Tell us a little about your health and fitness journey so far! Have you always been interested in fitness and working out? Were you an athlete in high school? What brought you to where you are right now?
Fitness and working out has, for most of my life, been something that I just did. I played soccer all through high school and competitively. After graduation, I started running with a little bit of lifting, but haven’t really focused my attention and purpose on working out and fitness until recently. The desire, or rather need, for staying heatlhy and capable of doing all the things I love has brought me to where I am right now!
What kinds of activities do you enjoy, tell us your favorite ways to break a sweat.
I love running. It has become a lifeline for me. Trail running just adds that extra element- being outside and enjoying the Earth while running is a heavenly combination. I am beginning to really enjoy lifting. Indoor soccer has been something I picked up again just to break up the routine. It’s not necessarily to break a sweat, but any activity outside – fishing and camping, is always a favorite!
Take us through a normal day. How do you structure your time and balance your different responsibilities with your hobbies and interests?
Time management and balance has always been something I’ve struggled with, but have definitely improved over time. I have to get up and work out in the morning, or the chances of getting a work out in are usually more difficult. I try to focus a lot of my attention on work and school (when the semester is on) during the week, so that I can make time for things I enjoy during the weekend. I also have to keep in mind that working out is a privilege, and something I enjoy. It helps it not to feel like a burden or something that I HAVE to do. When you look at it that way, it makes it easier to give time to.
What advice do you have for people who are just getting started or are just getting back into it from taking time off?
One day, one step at a time. All that matters is that you were better than you were yesterday. And if you slip up or have a bad day, shake it off and get back to it the next day. Don’t give up or beat yourself up for not being perfect. Working out definitely takes time, patience and consistency. As someone who isn’t patient, at all, it was really hard for me to stick to it sometimes, but you have to see the purpose for it and why you’re doing it. It also helps to have an accountability person. Every day I didn’t want to do something, having them call me out or keep me accountable was a game changer. Most of the time you aren’t going to feel like doing it. It’s hard. And sometimes isn’t fun. But it’s definitely worth it to feel better and do better!
Who are your favorite people to follow on social media and why?
@uswnt – As a huge soccer fan, and someone who admires strong women who stand up for what they believe in, I love seeing what they’re doing. Our women’s national team is absolute gold. Literally.
@davidgoggins – His book literally changed my life and is a good majority of why I found the fire to get moving and get up and hit my goals.
@colinobrady – I listened to one of his podcasts, and I have fallen in love with the spirit he brings to adventure and life and reaching for the “impossible”. He has an amazing outlook on life that I crave in my own life.
What is your biggest win (when it comes to your own health and fitness)?
Tough question. Probably a tie between losing 100 lbs and finishing my first marathon. Losing all the weight is a win because it taught me consistency and patience. It felt impossible to get back to the shape I used to be in – to get back the life I had lost. Letting yourself get to a completely unrecognizable state is easier than you would think. And harder than you think to get it all back. It’s not just about the weight, but the mindset change it gave me. I was able to do the things I loved again, and I was just healthier and happier in general. I felt good. Felt so much better being in a healthier state. Finishing a marathon is an incredible experience, and this race meant so much to me. It was the physical manifestation of all the hard work I had put in, and is an absolute challenge, physically, mentally, and even spiritually on some level. I had never imagined I could do it, and some even say I couldn’t do it. If you ever want to get to know who you truly are, spend a lot of time running with nothing but your thoughts. I can honestly say that it helped me find the core of who I was again and what was truly important in my life.
Tell us about the hardships and challenges you’ve overcome and the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
I spent 6 years in an incredibly toxic relationship. I lost who I was, the things I valued, and a lot of relationships, including family. I gave up all of my control, and was too afraid to face the things I was struggling with internally. I knew for a long time that I needed to get out, but was too afraid to, and honestly didn’t feel like I ever could “escape” the relationship. I didn’t know how. When I moved out of state, the situation grew even worse. I fell in to a hard depression, and realized that my only option was to give up the career I had worked so hard to get and move back home. To move away from all of my friends I had made, and people that were incredibly important to me. The person I had become wasn’t me, and I was afraid for my own well being for a lot of reasons. Long story short, I called my parents one night, told them to come and get me, packed up my apartment, drove to work, resigned without any one knowing what was going on, or that this had been happening, and drove back to Utah. This whole experience has taught me more than I have room to write! You’re stronger than you think – trust your intuition. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Mental health has become incredibly important to me through this whole experience, and you shouldn’t ever be afraid to ask for help. Someone is there for you, and even when you feel your lowest and completely alone, there is always someone there for you. I learned that you shouldn’t ever let anyone tell you who you are, what you can and can’t do, or what you should do. Only you know what’s in your heart, and when it speaks, listen. The most important thing you have is who you are: Protect it. Love it. You are so worth it. Know your worth, even on your darkest days, there is always a reason for you to be here, and the best thing you can do for the world is to be you, unapologetically. The world is going to throw all sorts of things your way, but all that matters is that you never give up and believe that you can get through it. Because you can. Nothing is impossible if you work hard and truly believe that. Lean in to those that support you and love you. Surround yourself with people who empower you, believe in you, and push you to be your best self. The world is tough enough, make it easier by having a solid crew around you.
What (or Who) inspires you and why?
The Human Spirit. People are absolutely incredible when we use our strength, resilience and determination for good. Everyone has a story that makes them who they are, and I can tell you, every day you get up is inspiring. Cancer patients, amputees, people struggling with mental illness, veterans, little kids, every day “ordinary” people.. We are all capable of so many incredible things, so much good, when we really look inside ourselves and see people for who they truly are. We can empower each other, and we should. Everyone I surround myself with, the people in my circle, inspire me for their own individual reasons. They all inspire me to be my best self in every way possible. I owe them a lot.
In your observation, what do you think is the biggest road-block people face when it comes to reaching their health and fitness goals?
Lack of progress. Sometimes, progress comes slower than other times. Some weeks are great, and some weeks suck. You may not progress as fast as someone else either, which in a world of social media, is really difficult not to compare yourself.
If you help other women understand one thing about health and fitness, what would it be?
Your journey is your own! Don’t compare yourself to others, as difficult as that is. You are you, and everything about you makes you unique and different. Just because you don’t look exactly how you want, or like the fifty health influencer accounts you follow, doesn’t mean you aren’t as capable or as good. I have always had a bad habit of comparing myself to someone.. My runs weren’t as fast. My weight isn’t as much. I don’t look as good. The minute I stopped comparing, is when I did so much better. Remember that it’s more important how you FEEL, than it is how you look. Sure, it helps how you feel when you feel like you look better, but if you feel healthier, happier, and stronger.. That’s a win right there. Change your mindset to believe you can, and that you’re just as good.
What makes you Bad?
I am a driven, passionate person, who strives every day to be better than yesterday. I give everything I am to whatever it is I’m doing -work, school, relationships.. and want to always do my best. If I’ve overcome all I have so far, then I can overcome pretty much anything. I want to do my best to empower people and help them feel like they can overcome anything they are struggling with.
Bonus: What’s your favorite Bad Athletics product and flavor combo?
We’re super proud of Charlee and her commitment to building herself and others up. She truly represents everything a Bad Athlete should be. Love stories like this? We’ve got more Big Bad Wins right HERE!
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