We are so excited to expand to the University of Maryland this coming January. The CHAARG Chapter will be run by the lovely CLAUDIA. This girl is so incredibly passionate about health + fitness, + IT SHOWS. When we were going through CHAARG Ambassador applicants, we were very leery about choosing a freshman — this stems from the fact that we were once freshman + we know that the transition from high school to college is incredibly hard. We did not want to put the HUGE [+AWESOME] task of establishing a CHAARG Chapter + RUNNING one in the hands of someone who did not have much experience of the college workload // lifestyle.
However, when Claudia brought up our initial concern about her age in her application…
I hope that me being a freshman will not defer you from considering me as an ambassador. I am as driven as all the other CHAARG members and that is what makes me feel a part of the community already. I’m driven by a passion for health and fitness, a goal of showing girls that being healthy can be fun, and a dream of making sure every girl can feel confident in her own body. When I first heard about CHAARG, I did not hesitate in believing I could achieve all of this by becoming ambassador because day in and day out, I exercise the necessary skills that one needs to hold that position.
…I took a step back + thought wow, I need to meet this girl. + let me tell you, I am so glad I did.
Claudia Pagan | University of Maryland
Major — Journalism Graduation Date — SP 2017
Favorite Workout — HIWL [High Intensity Weight Lifting]
Workout I Want To Try — Pure Barre
Favorite Healthy Snack — Bananas + PB
Fit Goal: To compete in a bikini bodybuilding competition
How did you hear about CHAARG?
Over the summer, I saw a post on a facebook group about CHAARG and I clicked the link to see what it was about. I do not usually pay attention to random posts, but for some reason I felt like I had to click it. Let’s say it was fate that pushed me to do that, because CHAARG is what I have been searching months for: a community of girls with the common passion of living a healthy lifestyle.
When was the moment you knew that you had to bring CHAARG to UMD?
I knew I had to bring CHAARG to UMD the second I found out about it. I started my journey to a healthier lifestyle a year ago and it has definitely not been easy, but I have had the support of family and my best friend to get me through. Everyday has been a challenge, but I have built physical and mental strength as well as confidence. I made a promise to myself a year ago that I would help others find themselves so they could feel the same empowerment that I do. I knew I could achieve that by bringing CHAARG to my university. We should all feel beautiful in our skin and doing hours of cardio that we dread is not the way to accomplish our health goals. I knew CHAARG is the movement I had been waiting for, showing girls that exercising and eating healthy is not meant to be a burden.
What ignited your passion for health + fitness?
I stopped playing soccer for my school and travel teams senior year of high school, so I needed to find a way to continue staying fit. I joined a gym figuring that was the best idea and I was hooked! The physical and mental changes were enough motivation to keep me going to the gym and pushing for more. Being fit allows me to reinvent myself every single day. I am constantly testing my limits and going beyond, either by performing one more set or by running that extra mile. There are many days where I get frustrated because I do not see any change in my performance or in my body, but I use that as motivation because giving up is not a part of my vocabulary. I put my heart into maintaining a healthy lifestyle because it is called a lifestyle for a reason.
Aside from working out, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I am really involved with magazine and website publications. I am a copy editor for a health and fitness magazine at UMD and a blogger for College Tourist. I am also a new writer for Her Campus so writing definitely takes up a lot of my time! When I am not busy writing, I am out in Georgetown or other places in Washington D.C trying out new foods because as we all know, food is as important as exercising to CHAARG girls.
What excites you most about starting a CHAARG Chapter at UMD?
The number one thing I am excited about is bringing together a community of girls with a common goal: living healthy. It can sometimes be hard to find a niche we feel comfortable in because everyone has different goals or viewpoints on living a happy life. CHAARG is different than other organizations because all the girls share a goal of being the best they can be and that goal is how we live happy lives. We go through our lives being judged on everything, but being a part of CHAARG changes that. It does not matter if you have never run a day in your life or if you run every day. The only thing that matters in this community is whether you are willing to work hard.
Do you go to UMD? Email Claudia at umdCHAARG@gmail.com + learn how to get involved with CHAARG — whether as a general member, exec member, or supporter! If you know of any health + fitness professionals in the UMD area who may be interested in leading a CHAARG event, please send them our way as well! Join the movement + #CHAARGon.