Concorde Blog - Mar 2, 2020
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Aurora Dental Hygiene grad's commitment to fitness lands her in global television arena
If you're a sports or fitness enthusiast (or even if you're just a fan of reality tv competitions), you may have seen Concorde - Aurora Dental Hygiene alumna, Christina Luna, on the tube recently.
A commitment to an intense weight training and exercise schedule prompted Christina to answer Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's call for competitors on his new athletic reality show on NBC called "The Titan Games" - and she was picked to be one of only 64 contestants out of over 10,000 auditioners!
TV becomes a reality
"I didn't even consider myself an athlete until recently," Christina said. "I was in the military, but prior to that, I did nothing fitness-related. I never took training seriously until the last few years."
Seriously, indeed. This single mom-of-two now works out four to five times per week pursuing her regimen of functional, high energy interval training and weight lifting. (Because we know you're curious, she regularly benches 140 lbs. and pushes up to 250 lbs. on squats!)
Christina admits she's no super-athlete - but her commitment to fitness was good enough to qualify her for "The Titan Games'" focus on everyday men and women going head-to-head in feats of physical prowess to test their limits.
"I hope my participation in this competition can portray how determined I am," Christina said. "If I can do it, I truly believe anyone can do it - if they want it. I'm so excited to be a part of it!"
No spoilers, here, though. You'll have to catch the 10-episode series at NBC's "The Titan Games" seriesÂ to see whether Christina reaches Mount Olympus and wins!
The climb to "stardom"
Meanwhile, we can tell you about Christina's wins in her off-screen life.
Growing up in a modest home in West Virginia, Christina began her adult journey in the Air Force to help pay for college. While active duty in the service, she earned her associate degree in dental assisting from Air University. She later transferred to the Air National Guard and enrolled in school full-time at Eastern Washington University, earning her bachelor's degree in exercise science.
Eventually, Christina had relocated to Colorado and found herself a divorced, single mother of two daughters in diapers.
"I struggled a lot during those days," she remembered. "A few times I wondered if I was going to make it."
She paid the bills by teaching dental assistant classes at a local college and just staying focused. But in the back of her mind, there was always her quiet childhood dream of becoming a dental hygienist - and a growing curiosity about working out to lose the extra weight she had gained during her second pregnancy.
It all came together when Christina discovered Concorde's Dental Hygiene program in Aurora, Colorado. A focus on oral and overall health in our career training program - combined with her newfound interest in exercise as "therapy" for the hard times - pushed Christina forward.
"I was ready to get on with my life, so Concorde's accelerated training suited me. I didn't want to go to college for four more years, and I was more inclined toward an intimate learning experience with smaller class sizes. I knew this was the way to get me to the job market faster. I'm also a hands-on learner, so the program's combination of textbook and clinical education was a fit."
Christina honed her hygiene skills in the program (and her body in the gym) and says she was veritably "job dating" after graduating in 2017.
"There were so many career opportunities - I was getting job offers from everywhere I interviewed," she smiled. "But I turned everything down until I found the right one, and I'm happily now a part of the Dental Hygiene team at Cheyenne Mountain Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics!"
Thriving - not just surviving
So, we've come full circle. The once non-athletic single young woman from humble beginnings in West Virginia is now a mom of two pre-teens, a successful dental hygiene professional and a television celebrity. How does that journey look to Christina from here?
"You don't think of dental professionals as needing to maintain health, but dental health is an important part of full-body health," she pointed out. "Oral health is related to many other aspects of well-being. It's amazing how my path combined two passions that I never knew would be so related so I couldn't have picked a better career."
"And I know staying fit and working out will lessen the physical toll of my job so I can avoid breaking my body and stay strong to spend years in the field. I work out so I can help YOU! Now I'm just the 'goofy' girl at the dentist's office who loves cleaning your teeth and teaching you about periodontal disease," she laughed. "I might be 34, but I still know how to have fun like a kid. I love making my patients laugh so they can relax and forget any fears of a dental visit."
You can join Christina's growing fan base resulting from her appearance on "The Titan Games" by going to social media!