Who I Was Then

In 2008, I decided to change my entire life. I had become very obese, had a terrible pregnancy with my daughter, and was just not the person I wanted my new baby to look up to. So I started working out, and running. In November of that year, I ran my very first 5K race, where I placed third in my age group. Don’t be that impressed…I was running a 12-minute mile and there were only 3 of us in my age group. LOLOL!

I found that I loved fitness so much that I could not get enough. But, at the time, I was doing TOO much – taking 3 fitness classes a day, 5 days per week = 15 hours of exercise. It was great for my weight, but bad on my joints. And even though I’d lost 50 pounds that year, eventually I found I could keep up the pace long term and that winter, fell back into bad habits and by the following spring, had gained all the weight back.

My saving grace was that I had agreed to do the IronGirl Triathlon in August 2009. So, while training for that race, I lost 40 0f th 50 pounds I lost. That race changed my life in so many ways I could not imagine. When I crossed that finish line, I felt invincible.

I decided I wanted to go further with my fitness, but I could not maintain the extension workout schedule I had in the past. I tried several different things, but nothing was sustainable. Eventually I  found HIIT workouts by BodyRock.TV. They had free workouts that started at 12 minutes and went up from there. I started doing those EVERY SINGLE DAY, and wow did my body change. I lost weight (with the help of a newly adapted Paleo lifestyle) and I could finally see muscles. Soon I started switching up my HIIT workouts with weights at the gym and let me tell you, I NEVER had abs in my life…and I got to a good 3-pack. LOL!

In the summer of 2010, I did the IronGirl Triathlon again, and cut 16 minutes off my time from the previous year. I was getting stronger and faster. But it wasn’t enough. That’s when I fell in absolute love with obstacle racing.

By 2011, I had lost 65 pounds and was running regularly. A year later, I was 82 pound lighter and ran my first sub 9-minute mile. I was loving life.

I decided to educate myself on everything and anything health. My love of fitness pulled me to get my Group Fitness Instructor certification in 2013. Eight months later, I got my Personal Training certification. Fitness and healthy living had become my life! I was so in love with fitness and athletics, I decided to do a half-Ironman in Florida in April 2015.

But in January 2015, I broke my back – literally. I herniated my L4-5 vertebrae and thought my life was over. The pain and limited mobility killed me. The doctors said that my journey to Ironman was over. I cannot explain how devastated I was. It threw me into a depression so deep  that in 18 months I gained 50 pounds.

Soon I discovered that this injury did not have to be the end of my fit life. I was still teaching, still moving around. I just couldn’t do some of the things I had done in the past. I had to learn to work around those limitations.

Who I Am Now

So instead of continuing down that path of sadness and disappointment, I decided to get my Orthopedic Exercise Specialist certification and learn how to treat my body. I needed to know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it – in order to get back to fighting condition again. And I have to say, that I am on that path to success yet again. Not only that, but I am now helping others with special conditions get back their lives too.

I have nearly 5 years experience teaching a variety of fitness classes ranging from TRX and Kettlebell, to Step and conditioning. I focus on making sure my clients learn to perform each exercise correctly, before increasing speed, weight, or distance. I specialize in helping the obese, the injured, and those who are just starting their fitness journey take the next step with guidance and support. I love what I do and wouldn’t want to do anything else!