We celebrate many things here at R.I.P.P.E.D.. We cheer each other on as we see determination, positivity, passion, and a truly supportive community in each and every R.I.P.P.E.D. class. But the first thing that brings us together, before we make one exercise movement is our great family. We celebrate R.I.P.P.E.D. ‘Ohana, and as you probably know by now, ‘ohana means family in Hawaiian.
If you experienced R.I.P.P.E.D. Revival, you may have felt like that was one big family reunion. Hugs, high-fives and smiles were everywhere, and there were even times when we some of us shed a tear or two. It is pretty common to see our Facebook page and see somebody comment that they miss their buddy from Revival. That’s how tight we are.
If there are two people that embody the R.I.P.P.E.D. Ohana spirit, it’s Mickey and Vangie Felipe from Hawaii. You may have met them at R.I.P.P.E.D. Revival. The made the journey from Maui. And get this: THEY CAME BACK! Just a few weeks later they attended the Rumble training in Visalia recently with Master Trainer Rossie Ballard. Their path wasn’t easy. They flew in to San Francisco and drove down to Visalia.
With all of their determination, we are excited to announce that Mickey and Vangie are R.I.P.P.E.D. co-MVPs for the month of October.
We talked with them about why they love R.I.P.P.E.D., and what keeps them coming back!
R.I.P.P.E.D.: You started doing R.I.P.P.E.D. in 2012. Tell us how you discovered the program:
Vangie Felipe: After many years since having open heart surgery when I was a child, I never had any problems or restrictions to any kind of physical activity, it never slowed me down with my daily living.
In the spring of 2011 a life changing event happened to me. It was at that time that my cardiologist determined that a pacemaker implant was needed to keep my heart beating at a regular rate. It was an awakening event that I realized that life in general, can change at any moment. During my time of recovery, I started to take up walking again, but that didn’t quite satisfy my need to be more active.
It took about a year when I found something that I enjoyed, which was Zumba. Although again, there was something still missing, I needed more than just cardio. I wanted to incorporate weights in a workout. A R.I.P.P.E.D. banner was hung on the wall of the studio that we attended classes at announcing the coming of a new format to the location. That got me and Mickey interested as it incorporated both cardio and weights, which I thought was a “perfect” all-in one workout.
When the day came for R.I.P.P.E.D., I had encouraged Mickey to try it out with me, as he, too, wanted more than a dance fitness workout. We were hooked from the very first class, even when we thought we were going to die doing burpees!!
For me, I wanted to claim my life back, become more active, and have a workout that I totally love. R.I.P.P.E.D. has given me that. I have seen my own transformation. I have lost the extra weight, toned my body, and I even feel healthier than before. I also wanted to share my passion for R.I.P.P.E.D., not just as a participant, to become an instructor as well. All this has taken me out of my comfort zone, but I had support and encouragement from my dance fitness instructors, Mickey, and friends…that I can do it in front of the class. It took a while before I decided to become certified instructor. Work schedules made it difficult to take time off. Logistacally, traveling away, even off-island was an expense as other things would add up financially. When the opportunity came, a certification class was being offered here on the island of Maui, I took it. On November 8th, 2014, I became a R.I.P.P.E.D. certified instructor.
Since then Mickey and I have either instructed together as a Team, or have taught our own individual classes. It has been a lifestyle change for both of us. We share something in common that is very important and valuable to both of us, and we love sharing our passion with our participants.
R.I.P.P.E.D.: What else do you like about the program?
Mickey Felipe: From the time I got started in 2012, it has made me realize that it is a doable workout. I was overweight and was told by my doctor that I had to shed the extra weight off. I had high blood pressure, was borderline diabetic, and taking a whole bunch of medication at the time. I realize that I had to make a decision and make a lifestyle change to become healthier if I wanted to live longer. It made me look forward to go to a workout, and it got me off the couch and become active in something that made me feel good.
A year later, in August of 2013, I signed up for the R.I.P.P.E.D. instructor training here on Maui. I have been blessed to have touched other people’s lives since then.
R.I.P.P.E.D.: You guys have talked about needing change, and you’ve seen the change in others taking your classes. What do they often say about the classes?
Mickey Felipe: A majority of the time, participants would tell us that they did not think they could possibly do a complete R.I.P.P.E.D. class and walk out of it alive. Of course, we tell them that it is a doable workout and that it is for every body, to modify, keep moving, and do what they are able to do. At the end of class they would thank us for a kick-butt workout. Each time they return, we all do it over again. As instructors, we have seen the growth, results and changes in many of our participants, from losing some extra weight, having more toned bodies, becoming stronger, and having better stamina. In general, happier, healthier people have graced us with the presence.
