- FUN FEATURES
Cheshire High School senior Alisha Wright religiously reads Seventeen Magazine so, two summers ago, when she was invited to write a fitness blog for their website, the teenager jumped at the chance. As exciting as the concept was, it never occurred to her that she might one day be flipping through the pages of her favorite publication to find photos of herself.
That all changed last fall.
Wright was asked to shoot a fitness spread in October at Seventeen headquarters in New York City.
“It was so weird seeing myself next to models,” reflected Wright, who competed for the CHS indoor and outdoor track and field programs. “It is something that really doesn't get to happen to a lot of people.”
Wright was surprised to be invited back in April as one of five Fitness All-Stars. Her piece ran in the June/July issue.
“It was a cool experience because I've loved the magazine for a long time. It was like having a behind-the-scenes look and be involved in the process,” said Wright.
She described the six-to-seven hour shoots as tiring.
“Being a nation-wide magazine, it was intimidating,” recalled Wright, of her first trip to headquarters. “I was less nervous the second time because it was the same photographer. I already knew the Fitness Editor, so I was comfortable with her.”
This experience was based on a five-week plan instead of one-week like her first shoot. Her workout, entitled “Get Lean,” displays Wright showing off five exercises: marching, shadow boxing, mountain climbing, jumping jacks, and knee-ups. Readers are instructed to do them for one minute each, then rest, five times.
“I prefer cardio exercises over strength training,” explained Wright.
She has enjoyed the public response.
“It has been really good,” added Wright. “People that I don't know have come up and asked if I was the girl in the magazine.”
Wright got her foot in the door by being a Facebook fan of Seventeen. The page offers various features, including the chance to work with a celebrity trainer. Wright applied online before starting her junior year.
“You had to write about your fitness regimen and why you wanted to (write) for them. They wanted to know what you like about fitness, your short- and long-term goals,” Wright recalled. “I was really hoping (I would get it) because fitness is something I love doing. I knew it was a long shot, so when I got it, I was surprised.”
Since her trainer Kathy Kaehler lived in California, they corresponded via email.
“She would send me a physical regimen and what muscles to work on. I wrote about my experience,” explained Wright. ”It was a dream come true. Being able to work with someone that famous in the fitness world was fantastic.”
Wright applied the workouts during her CHS career. She was a Class LL qualifier in jumping and also ran relays during the winter.
“It helped me a lot with track and field,” said Wright, who captained the indoor team as a senior. “She would build the exercises around my events.”
While no longer writing for the magazine, Wright still emails Kaehler and reads fitness tips through her newsletter.
“A lot of the reason I did extra fitness was for jumping. Now that it is over, I still do the exercises to keep me strong,” explained Wright, who will attend Boston College. “I'm not exactly sure what kind of career I'm looking for. (But), I want to be involved in the fitness business.”
Bottom photo was taken by Allen Paul/Cheshire Herald. The top one was submitted by Wright.