A lot of people see me and think “I bet she’s always been fit!”, “ Things come easy to her” or “It’s all genetics!”
I can proudly say.. none of these statements are true. I have activity induced asthma so everything is hard for me. In addition, I suffered a grande mal seizure that lasted over 30 minutes when I was 16 months old. It was a “lethal” length seizure, that took the doctor 15 minutes to chemically induce me out of. The whole medevac, the doctor and my mother feared I would die or be left mentally retarded. I did damage a large portion of my brain; primarily the bridge from short to long term memory, speech and my motor functions. Until I was 16 years old I couldn’t physically move more than two limbs at a time. I wasn’t able to do a crab crawl and I had to run with my arms against my chest; I simply didn’t have the reflexes to put my arms out when I fell. Also, I couldn’t speak full words until I was 5 and often stumbled with my words until I was 10. When it came to my memory there were many holes. One week I’d know the information, the next it was gone. When I was 16 the other portions of my brain became dominant and everything improved. It still wasn’t easy, but I have always been a very stubborn and determined person. My mom has a lot of funny stories.
When I was 22, I was overweight and had severe social anxiety. I knew I needed to make a change and that meant going to the gym. Except, I couldn’t physically get within 10 feet of the door without having a panic attack. I was so lucky to have a lovely friend who accompanied me to the gym and showed me that no one in there was looking at me or cared about what I was doing. Like every other person, I feared judgement. After all, I’d never been this heavy and I couldn’t walk 12 minutes on the treadmill without sweating profusely, breathing heavy and turning purple in the face. Fast forward 12 months, I was down 9 dress sizes and over 35 pounds.
My love affair with the gym started in 2006 and it’s been my friend ever since. It is the one place I feel strong, powerful and unbeatable. Now I know plenty of people are stronger than me. But my body is the one thing I have 100% control of.. NOW! For years, it was my Achilles heel. I fought my brain and my body on a daily basis. Why couldn’t I just be normal? Why was everything so hard? I wasn’t permitted to play sports out of fear I would hit my head, induce another seizure and die. I can genuinely say I’ve EARNED every pound of muscle on my body. I don’t have any muscle memory, it will atrophy and easily re-absorb if I don’t train. I have to continue training 5 days a week to maintain, and if my nutrition or training is off I will not grow.
In 2010, I left my nice stable insurance agent job and leaped into my fitness career. I have been a full time trainer ever since and LOVE what I do.
At the end of this big speech, I hope you can understand I believe in those I work with because If I can do it, you can do it! If you have determination and gumption, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.