Vangie Felipe: My husband is a good example of change. He was considered overweight with high blood pressure and borderline diabetic, and was taking a whole lot of medications. I cannot change someone. The change has to come from one’s self. He made the decision to become more active and get his health back. He made that lifestyle change himself. From what he weighed then, to how he looks like today, it has been quite a transformation. I am happy and proud of his efforts in bringing his weight down, lowered his blood pressure, and the dosage of his medications have either been lowered, or has been taken off completely. That is an accomplishment in itself. Even his personal physician was very impressed.
For myself, I personally love R.I.P.P.E.D. because I have seen my own transformation. My stamina has improved, I continue to become stronger, and it also has directed me to something that I only dreamed of, a” bucket list” item that I want to fulfill. Currently, I am working with a personal trainer who has been guiding through the initial process in bodybuilding and eventually for me to compete in a bikini contest earmarked for next spring, 2018. It’s a scary thought because the whole process is all new to me, but I have invested in the time, and I can’t and won’t stop from working toward that goal.
For both of us, it is a continuous journey. R.I.P.P.E.D. has become a part of our lives, and we will continue to share our passion with others through our workouts. Our challenge is finding other venues to teach at.
R.I.P.P.E.D.: Tell us about the R.I.P.P.E.D. ‘Ohana. You guys know it better than anyone!
Mickey Felipe: Our R.I.P.P.E.D. ‘ohana is a genuine and awesome group of people, each participant, each instructor, Master Trainer, all very unique in their own way, whether here or afar, have inclusively become our fitness family because we all share something in common and that is the cardio, weights, and fun R.I.P.P.E.D. workout.
Terry and Tina Shorter are very down to earth people – the best ambassadors of such a great program. We had looked forward to coming to our second R.I.P.P.E.D. Revival this past August knowing we were coming back to a “family reunion”, as we were going to see the people we met from our first Revival, and also have the opportunity to meet others, and our color team members. A weekend is too short of a time to meet everyone, but connecting on social media makes it like we have been friends for a while. We include our own family members, whether they participate in R.I.P.P.E.D. or not, as they have been our best supporters in our efforts.
R.I.P.P.E.D.: You’ve now trained on Rumble. Tell us your experience:
Vangie Felipe: Seeing the Rumble Sizzle Reel got us excited about the new program being offered. Mickey registered soon after for the training, while I on the other hand was not sure if the time off from work would be granted. It was during Revival that we decided to stay loyal to the RIPPED label after experiencing Rumble, Live with Susan and her crew!! It was moving, and powerful…yes, it was something we wanted to bring back to Maui.
Okay, so we were both registered for the certification. Now HOW will we get there to California??!! Mickey was still unemployed at the time, so he did the airline search. Prices were outrageously high for a flight into Fresno, or at least, we could not afford. And there was still lodging and meals to factor in. We were pretty much financially challenged, and back to back trips to the mainland were truly a challenge. Mickey took a look at our air miles to see if they were enough for at least one round trip ticket, he played around with the numbers and was able to purchase tickets for under $100 for both of us on different airlines.
Lodging was the other expense we needed to cut down on, so we decided to direct out flights into San Jose, knowing well enough that Visalia would be a 3-hour drive away to get to training.
Mickey Felipe: I sent Vangie ahead of me on a Friday morning so she could spend some time with her sister, Jean, and her family. I had a prior commitment so I was not able to fly out until Saturday afternoon, arriving very late into SJ late…with little sleep that night, it was getting up early the next morning for the car trek down to Visalia. My brother-in-law, Jody, and his family packed up for a whole day trip and drove us to the Fit Tribe Studio. A lot of things worked themselves out.
Having trust and faith, all things are possible. God was in control, and being present at certification became a reality.
Vangie Felipe: After our Rumble training, Mickey had a job waiting for him!! He is currently employed as a Resident Manager at the Ma’alaea Yacht Marina, a condominium complex.
If you get over to Maui and you want to take a R.I.P.P.E.D. class, visit one of these locations:
Maui Powerhouse Gym in Kihei, HI – $5 drop-in fee/class
UH Maui College – (Multi-Purpose Room) Registration required – try your first class for free
Mickey also teaches at the Maui Family YMCA
Do you have a story to share? Email us at RippedFamily@gmail.com. We want to hear stories from first-timers, veterans, and everyone in between. If you have experienced a transformation, or witnessed one within our R.I.P.P.E.D. family, we want to share it with our ‘Ohana!