As an online coach for others some people like to think that I have it all together. I had to go through some extreme adversity in order to become the person that I am today.
I’m going to tell you about one of the hardest experiences I’ve ever had to go through.
I started exploring weight training at the age of 16 which started with Body Pump/Power Pump classes I used to go to with my mom. It didn’t take me long to realise that this is the direction my life would take. I loved training and I loved the idea of having more muscle. I bought every fitness magazine I could find and idolised the fitness models. But my new found passion came with eating disorders.
After having my children in 2010 and 2012, I started competing in fitness competitions in 2013. I then set out to achieve my Pro Status which I received in 2015 and was privileged enough to compete on a World Stage in Las Vegas.
Even though I loved the prep and how my body adapted and changed looking better with each and every competition, I hated being on stage and the idea that my body would be judged. Yet, that was what competing was all about. You work your butt off to look a certain way and to fit into your chosen category. Every single competition you give your all and go to the extreme and reap the rewards. It felt like an accomplishment every time no matter what the placing was. A win was obviously the aim and a bonus! But when that win didn’t happen, there was definitely disappointment! It’s human.
Exercise and dieting soon became my drug for coping with life and demons that I didn’t want to face. Demons that I didn’t even realise that I had at the time. My eating disorders were replaced by strict dieting and training. Even though I thought I had it all together – I was lost!
Competing is a lonely road. You train alone. You eat alone. You compete alone. You spend your life alone to be accepted and judged. My eating disorders and my competing was purely the need to feel in control of something. If I could control the way I look I was in control right??? WRONG!!!
It wasn’t until my divorce in 2016 when I had to give up everything and start from scratch, moving away from everything that I called home and leaving my beautiful babies behind, with my car and my clothes, all by myself, that I soon realised that the things I used as my coping mechanism still helped me cope BUT it wasn’t going to save me this time. I was forced to spend a lot of time by myself and deal with a ton of emotions…. and life. I was in desperate need to find myself.
And honestly, that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through.
During this time it made me feel even more lost!! I felt angry! Angry and disappointed – at myself and the people in my life. I had this heaviness and sadness that made me feel like I was in this deep, black hole where I will never be able to get out of. I felt unloved, unwanted, misunderstood and completely out of place. My place of comfort/of coping I started to hate but I still kept on training and dieting because that’s who I was. That’s the only me I knew. That was the only way I knew how to cope.
And then there was the moment that it all changed. I decided to turn my life around when…
In October 2018 I was in a motorcycle accident that changed a lot of things for me. I was forced to STOP! I had 7 broken ribs, a broken hand, broken nose and a shattered collarbone. The one plus side of my years of training and having muscle, is that the doctor said I was lucky and if it wasn’t for that, I would’ve broken my back. So my hard work in the gym did pay off in the end.
But the accident had a lot of positive that went along with it! It brought me and my family closer together and made me realise that I need to let go of old ways to allow myself to become the person I am today. It also made me realise why I have such a passion for what I do. My career goes far beyond Personal Training. Health and wellbeing is not only about body goals, it’s about the mental, physical and spiritual balance that leads to overall health and wellbeing.
When I decided to make that change, these were some of the things that I did.
- I let go of the need to CONTROL! I need to trust the process and believe what is meant for me will find me.
- I had to allow my body and myself to heal. I was punishing myself for so long that I didn’t take care of myself. Mentally and physically I needed to heal.
- I started listening to my body.
- I had to forgive myself and others and I had to let go.
- Every day I reminded myself how lucky and blessed I am.
- Every morning I thought of 1 thing that I am grateful for. That 1 thing soon became 2…. And 3 things…..
As a result of making these changes, I started to feel EMPOWERED…
I started paying more attention to smaller details and I also started listening to my gut and following my heart. I have become more intuitive and that has made me cope with things and handle things better. I have become true to myself and I live my life authentically. I have finally found myself and I know what I stand for and what my calling in life is.
Here I am 2 years later and that’s WHY I decided to become a coach for others. I want you to know that if you’re struggling, going through a hard time, going through adversity, that you’re not alone.
I’ve been there, and I have your back. <3