Small town girl, that’s me. Having been raised in Hope, Arkansas, at that time, the population was about 10,000, one thing I knew was that I wanted to do something big. My mom, whom worked in a factory for 19 years, raised my younger brother and me. My father was never in my life and we didn’t have or do much. Mom had to work many hours because she made barely above minimum wage. Watching her juggle her work, a home with a large yard, and two children by herself really left me with a firm grasp of what hard work, dedication, and independence was. I believe I have her to thank for my determination, my perseverance, and many other things of course.
For entertainment as a child, I played school all of the time, as I aspired to become a teacher. At age 15, instead of playing sports like other kids, I got my first job. Healthy living wasn’t part of our lifestyle, that is until at age 18, my life did a real 180! I had my daughter, Alexis, and wanting to be the best mom possible, I became extremely involved in health and fitness. I moved Alexis and me about 30 minutes away from home, to Texarkana, and I joined my first gym; before then I had never been inside a gym.
A friend “showed me the ropes” with weight training, and I took aerobic classes regularly in hopes of acquiring some extra tips…since I had no idea what I was doing!! In addition, I was taking night classes at the local community college so that I could work during the day. While going to college, I worked in sales jobs, day care teaching, and waitressing, and finally had the opportunity to teach aerobic classes, which was great. After seven years of taking college classes, I graduated from Henderson State University – a forty-five minute commute each way, each day. I obtained a Bachelors of Science in Education.
As a 24-year-old single mom, I moved Alexis and myself four hours away from our family and friends in pursuit of a good paying job teaching third grade. After a year of teaching, I realized that as a single parent, teaching took too much time away from my raising Alexis. That summer, after consulting with a trainer/friend at the gym in which I belonged, I got my first Cooper Inst. personal training certification and began my journey as a trainer. One year later I began competing, and continuted until 2011, when I lost my baby girl to a horrible house fire in Granbury, TX. She was celebrating her 17th birthday with her friends, and early Sunday morning a fire started on one end of the mobile home. Though she was on the opposite end of the mobile home, Alexis was not able to find her way out in time. Alexis was a Junior in high school with plans on going to college. She was the most beautiful and amazing person I have ever had the honor of knowing. I love and miss her terribly. Losing her has changed me forever. I have become closer to God than ever before. It is my passion to get to heaven to be with Alexis again. In a nutshell, this is my story. I hope this motivates you to live a healthy life and because life is short, pursue your dreams.