I love a good story, and we all have one of a kind. I wanted to share mine to explain how I went from a couch potato girl to having a passion for food and changing the way a body performs athletically. This is the beginning of my journey.
I was never very athletic or health conscious as a kid or teen. When I was in high school, I would come home from school famished and eat two Swiss Cake Rolls - every day. I had migraines as a teenager from my diet, which largely consisted of hot dogs. At a very young age I started drinking soda and that was truly the norm. I’m talking several sodas a day. I don’t remember ever drinking water outside of during gym class, mainly because I hated the taste. I played volleyball and track but never took it too seriously - sports were not for me.
In college, my focus was on school rather than my own health, but I began to make small changes. I would on very rare occasions visit the school’s gym for cardio, but I never even considered doing strength training. I had no idea what I was doing or where to even begin. I had the typical college student diet - pizza, ramen, anything I could eat out of a microwave. I did however start cutting soda out of my diet in a meager attempt to be healthy, and began drinking more water or flavored waters. I immediately got migraines from caffeine withdrawals and had to reintroduce soda to slowly wean myself off. At first I was able to cut back to one soda a day, until my body was able to adjust and deal with no soda, but there were some rough days purging the caffeine and sugars.
After graduation, a friend invited me to go to a Yoga Sculpt class at a small yoga studio. After the first class, and sweating more than I ever had in my life, I was instantly hooked. I started going weekly, and working out on my own in my living room using pieces of the workouts that I had memorized. Before long, I decided to become a member at CorePower where I was able to attend classes more regularly. Before long, I decided to pursue instructor training not only to improve my own practice, but also with the hopes of someday teaching. At the time, I had also begun my first corporate position in the energy industry. It wasn’t a job I had ever intended on doing, my going through yoga instructor training was my “reward” to myself.
I began training and getting more confident in my ability to lead a group through sequences, but I was growing more and more frustrated with my inability to do some of the movements - the push ups. There was no way I could do a proper push up from my feet, let alone many from my knees. One of my mentors suggested I join her at her gym for a class, and not knowing what I was getting into I decided to join her. It was a CrossFit gym, and that first grueling workout put me in my place thinking I was in pretty decent shape.. Not even close. Once again, I was hooked. I love a good challenge.
I was attending classes regularly while completing my yoga training and instantly saw the improvements in my own performance and the way my body was changing. The most shocking part was that I was GAINING weight, not losing it. But I was getting stronger too. It wasn’t long before I decided to look into CF Level 1 training, again to improve my own performance and hoping to coach. I began coaching at my gym, where I taught CrossFit classes, bootcamp circuit classes, and restorative yoga for CrossFitters. During this time I was experimenting with my own nutrition, doing challenges, and reading as much as possible on anything pertaining to fitness and diets to support it. I fell in love with the differences food could make it how I felt long after I had eaten. My performance spiked and I could see these changes in myself and started researching how I could help show others these changes in their own lives.
I was infatuated with coaching in the evenings on and weekends while maintaining my full time job. I got a promotion with a new company and thought this would make me more fulfilled overall in life. It didn’t. I grew to hate waking up in the morning to get to work. I hated staying late. My work environment wasn’t a healthy one, and I always put my coaching on the back burner as something that would never become a career, just a fun hobby.
Six months into my new position, I woke up and it hit me. If money was no issue, if there was no one saying I couldn’t - what would I want to spend my days doing? Simple - it was coaching and helping people change their lives through nutrition and fitness. Just like that, I quit my job and began coaching full-time.
Food is a huge part of our lives that we often overlook or rush through. Nutritious food is not only delicious, but can change so many aspects of your life. What if we loved ourselves and our bodies enough to give it everything it needs? What is we stopped neglecting the needs of our bodies and started fueling them for nothing short of success? Our nutrition is a lifelong journey and I love being a small part of that journey to help others navigate all the intricacies of their diets.
I love training an athlete in the gym and seeing that spark when something clicks - their strength is there, the muscle memory, the mental stability to push through something they thought impossible. I want to be there for good days and bad days of an athlete and challenge them through both. Reaching goals is what this is all about, and your goals should shoot for the stars. With enough determination and coaching, anything is possible.
I will never forget the day one of my newer athletes asked me if I ever got nervous before a workout as the clock was counting down. I told her, “Every single time.” It never gets easier, we just get better at thriving. That’s what this is all about. My life is not about existing or being mediocre. I am always growing, always learning, and always pushing forward. I want the same for my clients and athletes. We all want to thrive, reach our goals, succeed, compete, and out-do ourselves.
So this is to the pursuit of thriving.