Say hello to our girl, Ashley! Beautiful, brave, strong, empowering- these are just a handful of words that we would use to describe her. After surviving a mass shooting, Ashley has developed a brand new outlook on life. She is grateful for the present and hopeful for the future. Her ability to take a horrible circumstance and turn it into a bitter-sweet life lesson is more than just impressive- it is inspiring.
We feel blessed to have Ashley as part of our sisterhood. Her determination to reach her goals, irresistibly makes us all want to work a little harder. Keep reading to learn not only about Ashley’s fitness journey, but her journey through life.
April 2017 was my test class which I did because Carrie Becker had gushed so much about this place she had been working out at that I had to see it for myself.
I technically am a founding member of Bonney Lake, but before it opened I had an unexpected move to South Hill and Downtown became my home gym. I was doing 3 days/wk package and would miss weeks at a time.
The reason I tell you all of this is because I feel like October 2017 is when I really started at Vie. I returned from Las Vegas, where I had been an attendee of the Route 91 weekend festival, also known as the 2017 Las Vegas Shooting. I was a completely reshaped person. I didn’t understand why I had been saved. Spared by 15 minutes, but the scene from where I had once stood meant I shouldn’t be coming home. I continued to question why I was saved that night but at the time all I could control and think was I wanted to live for the 58 souls that could no longer physically do so. I was frustrated but knew to live for them I had to change my life, I had to really focus on my health and happiness and give myself completely to the process.
Aren’t we all thinking about breathing!?
Real answer, I am honestly usually thinking about modifications so that I never break. I am usually frustrated at the same time that I am still modifying but try to cut the negative talk as soon as possible and remind myself it’s temporary. My timeline for temporary has changed quite a bit. I just try to have grace with myself because had I not come to workout and kept coming, I wouldn’t be traveling in the direction I desire.
The right pair of pants can make or break a workout! I am a fan of Zella (available at Nordstrom) – for those with curves, finding a pair of workout leggings that will hug in the right places without being annoying or painful but still fashionable is a struggle but they’ve been a good fit (pun intended) for me.
Rise with intention for the day ahead.
Rise to the occasion.
Rise above the bar you’ve set.
Rise for You.
Rise because whether you’ve noticed or not, someone is looking to you for inspiration.
Rise simply because you can.
I struggle with comparing myself to others. I hate that I still can’t get the bar in the right place for cleans and I’m still modifying burpees and box jumps; but this is my journey. Hard work and practice is the only thing that will change it. Focus on little goals but keep showing up for your future self!
It helps that Carrie Becker and Erika Campbell are two of my closest friends. Plus, Erika is my roommate and both of us are #viegirls. It motivates me to make it to workouts because I know I’ll want to have stories of pain to share with them the next day. It’s my new friends I have made since starting Vie. Also, I know what goals I have for myself and that it means I have to show up for myself. Commuting with my new job to Seattle has definitely made it a little harder but that’s how I know my mentality has changed because I get frustrated when I have to miss a workout.
Vie has helped me embrace my worth. My heart wants for so many parts of life, from love to health. I struggle with God’s plan for me a lot: past, present and future. But for that one hour in the gym, I am supported, encouraged and challenged. It helps me break down the walls I’ve spent so many years putting up. I have full control over my success in the gym and ironically I know it’s because of God’s will that I am able to do so.
Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support me. I am not the biggest talker during workouts (reference above: trying to breathe) but I love to connect with everyone and follow your journey as well; so feel free to find me and say hi – @findingmyskinnygenes. C’est la vie, vivre au maximum!