I was an avid long-distance runner for ten years before I picked up a weight up. Before I became a coach, I was an athlete and mostly a cross country and track runner. I grew up in an abusive home with drugs and alcohol all around me. I needed an escape- running became my therapy at the age of twelve. It was my drug of choice, my method I used to escape the madness at home.

I felt a sense of freedom & empowerment from this early introduction into sports. Running helped change the course of my entire life I am so grateful for. I remained loyal to the sport for over ten years. I never bothered to try strength training partly because I was uneducated about its benefits, but also because I just didn’t view it with the same excitement I had for running. I was seeking that “endorphin” rush.

I didn’t understand how lifting heavy dumbbells and barbells would get me that same feeling, that “high” I got from running that made me feel so damn good. I was always under the impression my legs were strong from running so I technically didn’t need to strength train. Plus, I never wanted to get “bulky”- a common fear of many women.

It wasn’t until later before I became a strength training coach that I learned just how complicated it actually is for women to put on muscle. I also quickly learned how far a proper progressive strength training program can go. PLUS that high I was always seeking through running? TOTALLY attainable with weights. If not, even more so!

The fear of bulking was quickly put to rest as well. I educated myself on the science behind strength training, progressive overloading and most importantly- nutrition.

I decided to become a coach in 2008 because I wanted to help and empower women. I wanted to spread the knowledge of what I learned and I wanted to show women just how beneficial strength training could be.

Strength training consistently allowed me to gain self-confidence in myself and helped me to evolve into the most healthy version of me- both mentally AND physically.

Not only did I see a positive change in my body, but I also felt incredibly different. I was sleeping better, felt less stressed and anxious, and overall felt more confident than I ever was in my life. And (gasp!) I didn’t get bulky!

In fact, I became leaner than I ever had been before- even when I was running upwards of 60 miles a week!

Some of the benefits of strength training I experienced included:

•Decrease in fat, increase in muscle - AKA more “toned” look
•Higher RMR (resting metabolic rate) - AKA the amount of calories I was burning at rest, which allowed me more freedom to eat more
•Higher self-confidence
•Increase in strength
•Less joint pain and pain in general- especially while running
•Better posture!
•Reduction in symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
•Reduction in overall stress and anxiety
•Decrease in the number of colds and illnesses I got throughout the year
•More confidence in the bedroom (ayyy!)
•Decrease in injuries
•Better sleep quality

I am proud to say today I am a woman who lifts. And one who lifts damn heavy.

In fact, the opener after my height on my bumble profile states “Probably stronger than you.” And if he can’t handle the heat, he needs to get out. I am proud of my toned body I’ve worked so hard to build and maintain throughout the years.

Today, I am more confident now in my 30’s than I have ever been in my life.

My goal is to inspire young women and educate them on the actual facts of strength training and the benefits of what it can do to their body, minds, and spirits.

I hope my story does just that.