When did your athletic career begin?
Since I could remember I was always an athlete. Growing up my primary sport was softball, although I was a 3 sport varsity athlete in high school partaking in track, soccer, and softball. I continued my athletic career into college playing Division 1 softball for the University of Vermont. After suffering a major shoulder injury, my softball career was cut short. That being said, it launched me into new athletic endeavors including skiing, cycling, and triathlons.
What adversity have you had to overcome as an athlete?
Just being a woman athlete in the late 90’s and earlier 2000’s was hard. You had to work much harder to prove your worth in sports and to be recognized as equals next to your male counterparts. For instance, many female collegiate athletes had to work during other athletic events to pay for their travel and spring break training trips… compared to the male athletes in more popular sports.
The biggest thing I had to overcome in my personal athletic and fitness journey was when I decided to start a family. My journey wasn’t full of roses and happy celebrations. Like many women, I suffered from infertility. I was a healthy, in shape 30-year-old, however, my journey last 7 years with 8 pregnancies, multiple surgeries, 2 major hospital admissions that almost lead to severe, life-threatening complications. Luckily, in the end, I was blessed with 3 beautiful children. During this journey, all things related to fitness and athletics came to a halt. My hobby was no longer was a feasible one. No running, biking or lifting per my physicians. Athletics and fitness was my passion, my thing, and it did not align with my infertility struggles. Even after my journey and having 3 healthy children, I found myself lost. I didn’t know what my identity was. I wasn’t the vibrant, healthy athlete that I once was. I didn’t know if I was just a mom, a woman who overcame infertility or a pin cushion science experiment. For 7 years I left all that I identified with, as well as that inner athlete.
How has working out impacted your life?
At 37, 6 weeks after having my 3rd child, I stumbled upon a women’s boot camp. Little did I know how it would change my life and create a better person than the one who entered the previous 7-year roller coaster. Let me be completely transparent when I started to try to get my fit life, and athletic self-back again, it was not pretty. I was beyond weak, had weight and inches to shed…. But worse, I was weak and self-doubting in my mind. That being said, I was determined. Within 3 months I started to see changes, both mentally and physically. I quickly shed my weight and inches and slowly started a journey to become stronger than I ever was in the past.
My journey started to go into overdrive. I found myself in a community of supporting women and trainers. I found myself with the desire to the same for others. I quickly decided I wanted to help women through what I had been through (or anything that had sidelined them from their past health and fitness journeys), primarily by using training, nutrition and mindset to accomplish their goals and fight through the adversity in their lives. I became a trainer, then a gym owner, then a fitness competitor. It all happened so fast and within 3 years. Now I am constantly surrounded by people who influence my life every day in a positive way. I now have the ability to help create healthy lifestyles and mindsets for hundreds of women looking to climb their way out of labels, depression, self-doubt and lack of motivation. Athletics and fitness has become the passion and catalyst for the amazing life I get to lead now, and who would have thought that would become possible in my 40’s.
How often do you train and for how long?
I currently train 6 days a week. Depending on my goals, (i.e., in season for competitions or not) my training can range from an 1 hour to 2.5 hours.
What is your #1 fitness tip?
Mindset, community, and healthy supplementation.
You have to stop comparing yourself to others and just commit to be better then you were the day before. You need to find a community that will keep you accountable and provide support when you need it the most. You need to understand that there will be people who are haters, negative and don’t understand your journey…but it is your journey, not theirs.
Self-doubt and fear is the killer of all progress. It is just as hard to put that aside as it is to lift a 100 lb weight… but in order to succeed in your fitness goals, you have to commit to a positive mindset and know what your end goal looks like.
Lastly, nutrition and supplementation is key to being successful. The big piece most people miss as we age is that we also need proper, clean supplementation. If we don’t get the right nutrients in our systems, our bodies will pull from our bones and muscles what it needs, in turn, resulting in injuries and halting our progress. Understanding what supplements your body needs that we can’t get from food is imperative to staying healthy and fit as we age and lead active, fit lives.