Meeting ‘POP’ Sensation Cassey Ho

Six months ago, I met Cassey Ho–the YouTube fitness sensation and Pop Pilates instructor! (For those of you that don’t know, Cassey is (now) a 28-year-old social media fitness entrepreneur from San Francisco Bay Area, now residing in Los Angeles, and runs a fitness channel under the name Blogilates).

It was by chance, really, that I happened to check an email account I don’t frequently log into and noticed an ad saying the would be in San Jose for a book signing at 24 Hour Fitness on Parkmoor Avenue! I quickly printed out the free tickets and braced myself to meet her. What do I wear? Would she even care? I don’t even have a book! Maybe she won’t notice? Even as I pondered on these questions before our expected encounter, I clearly didn’t answer them well, as I soon would realize.

Dragging my mom to her car the following day, myself and my mom headed out to meet Cassey. Huh, no line outside of the gym. That’s a good sign.

I walked inside 24 Hour Fitness. It still seemed pretty empty…and pretty silent. What happened to the elevator music? I followed the entrance path and saw a booth selling her book, Hot Body Year Round. But as soon as I saw masses of girls leaving the dance room, I realized that I did not have seconds to spare.

I made my way past the heavy doors, into the dance room, to the very back of the line. As I stood observing the environment, I was quickly overwhelmed with embarrassment: here I was, wearing a very (un)classy outfit of yoga pants, graphic tee, and flip-flops, and there everyone else was, sporting colorful blends of Nike gear. Great. I don’t even look the part. I had a whole day to pick an outfit; I figured that since she had a Pilates class in the morning, flip-flops would work–but no. To top that, I didn’t even have her book. I didn’t have a her book, and I was at a book signing event. Way to go, Kim.

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This wasn’t even the entire line!

I waited a little over two hours for less than two minutes with Casey. The “meeting”–encounter, more like it–was brief and went like so: hand my phone to the photographer dude (I feel bad for not even knowing his name since), tell her my name to sign an autograph, and strike a pose for the camera!

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Seriously, braids?! C’mon Kim…

Cassey didn’t seem to even mind that I didn’t have a book. In fact, she seemed to have it all prepared for unprepared people like myself. She signed “Kim, train insane!” on a cute, decorated card for me to take home as a souvenir.

Being the crazy person I am, I asked Cassey to do her infamous fire-hydrant pose. I figured, based on her YouTube persona, that she would be totally into it! I noticed her awing over other pose requests, and I wanted to impress her as well. But once again, I failed to do so. The moment those words left my mouth, I felt a pinging sense of regret because though she tried to hide her cringe, her reaction left me dejected. “Ummm…you probably shouldn’t post that then.” I could almost hear the “Oh, hell no” behind her eyes as she knelt into position.

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Little did she know, the photos didn’t turn out as awkward as she might’ve thought. (Even my mom thought it was cute.)

She was a good sport, and that’s something I’ll continue to appreciate. Considering she had just finished an hour-long (or maybe two?) Pilates class and had been standing for over two hours, I was pretty impressed (albeit slightly disappointed, like any fan might be, by her effete enthusiasm). But I didn’t even flip over her faked smile. She still tried, and that goes a long way!

Overall, it was a cool experience. I even felt motivated to work out… but that euphoria quickly depleted after 20 minutes, haha. I really admire Cassey, especially for her story of transitioning from to fitness and nutrition after a long journey towards medicine, and wish her all the best!

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