I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 12 years old. It was at that point that I realized I had 2 choices. I could choose to let Lupus control my life or I could choose to fight it.
I chose to fight. I am so lucky to have an amazing mom who made sure she was guiding me in the right direction. She bought me a gym membership as soon as I was healthy enough to function again. I would go to the gym with her before school on most days and, at 12 years old, I rocked that elliptical machine! =D haha She listened to my complaints of achy joints and pain, but gave no sympathy. She helped me realize that the best thing I could do was go to the gym and MOVE, despite the pain. This is when I learned to never use my Lupus as an excuse.
After getting extremely sick my sophmore year in high school, my mom hired a personal trainer to help me get back on my feet. That’s when my life really changed. He motivated me to want to eat healthy, he proved to me that working out could be fun, and his program made me feel strong again. He changed my perspective on fitness and showed me that I was in control of my life and health. This was when I decided I wanted nothing more than to change other people’s lives the way he changed mine. I wanted to prove to everyone that they are in control of their health. I became a personal trainer straight out of high school.
I went to college as a Biology major, looking to possibly go to graduate school as a physical therapist. That was until I found CrossFit. I will never forget watching the 2010 CrossFIt games on TV and being amazed at what these people were capable of. It was at this moment I decided that I would do whatever it would take to one day make it to The CrossFit Games. What better way to win over my Lupus than competing alongside the fittest on earth?
The next day, having zero athletic background and no CrossFit experience, I walked into a CrossFit gym to try it out.
It was love at first WOD. =] I started CrossFit in October of 2011 and was level 1 certified by the next June. I loved how instead of influencing one person in an hour, I was able to influence a whole class of people. I fell in love with the excitement of hitting a new PR, the closeness of the community, and the constant encouragement to push the boundaries of what is possible. I found my true passion and calling in life and have been following it ever since.
This past year, after 5 years and a ton of trial and error, I finally qualified and competed the Central Regional. Being out on that floor motivated me more than ever to keep reaching for the ultimate goal of competing at The CrossFit Games. I hope to show everyone that no matter what stands in your way, if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.