Do you ever feel like you’ve had to fight tooth and nail for everything that you’ve got? I have, too. But I’m actually glad that I’ve had to work my butt off to get to where I am today because it makes my life that much more meaningful. Looking back on my journey thus far, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve learned to embrace the journey because the journey is where it’s at! That’s where all the magic happens!
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”…. and so it goes for me too. I’ve had people who actually admitted to me (after they got know me better) that they thought I was intimidating because my life looked so well put together. But, what they didn’t know was what I went through to get to where I am today.
I grew up in a log house outside of a small town in Missouri where we lived on very little money. My family has known the destructive effects of addiction, especially alcoholism, and I spent a couple years working with the non-profit organization, Back on My Feet, to better understand addiction, recovery, and resilience.
My parents got divorced when I was 11 and we moved to the suburbs of Kansas City. In the years following high school, I worked as many as three jobs at one time to put myself through college, found my way out of an abusive relationship, served in the US Navy as a nuclear engineer, and I gained as much as 50 pounds after a competition because I did not have a healthy relationship with myself and with food. But I pushed through all of this, and I learned so much about myself, and I learned how the human spirit can go far beyond its perceived limits when failure is not an option.
My first competition was an amazing experience! It was a real thrill to get up on the stage knowing I gave 100% to my contest preparation and then to place well was the icing on the cake. All the competitions to follow were all special in some way, whether it was the great people I met, or the challenges I overcame to get myself back up on the stage, but nothing was like the first time my mom saw me compete. My mom has always been my biggest fan, and her support and encouragement means so much to me. We have weathered some pretty bad storms together. From singing “Our house is a very very very fine house…” by Crosby, Stills, & Nash as we climbed the dirt road leading to our little log house to seeing me all glammed up on the stage, my mom has been my biggest cheerleader.
After years of struggling with food, chasing skinny, and soul searching, I discovered that what I was looking for was right here all along…. the real me, the little girl who buried her big dreams. It may sound like a cliché, but one day, things just clicked for me. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to share my story and help others along their life journey. Being healthy and leading a “fit life” is more than just having a pretty body. It encompasses all aspects of our lives. It requires a balance in all that we do, and after years of struggling to find that balance, I am finally free! Now I want to help others free themselves from their imaginary prison walls too. Fitness is my passion and sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm is what brings me the most joy.
In my blog, I share my story with you in greater detail. I invite you to follow along and share your comments and your experiences as well. It is those challenging experiences that mold our character and make us stronger to create a bigger and better future for ourselves. I look forward to getting to know you, and I cannot wait to see what kind of “fit life” we create together!
2011 WBFF World Championships Fitness Model, Top 5; Bikini Model, Top 10
2011 Fitness America Pageant, New England, Bikini & Figure, 4th
2010 WBFF World Championships Figure, 3rd
2010 Fitness Universe Pageant, Miami, Bikini & Figure, Top 10
2008 Fitness America Pageant, New York, Bikini & Figure, Top 10
2008 Fitness Universe Pageant, Miami, Bikini & Figure, Top 10
2008 Fitness America Pageant, Atlantic, Bikini, 3rd Place