Sponsored Athletes

At Massage & Healthy Living, we work with a variety of athletes involved in: triathlons, marathons, cross-country, mountain-climbing, crossfit, powerlifting, strongman and more! For these hard-working individuals who need regular massage, it can get expensive to come every month so, we came up with a way to get them the care they need to recover faster to keep them performing at a higher level. If you are an athlete (and local to us) who wants to align with our vision, who wants to represent our company to the hundreds of dedicated people striving to stay healthy, then fill out our application below. Please note: Only local athletes in the Triangle (Cary, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Holly Springs, Apex, Morrisville will be considered). To be considered athletes should have a strong social media presence with at least 2 accounts listed below.

We are passionate about leading a happy balanced healthy life, and to work with us, you should too. If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you! Both men and women may apply. Good luck!

Thank you for your interest in becoming part of the MHL Athlete Family. We will be in contact with you within seven business days with a response to your application. Applications will be evaluated against the limited number of spots available.

In health,

Massage & Healthy Living

ikenstein strongman

Isaac Smith, aka “IKENSTEIN”

Born and raised in North Carolina, Isaac attended NC State University where he received a B.S. in Sport Management and a minor in Sports Science.

An aspiring strength & conditioning coach, his love for lifting weights and competing led him to powerlifting in January 2016. After a year, Isaac found a newfound love in strongman and competed in his first show in May, 2017 where he won the novice <200lb class.

He would go on to compete in his first open <200lb show in July, where he would take 1st, as well and qualify for Strongman Corporation Nationals in Las Vegas.

Following Nationals in November, Isaac had the opportunity to compete in Official Strongman Game’s World’s Strongest Man competition in December, where he would place 16th in the world among the <90kg competitors. He would then go on to place 11th in the <231 division at the StrongMan World Championship.

Isaac can be found on Instagram: @ikenstein, Twitter: @ikenstein_, and Facebook: Isaac Smith

Izzy LV2017

Isadora Cerullo, aka “Izzy”

Born in New Jersey to Brazilian parents, Izzy later moved to Cary with her family and graduated from Enloe High School. She went on to graduate from Columbia University in New York, with a major in Biology and a minor in Human Rights, and a newfound love for rugby. Instead of continuing on to medical school, she took a leap of faith and moved to Brazil in 2014 to try out for the women’s national rugby team.

After integrating into the Olympic rugby program and dedicating herself full-time to rugby, Izzy has participated in several tournaments on the World Rugby World Series, the 2015 Toronto Pan-American Games (bronze medalist), two South American Championships (1st place, 13th Brazilian title), and the Rio2016 Olympic Games.

When she isn’t on the rugby pitch or in the gym, Izzy likes to explore São Paulo’s rich cultural scene, cook new things with her partner, read, and play with her two cats.

Izzy comes back to North Carolina every year to recharge her batteries, visit her family, and sink into a routine of self-care to help balance the demands of being an international high performance athlete.
Izzy can be found on Instagram: @izzycerullo and Facebook: Izzy Cerullo.

Suzy_USGrappling - photo by CAM photography

Suzy Palmisciano

Suzy is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete originally from the UK and now resides in Chapel Hill, NC.
With many years of Jiu Jitsu under her belt, she dedicated most of 2017 competing. Training out of Chapel Hill Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Suzy represents Team Royce Gracie along side an impressive number of other World Champions and medalists.

Most notably, in 2017 Suzy competed at the Masters World Championships in Las Vegas and came 3rd in her weight division at 118lbs. Suzy also competed in the IBJJF Atlanta Open and Pan Ams.

Suzy was recently promoted to purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and is looking forward to an exciting year competing at this new rank.

Suzy can be found on Instagram @Rangerupsooz and on Twitter @Jiujitsuze.


Rob Rykowski

Originally from Los Angeles, Rob lived in Boston for 10 years where he owned a gym and competed in CrossFit, then moved to North Carolina in 2017 for the great weather and friendly people.

Rob is the owner of NC Strength Gym a certified USA Powerlifting Regional Training Center in Cary, NC. As a powerlifting coach, state referee, and strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), Rob programs and coaches athletes for high level competition and competes himself at the national level. In 2017 he competed in, USAPL Raw Nationals, USAPL MA Winter Classic, USAPL Newport Open, USAPL MA Winter Classic 2017. This year Rob is training to compete in the USAPL Battle On the Border in March.

When Rob isn’t lifting or coaching, he is probably on his mountain bike or climbing a rock wall, enjoying the outdoors.

Rob can be found on Instagram @ncstrengthgym or @rob_ncstrength and Facebook @ncstrengthgym.


Trevor Smith

A native of Wisconsin, Trevor came to North Carolina to pursue his education at Campbell University. During the CrossFit Open in 2015, Trevor got his first taste of CrossFit at CrossFit 007 in Lillington, NC.

In 2017 he competed in, War of the Wods, The CrossFit Open, FitCon, 12 WOD’s of Christmas.

Trevor is a passionate coach with a strong work ethic who contributes his energy and enthusiasm to every class he leads. He brings his whole heart to the gym every day while inspiring athletes to “Be the Best You,” with his “Can Do” and “Never Quit” attitude. With his aspirations to become a regional athlete at the forefront of his mind, Trevor is often found spending long hours at CrossFit Pathway chasing down his dreams.

