EMU alumna values hard work

The value of working hard and achieving goals is something Eastern Michigan University alumna Cassie Coffman lives by.

Coffman graduated from EMU in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science.

“The work that I put forth to continue to get better and try and grow as a person is something I have taken away from being at EMU,” Coffman said.

Coffman, 23, grew up in the small town of Chelsea, where she felt at home given the support system in the area.

“It’s a great, cozy place to call home,” Coffman said. “The environment was very relaxed because I was always surrounded by family and friends.”

Along with running track in junior high, Coffman also participated in gymnastics.

Eastern Michigan University gymnastics associate head coach Andrea Price helped Coffman develop as a gymnast in club school.

“Cassie was a natural athlete and was a very strong athlete,” Price said. “She was very strong on all four events in gymnastics and she was balancing gymnastics with running in junior high.”

After graduating from Chelsea High School in 2008, Coffman chose to come to EMU where she would walk-on to the track and field/cross-country teams.

EMU head coach Sue Parks talked about how Coffman developed not only as an athlete, but a person.

“Cassie is a true example of our program here at EMU,” Parks said. “She came in as a walk-on pole vault/hurdle/multi-event athlete. She was not very successful in those events but when I watched her, I saw that she had something in her that could be developed. I told her that I wanted her to train for cross country/distance with the idea that she could be a steeplechaser. She bought into my idea and ended up becoming a very successful distance runner at EMU. I would call it amazing that she went from a total non-distance runner to a 17:29 5k runner.”

Not long after graduating from EMU, Coffman made the move to Chicago, Ill., where she found an internship at Swedish Covenant Hospital, but had no idea how her living arrangement would be like.

“I met my roommates in Chicago on Craigslist and didn’t know where I would be at,” Coffman said. “I literally pulled up to the house and it was not what I expected when I got there. I visited Chicago several times before and would go downtown. The area I lived in Chicago was not how I thought it would be.”

After finding out Swedish Covenant Hospital would not be hiring full-time, Coffman had to find other ways to the pay off the rest of her lease.

“Unfortunately, the hospital I worked at wasn’t hiring and you find yourself in a position where you are committed to staying in a lease, now what do I do,” Coffman said.

While making her daily run in the city, Coffman stopped at Xsport Fitness by her apartment to see if they were hiring a personal trainer.

After being hired as a personal trainer at Xsport Fitness, Coffman didn’t realize the impact she made on others until leaving a year later.

“I didn’t realize the role I would have in impacting other people’s lives as a trainer,” Coffman said. “I only thought of getting everyone in shape and making sure goals were reached.”

After leaving Xsport Fitness, she moved back to Chelsea to live with her parents in Oct. 2013.

In that same month, Coffman found an opportunity to work as an independent distributor for Herbalife products.

“I stumbled upon Herbalife and knew nothing about it at all,” Coffman said. “Then I saw my friend from college, Sarah Maraskine use the product and see her results pay off as she qualified for the United States Olympic Trials in swimming.”

As a way of making extra money, she also works part-time as a server at Cafe Felix in Downtown Ann Arbor.

Coffman’s long-term goal is to move back to Chicago and start up her own nutrition club.

“I would like to open up my own nutrition club, build my own team and make an impact on everyone’s lives through fitness,” Coffman said.


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