Fitness has always been a huge part of my life. My parents were both D1 dual sport athletes and coached my brother and me through baseball, soccer and club basketball. I played sports through high school but never focused on nutrition, mostly because I never had to.
I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after high school, but I definitely felt the pressure to play at the next level and ended up walking on at a D1 volleyball program. I was always so concerned with other peoples’ expectations of me and keeping up with my ‘athlete identity.’
My freshman year of college is when I really gained weight. Strict weight lifting schedule + dorm cafeteria + freedom/exposure to alcohol = freshman 30. I did extra cardio, skipped meals and stopped drinking but nothing made a difference. I had no energy and felt awful. Comparing myself to my tall and skinny teammates only made things worse and really hurt my self-confidence.
After 2 years of this cycle I decided to stop playing volleyball. I was happy with my decision but felt like I let everyone else down. I wanted to ‘experience life,’ ‘try new things,’ yada, yada, yada…I ended up drinking, skipping class and giving all my time and energy to toxic relationships. I was punishing myself for the negative image I thought everyone had of me. To deal with my stress, I started doing a 15 minute online yoga video every morning.
After graduation I moved home to watch my brother play college football. Talk about feeling like the failure of the family… I was working at a night club and really started to feel the effects of working 9pm-4am shifts. I thought I was having fun but I felt SO EMPTY inside.
My plan was to take the LSAT, go to law school and THEN I would be happy. Because I would be working toward something and have a set future. I'm not an anxious person...but the test and the idea of working long hours, going back to school and studying things I wasn't passionate about was making me feel crazy. This pushed me to be on my yoga mat even more.
My parent’s neighbor was leading a yoga Teacher Training and heard I had a home practice going. The day before it started, she asked me to take a walk with her – the message she gave me will stick with me forever: There are no such things as coincidences, listen to your body and believe in the direction you are being pulled.
I had a big heart to heart with my family, laid it all on the table and decided that after I finished my LSAT, I was going straight to the studio. That weekend I was at the training and have am now a 200hr RYT in Hatha Yoga, Sculpt Yoga Teacher, Level 1 Kundalini Teacher, and have been an assistant Kundalini Yoga Teacher for a Level 1 Teacher Training.
My mat is where I realized the reason I was unhappy – I had given up on myself. All my dreams, the hard work I had put into being an athlete…I was partying and letting people who didn’t care about me dictate my life.
I can’t say I’ve been perfect, but I have taken drastic steps to cut the unhealthy habits and people out of my life. A lot of this came from letting go of expectations…who cares what other people think! All that matters is that you’re happy, healthy and love your life.
Yoga has helped me to be consistent in my workouts and nutrition no matter how busy my schedule is. Learning to show up EVERY DAY, when no one’s around, has been the hardest part – but it has taught me to be accountable to MYSELF and to take positive steps toward my goal every day. It’s not easy, but trust me – IT’S WORTH IT! We are all worth it.
If you need help remembering that, I’m here to help. Please contact me if you are interested in making a positive change in your life.
Nothing but love,