Aside from coaching, Trevor enjoys spending time with his friends and family.

Trevor can be found on Instagram: @RedBrdFan3 and Facebook: @TrainYourPath

Heather Connor

Heather is 26 years old from Holden Beach, NC. She competes in the 47kg class with USA Powerlifting and currently holds the American records in the Squat, Deadlift and Total. In 2017 she won the IPF world championships where she competed in Minsk, Belarus. She currently has the Deadlift World Record in the 47kg class which is recorded at 387lbs, but then went to break it unofficially March 3, 2018 at the Arnold sports classic with a 4x body-weight deadlift of 402 lbs, making her the first female in the history of the IPF and USAPL to pull 4x the body-weight while also becoming the pound for pound strongest female in the IPF.
Current best lifts:
  • Squat 314 lb
  • Bench 159 lb
  • Deadlift 402 lb
“I am an online strength & conditioning coach with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science from UNCW and coach athletes all over the globe!”
Heather can be reached online on Instagram @stayfit_with_heather, Twitter @ hconnorbabyy, Snapchat @Connorbabyy

dyannacomp.JPGDyanna Hough

An almost 36 year old mother of two, wife, and a hairstylist going on 15 years, Dyanna was born in Pennsylvania but spent most of her life in the Raleigh-Durham area.
She’s never been much of an athlete or into fitness until 5 years ago when she discovered CrossFit. Since joining Crossfit Zeal about a year and half ago, she fell in love with resistance training and weightlifting. CF Zeal has a strong emphasis on powerlifting, not just CrossFit. This peaked her interest in powerlifting and last August, she competed in her first powerlifting meet through USPA placing an impressive second in the 60k weight class and first for a 60k submaster class! This past January, she participated in USPA’s Winter Ruckus in Raleigh, where she took home 1st place overall in the “sub master” category. Her next meet is in August.

Instagram: @Blowdryers2backsquats
Snapchat: @dyannahough


Daniel Branch

Daniel was born and raised in Raleigh, NC. He holds an Associates from Wake Tech in Automotive Technology.
In 2008 he found Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and was immediately hooked! In 2011 he took his first amateur MMA fight and in 9 amateur fights he turned Pro in 2014. Towards the end of 2014 Daniel tore his ACL during training and was forced to take 2 years off to undergo physical therapy. He made his come back in 2016 and in his first first Daniel finished the fight in 30 seconds into the first round! His last MMA fight was at Ring of Combat in Atlantic City New Jersey in September 2016.
Daniel a purple belt, currently trains BJJ under Brandon Garner at Gracie Raleigh where he also coaches an MMA class. Daniel competes & referees for US Grappling. Between IBJJF and US Grappling tournaments he averages around 10 competitions a year. His main goal now is to become a Master world champion by competing for the IBJJF this year in August. Training 4-5 times a week with added strength and conditioning Daniel never ceases an opportunity to better himself.
YouTube promo video
Instagram: @theexecutivemma


Adli “Sunshine” Edwards

A professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter born in Ohio, Adli moved to North Carolina for the sunny southern climate. After beginning his martial arts journey at a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy, Adli joined his high school wrestling team and ended up falling in love with the competitive culture. Eventually becoming an NCAA All American for Ashland University where he also acquired a postgraduate degree in Applied Exercise Science.

Adli made a seamless transition to Mixed Martial Arts, quickly becoming the #1 ranked amateur fighter in the state of Ohio, collecting title belts along the way. Soon after relocating to North Carolina, “Sunshine” dominated his professional debut and has been steadily climbing the regional professional rankings. Adli has ambitions of continuing to develop as a martial artist and testing his skills against the best in the world. “Sunshine” recently won a March bout in Hollywood, Florida by first round submission and looks to fight frequently the rest of 2018.

When Adli is not doing his own training, or running “daddy daycare” for his two little girls, he is at the gym training others. He runs a wrestling program at Forged Fitness in Cary where he shares the sport that gave him so much. As a CSCS, certified strength and conditioning coach, Adli helps people realize their athletic potential. He especially enjoys working with local combat athletes.

Facebook: @adlisunshineedwards
Instagram: @adliedwards


Alicia Fabry

Alicia is a french soloist ballerina with Carolina Ballet. She was born in Charleston, SC but grew up in France. After completing high school in In France, she moved to London to pursue an intense ballet training with English National Ballet School. She then moved to Chicago were she became a member of the Ballet Chicago Studio Company and had the great opportunity to dance many leading roles in Balanchine ballets.

In 2006, she was offered a corps de ballet contract with Carolina Ballet where she was promoted to Soloist in 2010. She has originated many roles and danced the lead parts in great ballets such as The Nutcracker, Dracula, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Bolero etc…
Ballet has been a long lived passion for her and making it her every day job has been a dream come true.

Throughout her many different performances and rehearsals, she has suffered many small and big injuries. Being part of the Massage and Healthy Living family makes her so excited as maintenance and body care is vital to being able to be on stage.

Instagram: @alifab2009
Facebook: Alicia Fabry