“How did you get started?”
I get asked this question a lot and here it is for all of you to read and get to know me better and why I do what I do today!
I came from a very active family. A younger brother and sister, me being the oldest! Growing up we were always doing something outdoors or involved in some kind of activity. I was also homeschooled which gave me more options of sports or hobbies to choose from! I tried everything, from ballet, tap dance, hip hop, basketball, baseball, horseback riding, dirt bikes…you name it!
Its all really started when I began my first retail job. I briery talked about this in my bio. There was a gym next door to my job and I was instantly hooked! But I didn’t know what I was doing. I just did the basic cardio machine, some abs and maybe the leg press. I was a gym goer for a good 4 years but always doing the same thing! My diet was terrible to. I was living in my own apartment at age 19 and learning to balance bills, gas, food and rent! It was tough so you tend to throw your health out the window and go for whats cheap! I always made sure i had a gym membership though. So as my diet was suffering I started really getting into partying and when 21 hit i was a regular at the bars and my drink of choice, red bull and vodka or something sugary! I ate a lot of Taco bell and anything with pasta! Ahhhhh well the carbs, the sugar…. it all caught up to me! But i was so busy doing what i was doing i never really cared to notice. You see yourself everyday so i didn’t feel i changed much. But when you look back at old photos, your like “oh man! What happened!?” “I did that”
Its all about those learning experiences!
As long as i can remember i never had insecurities with my body or felt i was too skinny or over weight, I think the reason why was being homeschooled. I didn’t have the peer pressures, the bullying or teasing that I know happens on a regular that can lead anyone to insecurities! I never had someone to compare to or anyone really telling me how i should look, dress or act! I kinda found and created my own look. It was a good and bad thing. I would have to say i was a late bloomer in a lot of areas! HAHA
I do remember my sis having to go back to public school after our Dad passed away when I was 20 and she was 14. And the stories she told me, the days she would come home crying because girls or boys were so mean to her over the most dumb things! I watched her go loose weight and gain it back numerous times, I’m sure trying to fit in. A lot of things i never experienced because i hadn’t gone through high school.
So here I am 21, eating taco bell and partying. Well I did notice my skin started looking just dull and unhappy (no amount of tanning fixed that) my face look tired and puffy, i started wearing more seats and baggy shirts because my other clothes wouldn’t fit, i was sluggish all the time (and resorted to energy drinks for energy) I slept terrible all the time, i couldn’t think straight when it came to my jobs or just daily routines. I was dealing with the loss of my dad and then to top it ended a 5 year relationship with my boyfriend at the time. I hit rock bottom. I was angry and depressed.
At the time I started seeing a family counselor and she prescribed “the gym and to eat” as my pills. Now probley like a lot of you, when i am upset i won’t eat or even sleep. So I started starving myself and would stay awake for hours at night just thinking and sulking. I tried going to the gym, and forced myself to eat, but the negative emotions would always take over. I was truly unhappy in my life and above all my decisions! I knew what i was doing to myself, but chose to ignore it. It was easier to be in pain and dwell on the pain then try to face it.
Well a few months into this depression I was invited to go on a street bike ride with 4-5 of my friends. I was a passenger with one of my friends. Being naive i only wore jeans and a tank top and yes I had a helmet. Well me and my friend ended up in an accident on the HWY going about 45-50mph. Needless to say me and the pavement became real close friends. I don’t remember to much because my body went into shock and i blacked out for sometime, I just remember sliding across the pavement the whole time thinking i have to get up and crashing noises. I saw the bike for a split second flipping multiple times off to the side of the hwy.
At some point my friends had me on the side of the why and one of the people there was my brother and he kept asking if i needed an ambulance. Well we called one, because we had no idea how injured i was. I was rushed to hospital where they did a full check over, X-rays, IV you name it! Thankfully i was all over expect quite a bit of road rash all over my body. If you have never experienced road rash, its like 3rd degree burns! The nurses had to numb all areas of road rash with this lidocaine gel then scrub any dirt and asphalt out! I have never experienced such horrible pain. Words can’t even describe!
