During my childhood, I remember beam, floor, vault and bars in Orlando, Florida. I was a competitive gymnast and at age 11, I quit.
I was so tired. I remember sitting around the table at my brothers birthday party as he blew out the candles and I could barely keep my eyes open. There are tons of pictures in the early 90's where my head is confiscated with hair clips and I'm in a leotard. It was my life. 3+ hours for 5 days a week and more when I traveled for gymnastics meets. When I quit gymnastics I relished in the extra time I had to hang out with my friends! Physically I didn't take any time off. I played rec soccer and softball and took a few random gymnastics classes to get my fix.
When I was 15 and in my fall quarter of high school I was a JV softball player and a frosh/soph soccer gal. I loved doing front handsprings to throw in the ball. In the wintertime I made the decision to go out for the gymnastics team. I made Varsity gymnastics and competed in all the meets! 3 hour practices were back and high school is no joke, especially with the ferocious conditioning coaches I had, (Farrah or Kathy, if you are reading this, I love you). Cheerleading tryouts were right after gymnastics season ended and I made it! Quite a year! Over time all the sports, academics, undiagnosed learning disabilities and my social butterfly lifestyle caught up to me.
By junior year, I let softball and soccer fizzle out. It was too much. I remained a cheerleader and a gymnast, seemed like the perfect combination. It was until our first home gymnastics meet. I was tired. The kind of tired where a 7PM gym meet no longer sounds enticing. We were warming up our tumbling passes on floor when I took a rebound too high. I came crashing down onto one foot and heard later that the crowd heard my foot snap. A third degree sprain and I was out for the entire season. Damn.
I came back senior year but with a few extra pounds and a fear that I'd hurt my foot again. I look back now with a little bit of regret. I wish I would've worked harder. I blame it on the guy I started dating who took my focus off of sports and onto leaving practice early and showing up late.
My freshman and sophomore year of college I took a class called Life Fitness where I learned about proper fitness routines, heart rates and the basic stuff you learn about wellness in a basic class. I LOVED IT! I was obsessed with making sure my heart rate was in the right zone and I got to look at all the cute baseball players working out, (it was before I met you Alex).
Junior and senior year of college I took a dance class 1-2 x's per week called Cardio Groove and it was taught by the most fabulous instructor! I loved it so much that I became her understudy. I was set to start subbing the class until I broke my foot and ankle. I believe it was the night before I was scheduled to start teaching. A couple drinks too many and BAM, broken foot.
I thought it was the universe telling me to go down a different path, so I ignored my love for fitness and nutrition and majored in Communication. To be honest, I didn't even know you could major in nutrition and have a job out of college. I was following the crowd and figured I could get a job in Communication, (whatever that meant). I heard over and over again, "as long as you have your degree, it won't matter." I disagree. Get a degree in something you are passionate about. If you are passionate about money you better get a degree in engineering, the medical field or IT! If you are obsessed with wellness, there are so many options! I'd say to start with a B.A. in Health Sciences or Health Psychology or Nutrition!
After graduating in 2007, I ventured into this little thing I like to call yoga. I'm sure you've never heard of it (I crack myself up). I did Bikram yoga 5 days a week for an entire year! What an insane lunatic I was, good lord! Looking back, I am amazed I was able to do the same poses for 90 minutes day after day. How did my ADD not kick in and tell me to start dancing halfway through class? I was determined. I liked the way I felt after class and how I looked. My body had a toned softness and a glow you can only get after a hot yoga class or steam bath.
In 2009, I traveled to SE Asia and did yoga wherever I could. And yes, sometimes that meant riding my child-sized bike in a tsunami-like torrential downpour during rainy season in Thailand. I did yoga in Bangkok, Lampang, Chiang Mai, Bali, Ubud, Vietnam and I think there was a place in Cambodia, but I can't remember.
When I came back to the U.S., yoga was the only thing that made me feel like I was home. I experienced such intense culture shock and the studio was like a welcome home hug.
In 2011, I became a Certified Yoga Instructor. In 2013, I certified to be a Holistic Health Coach and founded Fit Girl Seattle. This year is turning out to be quite an abundant year in the teacher training department. Booty Barre, Strala Yoga and a specialization in Women's Fitness will be added to the resume. I kind of like not knowing where this journey will lead me. It's like all the classes I've ever taken.
When a class begins, you're not sure what's coming next and in no time you find yourself in the most challenging balancing pose wondering how you got there. By the end of class you are proud of yourself, proud of your body and ready to rest. But it's not the last class you take. You keep coming back for more, not really sure of what you will receive but knowing deep down that it's exactly what you need.