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MAKENNA KNIFFING'S JOURNEY

Everybody started somewhere. In the My Journey posts we ask an accomplished athlete / star / thought leader how they got where they are now. We hope their stories will inspire and motivate you.

In this thirty first My Journey post, we had a chat with Makenna Kniffing who used to be a cheerleader, then later became a Yogi. We hope you enjoy Makenna's journey.
Makenna Kniffing
Makenna Kniffing
Tell us a little bit about yourself :)

I was born and raised in San Diego. The best city in the world! I was raised in a pretty intense Italian home, with lots of love. I cheered for 10 years ran track all through high school and probably played every sport you can think of for fun. I love sports! I was on all stunt team as well in high school going into college, asked to be on the USA team but during the preparation for traveling with this team I broke my leg. My cheer career ended, years later I picked up acro yoga!

How did you get introduced to cheerleading?

In junior high I played every sport I could think of. Then when doing a class of gymnastics I saw the the competitive cheer team practicing, and that's when I knew. From 8th grade on I was a competitive cheer leader. I also did high school cheer for fun. Competitive cheer was appealing to me because it was acrobatic, I was a flyer and I loved the idea of flipping and twisting and bending/challenging your body.

When did Acro yoga get “serious”?

I got really serious when I started to notice I'm actually good. I'm very small so I was limber and it was easy to throw me around and tumble. When I first saw competitive cheer I instantly knew I wanted to do it. When I do something I'm an all or nothing. So I knew I was going to take it super seriously and I just happened to be really good at it. My body type was perfect for cheer. And now perfect for acro.

Can you share your biggest challenges ?

My biggest challenges were my mental blocks, tumbling is quite scary and you are pretty much flipping to your possible death every pass haha. Stunting never scared me I could do any trick possible and I wanted to invent tricks because I was getting so fearless. Tumbling was a whole other story. I learned to trust my muscles and go for it because the more scared I was the worst j would do.  So I developed a fearless attitude toward sports. I would always say "blue sky thinking" meaning the sky's the limit I can do anything. So I started to make up my own tricks.

How do you handle pressure?

Personally pressure is good, bring it on! I always say I never learn in an easy successful environment I learn more in the tough intense moments in life. So pressure just makes me that much better.

Makenna Kniffing
Makenna Kniffing
Can you share your thoughts on self consciousness?

I have definitely grown in this since high school. I am confident and when I am self conscious I remember all my victories and all my failures as well because they got me to where I am today.

What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to cheerleading of course ;)

My most embarrassing moment was when I was in a stunt in the middle of a competition. I used to get Charlie horses really bad in feet, well I got one and I decided to legit jump out of the stunt from an extension on to the floor when I landed everyone in the arena became silent and I jumped up and started dancing.
Don't ask me why. This apparently is my first instinct to embarrassment. After we got off stage everyone in the arena kept asking me hey I saw that fall are you ok, they couldn't keep a straight face. I was mortified lol.

How did cheerleading influence your life in other ways?

My sport/passion was everything to me and I took it very seriously I wanted to be at the top. The way I ate changed and is still the same to this day, I eat very strict. I work out still the same amount I would if I was in a competition. I love anything that has to do with stunting, slipping and bending. Competitive cheer put a great outlook and start on my life into adulthood, I take my body's health seriously. And I love to lead!

What does your daily routine look like ?

I wake up and drink WATER! Drinking water in excessive amount has seriously become a hobby haha,  it's so important. I go to this little place in pacific beach and do yoga in the mornings. There are always yoga instructors there and then me and my acro yoga partner do stunting for the first half of our lessons and then acro yoga to stretch out. After I take my computer to a local coffee shop and LEARN, RESEARCH, STUDY.


I love to learn. I know a lot about health and fitness due to all my personal studying. I then work and do homework (the not fun but important things). I also am hypoglycemic meaning low blood sugar so my eating plan is busy I eat a good 5-6 times a day and very healthy so that's a huge part of my daily routine.

Makenna Kniffing
And what about your flexibility training ? Where does that fit in ?

My flexibility it the biggest part of my training, I have always been very flexible and plan to never not be flexible lol. I teach classes at my college on how to stretch, it's the most important part of exercise next to water.

What keeps you motivated?

My mom keeps my motivated. I'm very into health and keeping my body clean because my mother almost died because of a sickness. She holistically got her health back and she is now a survivor and an interesting model in my life. I now guide her while all my growing up years she guided me in health. I stay healthy for her and myself. I see the benefits. I saw what happened to my mom and that keeps me motivated. Health is powerful.

What are your future plans/goals/dreams?

My dream it to have a talk show! Right now I am accomplishing goal by goal to make my dream come true.

Any tips for passionate people starting out yoga?

Never give up when you fail. Success is rewarding, failure is learning. You neeed both and when you think you're the only one failing you are not! Look at your failures in your passion as a boost to getting that much more successful!

Anything you’d like to share?

My blog on my website: makennalaura.com

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2 Comment

  • Author Image
    Jenna Posted June 27 2017

    Thanks again Makenna for the amazing interview. Your journey is very inspiring!

    Reply
  • Author Image
    Tracy Manilow Posted June 27 2017

    Love it!!!

    Reply

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