Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
To get to where I am now is a long story so I’ll do my best to sum it up in the shortest, most effect way possible. I grew up playing tennis since I was seven years old and thought after high school I was done on the court. A partial scholarship to play college tennis lead me to start training at an athletic club, upon which discovering the world of fitness.
I wanted to be in the best shape of my life before heading out on my new journey to college at Northern Michigan University. Since school had always been a struggle for me, socially and academically, it felt like for the first time my life was actually going to ‘mean’ something. My grades were looking better than ever along with my body. I started working out on the fitness floor before and after tennis lessons while eating what I thought was healthy, but was really just as little as possible. The number on the scale started to drop…quickly. It became less and less about getting in shape to play college tennis and more about the number on the scale. Friends and family would make comments of concern about what was happening to my body and I became really good at covering up the obsessive behavior with food and exercise. Slowly it felt like I lost my sense of normal. Everything around me was changing. My friends were all heading in different directions, my boyfriend and I were parting ways, and I was mostly concerned with how I was going to keep working out to lose more weight while in a new enviroment. I was terrified of becomming fat and eating anything with fat in it. It just became easier to eat the same thing everyday, it was safe. My behavior became a way to control everything around me that was out of my control.
By the time I got to college I was so deep into this distored way of thinking that my strengh and fitness I worked so hard for became my weakness, I was trapped. Needless to say I journeyed through the dark side of an eating disorder. reference: Female Athlete Triad I don’t like to draw a lot of attention to that part of my life but it is a huge reason why I do what I do. If my story can help free someone from their prison then it’s worth it!
After about 3 years of doing life this way I became known as the skinny, blonde, tennis player on campus. It was a hard image to maintain. I decided that I wanted to study fitness instead of elementary education. After diving into this area of study I began to realize there was no way I could keep up such a strict way of living while starting a career focused around helping other people. My ways were way to selfish and time consuming. I had no energy for anything but myself. So I slowly started to hang out with friends again, along with picking up old unhealthy behaviors. My heavily disiplined workout/eating/study habbits slowly went out the window. I was now able to function more ‘normally’ on a social level, but was still very internally hard on myself for letting go of my strict way of living that kept the number on the scale down. I carried around this guilt, shame, and disappointment in myself for years to come, even into starting my career as a personal trainer.
Wasting no time after graduation I launched my career training in Chicago. I spent 4 years personal training clients at an up scale fitness center in the city. That time gave me a great start and experience in the fitness industry. In 2006, I packed up my car and moved myself along with all my baggage to Tyler, TX. I wanted to play more tennis and liked smaller towns over city life. Texas seemed like the perfect fit to make all my dreams come true!
When I got here it was nothing like I imaged it would be. The gym I stared personal training at was ‘faith based’ and I thought it was so awkward they prayed before we had trainer meetings. After a short time in TX a set of circumstances began to shake everything around me. At my rock bottom I somehow got the courage to reach out to a girl I had met at church the couple times I went. Growing up, my family sometimes went to church, but these people I was meeting seemed to know God as being real and not just some kind of church thing. I was intreaged and started doing research on this whole ‘God thing’ in my free time. I could talk forever about what has happened from here but can sum it up on one word:
The unconditional love of Christ dying on the cross for my sins has been setting me free ever since. It’s about surrender. I can now lay down all my cares, concerns, and mistakes at the feet of Jesus. I am not in control, God is. I am no longer defined by my struggles. I am a new creation! My identity is completely wrapped up in Christ. reference: 2 Corinthians 5:17 Being able to do what I do now free from bondage is amazing. I honestly stand amazed at the creator of life.
I’m simply Becoming who I was created to be
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord- who is the Spirit- makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:17&18