RISING FROM THE ASHES I was in a car accident many years ago, and at 45 I began to experience some terrible back and neck issues. I felt like I had zero quality of life. It was affecting my marriage, and the narcotics were affecting my waistline. I went to the doctor, had him help me ditch the medications, changed how I ate, started going to the gym, and began to feel alive again. I wasn’t seeing the kind of results I wanted so I hired a coach – the final step that solidified my love for everything fitness-related.
FROM ACCOUNTING TO COUNTING REPS I was really bad at math in school – so bad I failed as a freshman in high school. Today I work as an administrator, which means numbers are a big part of my job; it’s pretty ironic. I also hold my personal training certification and my nutritional coach certification, and I coach competitors on the side. That’s my real passion: teaching people how to make healthy lifestyle choices. After undergoing my own transformation, I realized I wanted to teach people that it is never too late to take your health seriously. I had so many health-related issues and now they are gone because of my lifestyle – that’s what I want people to know.
SUPPORT FROM NEAR AND FAR My husband is my biggest cheerleader, and both my sons and my daughter-in-law are so supportive in anything I chose to do. I have a few very close friends – about five of us. We initially connected via Facebook, since we all have the same passion for fitness. Though we have never met in person, we support each other fiercely in our endeavours and would go to the ends of the earth to help each other. It’s a pretty good feeling to know that you have that kind of unconditional love from your friends. My closest and dearest friendship with Marilyn Roth was made through a social media platform; we supported each other’s journeys for close to a year before ever meeting in person. She is one of the most powerfully positive forces in my life.
A MENTAL SHIFT When I first started in fitness, I viewed my goals as destinations: I would get where I wanted to be in “X” amount of time. I no longer view it like that. This is my life; this is how I live it. I never thought in the beginning that it would become such an important part of my life. Sure, I go through periods of low motivation like every other person on the planet, but fitness helps me push through. I have a great marriage, great kids, a good job, wonderful relationships with the people I help – fitness is the icing on the cake for me, a part of my lifelong journey of personal betterment.
THE SWEET SOUND OF SUCCESS My father, who was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known, always told me one thing from the day I was old enough to understand: “I don’t care if you are a ditch digger, be the best damn ditch digger you can be.” That about sums it up. It doesn’t matter what you do – do it well and do it with integrity. Period. That’s success
PHOTOS BY: CHRIS V. LINTON (@CHRISVLINTON)