Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
I was born and raised in Minnesota to the very young inexperienced wonderful arms of my parents. For the first 6 years of my life my parents were victims to the world of methamphetamine addiction. I experienced mostly neglect and some love when it was available. When my parents finally decided to get sober a lot of my personality had already developed, which for me I feel I came out very independent, flighty and stubborn. Which could be described with a lot of different words. I’d prefer to describe myself as willfully self-driven. With sobriety my parents changed our lives entirely and engulfed me into the world of athletics. Becoming an athlete was the best thing for me and also gave a wonderful avenue to bond with my father and built incredible work ethic.
I live and work in the beautiful city of Minneapolis as an adult. I have been a hair stylist for 14 years and a group fitness instructor for 1 year. I have an amazing daughter, Aeva who will be 13 this week! 2 awesome dogs Clementine and Joey and a loving and supportive life partner, Paul.
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
My favorite thing about fitness is the ability to consistently prove yourself wrong! It goes hand in hand with the lessons of life. A lot of times when you’re stepping up to any challenge, fitness related or not, you may feel an overwhelming feeling of self-doubt and “I can’t” self-talk. With fitness you just start moving, one step after another. Before you know it you’ve accomplished something. It’s pretty incredible to have the realization every day that if you put in the effort, even when it’s hard, you can accomplish so much.
How long have you been into fitness?
I’ve been into fitness since I could walk! My mom did in home daycare when I was a child where she cared for a boy 6 months older than me. Insert competitiveness! I was always playing with the boys, and beating them! There was nothing more satisfying to me as a child than to be able to “run like a girl” and kick everyone else’s ass!
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
As a kid it was always intensely easy for me to take on any fitness challenge. I would take it on with no fear. As I got older, became a mom, fitness took the back seat for a while. Only after my daughter was about 3 years old did I start reclaiming that part of myself. I didn’t discover lifting weights until I was 25, and then started training that way super seriously at age 27. When I discovered lifting weight, I realized building muscle not only changed my body composition but changed the way my body processes food. When I was more focused on cardio in my early 20’s my weight fluctuated a lot more. After gaining muscle my weight stabilized and I was able to stop focusing how I look and focus more on the tasks at hand – which gave me back that kid like feeling I had when I was an athlete. When you shift your focus away from the exterior you’re capable of so much more.
How has fitness impacted your life?
In so many ways. It has changed the way I see myself. I feel strong and capable from the inside out, not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well. Now as a group fitness instructor, the impact I have on others is so incredibly uplifting as well. When you have the ability to drive someone toward their goals and inspire them to be better it’s really incredible!
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 start. Be open and believe in yourself. There is a lot of learning that goes into learning how to use your body and all the different ways you can do it. Try a lot of different types of exercise and find what makes you most happy. Try new things and change it up often. Also find a plan!!! Following a plan is crucial. Walking into the gym and knowing exactly what you’re going to do will Change your entire experience. If you’re feeling incompetent with equipment and form, ask for help! Hire a trainer to walk you through how to use equipment properly.
Most importantly just know we all start somewhere and no question is a stupid question. Some days will be hard but if you stay consistent and get it done anyway you’ll be happier than if you choose to skip it.