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Fitness Instructors

(830) 796-9339

Michael A. Rivera

Fitness Director

Michael Rivera is the Fitness Director at Rancho Cortez in Bandera, TX as well as one of the trainers of the fitness camps. Michael has an obvious passion for fitness and believes in it 100%. His positive energy, commitment to his clients, and a constant excitement in helping others, are the fuel that he uses to find success. Although he thrives on the physical aspects of health and fitness, he also gears his training techniques towards the mental reinforcement of a healthy mind. Through the proper lifestyle choices and appropriate nutrition planning he knows that anyone is capable of reaching their own health and fitness goals. He believes that in maintaining focus and a constant supply of positivity he can help you achieve the goals that you have set for your life and your future in health and fitness.

Michael is a member of the International Fitness Association and is a certified Aerobics Instructor & Personal Trainer. As well as studying through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Through his life he has studied at the University of North Texas, where he was a personal trainer at the University Recreational Center for two years. Michael currently studies Business/Kinesiology online through University of Phoenix where his main focuses are on Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrition, Exercise Mechanics, and Exercise Psychology. He has also trained Mixed Martial Arts and Karate for most of his life, becoming a teacher in 2006. His extensive background in team sports mixed with his experience and education allows him the ability to relate to exercise groups and to develop fitness programs to fit any desirable goals. Weight loss, Cardiovascular Endurance, Overall Mental and Physical Fitness, etc.


  • I.F.A. & Aerobics Instructor & Personal Trainer
  • Certified Mixed Martial Arts Instructor 2006- Present
  • American Red Cross Certified First Aid, CPR, AED

Ana Macnak


I am a registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed in Texas. My passion is for what I call ‘REAL foods nutrition’, nutrition education that inspires and empowers individuals to create meals out of single-ingredient foods to nourish their bodies and treat or prevent chronic health conditions. Real food is any food that can easily be recognized as once either growing in nature or at one point in time had a mother.

I obtained my Bachelors of Science in nutrition at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. Bastyr has a natural health focus, blending evidence-based conventional medicine with evidence-based and traditional-based naturopathic medicine. I completed a 10-month dietetic internship at Texas State University in San Marcos, after which I took residence in Lakehills, Texas and began my dietetics career.

For my first year of my career I worked at University Hospital, providing acute-care assessments and medical nutrition therapy for San Antonio’s trauma, transplant, cardiac, and underserved populations. After one year, I chose my preferred specialty, adult weight management, and obtained a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management from the Commission of Dietetic Registration.

For the last three years I have been working as the bariatric program dietitian with CHRISTUS Weight Loss Institute. Working with clients on reaching and maintaining a healthy body size can be challenging however also deeply rewarding. In helping individuals to reach their goals, I wear many hats. At times I’m an education, other times a counselor, occasionally an enforcer, and always a cheerleader!

When I’m not working I am active in my professional organization as the current president of South Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, quilting with the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild, or caring for my animals. Currently I care for pygmy goats, chickens, quail, dogs, cats and rabbits.

I look forward to an opportunity to help Rancho Cortez fitness program guests in not only achieving their goals while at the ranch, but also in launching them in the direction of sustainably healthy lifestyle when they return to their homes. Thank you for considering my proposal!

Elisa Greene

Personal Trainer / Hikes / Nutrition

Hi! My name is Elisa and I have a passion for fitness!

My love for the healthy lifestyle began 10 years ago and has grown so much that I decided to earn my personal trainer and sports nutrition certifications. Fitness and health has changed my life in so many positive ways that I want to help others achieve the same.

I am very excited to be working with you to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. I am here to motivate you, encourage you and give you helpful tools to take home to continue your fitness journey and success!

Being healthy is a lifestyle! Let me help you to set goals while at Rancho Cortez toward a new you!

Gilbert Rivera

Personal Trainer / Hikes / HIIT / Cardio / Interval Training

Gilbert Rivera is brother to Michael Rivera, Fitness Director at Rancho Cortez. Gilbert played many different sports through school years and after, and maintains an active lifestyle. He has personally trained many people through varied avenues of exercise physiology.

His experience involves coordinating different forms of exercises for all different age groups, from kids to seniors. Gilbert’s philosophy is “Being healthy is not just “working out”, it's a lifestyle”. His main objective is to help you set goals, then create habits that will help to achieve and maintain those goals. He likes to keep in contact with past guests to help support their efforts to stay healthy.

KD Cortez

Hikes / Zumba / Practice Sessions / Horse Yoga / Water Aerobics

Hi! My name is KD Cortez and my two passions in life are horses and fitness. I am currently a student at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio obtaining my certificate as a personal trainer.

I love working with guests on horseback; please let me know if you’d like a trail ride, a riding lesson in the arena, or an exercise class on horseback. I also love to hike, to help guests with their Zumba moves, or teaching a class in the indoor pool. And if you’d like to start, or continue a running/jogging program I’ll be able to help you out. Just let me know.

