Posted on October 31 2017
Once a month on From the Ashes: Stories of Transformation, we feature people that have transformed their health through relentless determination.
Tell us about your personal fitness and health journey
It has been a crazy journey. Weight has always been a touchy subject for me. I was dating a personal trainer right after college. And you know, everyone gains weight in college. At first he would say, “You’re beautiful.” But after a while, he became mentally abusive. We would go to the gym and he would say as I was lifting, “This is so embarrassing. I can’t believe you can’t squat this. I’m a trainer, and you represent me. How do you think you make me look?” Having someone you love saying this…It was discouraging and sad, but weirdly enough I wanted to please him. I wanted to lose weight for him. I recognize now that he wasn’t a good guy.
This same guy is also the one who got me into CrossFit. He suggested a girl’s only CrossFit class. I was nervous. I watched videos online and I thought, “these people are crazy” but I wanted to do it for him. I didn’t have a lot of confidence back then, but slowly, I started seeing my potential and I started falling in love with the sport. I also had great trainers that believed in me. I had a trainer say, “We’re going to squat three times a week.” And gradually, I was able to squat my body weight. I wouldn’t have discovered my potential without them. Having people that pushed me and believed in me made a difference. I’m super thankful for those people.
Now I'm a CrossFit Level 1 trainer because of people that believed in me and my ability to help others.
What keeps you going?
My CrossFit community. If you see the same people working out everyday, eventually you become friends. The people I’ve met at my old gym in El Paso and my new gym here in Dallas have become my best friends. I can honestly call them with anything and I know they'll be there for me. I love it. I look forward to it now.
I also have my own personal goals. I want to eventually clean and jerk 200lbs. I want to be healthy and have a long life. I want to avoid the health risks that many Hispanics face. I want to look good. Sometimes when I don't want to work or don’t feel like working out, I put videos on of CrossFitters working out to get me going.
How long ago did you start your transformation?
It will be 4 years in December that I started CrossFit, but it hasn’t been perfect. In May, I sprained my ankle really bad and I was out a month and a half. Before that, I moved from El Paso to Dallas and I stopped training for 5 months. I have to tell myself, “Maybe you aren’t where you were before, but you’ve just got to keep going.” Before this, I never considered myself an athlete. I hadn’t done sports or really anything athletic before starting CrossFit.
What advice would you give someone looking to establish a healthy lifestyle?
I’ve had people just starting out reach out for help before, and I tell them you have to find something you like. Something you want to do everyday.
CrossFit isn't for everyone. Find something you love and enjoy. Maybe it is running. Maybe it is playing soccer with your kids. For me, I love lifting weights and being sweaty.
I personally stopped relying on the scale and focused on my personal goals. My goal is to lift heavy. Instead of the number on the scale, I think about if I’m really reaching the goals I want in a healthy way.
What words do you live by?
Trust the process.
Be patient. It's a process. Trust the process. Put in the time. Put in the work. Add in little by little. Maybe it’s two pounds more on your back squat. Maybe it’s an extra 5 reps.