Rachel Elizabeth Murray was born in December of 1983 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the first child of Stephen Murray, an army surgeon and recreational triathlete, and Karen Murray, a second grade teacher and homemaker.
Her roots never sank down deep into one place or pursuit, since Dr. Murray’s military career moved the family seven times before Rachel was a teenager. Instead, she learned through her varied experiences to adapt to change easily, and developed a diverse athletic skill set. Dr. Murray, a lifelong athlete, and Rachel’s grandmother Mary Ellen, a swimmer who has earned gold medals in the Senior Olympics, began kindling in her a love of athletics and competition from a young age.
In the beginning, Rachel learned to swim before she learned to walk. A childhood love of horses then turned into riding and horsemanship lessons. While living in Germany, she learned to ski in the Alps; in San Francisco, she participated in Presidio Youth Baseball and earned blue ribbons in swim team. Soccer, basketball, track, and varsity cheer leading occupied her school days, and she spent winters snowboarding in the mountains surrounding Spokane, Washington, where the Murray family settled permanently in 1997.
Following high school, Rachel attended Washington State University. She pursued a degree in communications while staying active with intramural sports. Experiences in cliff and bridge-jumping, rock climbing, and wakeboarding fed her always-adventurous spirit.
Unexpectedly, her college experience became a time of personal growth in the face of tragedy and hardship: In the summer of her junior year, she was raped. When her anger and shame became desperation and self-destruction, she turned to her faith, her family, and fitness for healing.
In Rachel’s own words, “I put on my running shoes and just went. I started running without a goal at first. I sprinted up the biggest hills I could find to find strength, accomplishment, and momentary confidence.”
This therapeutic exercise became her solace and retreat in the months following the incident. After a time, Rachel shared her pursuits with a friend, who was a personal trainer and sports nutritionist. He exposed her to clean eating, safe and effective weight training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). She was hooked:
“I saw incredible changes in my body almost immediately from the sudden lifestyle change, and I felt amazing. I can literally still feel how happy and full I felt when all this was transpiring.”
Rachel’s growing confidence and energy was contagious; she began pouring into friends and acquaintances while volunteering with campus Bible studies and as a YoungLife leader. She rarely missed an opportunity to hit the gym, and constantly sought to inspire others to improve their lifestyles through fitness.
“I became inspired by the glossy covers of lean-bodied fitness models. I wanted to be able to inspire others like those women were inspiring me,” she said.
For the first time since being assaulted, she felt the confidence to dream of a career built on helping men and women experience the changes she had experienced through fitness.
Upon graduating from Washington State, Rachel set out to pursue the passion she had discovered in her final years in college. In an astonishingly short amount of time, she became a certified personal trainer, certified sports nutritionist and coach, physique athlete and fitness model. She piled on certifications, earned trophies, landed a cover and numerous spreads in top fitness magazines, and starred in a fitness DVD for Reebok with Gaiam, continuing to challenge herself as she challenged others.
“I love people. All people,” Rachel said. “I strive to always see God in them—the art and true beauty in humanity—even when they fail to see it themselves.”
Rachel thrives on motivating others toward holistic fitness and healthy lifestyle habits. She describes herself as a tough but compassionate trainer, stressing the importance of diligence, discipline, and habit forming to create real lifestyle change.
“My clients know I care,” she says, “but they also know they won’t get off easy.”
In 2011, Rachel launched Cause Fitness, a brand and foundation that seeks to affect change in global perceptions of health, fitness and nutrition, and equips people worldwide to realize that goal through education and training.
Rachel’s goal is to gain worldwide recognition for Cause Fitness, becoming a global ambassador for holistic health, fitness, and nutrition education, as well as positive self-image, and healthy body confidence. She constantly pursues her own education and recertification. In the future, she hopes to continue performing (acting or otherwise), publish a book, host a television show, start a women’s ministry, and continue to motivate people toward healthy living and positive self-image.
In pursuit of these goals, Rachel relocated from Seattle, Washington to Los Angeles, California, in the Summer of 2012. She currently trains and coaches clients in Hollywood (and online); leads her ‘Un-Bootcamp’, an athletic and metabolic conditioning class for fat-loss; takes acting and improv classes; works as a sports and lifestyle model/actress represented by Wilhelmina, NY, now exclusively Sports & Lifestyle Unlimited in LA; leads a women’s bible study; and enjoys involvement in her church, singing, and any excuse to escape to the beach.
2017 Update: In April 2016, Rachel led the first Cause Fitness Retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand, plans to continue leading annual wellness retreats to teach her “fitness is more than physical” philosophies as God leads. In January 2017, Rachel relocated from Hollywood to North Redondo Beach where she faithfully publishes a weekly “life-coaching meets ministry” video-blog series called, “Real Talk With Rach”; continues to work as a commercial actress and athlete; coaches clients in-person and online; and serves on her church prayer team. In June 2017 she relaunched the weekly donation-based Un-Bootcamp class at Hermosa Beach; and started a women’s ministry and beach bible study called, She Kneels. Her surrendered vision for her future includes meeting and marrying her future husband and starting a family; traveling world-wide for mission and outreach; achieving international brand influence and community to #getfitgiveback and teach women how to cultivate fitness in every aspect of life; and daily, intentionally, living to share the love of Jesus Christ by example.