“God, I know I have betrayed you. I know I once said no to your existence. I was so furious with you, for here I was laying in my hospital bed, 89lbs to death, continuing the decade battle with my eating disorder. I needed you. You weren’t there. I was there, abandoned with my life sucking eating disorder and draining depression. Why would you leave me to suffer for so many lonely years?
Yesterday, I finally realized why. Your light shined through me, and in that moment, it hit me. You never abandoned me, you were there all along. It was you letting the hardship run its course so I could appreciate a happy moment so much more. People talk about happiness all the time. They ask, “are you happy?” And on impulse, because society tells you so, you respond you are.
But are you?
I thought I was. But my heart still felt a small hole, a spot that was waiting for true happiness to pour into it and make it overflow. I searched high and low, and couldn’t seem to find my niche, something that made me think, “finally”. Yesterday, I felt it. I felt you, God. You finally arose and allowed me to have my victory. You put all of the people I love in one room, and let our love flow like the Nile river. You answered all of my “whys”. You allowed me to feel full for the first time in 20 years, and for that, for You, I give my gratitude.
As many of you know and are aware of, I am very open about my struggles and what I have been through. I do not share for sympathy. I share in hopes at least one soul in this world can overcome the wrath of a mental struggle. Notice how I say struggle and not illness, and not disease. I am not a disease. I am not defined by what textbooks classify as an illness.
Powerlifting truly has been my light switch in life. It has taught me to nourish to flourish. It has brought people into my life who I couldn’t imagine life without today. It has rekindled broken ends in my life, and shown me forgiveness. The iron has given me the urge to take care of myself in all forms. It has blessed me with a family that I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for. On January 19th, 2018, I was blessed enough to be the recipient of the 2018 USAPL Most Inspirational Athlete Award. Never in a million light years did I ever imagine receiving such an honor. To anyone who contributed to me receiving this incredible award, thank you. I love each and every one of you, and I am eternally grateful for you all.
Yesterday, January 20th, 2018, was the greatest day of my existence. I didn’t rely on luck, I knew in my soul I had earned everything that happened. I had put in the hard work, day in and day out. Even on my sick days with a 102 degree fever, I put in the work and never stopped grinding. Even when my back was absolutely killing me, I took care of myself and still worked. My eye was on the prize and I never once let my gaze shift. I envisioned my goals. I said my goals out loud. I asked God relentlessly to bless me with an end result I was going to be proud of.
And I am DAMN PROUD. Yesterday was my best and most successful meet to date. At the 2018 USAPL State Championship Meet in Racine, WI, I ended up being the 63kg Raw Junior State Champion, placing 2nd in the 63kg Raw Open class, going 9/9 (not a single red light all day!), qualifying for 2018 Raw Nationals, and PR’ing on both bench and deadlift. I finished the day with a 253.5lb squat, a 132.5lb bench, and a 363.5lb deadlift. It was an incredible meet, that’s for damn sure.
About 25 weeks ago, I reached out to Leanna Carr to inquire about coaching. She is an amazing and empowering woman, and I had looked up to her for many years prior to us connecting. I never thought we would develop the bond we possess today. She has changed my entire life. Leanna has brought me a sense of direction, confidence, and strength. I’ve never been more humbled by another human soul in my entire life, and I am so blessed to not only have her as my coach, but one of my best friends. She took it upon herself to come all the way from Colorado and surprise me at my meet. I still honestly cannot believe she did this for me and that her and my family organized such an amazing experience for me. She also brought along another huge inspirational person to me in the powerlifting world, John Haack, who also helped me behind the scenes of my meet yesterday. Thank you, John, for taking the time out of your day to support me. Your friendship means more than you will ever know. And to someone who is like a sister for me, Leanna, I don’t know how I will ever repay you for this weekend. I am just so thankful for you, that I don’t even know what to say. I have found a forever friend and coach in you. You truly are the most beautiful woman I have ever met. I have so much love for you.
Then we have this guy named Jordan. You all know him as the almighty King Quadzilla on Instagram, but I know him as, well that, but more so one of my very best friends and biggest supporters. Yesterday would not have been possible without you, Jordan. I am so grateful for our Team Z family. You kept the winds blowing in the storm yesterday, and never once let them die down. Whatever you may need, name it, and I’ll do it. I would do anything for you to express my thankfulness. And Shannon, thank you for tagging along to support me yesterday as well. I’m so lucky that Jordan picked you to be his sidekick, because it brought me an amazing friend. You both are so strong, and boulders in my life. I love you both so much.
To Alex, someone I crossed paths with in the more recent months, and someone I instantly clicked with. I’ve never met a more kind soul, someone who no matter what we are, he’s there for me. I don’t think anyone would’ve done what Alex did for me yesterday, and what he continues to do. He looks at me in any state, makeup or not, and still picks me. I not once had to ask him for his support, because he’s the kind of man who just puts himself out there, and is constantly thriving. I am so proud of you, Alex, and all that you’ve overcome. I am proud to overcome struggle together, and am so thankful for all the little and big memories we share.
My family has been the Gorilla Glue throughout my entire journey. From beside my death bed, to beside the platform, they’ve never given up on me. No matter what I chose, I have their support. I wouldn’t have had a body to powerlift in if it wasn’t for them. I wouldn’t have a life to live to it’s upmost greatest potential if it wasn’t for them. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it wasn’t for them. I will spend the rest of my life thanking you all for everything you do for me. I know I’m a pain in the ass sometimes, but I’m happy to be able to say I’m your pain in the ass. My ENTIRE family, each and every one of you, I love you so much. My heart is so full from all of your love.
To my powerlifting family, anyone who is in the USAPL that has allowed me opportunity and believed in my abilities as an athlete, thank you. Your support and love has shown me a whole new life, a whole new outlook on life. You know who you are. 💜
To my amazing friend group, to ANYONE that offered me the slightest amount of support throughout my journey, I give my thanks and love to you. A huge thank you to Paul and Lauren who took the time out of their lives to come and support me. You two are goals, and I’m so thankful for both of you and your friendship.
Thank you to my beautiful and most close girlfriends, Emma, Alexis, Maddy. My best dude friends who I consider some of the most important men and friends in my life, Eric, Jarrod, Casey, and Zach, thank you. I’m so happy to be a part of your lives and to have each of the unique relationships we have.
My heart is just so full. I could go on, and on, and on about how thankful I am, and I feel like no matter how much I say or show, I will never be able to tell all these special people how grateful I am. I never once believed that I would be here today, doing what I am, being capable of what I am. I wasn’t supposed to make it alive past 15 years old. But here I am. 20, thriving, constantly getting stronger, eating good, feeling good, and honestly, genuinely happy. Ladies and gentleman, I am just getting started. I am just beginning a legacy, my legacy. This is just me dipping my toes in the water. I have a fire lit under my ass. The fire within me is like one of those trick birthday candles. People will try over and over to put out my flame. But I will continue to rise, flicker, and flame. I am one of God’s children, and I will never stop being faithful. Again, thank you to everyone. I am beyond blessed.
This is just the start.
(THE BEST 63KG RAW JR LIFTER IN THE STATE LIKE WHAAAAAT OKAY THAT IS ME! WOWZA!!!)