ORWIGSBURG — Angela DiCello’s “me time” launches when most of us roll over in bed to catch more shut eye.
Before daybreak, DiCello, a wife and mother of two girls, kicks it into high gear in her home gym. The Orwigsburg personal trainer and fitness teacher is a quarterfinalist vying for the Ms. Health and Fitness 2020 title, an online contest where the next round of fan voting resumes Monday. The competition raises funds for Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors. Allen, a pro football star, owns the organization that supports injured veterans, caregivers and their families.
“Life is never easy and working out and eating healthy are tough. It’s about putting in the time and effort for yourself, whether it’s waking up at 4:10 in the morning, like I do, or eating on the go so you have time for the gym,” she said.
Thousands of active lifestyle models from around the world are featured in the competition, with the grand prize winner gracing the cover of Muscle and Fitness Hers Olympia Edition and garnering $20,000. Sponsored by Magnum Nutraceuticals, the competition also provides participants with promotional opportunities.
“I truly put my heart and soul into leading a healthy lifestyle and spreading the joy of fitness to others. I’m so lucky to wake up every day and go to not only one, but two jobs that I love,” DiCello, 39, said.
She is an Athletics and Fitness Association of America certified personal trainer and has worked in the field for 16 years, along with 15 years as a health and physical education teacher at Kutztown High School. She’s also a brand ambassador for a new athleisure/lifestyle brand called Savvi. Although she’s been dedicated to a fitness regimen, this was the first competition she’s ever entered.
Her schedule is precise.
“I wake up every morning at 4:10, head downstairs to get in ‘me time’ (a hardcore workout for an hour). Clients then come to the house from 5:30 to 6:30 to train; run upstairs, get changed and out the door for school by 6:50. Arrive at school and do what I do best, spread the joy of fitness!”
Upon returning home, there are more intense workouts with clients, getting kids ready for their soccer practice, catching up with her husband, dinner, bath time, homework and family time, she said.
Angela and her husband, Byron, have two daughters, Brylee, 8, and McKenna, 6. She said she is thankful for her family’s support during training. It was her daughters who took some of her first competition photos with her cellphone, she said. No Photoshop editing tool was ever used on any of her photographs. A friend, Paul Ciccone, took additional photos and produced a video for DiCello’s voting site for the competition and fundraiser.
“It couldn’t go to a better cause,” she said Saturday, recognizing a military service member in her family. Her husband’s cousin, Ricky Reber, had served abroad and was killed in action in Afghanistan. Reber’s photo is displayed just a few steps from her gym.
Voting and donating
Although the voting for DiCello is free at the link: mshealthandfitness.com/2020/angela-dicello, DiCello will also receive one vote for each $1 contribution to Allen’s organization for veterans. Carmelo’s Roman Delight in Orwigsburg will donate a portion of this Friday night’s takeout proceeds from 5 to 8 p.m. to Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors. DiCello is offering a limited gift to those supporting her at Roman Delight, with the first 150 people participating in the take-out event receiving a free T-shirt. More information can be found on her Facebook page. Her one-minute competition video can also be seen on YouTube at youtu.be/rx4isJvdZvo.
Quarterfinal voting at the health and fitness link begins Monday and ends Sept. 10. Semifinal voting begins Sept. 14 and ends Sept. 24, while final voting starts Sept. 28 and concludes Oct. 8, when the Ms. Health and Fitness will be determined. Supporters can vote once daily.
If she were to win the $20,000 prize, DiCello said she would purchase new workout equipment to help her and her clients, and she would continue her education by pursuing a nutrition certification.
DiCello grew up in Saint Clair and graduated from Pottsville Area High School in 2000. She was a Tide cheerleader and ran on the track team. She also was a cheerleader at East Stroudsburg University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education, and her master’s degree in sports management.
She started her fitness journey when she was only 12.
“I needed a place to go to feel better mentally and physically. When I found the gym, I felt like I was home. The gym has always been my happy place. Being there helped me to mentally unwind, relieve stress and feel good. Every gym I ever belonged to, I always found people that I made a connection. These connections have turned into lifelong friendships that I will forever cherish.”
It was one of her good friends, Tara Buckley Wheeler, who encouraged her to enter the competition.
“I actually joined the competition two days late because I was having doubts,” DiCello said. After five to six rounds of voting, DiCello was in first place, but said the credit doesn’t just go to her. “It goes to all the people that I have met over the years and friends of those friends.”
Tips that DiCello offers to others working on their health goals: Always have a healthy snack on hand and give 100% when working out; put cellphones away; always keep your workouts different, motivating and challenging. Do what you enjoy and it will help push you to the next level, she said.
“I would recommend others to start with their mind set. Your mind determines your ability to succeed both physically and mentally. The first step is the hardest but once you engage with the intention of moving forward toward your goal, the momentum gets easier. Believe in yourself.”