My Journey (:

22 years ago I was born, in a hospital that is now a Publix. Anytime I drive by it I say I was born in the produce section of the Publix. I was a healthy 7lb baby girl who surprised her parents by coming a little early, and on my mom’s birthday. I had a little bushy head of blonde curls and was onery right off the bat. I was always moving or climbing something. Some would say that was just because I was young but I was just an energetic child. I did not like to take naps, which got me in trouble sometimes in kindergarten and daycare. But that was just how I was.I did not grow up surrounded with video games and our TV only had 3 channels. So I was outside a lot playing football and baseball with my brother. I knew how to throw a football and a baseball at a young age. That started my love of sports. I tried tee-ball, then cheerleading, and then found soccer. Soccer become my passion when I was younger. Soccer and dogs were my two passions. I wanted to play soccer and become a vet. But after a fews years I got tired of changing teams so I took a break. I loved playing but grew tired of always changing teams and just wanted a break to see if I really wanted to keep playing. My break was in middle school. I enjoyed focusing on school and getting involved in clubs. But middle school was hard on me physically. I felt awkward because I was bigger than everyone. I had gained a lot of weight. I just was not comfortable.I got up to almost 200lbs by the 7th grade. So I started taking my own lunches and eating better. As a family we stopped drinking sodas and eating out as much. This helped a lot and I dropped about 10 lbs. But I still just felt ugly.  So I also started to dye my hair around this time. I went blonder!!!! My natural hair color is dirty blonde and as I got older it had just gotten darker and darker, so I wanted to keep it light. So with my mom we went a the salon and I got it cut and bleached it almost. At the time I loved it but that grew away. Because as my hair kept growing it was was different shades, so I had to keep dying it.I colored it off and on through high school,even going darker and cutting it all off!! But as I got to high school things started to slowly change around for me. I had decided to join my school’s cross-country team. This was a big thing for me because I had not done any sport or been physically active since I had played soccer 3 years prior. I still remember the first day of condition and my coach saying warm up mile. I barely made it 0.25 miles before I had to stop and catch my breath. My mile time was like 12 minutes and something. But I loved it. It challenged me, made me push myself. I felt good. The first year was hard but so rewarding. I learned so much about myself. I had also lost 23lbs so that helped too. After that my XC got me into Half Marathoning running and that is what I turned to during off time.Running turned into a passion for me. I was always trying to see how much i could push, how much i could accomplish. I think it saved me. I gave me an outlet that kept me focused and determined.  By the time I graduated I had ran 2 Half’s and 1 Full. The Full Marathon had been the most challenging thing but I got through it. Now I am like if I can run a full marathon I can do anything. I ended up running more Half my freshman year of college. I kept running in college and also started to go to the gym since there was one on campus. By my 2nd year one of my friends got me to join her in doing a Tough Mudder. This is when I started hitting the gym hardcore. I did not have good upper body strength and I wanted to build that up for the race. So I built up to lifting 6 days a week. I was so happy I did because when we got to the Tough Mudder it was basically all hilly running, and upper body lifting. I thought the Marathon was Tough but the Tough Mudder was another level. I taught me that I really did have a weak upper body and that I was a little scared of heights. I remember doing the Balls to the Wall and barely getting to the top and when I did get to the top I screamed. I had to climb up  about a 50ft wall with just a rope with knots. I was scared but my the time I got back down I was full of adrenaline. After the Tough Mudder I kept hitting the gym. Weight lifting became another passion for me. I loved going in and lifting heavy. It gave me a sense of achievement and rush. I still love to run but I balance the 2 because it is hard on your body to do both. Through all those years of sports and races I found who I was and what I loved.  Today I have a way better body image and confidence to me that I did not have then. I think weight lifting help me with that. I can look in the mirror and see muscles and just feel beautiful. I am glad I am at a better place now with myself because that is where everything starts. It took me all those years growing up to realize it ,but I am beautiful and strong and I feel that way without anyone telling me.Through all the hate and different hair colors I found peace within myself. If there is one thing I would let others know is that they are beautiful and strong the way they are and to give themselves a break. Love yourself ♥

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