July 30, 2018

In the Blink of an Eye

613 words · 4 minutes

I became an athlete at a young age. I began my gymnastics career early in my childhood. My twin sister and I were simply placed in this sport to "learn some coordination" as my mom would say. Little did she know that in the eyes of a 4-year-old, gymnastics would turn into something much more.

Like most of you who identify with a sport, that sport became my everything at a young age. It quickly became my favorite thing in the world. I would do cartwheels across the lawn and handstands in the living room. You could not keep me upright on my own two feet no matter how hard you tried. That's when my identity was declared. My friends, my family, my teachers and my Sunday school class all knew me as... A GYMNAST!

The harder I worked, the more successful I became and the more fun I was having. My body was built for this sport. I craved the adrenaline rush on that competition floor and the feeling of perfection as continued practices began to pay off. My senior year of high school I earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to Arizona State University where I had the amazing opportunity to continue my gymnastics career competing for a PAC 12 Division 1 team. My dreams were coming true! I had achieved what so few athletes ever do. But those college years flew by, and quickly my senior season was on the line.

Now, gymnastics is a funny sport. It's one of the few that you can't play professionally or in an adult league once your college years are over. Mind you, the wear and tear on your body catches up with you and you're pretty beat and set to "retire" by then anyways.

No matter how ready my body was to quit though, my mind never truly was. Senior Night snuck up on me all too fast and the roar of the crowd and bright arena lights were gone in the blink of an eye. My gymnastics career was over. My identity was stolen...gone...disappeared.

What do I do? What am I now?  Who am I?

Immediately after my gymnastics career ended, I was finishing up my second year of grad school trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life next. Did I want to coach? No. 4 years of working at my old club gym taught me that my passion for the sport was still strong, but I needed more than coaching. Did I want to pursue a medical career and help athletes return to their sport after major injuries and illness? No. 3 years of finishing up prerequisite classes, failing the MCAT and working never-ending shifts in the E.R. (Which was always so fun!) showed me that that career wasn't quite fit for me.

It wasn't until I decided that life needed an adventure and I was going to move from my born-and-raised state of Arizona to the sunny beaches of Southern California that I found my new identity once again: I am a personal trainer!

But, I am so much more than that. I have developed a new love and craving for "retired" female athletes, in helping relight your spark to push your bodies back into competition mode and to become "game ready" once again!

I have created Cali Strong Fitness, a brand to empower women and retired female athletes to love their bodies and be comfortable in their own skin. Every ounce of muscle, skin and fat makes you, YOU, and YOU are beautiful. Now place that crown on your pretty little head with pride and let’s get that confidence back!

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