From an early age, fitness has always been a big part of my life. With my grandmother’s push, I started Tae Kwon Do at the age of seven. There I learned what true dedication, discipline, and hard work looked like. After years of hard work, I earned my black belt at the age of 19. Martial arts not only shielded me from so many things going on around me, but it also taught me the value of working for what you want in life and always giving your best.
Martial arts allowed me to gain the confidence to learn new skills and it taught me to go after what I wanted in life. In high school, I started running track and fell in love with this new challenge. My senior year I went on to win state and break a school record. I always went all in on my goals, and I knew that if I worked hard, I could be the best because I was always willing to grow and master new skills.
After high school, I continued to expand my skills and knowledge and earned my second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a Track and Field scholarship to the University of New Mexico, where my team won several conference titles and I was ranked 11th in the nation in the 400 hurdles. I was able to balance so many things because I prioritized the things that I wanted to achieve in life, and I was not willing to let moments of lack of motivation or excuses take away from my potential.
After college, I continued to practice martial arts and run, and I even started competing in boxing and learning yoga. The pandemic, along with a serious injury, made me have to rehab a ruptured Achilles and also question a lot of things in my life including my “Whys”. Why am I an athlete? Why do I train if I have an injury and the world is shut down? During this time, I realized that I am an athlete and fitness is my passion: no matter what, I will work hard; I will work through whatever challenges are thrown at me; fitness is a lifestyle not a destination; and there is no finish line or reason to quit if you just keep going.
Although fitness has helped me gain the skills I have today, including a degree and several certifications, it has also made me into a better person and coach. I will continue to preach to all my students and clients that if you are disciplined, if you commit to working hard, and you believe in yourself, you can change your life.