One of the many things I love about training is the way it helps connect people through their personal stories. I am honored when people tell me they sought me out as a trainer because something about my story resonated with them. But often, it's my clients who inspire me.
Ashley is one of those clients. She works hard to bring love and support to people who need it, has a bright, funny personality, and no matter what I push her to do, I know that she can and will do it! But as this is her profile, I want her to tell you in her own words about her fitness journey.
What was your biggest challenge, physically or mentally, before you started training?
My biggest challenge before training was more mental than physical. I played sports in high school, was considered athletic and had even trained for a few short runs in 2013. That was also the year that I tore my ACL and meniscus hiking with some friends. This injury combined with some serious self-doubt was a recipe for failure. Or at least that's the lie I was believing. I had convinced myself that I couldn't do it. I wouldn't be able to do the workouts. I am too clumsy. I will pass out or throw up. Or re-injure myself. I was so afraid of failure, I almost robbed myself of the chance to succeed.
How has training helped you work toward overcoming this challenge?
The best part of training is the individualized attention you receive. Jen has been really great about talking to me, knowing where I struggle and making the adjustments in the workouts from the beginning to move me along at my right pace. I would see workouts online or in videos and think I could never do that! Little did I know, there is probably a modification to do until I build my strength and confidence to do the full workout without modification.
What can you do now that you did not think you could do before?
SO MUCH, ha! I would say actually completing the hour workout without stopping or feeling like I was going to die. I really didn't believe I would be able to plank or lift weights more than 5 pounds. I definitely didn't think I would be able to do 30 minutes of intense cardio on the elliptical. BURPEES... I never wanted to do them and really wasn't sure I could. It's really shocking what your body CAN DO when pushed appropriately. The biggest thing is that I really never expected to LIKE working out with a trainer.
What goals do you look forward to accomplishing next?
It's funny, in the past, my goals have always been centered around weight loss, seeing a different number on the scale. With training, my focus is really on becoming stronger. My next goals are to really focus on what I am doing on days I'm not in the gym with Jen as well as really diving into nutrition and fueling my body in the best ways to get the maximum impact from my workouts!
More than the workouts themselves, I'm so proud that Ashley has embraced the idea that working out is more about how it makes you feel rather than just how it can make you look. There are extreme programs that yield fast results that rely on deprivation and burn-out style workouts. But those results will not last if you don't take measures to improve energy and stamina through gradually intensified exercise. And most importantly, what's inside must be addressed as well. There must be a shift in attitude, such as what Ashley experienced, where you embrace the challenge and turn "can't" into "can".
I want to thank Ashley again for sharing her journey with us and I'm so excited to see where it goes from here!