I’m always curious how people started their fit lives and I figured it was time I shared mine!
I grew up extremely active. I was born and raised in Fort McMurray when it was still a small town and my days were filled with playing in the woods, riding my bike, swimming in the rivers, and trying to get as close to the bear cages as possible (sorry mum, but I did). My summers were spent on my grandparents small ranch where I was outside playing from sunup until bedtime. I was in gymnastics, swimming lessons, and figure skating.
When I was 10 my dad passed away leaving my mom a widow with five children. The sports stopped and fast food was a near daily dinner for us and by the time I was 14 I was just squeezing into size 12 clothing.
In 1999, my mother remarried and moved our family to Seattle. I joined the marching band and the three times a week practices helped me melt from size 14 to size 10. I felt great about myself! I wanted to keep going.
My mom was a state placing sprinter in Hawaii and I wanted to join the track team and be a sprinter just like her. She taught me to weight train and showed me a five mile course through our neigbourhood.
In grade 10 I ran JV track. and began weight training to get my speed up.
In grade 11 I was bumped up to varsity track and continued weight training- hard.
In grade 12 I joined cross country to have a fall sport and to hang out with my best friend. Distance running was not my friend- my PR was 29:30. Because I was so slow I used to do my hair and make up before every race because I thought “if you can’t run good, might as well look good.” I was known as the “hot, slow girl from Cascade High.” Ha ha ha!
My weight training was at it’s best in grade 12, my max on squats was 355.
I also joined an all star cheer squad and coached a cheer team.
So my mom made me colour in my spankies a little on this shot because she thought it was too immodest. Ha ha!Grade 12 in track was hard. As hard as I tried, I was the queen of 4th place and could not break 13 seconds in my 100 metre dash. My only hope to qualify for state was my 4X100 team. In Districts (the qualifier for State) we were in the lead by a lot until the 2nd and 3rd legs dropped the baton and we were disqualified. I was crushed. I was crying on the bus ride home and my coach came over to comfort me. His words? “You’re not a very talented athlete, but you did very well with what little talent you had.”
That crushed me even more. I was already planning on going on to run track in college at Central Washington University and I planned on showing him.
I spent my freshmen year working out 2-3 hours a day, recording everything I ate and restricting my calories. I has a six pack and I trained hard the whole year round for track. I was happy with my performance in indoor track but when it came to outdoor I still couldn’t break 13. I cut my 200 metre dash time by 5 seconds which is HUGE and my 4 X 100 team broke the school record. But I was the queen of 4th place in our division when it came to the 100m. It wasn’t until our final meet that I finally achieved my life goal, I broke 13 seconds! I ran a 12.5.
The end of freshman year is also when I took a triathlon training class and signed up for my first triathlon, the Reebok Women’s Tri. And guess what? I came in 1st place for my age division!! I was absolutely shocked.
My sophomore year was my final year of running track. I was distracted with a full course load and trying to make ends meet with part time jobs. My daily work outs dropped to 3-4 times a week but I kept that up until I graduated.
The Desk Job Begins…
And then I began to work full time. My first job was for a start up working 60 hours a week, 6 days a week for the first year. My workouts became non existent. On Sundays I would go for a walk but that was it.
When I left that job for a 40 hour work week my work outs did go up to once or twice a week but it felt so much better to watch TV and eat then to go to the gym. I didn’t gain any weight because I was in my early 20s.
Then I hit 25- and went through a weight gain nightmare! You can read the whole story HERE but to sum it up, in one winter I put on 13 pounds, going from 155 to 163 lbs. I stepped up my workouts to 4 times a week and not a pound came off. I ran triathlons, 6ks, 8ks and hiked. And yet, I still put on another 10 pounds. I weighed 173 pounds at my wedding in February 2013.
I decided something was wrong and went to the doctor to begin undergoing tests. Turns out I had developed an intolerance to dairy and gluten. I cut those foods out and 10 pounds melted off in a matter of a few months. Not only that, but I had a ton of energy! Enough to begin working out again.
Now here I am, training for a 10k, working out 4-6 times a week. I’m down to 160, but my goal is to hit 150. And that- so far has been my journey to fitness and clean eating.