Hello, I’m Ashley, but a first name does not tell you a whole lot about who I am, what I have done, or what I’ve learned. So, I’m going to work backwards and catch you up with a few highlights.
May 2016 – I was 25 years old, newly married, and desperately struggling to finish my teaching degree. Over the course of an academic year I realized I wanted to finish my degree but not necessarily for the right reason. Did I want to finish to actually put it to use and teach, or just to have an accomplishment to be proud of and rely on if needed? Don’t get me wrong I LOVE teaching!! The eighth grade students I was with for nearly nine months made me realize how true of a fit teaching is for me. BUT the rings of fire I had to jump through to please the staff and university showed me the political side of the education field.
On top of deciding if my “why” was strong enough to finish out; Justin and I were in our first year of marriage. I absolutely, undoubtedly love this man; but some days I thought I was going to just scream and wring his neck. Our schedules had no flexibility for the longest time and were set. I had an hour drive to the school I was student teaching at so my day started at 5/5:30 a.m. and I usually walked back in the door between 5:00-7:00 p.m. While he was working Air Force swing shift 3/3:30 – 11:30/midnight. We only saw each other on weekends, which meant we spent one day catching up and at least a half day arguing over something petty. I remember someone saying, before entering my student teaching year, that the last stretch would be the hardest and most trying. As most of you know, the common marriage phrase is “the first year is the hardest”. I didn’t realize just how difficult taking on the two would be.
Rewind to two -three years prior.
I entered the education program with the best of intentions and my heart and mindset were completely dialed in. I was working retail 20-35 hours a week, gaining debt, and struggling with my health. I decided to take the following semester off and work, in hopes of digging myself out of the financial black hole I was in. I ended up meeting my husband during this time, which was definitely the highlight. I somehow acquired horrendous migraines, vitamin deficiency, and a sensitivity to gluten; and spent a lot of time at the hospital. However, it took me going to five doctors before any useful information was given.
Rewind to my sophomore year of college. I was so terrified of gaining the freshmen 15 that I religiously went to the gym and ate decent. Then my sophomore year came around, some friends and community members were involved in an accidents, and I lost touch with any health and fitness goals. By the end of my sophomore year I had gained so much weight I couldn’t fit in my jeans and the scale hit 179lbs. I knew I needed to do something but I was overwhelmed and continued to put it off. While, home visiting one weekend, one of my younger cousins asked, “are you going to have a baby?”. I can’t even describe how humiliating, unnerving, and honest that moment was. Yes, I excused myself and cried my mascara off next to Duke (my lab). From that moment on I was determined to make changes. I told myself I would become healthy to the best of my ability through exercise and nutrition. I would not under any circumstances resort to an eating disorder, diet pills, or the latest ‘two celery sticks per meal’ diet. I remembered my roommate talking about a class she had taken, Turbokick. She said it was hard and intense, but the music was killer and the instructor was a blast. Later, that fall, I made myself attend a class at the REC Center. I was mortified… only fit people go to the gym. After experiencing that class I began a JUNKIE. I never missed one and eventually worked up the courage to position myself to the front of the class.
The following summer I was afraid of going backwards so I contacted the instructor who happened to be a Beachbody Coach. She told me about the at home version called Turbofire. I ordered the program and Shakeology and have been true to the promise I made myself. I haven’t starved myself or taken crazy pills and am down 40-50 lbs (I’m human my weight fluxes). I fell in love so much I became a Coach and a certified instructor in Turbokick and Piyo.
Before all of that, I had a fairly normal, small town childhood. Everyone knew everyone’s family three generations back, participated in all sports and extracurricular activities, including 4-H. Holidays were a big deal and life centered around family. I am the oldest of four; I have one sister and two brothers.
So that is basically my life story in a nutshell. The reasoning behind my dedication to my health and fitness, family time, and the desire to help others work through their issues and live happier lives (that they actually enjoy!).