I first got into fitness as a runner as a way to blow of stress, but it quickly developed into something unhealthy to keep my weight artificially low. I battled with restrictive eating since my early teens, and that coupled with insane distance running led me to a very unhealthy start to college and a very serious wake up call.
I got into lifting because a young woman in my college gym was courageous enough to approach me (a total stranger) while I was on an eliptical and ask me if I’d be interested in learning how to lift with her and her (all male) friends. At this point, I was looking for all and any physical activity so I gave it a shot. That group is my most cherished circle of friends now, they were the ones who noticed my mechanics weren’t right and suggested I see a doctor on break, which led to me being on crutches for a hip fracture and turning my whole life around. I credit my entire start in this world to them, and could not be more grateful to have such a wonderful lifting family surrounding and supporting me. As soon as I got my first taste of weights I was hooked, I loved how it not only made me physically stronger but also emotionally and mentally stronger. My stress reliever had returned to what it was originally intended as, I had found a support group, and I learned to love the body I was building at every stage of its journey.
What motivates you to show up every day?
I am exceptionally intrinsically motivated. I know what my goals are, and I know that in order to reach them I will have endure some amount of discomfort, but it is a lifestyle and a sacrifice that I am not only choosing but embracing. Besides that, on the days when I’m tired and sore and grumpy, it’s habit. At this point I have it ingrained in me to go to the gym at least four times a week in order to get my training in. But it’s the people there that make me want to continue to go to that gym. Having a support group is so important for those days that your workouts don’t go right, and equally important on the days that your workout is the only thing that goes right. I am motivated to show up everyday because I know everyday I put forth an effort in the gym, in my nutrition, or in life in general is a day I move forward. And any progress is good progress, so as long as I’m making the effort to get there, I know I cannot fail. Someday, I will work hard enough and I will achieve my dreams. And that is the best motivation you can ask for.
What are your Health and fitness goals for the future?
Short term- I want to total 755+ at USAPL Raw Nationals on October 14th (there’s going to be a livestream, so everyone watch it!!). That will qualify me to lift at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio in March 2017.
Long term- I want to get my nutrition and body to a place where I no longer have to cut weight classes. I am planning on relaxing my competition schedule over the next year or two to focus on sustainable healthy weight loss and reverse dieting until I am maintaining 126lbs and eating a satisfying and realistic amount of food.
What’s your favorite Exercise?
Either bench press or squat depending on the day.
What’s your day job?
My day jobs include working at the Vitamin Shoppe, I am a personal trainer/social media blogger for a small local gym, I run an online coaching business, and I teach music lessons to elementary and middle schoolers in my neighborhood.
What made you choose Dissident Gym Wear and why do you feel like you relate to the DISSIDENT Brand message?
I chose Dissident because of the mind set that the brand embodies. A dissident who opposes policy or opposes the norm. I pride myself on breaking “standards” and “limits” that people put on me. Some of my greatest triumphs have come when everyone is betting against me. I know what I am capable of. I know I don’t fit that status quo. And I own that. I am DISSIDENT.
What’s your proudest fitness achievement?
My proudest fitness achievement thus far has to be a tie between the first time I squatted 265 and deadlifted 305 in competition, or qualifying for USAPL Raw Nationals 2016 as a 57kg jr and open class. I had to cut 7lbs in 7 days in order to make that weight class and I still can’t entirely believe I did it.
What is your advice to anyone looking to improve their health and fitness?
My advice is to find something you love and chase it in your own way. Also, don’t compare yourself to anyone else or your journey to anyone else’s journey. Be patient with yourself, be realistic, and find what you love. Bonus Points: Find people who love what you love and you’ll find yourself a support group like nothing you’ve ever known.
Though she be but little, she is fierce
Any unknown/hidden talents?
I am a certified music educator and have been playing saxophone for 13 years and piano for 6 years.
Anything else we should know about you or you want to share with Team Dissident?
I have an online coaching/personal training business called RiseUp Strength and I coach and do personal training in the Bucks County, PA and Philadelphia areas! I also run a blog called Pretty in Powerlifting.
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