%image_alt%“This time last year, I decided I was going to change my image. I dedicated a lot of my time going to the gym working my butt off to achieve a certain goal: To get toned and increase muscle mass. It was not easy as the classes were intense and made my muscles shake and my body sweating like crazy. In all that madness, what kept me going was my motivation. My motivation was to stop considering myself weak and hating myself for it, as well as, stopping those who looked down on me. I needed to show those who were strong than I was that I will be stronger than they will ever be because of that motivation.
    Within the year, I have succeeded in toning within 6 months of joining the gym and have had a personal trainer help me with techniques and muscle growth. Along the way I found a passion of working out, not just a forcing factor to meet my goal, but as a new lifestyle. I started to actually looking forward to my workouts because they brought a sense of accomplishment whenever I had a bad day or even a good day. I have made friends along the way that have cheered me on, and return cheered them on and we gave each other a sense of encouragement, even though we were extremely tired and had barely any strength left over to finish our workouts.

    In the end, I am happier than I have ever been in a long time. Shockingly, I have started hating myself less than I had before. I am surrounded by people who understand what I have been going through and have supported me this past year.
    After all this time, I would like to give a few special thanks. First, I would like to thank those who have looked down on me, rejected me, and those who made me invisible in their daily lives. Without you, I would never have started working my way to where I am now.

    Second, I would like to give thanks to my family and friends. I know I could sound like a gym rat at times but thanks for being there anyways. I am thankful for the all the compliments, teases, jokes, and for the times of just hanging, cause we all know I need a break every now and then.

    Third, I would like to give a BIG special thanks to Lena Gibb, Taylor Empey, Monika McKamey, and Mindy McCutcheon Cline. You have put me through hell and back every time I have attended one of your classes. You guys pushed me to a limit that I could not excel on my own and gave me insane workouts that not any normal person can handle… and I am not kidding, you guys are insane (lol). But in the end I am glad to have formed friendships with all of you, you guys are the greatest…”