method Marin founder Emily Switzer first started lifting weights in high school.
Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal
Anchor Method Marin founder Emily Switzer focuses on both the mental and physical benefits of exercise.
Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal
"Fitness was a huge part of my journey as far as loving myself, feeling confident, strong, powerful," says Emily Switzer.

While training people in the heyday the pandemic, it didn’t take Emily Switzer long to realize people were struggling with their mental health. The Terra Linda resident felt it, too. She started to feel like a therapist and friend as well as her clients’ certified trainer, and witness how therapeutic exercise could be beyond its physical benefits.
That helped inspire the 21-year-old to create her Kentfield strength and wellness studio for girls ages 12 to 19, Anchor Method Marin, focusing on mental and physical health.
Q When did your relationship with exercise begin?
A I grew up really active. I played sports like lacrosse and basketball. In middle school, I’d go to the YMCA in San Rafael and take group fitness classes and hop on the cardio machines. I did it because I was more self-conscious than anything. I didn’t feel confident in myself. I wanted to work out so I didn’t feel as bad about my body. It wasn’t a good relationship with working out.
Q What changed?
A In my freshman year of high school, I started lifting weights. I found power through weightlifting, because it made me feel strong and powerful versus feeling ashamed of my body. Going to the gym allowed me to work on myself, to grow and to give myself that space to grow, not only physically but mentally.
Q What drew you to personal training?
A Fitness was a huge part of my journey as far as loving myself, feeling confident, strong and powerful. Through the pandemic, I would have clients come and break down. We were all dealing with a lot through the pandemic and sometimes when your heart rate is up, when you are putting your body under some stress, things would come out.
Q What inspired you to focus on female youth in your work?
A My passion has always been for teen girls. I can relate with them. That’s the age that was very challenging for me body wise, so I want to encourage these girls to feel good about themselves and have a space where they feel comfortable, confident and empowered.
Q Does the fact that you grew in Marin help you?
A Definitely. I am so grateful for where we live. One of the things that we talked about a couple of sessions ago was what are the pros and cons of growing up in Marin. Growing up in Marin was a challenge for me. When I moved here in fifth grade from Indiana, I was in the middle of the school year. I was really depressed for like three years, and the thing that stuck with me the most was this saying, “I refuse to sink.” The anchor was a symbol that came with it for me.  A lot of the time in high school and middle school, it was girls tearing each other down, instead of bringing each other up, so finding this community where the girls are like, “Yes you can do it,” “One more rep,” and other good advice and encouragement is awesome.
Q What helped give you hope with those feelings?
A My parents. They encouraged me into sports, encouraged me to be surrounded by other people because I didn’t want to be around people. I wanted to be in my room all day. Then eventually talking to people, opening up and feeling not so alone, giving myself space to be OK with living here. Actually going outside, meeting people and embracing this community and Marin and its beauty versus pushing it away.
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