"Never give up and always have fun!" Two things my parents would tell me growing up and before every gymnastics competition. They have stuck with me ever since and helped guide me in all of life's experiences. It seems as if I have been exercising my entire life. I started gymnastics when I was 3 years old and in high school I swam the butterfly on the swim team while also in gymnastics full time. I was 18 years old when I achieved a full athletic scholarship for gymnastics at The University of Kentucky. I majored in Exercise Science and loved every minute of it. Gymnastics was a true blessing and calling. In my sophomore year I ended up top 5 in the nation for All-Around title. God gave me a talent, but sometimes we have to learn the virtue of patience. Second competition into my sophomore year I stuck a vault landing and torn my ACL. I was out the rest of my sophomore year, and got back on my feet only to find that in practice 6 months later I torn the same ACL again, 2 months before competition season started.
Out again another year, I learned that gymnastics cannot be my life. God gave me this body for a reason and I am to honor my body as His Temple. That year was a good year for me personally, growing in my faith and devoted to getting stronger physically, mentally and spiritually. Finally, in my senior year the doctors cleared me to compete only the uneven parallel bars. I made it through 12 competitions with an average score of 9.75 out of 10 and ranked 6th in the nation. On my 13th competition SEC Champions I was so excited to get further than I ever have my entire college career. I did the best routine I ever have and went for the landing only to tear the same ACL for the 3rd time. I was devastated.
Still, God took care of me because it could have been much worse! The doctors gave me permission to compete in my final competition in two weeks, The Regional Championships. They told me even if I made it to Nationals that I wouldn't be able to compete in it because I will be having surgery once again, just in time for a graduation present. For two weeks I trained on a torn ligament without landing on it, only rehabbing it, icing it and praying for it! I must have had the entire staff in Athletes in Action around the nation praying for this day.
My last day of any fame or glory is finally here and my teammates are cheering me on, at the same time hoping nothing bad happens. I swing away at my bar routine with the utmost confidence trusting God's angels are all around me. I go for the stick once again and this time... I nail it! 9.85 was my final average score (which means one judge gave me a 9.95!) So close to a 10! I was perfectly satisfied. This is that moment...
During all this, I also dealt with severe back pain from scoliosis and stress fractures, later on finding out that the scoliosis was truly what caused the imbalances with my right leg.
I tell this story because I want clients, friends and family to know that when I say "I feel your pain" I really do mean it. Physical pain is something no one wants to experience. And along with physical pain you have to deal with all the emotions that come with it. I can appreciate those thoughts and tell you with all sincerity that it IS going to be OK! The only way I got through the pain and experienced the victory was by keeping my faith and honoring the one body God has given me. I knew this is what I was meant to do and helping people get through physical pain, whether it's obesity, injury, or weakness, I can help. I have the background that can get anyone to success.
Today, my knee and back are in great shape. I exercise every day and eat the foods God has given to the earth naturally. I keep a well maintained diet and am aware of what I am putting in my body and how my body responds to it. There is always a path to success, whether you want it bad enough to get on it is up to you and the choices you make.