your dirigo team
Our trainers all have their own deep connection to personal wellness. They're here to help you because they've been where you are
Brian & His Story
My name is Brian Ligotti and my super power is the ability to connect with people and help them to feel supported. I chose this as a profession because I struggled with my weight for years. I tried every type of diet, quick fix, and TV promise out there. In my desperation to lose the weight, I was taken advantage of and wasted a ton of money. What really help me to create lasting change in myself was staying focused, having a clear reason for what I was doing, and being consistent with small changes.
Fitness allowed me to find the piece of myself that could face anything and push through discomfort. It showed me that there is nothing more important than my health and the people around me benefit the most when I’m taking care of me. I spent most of my life addicted to one thing or another. First food, then drugs, then food again. I was never really comfortable in my own skin and I don’t want anyone to live with a feeling of hopelessness.
Laura & Her Story
Laura Schulz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Strategic Intervention Life Coach who believes that ALL people have unlimited potential to live fulfilled lives of abundant joy and radiant health. Her mission is to educate and empower others to take control of their lives, starting with their health. She believes your body has the innate ability to heal if you allow it to by fueling it with real, nourishing food.
Clean eating may seem daunting, but it can be much easier than you think! Laura consults current nutritional research and provides her clients with simple and practical tips, tools, and guidance to prioritize health and live well. No tricks or quick fixes...just real food for real health.
Laura offers a variety of services including real food education, food intolerance testing, personalized meal-planning, grocery store tours, cooking tutorials, and more. She also teaches 5-week RESTART Program courses and gives free "Journey to Real Food" presentations in the Greater Portland area.
Mitch & His Story
My name is Mitch and I have been with Dirigo Fitness since the fall of 2016 serving as a strength and conditioning coach. I spent 1 year at the University of New England before transferring to the University of Southern Maine to finish my undergraduate degree in exercise science. Very soon after graduating, I also completed my certified strength and conditioning coach certification through the national strength and conditioning association.
Throughout college, I gained valuable experience in the field of strength and conditioning through local internships and my four years as a player for the University of Southern Maine men’s basketball team. My passion for fitness blossomed through my love for basketball and the preparation it took to play at the college level. It is the mental and physical toughness of fitness that led me into this field. I believe that with the right guidance, anyone can overcome the obstacles in their way holding them back from a healthy lifestyle.
Evan & his story
My name is Evan Amell and I recently graduated with my Bachelor of Science from the University of Maine at Orono in Exercise Science with a Minor in Psychology. My superpower is the ability to build relationships with other people based on trust and respect that enables me to bring out my client(s) full potential. I don’t believe in “impossible”. Saying something is “impossible” is just an easy excuse to avoid the hardships that comes with striving towards something great. With a lot of willpower, impossible becomes possible. Whether that be losing weight or gaining muscle, any fitness goal is possible with hard work, dedication, and consistency. I’ve had this mentality for a while because I have an auditory processing disorder which to me felt like a stigma for some time. With my strong will power, I did everything possible to boycott the services I was eligible for as a student with a disability. I wanted to prove to them, my family, and more importantly myself that I didn’t need to be nurtured to be successful. It is the reason why I am the person who I am today. If I took the easy path during those years, I can guarantee you wouldn’t be reading this story today. The more risks and struggles you go through, the more successful you will be. So when you don’t hit your PR (personal record) one day on a lift, don’t run as fast as you want, or you’re not losing the weight you want, just continue to work and never give up. You can do anything- just BELIEVE in yourself- which is what I did!
Kayla & Her Story
My name is Kayla Cavallaro and I want to motivate people to be better every day. I graduated from the University of Maine, Orono, with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and a minor in nutrition. I decided to become a personal fitness trainer after years of struggling with disordered eating patterns and over exercise. The progress that I thought I was making was actually destroying me. When I finally decided to break away from those unhealthy patterns I found a passion for exercise and fitness that gave me a drive to become something bigger and better. From that moment on I knew I wanted to help other people find happiness and confidence through exercise.
I have gained a majority of experience and knowledge as a trainer from my studies of human motion in college, various strength and conditioning internships, and the people who pushed me to work harder and be better every day. I want to show my clients how much of a difference fitness can make if you do it right. I believe that hard work and dedication will bring people healthy results that can last a lifetime.
Danica & Her Story
My name is Danica and my superpower is WORK. I know, this seems like a weird superpower, but I care about everything that I do, so much to a point that it used to be a downfall. Now, I know who I am, and I know that the reason why I can work so hard and put 110% of effort into everything I do is because I care so much about the results that people feel or see, and about how I feel with my work. I have always believed that the result isn’t good enough, there is more to add and there is SUCCESS in hard work.
I’ve played sports throughout middle school and high school and even 2 years at the University of Southern Maine, but never considered myself an athlete. At the end of my first year at USM, I found myself in a huge bout of depression- the only thing I could do to fix this was run. I slowly started realizing the connection between anxiety/mental health and exercise. I decided to change my major, English to exercise science.Things did get better, but also worse. I was more in shape, but mentally I was at rock-bottom. People thought I was happy, but I wasn’t. I pretended for months that I was the happiest person on earth. I found myself in an unhealthy relationship, trying to fill the void, and ended up more depressed and anxious. I was struggling with eating enough food and struggling to even sit through a class. On my most anxious days, exercise would make me feel better. I started working on developing my strength both physically and mentally and stopped running entirely. I started incorporating resistance training in my life and immersed myself in everything about personal training/exercise science.
I am here to help people change their mindset from who they think they are, to what they know they are capable of.