Cheryl Alexander

Yoga Instructor

Cheryl teaches a sequence of poses that invigorates the immune system and triggers homeostasis: the tendency of the body to self-heal.

Her training includes certification from the East West School of Unity in upstate NY: a school that incorporates dance, ritual, meditation, chant, and healing with traditional yoga.

Cheryl studied BreathPlay® with corporate and professional athletic trainer Ian Jackson (trainer for the “7-11 Bicycle Race Team”) on the power of coordinating the in and out-breaths with the stride. By altering the breath-count practitioners learn how to use breathing as a way to energetically “shift gears” for improved stamina and performance.

She has also studied Expressive Arts with the International School of Integrative Studies in Tucson, AZ and has designed an art-based yoga training in which students create an art piece (sculpture, poetry, visual art) for each of the 7 Chakras.

Cheryl hopes that her students leave the yoga studio inspired to explore the feelings inside their bodies; to find some open space, even within discomfort; and to let that discovery create a skillful life stance: Steady and Pleasurable.

Definition of Yoga, from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: “Posture becomes asana when practiced with steadiness and pleasure in perfect balance”.

Eleanor Jenschke


Eleanor Jenschke owns and operates Root Pilates. Eleanor lives in Bandera with her husband for the last 7 years and has been teaching Pilates for over 13 years. Certified in mat and equipment based Pilates at the "Kelly Kane School of Core Integration" in New York, New York," Eleanor's training emphasized proper form and working harder, not more. Since her certification, Eleanor has received training in the Alexander technique, Fletcher Pilates, the Franklin Method and Pre/Postnatal Pilates.

Pat Lebeda

Self-Healing Hypnosis

How your mind works determines literally everything about your life. Absolutely everything is a perception that can be changed. Nothing can be achieved without a thought. Your mind determines what and how you eat, how you react to all situations, what you believe you are capable of and what your limitations are.

My name is Patricia Labeda. I am retired from law enforcement in Kerrville, TX. As a hypnotist I am certified in pediatrics, emergency and forensic hypnosis. At age twenty-nine I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Said to be terminally ill, I sought out an Oncologist who used both traditional and mind-body medicines and modalities. I was a smoker. 2 packs a day. I was also a drinker. Essentially, unwittingly I was killing myself. My Oncologist hypnotized me one time and I have never again smoked a cigarette. He also used hypnosis to help me cope with nausea and depression while undergoing chemo-therapy post-surgery. I am now 74-years-of-age. I remain cancer free and credit God and hypnosis for saving my life.

Once in remission I studied the art of hypnosis and then, being aware of a shortage of nurses, I took a crash course in emergency medicine and worked as a ward paramedic on an Oncology unit in a hospital for four years. I then went on to work in child-development; mental health and finally law enforcement. Anyone can be hypnotized... and everyone has been at one time or another. For those who believe they haven't, but would like to know the wonderful relaxing experience that is hypnosis, I invite you to give me a call for an appointment. The continued use of self-hypnosis prolonged my life, let me help you do the same. In each session instructions are also given for self-hypnosis to help with future problems and/or goals. Self-hypnosis is a means for you to tap into a reservoir of unlimited potential to improve your health; overcome addictive behavior and manage pain.

Irma Nate


Certified Aqua Zumba, Zumba Step, Zumba Gold, Zumba Kids, Strength and Conditioning Coach

“We are fearfully and wonderfully made! God created our bodies to be physically fit and healthy. I look forward to partnering with you to successfully reach your fitness goals.” - Irma Nate

Tricia Greene

Licensed Counselor

Sometimes when we feel the weakest, we are on the verge of growing stronger. Just as physical strength is gained by focus, exertion, consistency and patience; emotional strength develops as we courageously face the challenges of life by taking responsibility for our actions, gaining insight into our strengths and discovering our passions.

Psychology and Health, Physical Education, & Recreation were my majors at Southern College. I found my passion in helping people live life to the fullest by providing support, guidance, and hope. Therefore, I continued my education earning an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Abilene Christian University in 1996.

My career choices often involved a combination of recreation and non-traditional counseling working as a supervisor in the non-profit world. However, my heart continued to gravitate to a more focused counseling endeavor. Hence, finalizing an internship in 2013, I am a now a licensed counselor and work with the Laurel Ridge Treatment Center in San Antonio.

Just as a wise body builder will illicit the assistance of a spotter in order to safely and effectively grow stronger physically; seeking the assistance of a counselor to help lift the burden during life’s overwhelmingly heavy emotional challenges can promote healing and strength during the tough circumstances of life. As a counselor, I am committed to being an objective, compassionate teammate in order to help you find and hone your strengths.

Looking forward to working with you as a guest of Rancho Cortez Fitness Program.