Cassandra Stouder's love of physical fitness has its roots in her cultural heritage.
"I am a Native American, half Navajo and half Seminole Indian," she said. "Fitness and a healthy lifestyle is something that was instilled in me from a young age."
She remembers that as child her uncle, who played a role in her upbringing, constantly urged her to build a strong work ethic.
"He pushed me, whether it was working on my grandmother's ranch, cutting firewood, herding sheep or doing the traditional 4 a.m. ‘run till the sun comes up'," she said. "I've learned over the years that nothing comes easy and ‘hard' is always better -- ‘easy' doesn't work."
That philosophy, she said, is "the key to a balanced healthy life."
Stouder, 23, has turned her affinity for physical fitness into a profession. She now works as both a group and individual fitness trainer, teaching boot camp classes at the Payson Athletic Club.
"My goal is to teach and motivate others to get after it in their lives and live to the fullest," she said.
Her classes and methods, however, are not for the faint of heart.
"My techniques are to the point, sweat dripping, fun and rewarding," she said.
Longtime PHS sports fans will remember Stouder (McNac) as a member of Lady Longhorn track and cross-country teams. Following her junior year at PHS, she transferred to Joseph City.