Me & Simmons

Why am I getting teary eyed listening to a podcast on the overly eccentric, short spandex, always conspicuous Richard Simmons? I only knew him as an icon or make-shift halloween costume. Yes, here I am driving back from visiting my mom in Virginia trying to keep it together.

Am I going insane? Probably. The thing is, I could relate to a lot of what Richard Simmons deals with as a fitness icon. In no way am I saying I’m as big as he is, obviously. But, there are some mental struggles that he deals with and parallel personality traits that I see in myself.

I was born without a love for sports. I did not really exercise, I let my brothers be the All-stars of the family. In middle school I struggled making friends. It didn’t help that at the time I was overweight, had braces, glasses and of course decided to play the trombone. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just that middle schoolers can be cruel about any ONE of those characteristics.

I tried basketball but got cut from the team both years. I wasn’t good so it wasn’t suprising but still was a hard lesson to learn. Then finally found my niche in 8th grade with track & field. I was fast and had grown quite a few inches. It felt so good to be cheered for and encouraged. This continued through multiple years or track meets, coaches, and a lot of new friends.

This passion rolled into my decision to study Exercises and Sport Science at UNC -Chapel Hill and become a group fitness instructor. I LOVED helping people. I wanted to show people that they are capable of so much more.

If you ask my clients they will tell you I always train like I’ve just inhaled coffee even if it’s 4 a.m. That is because I THRIVE off of people. I get my energy from being around my clients and helping them push themselves outside of their comfort zones to GROW and find their fit.

Simmons has an amazing gift and pushes the limits to get positive fitness results from his clients. Listening to the podcast talking about his energy and giving 120% in his classes to his clients, no boundaries and being 100% raw. I feel like I do the same.

No matter what they are going through I want their time spent with me to be a highlight of their day, because I care. I care about their results and I care about their goals, their struggles, their frustrations. I will stay up late and wake up early to answer a text or talk over whatever is going on in their life.

Richard talked about dealing with depression. I could relate to this as well. I am 100% extraverted and I always feel the need to be around people. Now, sometimes after giving my all to my people I find myself become a recluse. As if I could not stand to be around another human being. This is not because I do not love people, but because sometimes I struggle with loving myself.

As I am writing this my heart rate is starting to increase and breath is getting short. I am afraid to share this because I feel like as a fitness professional there are certain standards to be expected. I’m supposed to always be happy. I’m supposed to always eat healthy. I’m supposed to have a 6 pack and a perfect body.

I create these unrealistic standards in my head of where I should be on my fitness journey, on my entrepreneurial endeavors. And whenever I miss the mark I feel like I have failed everyone. I know failure creates growth and I PREACH that, just look at my Instagram posts. But that doesn’t make failure easy. That doesn’t still make it hard for me to accept my imperfections.

I wrote this post weeks ago, but I honestly did not have the courage to put myself out there. Since then, I have seen some amazing and raw people speak up so I am choosing to do the same. I know that it is important not get caught up in unrealistic expectations, so today I am choosing to be raw with each and every one of you. I am not perfect, neither are you. We are beautiful in those imperfections. Let’s live life loud and get lifted.

Missing Richard Simmons Podcast


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