Alive & Unedited: Tracey Gardner

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive


In high school, I didn't really have the best grades. I got into Ohio State. It was a good thing. My mom wanted me to experience being out of Youngstown. That was a good push.

At Ohio State, I went crazy. I partied, drank, did everything. I was on probation my first quarter. I started smoking when I was 19 - two packs a day, eight cigarettes with my coffee in the morning. I never in a thousand years thought I would be doing this.

My boyfriend got me started working out. He gave me my first run, which I couldn't even survive. Over the years, I got into lifting weights. I got a personal trainer. I trained for marathons. I was injured a lot, which was really frustrating. I kept getting tendonitis. I broke my ankle, broke my foot.

I tried yoga everywhere, but it was kind of boring to me. It didn't click at all. I literally had a severe panic attack in one class, because there was no music and they were talking in Sanskrit. I called my husband. I couldn't breathe.

I started experimenting. I did yoga workshops. I started instructing a little here and there. When I was at Lifetime Fitness and had a class of 65, it all clicked. I've been on my own for a year now.

With the Tracey Gardner Method, I wanted to make everything different. I've taken everything from strength training to endurance running. I kind of put it all into this. I've helped strengthen my feet, for instance, by building poses around these issues I've had.

I believe that every crisis in my life has presented a unique opportunity. Every setback I've had, I've learned so much from it. At the time it sucks, but it's made me so much stronger.

Three things I can't live without are my iPod, my BlackBerry and Smashbox under-eye concealer. I didn't wear it one day, and I looked like I was dead.

In my spare time, I like to write and do social media. I have two kids, ages seven and 10. I love fashion. I'm a big music fan.

Every single class is created around music. I never go into class knowing what I'm going to do. I wing it from pose to pose or every flow because it goes by the reaction of my body. My favorites are Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails. I love Madonna. I'm really into these new indie bands, too.

My ultimate goal is to have Tracey Gardner Method studios around the country. And to be on the Ellen show.

One thing in my life I regret not doing is traveling more.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at

Age: 36

Day job: Yoga instructor

Neighborhood: New Albany

Hometown: Youngstown

Years in Columbus: 19

Alma mater: Ohio State


Playing favorites

Favorite movie: Into the Wild

Favorite TV show: Saturday Night Live

Favorite band: Radiohead

Favorite song: "Showbiz" by Muse

Favorite author: The Us Weekly staff

Favorite place to travel: Mexico

Favorite food: Buttercream frosting from Cheryl's & Co.

Favorite drink: Stella Artois