Don’t build your life in such a way that you are successful to other people and a failure to yourself.
I can still remember the overwhelming happiness
I felt when I was finally able to wrap my arms completely around my mother when she hugged me. I was 5 years old and I remember feeling the joy and safety that surrounded my mother working towards her goal of health.
I was never skinny as a kid and recognized very early that the eating style in my family was unhealthy. Later, when I began to learn about health and safety topics in school, I wasn’t just intrigued - I was inspired. I made it my mission to tell everyone i could about the danger of smoking cigarettes and drugs and my fire preparedness and safety and emergency knowledge were unparallelled. Coupled with being the oldest child and taking my role as a good big sister very seriously, I really, truly had a burning desire to help people.
Babysitter, tutor, lifeguard, peer mediator, multi-talented family helper, I was like a sponge who wanted to soak up as much information as possible and to contribute positive assistance anywhere I could.
When the time came to graduate from college,
I had interned at a law office and realized that I did not want to go into criminal defense law and “help bad guys get off” so I had to search to try to find the direction I wanted to steer my life. I worked A LOT of different jobs trying to find “it” but the overarching feeling was--am I doing anything to help anyone? Am i truly making a difference? Over and over the answer was no.
So, I returned to school to get my MBA and near the end of my studies realized that I did NOT want to sit at a desk in some corporate office pushing paper or running numbers. That was not going to make ME happy. I loved to travel and the excitement of flexibility in my day and schedule. So when I met 2 female law enforcement officers at a job fair, my life was forever changed. They were strong, kind, beautiful, and smart. I had never considered that line of work but I said--wow--all of those attributes are how I see myself and the job description matched with what I wanted for my career path.
I joined the sheriff’s department and graduated in the top 10%of my class.
I worked in the jails, as a training officer, on patrol in some of the roughest, toughest parts of Los Angeles, undercover, special teams, some detective work and completely LOVED it.
My life was set--I was happy, moving up the ranks, and enjoying life. But my life was forever changed when a car accident on duty ultimately ended my career. After neck and back surgery I had to reteach myself to walk. I was in constant pain, shackled by the guidelines of disability retirement, and had to reduce my lifestyle to match my limited funds and inability to work in my chosen career. “Retired” at 33, I was worn down, stressed, depressed, unhappy, and had lost my passion for health and wellness. After a long, arduous recovery period, I quite literally had to reinvent my life.
I ultimately rehabilitated myself from using a walker to becoming a body competitor.
But that is the cotton candy version of my story. Stress, broken relationships, anger, extreme sadness, intense depression, feeling lost and feeling like God and the universe were punishing me gives a small glimpse into my daily baggage. I felt helpless, useless, unloved and unlovable.
But, something kept telling me that since I was still here and didn’t lose my life in the accident, I had a purpose. Just when I hit rock bottom and the physical pain and depression was at max level and I was ready to give up I prayed to God for a sign and to show me my purpose. That evening, something led me to post about my story and my struggle, on facebook. I was not “fine” as per my usual response when anyone asked me. What came next was truly miraculous. I received dozens of messages from friends, family, and even distant acquaintances saying that my story had truly touched them and started talking to them about how they could keep going and pushing past their obstacles. What I had failed to realize was that I had been implementing the exact tools needed to deal with and master change. What I was missing was my mindset about the entire experience and treating myself as whole person, not jumping from one issue to the next. Everything was interconnected.
From this experience, I had a renewed passion for life, health, wellness and truly helping people.
Now, my passion is to help people by sharing my story of going from depression to triumph for the purpose of inspiring and motivating others and to truly change lives through total mind, body, and spirit fitness. Are you ready to change your life?