This happened the day before my bday to! So I spent my bday as bandage baby! lol But the love from everyone, the support the concerns was amazing and overwhelming! I am so grateful for everyone who was there for me.
At least I still had a smile on my face! I had road rash both arms, one WHOLE butt cheek, the front of my right leg and various spots all over! I couldn’t lay flat or on my side or even my tummy. I had to sleep in a twisted formation for a few weeks, getting out of bed, bathroom anything was difficult and i literally needed someone to help me 24/7. My mom (who worked form home and where i was living with) thankfully was there to help all the time! What would i have done without her! Its took me a good 3 weeks until i could start functioning normal again!
Im Sharing this with you because it was a turning point in my life. I literally lost so much weight leading up to this (unhealthy weightless) my hair started falling out! Lack of nutrients, lack of everything my body needed!! I remember thinking “why am i crying over a break up? why am i so angry? depressed? what i am experiencing now, this is REAL PAIN” not the “pain” we plant into our heads. The fear and fake dressing reality we create for ourselves! While i was laid up, i made a promise to myself. To get better, to get healthy, to live my life and do EVERYTHING i have always wanted to do. To stop holding myself back. To STOP letting other people control my emotions and my decisions! I was the one full in control and needed to take hold of that steering wheel!
Once i was able to get back to the gym again, my NEW journey started. I knew it was going to be a long rough road. I needed to let go of the past, create new habits and replace the old ones. Create a new lifestyle that I loved and learn to love myself!
About 6 months later I met Zach Striplin. My best friend, my soul mate, my PIC, you name it! We have been together for 7 years and going strong! Crazy to think he to was in a street bike accident but he wasn’t as lucky. This was before i met him. He was in a freak accident that he was life flighted from and put in ICU for 3 weeks where they did not think he would survive from the amount of injuries he had sustained. But he pulled through miraculously! They even said he wouldn’t be able to walk, but he wasn’t about to let this stop him. Seeing his motivation and strength, inspires me and so many! Today he trains, Brazilian Jiu Jistu, Muay Thai, Weight trains, rides dirt bikes, wake boards, snowboards, nothing he doesn’t do! Its amazing a decision you commit to and the mental strength on top of taking care of yourself can do!!
Zach was already a PT, physical therapist, nutrition coach etc when i had met him, which only inspired me more to get back into health and fitness! So we had something in common! I definitely learned a lot from him. He has always been so supportive and helpful! About 3 years later we had an amazing opportunity. Zach has always wanted to own his own fitness facility and here it was in front of him. You can read the story here from 2010
I remember Zach coming to me and asking “Should I do this? This is a once in a life time opportunity!”
I replied with “You don’t want to look back and ask what if”
So it started. We became business owners. It hasn’t been easy. We have had our share of ups and downs with the business and it even tested our relationship!! There were times we didn’t know if we were going to be able to keep the doors open, but we are fighters and were going to do everything if can to pull through. Five years later of being gym owners and 7 years together we obviously have prevailed and will continue to do so!
Having been through so many differently very challenging situations, you can always take from them, learn from them and become better or you can just bury yourself deeper into a hole. I made a promise to myself that day after my accident almost 8 years ago that i would become happy, healthy, i would chase my dreams, face my fears and live my life to the fullest! It was a simple mental commitment to myself and never backing down. Its become my lifestyle, but habit. i wouldn’t change any of it, it has made me who i am today and i continue to grow and learn all the time! The beauty of this life is you submerge yourself in to making yourself a better person and make a difference to those around you. I can’t tell you how happy i am today! My decisions, what I do day in and day out. I LOVE IT! Because i choose to be. I choose to be the best me i can be. I apply that to all aspects in my life and especially my relationship with Zach. We have been through so much together we both agree what we have is worth fighting for no matter how tough things gets, our relationship, our gym, each other everything!!!
Anyone can be happy and love that they do. You just need to find your path and begin your journey. Make a commitment to yourself and get focused! If I can do it so can you!!!