The Life I've Hidden

My Story…So Far.

There are times I feel as I have lived my life as two very different people, but yet I am very much the same person that I have always been. I have the same/similar personality, family, friends and interests as I did when I was 5, 10, 15, 25, 35…and this year will be 38 years. But I have changed so much as a person over these past 5.5 years, I almost don’t recognize myself.

My earliest memory is of being sexually abused. I was so little. Obviously, it isn’t something I like to talk about. For privacy, I don’t wish to name my abuser. He is dead and has been for a long time, but it is that shameful part of me that I've always hid. Working on not feeling that shame, and it has been a struggle, but I am getting there. Sharing this helps people better understand how far I have come, and the trauma that I have suffered. My hope is they see through me that no matter where you have been, there is always light and there can be so much happiness.

And I do have a lot of really awesome memories, which I try to hold onto when things get hard.

And they do, because trauma is a bitch. That’s not the only trauma I endured. I was bullied pretty harshly as a pre-teen and teenager for my weight. Girls tried to take advantage of me, and often try to make me the butt of their jokes. I was given the nickname “Whaley” in 7th grade. Most of my high school years involved one girl in particular who loved to tell me I was a "fat bitch" almost daily. I suffered from many years of depression and suicidal thoughts growing up. Probably until a friend killed himself during my senior year of high school. When I saw what that did to everyone, I knew I had to try and get better.

But there were obstacles…Drugs, being out of control, getting arrested…There were many years that I wish I could take back and get back. There were time where I had become the bad person; I did the bad things and I didn’t treat people very well. That viscous cycle of abuse…I spent a lot of years trying to show that I could be different, and wanted to be different. Having Trey really turned my life around. I had this precious little baby who needed his Mom. I couldn't spend his life in jail. I had to do it for him.

I always struggled with my weight, addiction, trauma and obviously those aren’t the only issues I deal with, but all these things contributed being 100 pounds overweight, depressed and just kind of going through the motions of life.

But I wasn’t always unhappy. I had great family and friends, who knew the real me and didn’t give up on me, which is why I wanted to get better. I had no idea where to start so I just started trying everything and anything.

And I tried everything!!! Slimfast, workout videos, mom groups, diet pills. Over the years I just struggled to find what would work for me, but also just general true honest information about fitness and nutrition. I was exhausted. So, at the age of 28, a mom of two and married to a soldier in the US Army, I went back to college for my Bachelors in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting into, but I thought what better way to learn about health than to get an education on it!

I was in college for about 2 years when my husband received orders to go to Germany. This was way out of my comfort zone, but what was I going to do. You don’t say no to the Army, and thankfully I conquered that fear and moved to another country. It was the experience that changed my life in a million different ways. It was almost 1.5 year later that I was dragged to CrossFit for the first time.

So, my husband found CrossFIt a couple years prior to this, and yes, he wanted me to go, but I literally thought I would probably die. Look, I was 250 pounds, a smoker, had asthma

(smart, I know), I had 2 c-sections and was weak. I felt weak all the time. I also had chronic lower back issues, and later was diagnosed with disc herniation in the lower Ls. So naturally when he deployed, I went with a bunch of my friends.

I was pretty terrified because I didn’t know anything about fitness, I was so out of shape and gym people scared me. Plus, I was going to a German gym so I was nervous about the language barrier.

But all the coaches were super awesome, and we are still in touch to this day. They helped changed my life and will forever be family to me. Like, I truly love them with all my heart. They were patient and made me feel capable and strong. I never thought I could do half of the things that they knew I could do. I learned to trust them, and they inspired me, and here I am now…It’s pretty remarkable.

Which is why everything I did next happened.

I found out I really love yoga. Never thought I would, but man is it amazing. It has helped me with pain relief, mobility and mindfulness. Learning to deal with stress, anxiety and mental health has been transformational, which is why I am now a certified 500-hour Yoga Teacher.

My husband and I decided to get super crazy, get our CrossFit Level 1 and open an affiliate, Converse CrossFit! Our oldest son has Autism, and he needed routine, specifically in his schooling. It was time for Joe to get out of the military and settle in one place for a little bit. So, we started planning, and made it happen. I just want to help people and grow the community that helped save my life.

Just this year I finally stood up against the biggest monster in my health, nutrition. I made leaps and bounds over the years, but I never wanted to talk to my clients about it because it was such a monster for me. I really started to get serious about it. I decided to go for my Precision Nutrition level 1 and passed! That has been such a milestone for me!

I have lost over 100 pounds, but I now want to focus on strength and performance. I want to see how far I can take this. I am 38 and in the best shape of my life.

I am still amazed at myself sometimes. There are so many things I try, like SUP (stand-up paddleboard) Yoga, hiking mountains, obstacle course races, that I would have never tried if I didn’t take that step, and get over that fear and just try something new. It’s cliché to say CrossFit saved my life, but it did. I truly live life to the fullest now.

Ok, so I have been talking CrossFit up!!! Why are we calling ourselves Converse Community Fitness? Well, I encourage you to check out our FB Page and IG Page to see what is going on with CrossFit HQs, and why we currently are not using CrossFit in our name. This might also shine a light on why it has been pretty heartbreaking for us.

BUT!!! This community, the coaches, nutrition and functional fitness is what really changed my life and we will still and forever have that at Converse Community Fitness. Where everyone is welcomed and accepted.

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