25 THINGS! {BY SAYEH} 24 Apr 2014


I could write my own 25 things about this week’s feature instructor, Colleen McNally. Among those 25 things I would include that I look forward to her classes, how infectious her energy is, how she pumps me up by getting louder at just the right times, and shouting things like YOU’RE SO STRONG, right when I’m about to give in to the burning desire for a break. I’d include how she always seems to pick the right playlist, how the volume is just high enough to keep things up-beat, and just low enough that I can hear her cues. I’d say that she reminds me of a beautiful elf from a Lord of the Rings Movie (this is a compliment!), and that you can tell she enjoys teaching and how that shows in my new favorite class: Colleen’s Sleeveless 2.0. I hope you enjoy finding out more about as much as I did.

  1. I am 31 not 24. Ladies, you are the sweetest.
  2. I have 2 calendars to keep my life straight. One in the kitchen so I can see it constantly and the one on my phone. I’d be lost without them.
  3. I despise being late. That being said, I’m either really late or really, really early.
  4. I have a son. His full name is Maximillian Ryan McNally. He’ll be three next month.
  5. I delivered my son naturally. Aka no drugs
  6. Nothing makes me feel more strong and sexy than a full plank push-up.
  7. My dream life would be to sell everything I own and move to somewhere warm and tropical near a beach, and to live minimally and shoeless. I hate shoes.
  8. My biggest fear is roller coasters. I went on one once to face my fear. I hyperventilated and threw up.
  9. I have really bad vision. My eyes are a -6.75 and -6.0.
  10. I was in college for 7 years but not because I was failing. I started community college when I was 21 to get some core credits done. I applied to Temple University for Dance my third year and was rejected. So, I decided to keep at it and the following year I was accepted into Temple. Once I got there, they wouldn’t let me take my dance composition course out of sequence. That added on another three and a half years. Even though it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I learned so many different things in those 7 years. Painting, pottery, drawing, art history, psychology, spanish, and dance to name just a few.
  11. I was vegetarian for 12 years, vegan for 2. I started eating meat again in November. Now when I open my fridge, I can’t help but laugh at all the meat.
  12. Some of my favorite movies are Bring it On, Labyrinth, A League of their Own, and Mean Girls. Sometimes I quote them in class to give you ladies a little boost of motivation.
  13. Growing up, I watched a lot of documentaries and National Geographic Shows that explained the cultural or aesthetic reasons behind tattooing and piercing. I was obsessed and my parents knew they were in for it. So, when I turned 18 my mom had the foresight to take me for my first.
  14. When I was a little girl, I would almost always fall down the steps in front of my house around Easter. In most of my Easter pictures, I have a scab on my nose.
  15. I was named by a drunk man. My mother wanted to name me Brooke but her sister took it for her daughter. So my parents were at a loss. My dad wanted to name me Grace Kelly because he thought she was the most beautiful woman alive. My mom didn’t care for it. They were at the VFW one night and one of our family friends said, “Well what about Colleen Grace?” There it was...my name.
  16. I’ve been on a year goal with physical fitness. My main focus is consistency.  I can go really strong for 3 months then I burn out and have to start all over again right when I start to really see results. So i changed my attitude and decided to be more gentle and true to myself. I am a single mother with two jobs and some days fitting in everything is impossible. Do or die is no longer my main approach. Instead, I get more sleep and work consistently toward my best results by the end of the year. It has made all the difference.
  17. Early in my pregnancy, I was crazy about cereal. At one point I looked in my cabinet and I had 6 boxes of cereal. Not the healthy kind, but Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Crunch Berries. Roasted peppers and cooked vegetables grossed me out. My other obsession was ice cream. That one stuck. I am so OBSESSED with ice cream. Cookies and cream is my favorite, half baked by Ben and Jerry’s, anything at Franklin Fountain, Little Babies, frozen yogurt...whatever you name it. Nothing beats that cold, creamy, yummy goodness.
  18. I love coffee. Sometimes I dream about my morning coffee and rush to bed so I can wake up and have it. Last spring I did a 3 week cleanse sans caffeine. At first I wanted cheese, bread, ice cream, sugar, anything. By the end, I almost broke the entire cleanse for that morning cup. All I wanted was that coffee.
  19. I went to Catholic School for 12 years. In that time, I played piccolo and flute, was in the theater department, literary magazine, and a cheerleader.
  20. I also use to play the piano.
  21. I have 14 tattoos in total. When I was younger, I wanted to be reborn as a star. (that’s not a joke ;)) so naturally my first tattoo was the three stars on my back. An owl on my left calf because I collect kitschy owls. Hello Kitty on my right ankle because I’ve been obsessed with her for as long as I can remember. Kuan Yin on the back of my right calf. I went vegan after reading about Zen Buddhism. The flowers on my right wrist are a pretty cover-up. The two on my wrists are Biblical references from the Old and New Testaments. The power lines and windmills because I think they are the two most beautiful man made things. A sketch of my favorite modern dancer, Martha Graham. I have a mantra on the top of my stomach that says “Loka samasta sukino bahvantu.” Finally, Wall-e and Eve.  They are reminders that love should be simple and as humans we make it complicated. The whole movie he just wanted to hold her hand.
  22. I started dancing when I was four. I remember the distinct moment when I was in ballet class and at the barre thinking that there was nothing I could ever love more. I grew up doing tap, jazz and ballet and was finally introduced to modern dance in 2002. At first I thought it was so crazy. Why are these people making me dance like a tree? But I fell in love with it. It is boundless and limitless. You can do anything in modern dance. I couldn’t imagine my life not being a mover.
  23. I’m really shy. Like nervous and anxious at a party-shy. That’s why I really love people who make you feel like you’ve known them for a million years.
  24. I once went camping by myself for four days in Atsion, NJ. I was going through a rough period in my life.  I needed to get away from all human contact. I pitched my own tent, started my own fires, went hiking, canoeing and swimming in the red cedar water.
  25. All things Lithe: My favorite workout to teach is Sleeveless 2.0. The look of determination on your faces from beginning to end is remarkable. It is seriously amazing. I started Lithe in 2012 with my girlfriend, Nicole Andreola. You’ve probably seen her around. Barre is my nemesis. It takes tons of mental motivation for me to get through it. I believe in the saying though, “if you hate it, you probably need to be doing it.” I love Lithe. It’s seriously changeling and fun. It has been the only form of exercise that has been close to my dance training. I love that it can take me back to cheerleading and dance and completely kick my butt.

