Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
I am married to my high school sweetheart. We will be married 11 years in May and together 18 years in October! My husband is my number 1 fan and the first to always cheer me on. We have an 8 year old son. He is like no other kid out there. He was born with a birth defect, called Spina Bifida, so he is paralyzed from the waist down. My son is the main reason I got my personal training certification and continue to learn as much as I can about the human body.
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
I really enjoy learning more about how my body reacts to nutrition, supplementation and exercising. Our bodies are amazing machines and to be able to change our physique by proper nutrition and exercise is fascinating. I also really enjoy helping and teaching others about living a healthy lifestyle. With how processed our foods are now-a-days and the fast paced lifestyle, it is so easy to put our mental and physical health on the back burner. To be able to help others realize their potential is beyond rewarding!
How long have you been into fitness?
I grew up in an active household. My mom taught aerobics and my dad played golf every second he could. As a family, we were always outside doing something, from hiking, to swimming, to playing golf. In high school I was on the girl’s golf team and the dance team. However, it wasn’t until I was married with a toddler that I became more cognizant of how to treat my body and make sure I am leading a healthy life, for myself and my family.
How did you get into fitness?
Like I stated in the previous answer, I lead an active life growing up. But it wasn’t until my son was around 2 years old that it hit me like a brick wall. I remember the night like it was yesterday. I was sitting at the kitchen table and loud and clear, God spoke to me saying that I needed to take the leap and become a personal trainer. I needed to do this for my son.
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
My son was born with Spina Bifida, a neurological birth defect. It is where the spinal cord doesn’t complete form and fuse together at some location on the back. For Ryder, the defect is in his lumbar (L3). Depending on the location of the defect, depends on the ability of what your body is able to do and how much function you have and where. With Ryder’s being in his lower lumbar, he is paralyzed from the waist down.
One night, while sitting at the kitchen table, God spoke loud and clear to me – get my personal training certification. This was my calling. This is what I am supposed to do with my life. I need to learn the body and understand it better, so that I can help Ryder live a healthy lifestyle.
How has fitness impacted your life?
Fitness has impacted my life in so many ways. For my personal journey, it is my stress relief. With being a special needs mom, I have so many worries, built up anger and frustration. When working out, I can release all of the built up tension. Plus, the release of endorphins helps my mood. I am able to be a stronger mother, mentally and physically for my son and family. As far as fitness impacting my career, it has been unbelievable. I get to work with a variety of individuals with each having a different background in their journey. Because of Ryder’s story, I have the honor to work with his wheelchair basketball team. I get to train and teach all of these young adaptive athletes how to become better and stronger. To be a part of their journey is invaluable. I also, get to work with adults who are trying to find themselves again or for the first time. From the mom who let herself go or the dad who wants to be able to play outside with his kids. Every experience is priceless and I am so humbled and honored to be a part of each journey.
What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
Just do it! We so often get in our own way. Our mind is a powerful tool. If we let it stop us from what we want to do, then we will never grow and gain something new. When we get out of our own way, that is where the real journey begins.
If you’re not sure where to start, ask someone. Ask me, ask Kellen, ask a friend or family member. If the individual genuinely cares, they will do what they can to help, any way they can. Think about what kind of exercise and physical activity sounds fun to you. Join a gym, take a swimming class, learn taekwondo, join a running club or dance class… your options are limitless.
And remember, everyone had to start somewhere, just like you.