"A transformation is not only of the body, it is of the mind & spirit." 

-Nicole Lawrence
 

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The Journey  

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Katie V.

Where do I begin about my fitness journey….. I’ve found a love with the gym and health and wellness, and I’ll never look back!!!

5 years ago with my upcoming 30th birthday I was very unhappy with my body and my health. I had 2 little girls 3 and 6 years old and that was my life, I was a mom. But I was so unhappy with how I looked, I weighed 165 pounds and felt so out of shape.

For me that is hard to accept, I played soccer from 5 years old through college, I was an athlete and I missed that passion and drive. I knew I needed to lose weight and I wanted to do it in a healthy way, I found my way with Isagenix weightloss plans and used that system for 6 months losing 30 pounds! At the same time I started crossfit and I stayed with that for 3 years, I loved the sport of it and how quickly my body changed while having fun working out.

Then on 8/17/14 my world was rocked I went in for an unimaginable 11 days in the hospital with the worst pain I've ever experienced. After a brutal day competing at a Crossfit competition and all the "right" conditions I developed rhabdomyolysis "muscular death" in my lower back. That time was frightening as you hear the concern as they fight to save your organs and "try" to manage the pain... Nothing could touch the pain!!

The nurses explained the pain for people who didn’t understand what rhabdo was “as imagine having your skin peeled off and someone beating your muscles to a pulp”!

I’ll never forget the pain, or how I felt going through that. I was a 33 year old mother of 2, in the best shape of my life and there I lay unable to move, unable to eat, and pain that consumed my whole being. That experience is still a constant reminder to protect myself now and to listen to my body.

I went through months of physical therapy, I lost 25 pounds in the hospital, and had a lot of muscle atrophy. I could have felt sorry for myself and given in to the pain, but I remembered my 30 year old unhappy self. I didn’t give up, I didn’t give in to the pain, I didn’t feel sorry for myself for what happened, I fought back. Thankfully I came back stronger, tougher and smarter.

That was 3 years ago already, I’ve competed in powerlifting and strongman competitions since my injury and now I teach a group training class at Real Training and Fitness. I’m stronger now then I was then, and I’ve taken from my injury that no one is invincible, I workout always keeping in mind what my body went through.

Now in the last 5 years I have had to make changes to the way I work out, mainly to adapt to what my body can handle without pain, I know I’ll always have to adapt. I still have chronic nagging nerve and musculoskeletal pain from the rhabdo, but I have found a style of training that works best for me. That’s the uniqueness of the fitness industry there are so many varieties of workouts, equipment, and training styles, that there truly is something for everyone.

I work 2 jobs, have 2 busy girls, a wonderful husband all who support me when I take the time for myself to go workout. 5 years ago when I made the choice that I won’t continue being overweight and unhappy, I made the choice then to put myself first sometimes, that a happier me matters! I’m not just a mom, I’m a woman who knows I need my “me” time, I need to be healthy and strong to be the best me I can be for my family. Health and wellness is a foundation of my life now and it makes me a better woman.

I made this collage as a positive outlook that no matter what we go through I believe we always come out tougher. Everyone is fighting for something, we all have ups and downs, wins and loses, goals achieved and new goals on the horizon. We all have situations in life that are hard, that make us question ourselves, that push our limits and test our will. I hope you always choose to fight back, fight for yourself and your happiness! You have one life, go have fun and live it, and one body, please always take care of it!