Image of Colleen in a heel stretch via Dom


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Love Colleen and love learning more about her!

#1: I don't believe it for a minute. You're 24.
#6: and yours are amazing!
#12: yes times 4! (ok, you might be 31)

Colleen your sleeveless 2.0 is the BEST class! Your smile is so genuine and encouraging that it's impossible not to enjoy that class, even when it hurts :).

I'm going to start posting "Colleen's Quote of the Class" - last night was "make those hovers juicy!!!!"

She motivates like none other!

Colleen is the best! I love your sculpt and I can't wait to take your Skinny Jeans next week!

If there is love at first sight between girlfriends, that I was smitten from the first class I took. There's no more encouragement that gets me going quite like Colleen's "you're so strong!" Her sleeveless 2.0 is my dance routine of choice and I think we are all chanting along during "you've got arm! arms & legs! Arm! Hands, foot, tricep!" She is my pushup idol and I find that I always am trying a little bit harder in her classes. And she gives good hugs :)

#17... are we related? I cannot go a day without eating ice cream! I could forego every other dessert option and be content with ice cream for the rest of my life.

Love your classes, Colleen! You are so encouraging - I feel like I work harder because you super motivate to push through. =)

I love Colleen's classes. So positive and warm. Plus her tattoos are hawt!

Colleen! I absolutely LOVED reading about you :) Thank you for being so open and honest! Hopefully I can take more than 1 of your classes someday I'm not teaching.... xoxo!

Hi Colleen! Reading this brought a smile to my face. Your positive attitude is infectious!

Thank you everyone for your kind words. They are so uplifting. I am happy to hear you are enjoying me as much as I enjoy teaching and seeing all of you in class!!!!!

Thank you!

Yay!! You made 25 things. I totally feel like your a Lithe celebrity & you just gave me a SHOUT OUT...Hollar! I love you & love that we love Lithe equally. You are such an inspiration to all the ladies of lithe! I feel fortunate to know you outside of the studio walls. She really is the bomb ladies..,.your HOT! Love you & you rock as an instructor. So happy for you. XO

Gorgeous and SO interesting! Heart you girl! Can't wait to take more of your classes.


Colleen you're just simply too awesome and cool and funny and beautiful for words. I loved this 25 things! I could probably list 25+ things I love about you and your 25 things.

You're always an inspiration. And always a butt-kicker. And now I'm going to have to make sure I get one of these legendary hugs, which I imagine to be as awesome as everything else about you :)

Colleen, you are just too cool ;)

I love taking your classes; such a perfect blend of calm, cool, collected and pushing us to our limits. I loved learning more about you!

Colleen, you are awesome! And by the way, your son is GORGEOUS.

Colleen is so awesome and I love her Sculpt class. Come to Main Line more! :)

Loved reading these things about you Colleen!! I'm totally with you on #7....

#16 made me cry and was simultaneously so motivating. It's so hard to be easy on oneself, despite the amount of insanity going on in our lives. Thanks for the reminder!


While I think all of the lithe instructors do a great job, you are one of my favorites. Your energy and kindness really makes class enjoyable. I hope you know how great you are at your job.

I'm with you on #6! You are loved : )

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