I was very hesitant to share my story.. it’s very personal but here it is.. I hope this can inspire some of you.
Towards the end of 2012 I was left all of a sudden to raise my three little kids on my own (ages 3, 5 and 8). I was in shock and was devastated. Thousands of miles away from my family..I was scared. Living in the states alone with 3 kids was the hardest and biggest challenge I ever had to face in my life.. I was still a full-time PhD student at that time so you can imagine what I had to go through to balance between being a single mom and school..I couldn’t afford babysitters or daycares.. life was only getting harder and I started going through very dark times.. I couldn’t focus on my PhD papers.. I couldn’t think clearly and my heart was heavy.. my kids saw it all.. the tears, the pain, the struggles.. depression hit me hard and I was given advice to go talk to a therapist. I chose to pick myself up and go to the nearest gym.. “Shorewood Community Fitness Center”. I also signed my kids up for Jiu jitsu classes at an mma gym.
2015 was the year.. the first time in my life at the age of 35 I had a gym membership and my first workout on day 1 was 30 mins on a treadmill. I remember it so clearly.
I come from a culture where fitness wasn’t big and people never lifted weights unless it was an athlete of some kind.. gyms were rare to be seen and triple the price of what it costs in the states. I bought myself a set of 5lb purple coated dumbbells in my first year of my undergrad back in 1999 and I used to just do bicep curls all the time.
Now as I was starting out at Shorewood gym in 2015, I became so fascinated by what I saw everyday.. people of all ages exercising and lifting weights.. all the seniors moving from one machine to another working their different muscles (something I had never seen). This opened my eyes to another world and it sparked my curiosity.. I wanted to make a change! I started reading everyday about fitness/exercise and I couldn’t put these articles down.. I started gaining passion and wanted to keep learning.. I needed guidance and help so I signed up for a personal trainer who helped me..I started to feel better mentally and see progress physically.. My passion grew deeper into this fitness world so in 2016 I decided to apply for a job at the same gym and started as a Fitness Specialist working the desk.. I called my mom immediately and told her I needed help to pay for my personal training certification and she supported me.. I ordered 2 books and started studying.. even at work when it was quiet and steady I would sit and read.. My manager offered me to coach a 6am group fitness class twice a week. I was so afraid and told him that I had never coached in my life.. he told me “You can do it!”, he believed in me!
I had really bad anxiety back then and felt like I wanted the world to swallow me at times.. I lacked confidence because I wasn’t as articulate in English as I am now with Fitness terminology as it was still all new to me so it was harder for me to retrieve words..I had to overcome my fears and went for it and kept doing it.. I ended up coaching that same class for 3 years and had retained the same group of people since the start and at some point we had to increase the capacity to fit more sign-ups since we started having to add people on a waiting list.. I watched this group of strong and determined people as they got stronger over the 3 years and they’re the reason I kept going.. It helped to have great people who brought great energy to class. Some of them are following my social media pages.. I want to say Thank You if you see this!
This is where my biggest growth happened..
I kept an open mind through it all and always took feedback as a way to improve and try to get better..
I surrounded myself with people who believed in me, supported me and uplifted me.
I worked harder on myself and my health as I gained more knowledge and experience and wanted to inspire and help others reach their goals and make a change.
I had to try hard to balance between my crazy chaotic life and work as I was trying to work more hours to be able to afford paying my rent/bills and feed my kids.
I found the passion to do what I love and I never let anything stop me or get in my way.
The message after all this is.. Don’t let anything get in the way of your dreams.. keep chasing after what you want!
Motivational Quotes that resonate with my story..
✔️Go with the choice that scares you the most because that’s the one that’s going to help you grow.
✔️You need to step outside your comfort zone to see change.
✔️If something doesn’t challenge you it won't change you.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey/life and for all the love and support I keep getting.. that’s what FLOWFIT LIFE is about.. Let’s get stronger, let life flow, trust the process and grow!
Have a wonderful week!
P.S I got emotional watching this video after I put it together as it truly has been an emotional journey.. my son teared (he’s a sweet sensitive kid) as he smiled while watching it because he experienced a lot of what I went through.. I know my kids will grow up to be strong individuals who will appreciate all the sacrifices I’ve made to create a healthy environment for them to grow in.