Virtual Reality Fitness App Supernatural Reveals First-Ever Guest Coach Workout

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For 365 days, Chesney Mariani has exercised in exotic landscapes around the world — without ever leaving home.

Mariani uses the immersive, virtual reality fitness service Supernatural. Available on the Oculus Quest VR headset, the on-demand workouts incorporate choreography, high-intensity movements and popular music set in beautiful destinations.

"I have been heavy my entire life and I have never been able to stick to any type of exercise routine," Mariani, 39, tells PEOPLE. "I've had personal trainers and gym memberships I've never used. This is the only thing that has stuck. It's made a huge difference in my life."

A professional gamer from Columbus, Ohio, Mariani tried her first Supernatural workout on August 20, 2020.

"It was a 20-minute workout and it probably took me 40 minutes to an hour. Being so out of shape, I had to stop and sit after every single song," she recalls. "But I felt amazing afterward. I felt like I could do anything."

The next morning she went on the Supernatural Facebook group to share her experience with 16,000 other community members.

"I made a post saying, 'Well, I can barely walk down the stairs this morning, but I'm going to go do another workout!' " At first she was nervous about being judged but quickly realized she had nothing to worry about. "These individuals in the Supernatural Facebook group, they were so welcoming and so warm — I knew it was a place I needed to be."



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Mariani continued to post every day, making connections with other Supernatural members and getting the attention of the coaches, including Lead Coach and Head of Fitness Leanne Pedante.

"Since day 1, I've been so impressed with Chesney's openness, her grit, and her enthusiasm," says Pedante. "As a fitness coach, I too-often see people fall into the trap of the all-or-nothing mindset — they set a goal and then leave no room for learning or adapting, and when they hit a challenge, they give up."

"Chesney did the opposite," Pedante explains. "She set a goal, and when she hit challenges, she shared about them in our community and let others in to help lift her up. She showed herself compassion and she accepted that all journeys include a few bumps."

Pedante says that Mariani's spirit helped lift others in the Supernatural community: "Cheseny shared about herself and her journey with unabashed optimism and joy and honesty," says Pedante. "She quickly became a cheerleader for other members, empathizing with and motivating others when they got discouraged. And as she kept moving on her journey, sharing photos and stories of her transformation, she became a source of inspiration for everyone in there."



One day Mariani posted that she secretly wanted to be a Supernatural coach.

"When we saw her post in the Facebook group that she dreamed of being a Supernatural coach, to help other people see what they were capable of, we knew that she had it," says Pedante. "And we wanted to show her that she didn't just have to dream about becoming a coach — that she was completely capable of doing it."

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In January 2021, Mariani learned the good news. "I felt like I won the lottery!" she says. The company flew her to Los Angeles, where she trained with other coaches before recording her very own workout.

"Once I was in the headset actually going through my workout, the nerves died away. I have never felt so powerful," Mariani says.

"This is something that I never, ever in my entire life thought would happen," Mariani says in a new Youtube video. "I didn't think I belonged in fitness, but I'm wrong."



The Supernatural team was impressed by how quickly she learned to be a coach. "Because Chesney knows first-hand how life-changing Supernatural workouts can be, she was able to speak with total authority and confidence," says Pedante. "You could tell that she truly loved what she was doing and it made the workout feel like it was exploding with joy."

The music she chose for her workout, available August 24, also had a special meaning.

"It's all about confidence and self-love. You know, like, 'I'm a skyscraper, you can try to tear me down but it's not really going to work!' "

And now, Mariani says, "I'm happier than I've ever been. I've built up the stamina, I can do multiple workouts a day. I've lost weight, I've lost inches. I've stopped thinking about myself in a negative way. You have to love yourself. And I love myself. And Supernatural has helped me see that."

To those who want to jumpstart their own fitness, she has this message: "Take it one day at a time. It's a journey. Remember that tomorrow's a new day with new opportunities. You can always change your course if you need to."

She adds: "Every time you pick yourself up and you keep pushing forward, you're winning — no matter what."