Growing up I was, as my father would say, a "girly tomboy." I was a dancer, cheerleader, gymnast and majorette. I loved being outdoors and spent several summers at different camps canoeing, hiking, camping out, rock climbing, and white water rafting. I never minded getting dirty, just as long as I looked cute doing it.

When I was 16 years old, life as I knew it was about to change... drastically. I experienced a major setback that would unknowingly change the course of my life. I was away at a cheerleading event when I began having chest pains and trouble breathing. What I later found out was that I was having a severe asthma attack that was closing off my airways. Grace doesn’t even begin to describe what I received that night. The doctors in the emergency room described my attack as a double-edged sword; it could’ve taken my life, but it also saved my life because I had misdiagnosed with bronchitis.

Later that same year I experienced another setback. I was hospitalized with pneumonia when my left lung collapsed. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was forced to give up everything.... cheerleading, gymnastics, dance. My body was completely broken down; I couldn’t even breath on my own. I turned this negative into a newfound source of motivation because I knew that no one could improve my health but me.... I just needed to identify some new habits and practice them until I improved my health. This strategy paid off, as I have since gone on to take part in 5K's, compete fitness competitions, and am currently training for the Tough Mudder. Through this experience, I've learned that being active begins with a choice and eventually evolves into a lifestyle.

Fitness completely changed my life, and looking back 10 years later, my journey is now focused on helping and inspiring others. I have had a lot of success at young age, but I have also had my share of trials and obstacles to overcome. I choose to look at each chapter of my life as an experience and lesson from which I can learn something and then use to inspire or motivate someone else. Every experience has made me the person I am today. I am truly blessed to have found my calling and purpose so early in life. I feel privileged to wake up every morning and do what I love. If there's one thing that I'm most thankful for it's my health... I know first-hand that there's nothing like a strong mind and body.