Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Mackenzie Bean, I was born in Southern California, but raised most of my life in Seattle, Washington. I have three siblings, and two incredible parents. I love playing soccer and have since I was four years old. I also enjoy snowboarding, hiking, dog parks, and adventures. A passion of mine is traveling. I want to see the world. Out of high school I got a soccer scholarship to go play at a division one school in Portland Oregon. I absolutely loved playing soccer at that level of competition, however I decided to transfer because I was not a fan of the coaching. From there I went and played semi- professional soccer for the WPSL, on a team called OSA (Olympic Soccer Academy). From there, I decided to continue college and went to finish my collegiate career in Oahu, HI. After receiving my associates degree, I finished my collegiate career in Colorado, where I was named all-conference player my junior year.
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
What I enjoy most about fitness is the feeling I get from taking care of my body. Although it is important to me to look good, fitness to me is about the way it makes me feel internally. Since I do play soccer, it is extremely important for me to be at the peak of my fitness in order to be the best player I can be. However, I also feel it in my health. When I am strong and fit, my health is always at its peak. Times in my life where I have been overweight, I have noticed my self-worth and self-confidence is significantly affected. Exercising is a release for me and is a huge stress reliever in my life. Even in times like finals when I should maybe be studying, it is more beneficial for me to make sure I work out in order to keep my stress and anxiety levels down, as well as it helps me stay healthy and focused to accomplish all the other things I need to do throughout my busy week.
How did you get into fitness and long have you been into fitness?
I begun playing soccer when I was only 4 years old on an all-boys team named the Velociraptors. This is where I started my love for exercise. I wasn’t always the best on my team growing up, but I definitely had the heart for it. I am an extremely competitive person, so by nature I always was one of the hardest workers on my team. When I really begun getting into fitness as a whole, was my senior year of high school. Once I found out that I was going to be playing division one soccer, I knew it would take more than just my soccer abilities to get me (a freshman) playing time. I began a lifting program with a trainer and this was the first time I had really gone into a gym to do more than run. I instantly fell in love with lifting. Then, once I started at Portland, we were on a very extreme lifting program, and I was pushed harder than I had ever been pushed before. While others hated it, it was an environment where I thrived. Being the competitor that I am, I fell in love with pushing my mind and body further than I knew I was capable of. I learned so much about myself and what I was capable of as a person, through fitness. From there, I started doing my own research as well as work with many different training programs, absorbing information everywhere that I went.
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
Although I had taken lifting seriously throughout my college career, it wasn’t until last year that I realized this was something I wanted to make into a career. I had always loved it and I loved being strong, but last year I realized the influence I had on others. People begun reaching out to me for help with their health, and I realized I had the tools and resources to help people turn their lives around. This is when I began to take it much more seriously.
How has fitness impacted your life?
It’s hard to sum up how fitness has affected my life. To some fitness is just a way to keep them looking good in their bikinis, but fitness has always been so much more in my life. Since I started sports when I was four, fitness has honestly shaped me into the person I am today. Training has taught me how to have a strong work ethic and it pushed me to try to be my best in every aspect of my life. It has taught me commitment and responsibility. It proved me as a leader and an influencer. It has given me self-confidence, self-worth, and has taught me about self-care. It has kept my physical body strong and capable of anything that I want to do. It has kept me healthy and maintained my stress and anxiety. And it has given me opportunities in soccer to be able to go to college and get a degree.
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?
Be content, but never stop improving yourself. You deserve to feel awesome every day. To find what you love and chase after it. To enjoy food and exercise, not to look at it as a punishment. Learn all about your body and never shame it again. I view fitness and nutrition as a path to living your life with joy and purpose. For me, it IS my purpose. I was never able to find true happiness in my life until I learned how to balance all aspects of my life. If you are interested in getting into health and fitness, don’t let it scare you. This does not mean you have to give up all your favorite foods, or that you have to starve yourself, or spend hours not he treadmill. This means you are about to learn so much about yourself and your body. You don’t need to know how to do hang cleans or dead lifts to enter the gym, all you need is the desire to grow. Fitness is about self-care and developing self-worth and self-confidence. Believe in yourself and don’t give up on the person you’re becoming! It doesn’t matter where your starting point is, it is just important that you start. And of course, if you need any help or ideas, feel free to contact me @kenziebean_fitness Good luck!!