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?
As a child, I liked doing lots of extracurricular activities. This is when I found my love for dance and gymnastics. Growing up, I was a competitive rhythmic gymnasts and was training to be in Cirque du Soleil. However, I had to quit all physical activity because I started having heart palpitations, circulatory and respiratory difficulties, severe joint dislocation and chronic pain. After 7 years, I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and once I knew why I was having these symptoms, I was able to learn techniques to mitigate them and get myself physically strong again. This allowed me to be a high school varsity and competitive cheerleader. Although my fitness journey has been a work in progress, I am now able to go to the gym regularly and enjoy doing outdoor activities like hiking and swimming.
What kinds of activities do you enjoy, tell us your favorite ways to break a sweat.
I like to go to the gym with friends, do yoga, and go on hikes!
Take us through a normal day. How do you structure your time and balance your different responsibilities with your hobbies and interests?
As a college student, time management is crucial to my success! Every night before bed I organize my schedule for the next day. I write down tasks that I have to do and also goals that I would like to get accomplished. On an ideal day, I wake up, do a quick yoga sesh to get my body moving, grab a quick breakfast and head to class. Multi tasking is one way that I get everything done easily. I eat snacks in my classes and while I do homework so I don’t have to stop for lunch. I also go to the gym and eat dinner with friends so we can spend time together while being productive. My course load can be very overwhelming sometimes, but I try to get all my studying done on weekdays so I can spend the weekends doing fun things, hanging out with friends, and having relaxation time!
What advice do you have for people who are just getting started or are just getting back into it from taking time off?
As someone who is just recently getting back into fitness after having to take a break and take care of my health, I know how hard it is to get started and keep up with it. I’ve surrounded myself with people who hold me accountable and help me reach my goals. I go to the gym with friends so I can’t back out when I’m feeling lazy!
What is your biggest win (when it comes to your own health and fitness)?
My biggest win is being able to be on a competitive cheer team after not being able to do anything athletic for seven years. Being able to work out might not seem like a huge deal to most people but I don’t take it for granted when it’s been something I was prohibited from doing for so long.
What (or Who) inspires you and why?
My family is my biggest inspiration. My parents worked hard to be able to provide for me when I was growing up, so I strive for greatness so I can provide for them later and make them proud now.
In your observation, what do you think is the biggest road-block people face when it comes to reaching their health and fitness goals?
Gymtimidation is real! It’s kinda scary going to the gym when everyone around you knows what they’re doing and is super strong!
If you help other women understand one thing about health and fitness, what would it be?
Everyone’s health and fitness goals are different. Healthy isn’t getting your body to look like the bodies of Instagram models. It’s whatever makes you feel strong and confident.
What makes you Bad?
I’m Bad because I keep setting fitness goals and reaching them despite having a disability.
Bonus: What’s your favorite Bad Athletics product and flavor combo?
Coconut protein powder in a strawberry banana smoothie!