At 18 years old I became a parent to three amazing girls. These girls were not my biological kids; they were my sisters. When my parents separated, they both left us and I was left to take care of my sisters. I would take my siblings to school and help to pick them up. At a young age, I learned to be responsible not just for myself, but for others as well. I had no problem taking care of my sisters. They were my world and I would do anything for them. Playing volleyball during this time really helped me to keep my sanity. I played in high school and was recruited to play in college. Unfortunately, with both parents gone, and having to support myself and my sisters, I only ended up playing for one year. I had to work. It was either play volleyball, or starve and I became a provider.
I thought not having either parent around was difficult, but it wasn’t really until the loss of my aunt to cancer that reality really hit me. She was like a mother to me and in the midst of dealing with her death, my 4 year relationship with my boyfriend also ended. I was devastated. Neglect set in and I turned to partying and alcohol as my means of relief.
I quickly gained about 30lbs and couldn’t believe it. I had always been super fit while playing volleyball, so this type of change was very new to me. I became depressed and felt insecure. Thinking I had a possible thyroid issue I saw the doctor. She told me that it was STRESS that was affecting me. I told her that I didn’t feel stressed; I mean what’s a 22 year old have to be stressed about? I told her everything that had happened, with my parents divorcing, my aunt’s passing, and my breakup. I realized that I was so good at suppressing my emotions that it had started to take a toll on me physically.
Then, just when I thought the storm had passed, I injured my knee. My ACL and meniscus were torn. I had been struck by lighting one last time.
But these were all blessings in disguise…
Looking back, I realize that God had put me in all of these situations. He was preparing me for something great. I couldn’t play volleyball due to my injury, so I turned my time and attention to working out and to fitness. I worked with several trainers and slowly started to drop the extra weight I had put on. Through this process my passion for health and fitness really started to blossom. Slowly, I regained my self confidence. I vividly remember being able to once again fit into my jeans after months of wearing only leggings. I had cried so hard from happiness and still remember how good that had felt to this day. I became addicted to the feeling of victory and I decided to help others feel the same way. For my 24th birthday, I promised myself that I would take all of my past hurt and pain and use it for a greater good. That year I became a trainer and I haven’t looked back since.
Since then I have expanded my training business and have built solid relationships with all of my clients. Many of my very first clients still train with me today. I feel a deep love and care for everyone with whom I work. I don’t see them as customers; I see them as friends. They are true friends for whom I care.
I am thankful to be able to share my passion with others and to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I know that together we can accomplish anything you set your heart on. Let’s do this.