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Okay I'm not going to lie. I am a little afraid to post this

Before we take off on a blog full of fun content, I think it's important to step back and fill you in on my backstory and what brought me here. I'm going to fill you in on my story of going from a young girl with body weight and self confidence issues, anxiety, depression, and a general feeling of being lost in life to a confident woman balancing a full time and a very full part time professional fitness life who has found her PURPOSE and PASSION.

I wish I could tell you it was a quick transformation and give you some simple steps to follow to get yourself out of wherever you are that you want out of right now, but the things in life we want the most are usually the hardest to get. So, you'll need to roll up your sleeves and be ready to get messy. You'll need to open your mind and let down walls that you've been fortifying for years. It's going to be hard, and there will be roadblocks that will try to keep you from changing. No matter how tough it gets and how uncomfortable you may feel, you need to #BEALLIN.

So you know where I am coming from, let's get ~personal~ and get into the STUFF that happened before all the accomplishments and before the polished Instagram images. I want you to know where I am coming from and know that I see you.

I have butterflies because writing this out is slightly terrifying as I reveal my soul to you ... literally my stomach is flipping but here we go.

Fitness was not something I grew up with. I tried almost every sport and quit them. I was never the fastest, or the most agile, the strongest, or even just popular. I hated when it was time for the Presidential Fitness Test to roll around because I knew I would always be last. My self confidence was buried so deep in the ground I don't think it ever saw the light. Kids would make fun of my body on the bus, in the lunch line, in the hallways. One day at lunch I bought pizza from the lunch line and one of the popular girls called me a pig and told me to get a salad next time. I felt so helpless, sad, frustrated, angry. Fitness, popularity, LIFE seemed to come so easily to everyone else but me.

2007 Mer - trying my best to NOT take up space

One day after coming home from another day of living uncomfortably in my skin, unhappy, and being bullied by everyone at school, I decided to make a change. I had an epiphany. I realized we only get this one life to live and I didn’t want to stay on the same unhappy course I've been on; I wanted to live it to its fullest.

So, I started small. I went on walks at night with the moms in my neighborhood, we called each other the nightly walkers. This was my first fitness community. We held each other accountable and motivated one another to continue showing up. From there I invested in a gym membership and started going on the cardio machines. My first big goal was to run a mile without stopping - something I never was able to do during the fitness test days. From there I upgraded to a gym that my friend was a member to and it had group fitness classes. I became a spin and Body Pump regular and I made strong bonds with some of the instructors. They taught me about lifting and how being healthy is more than just working out: it's mindset, it's nutrition, it's how you talk to yourself in your head.

Fast forward to the summer after I graduated from Syracuse University I invested in a health coach that taught me portion control and how to set goals. My first goal was to become a spin instructor - and my career in professional fitness began!

I wish I could tell you it was easy from there... but the hard part was just beginning. I had to learn to connect with my riders and project confidence which is something I didn't quite have yet. I was still struggling with my body image - and with entering the fitness industry I felt like there was a microscope on what I looked like. Every other instructor had abs, a big following, and knew just the right things to say on the podium... I was second guessing myself every moment in and out of class. I was too in my head and not in the moment. I was constantly trying to simultaneous please everyone else while trying to be like everyone else - and eventually this led to poor class performance. I was taken off the schedule and I took an almost 2 year step back from instructing.

just before I took a break from instructing

I learned a lot about myself in that pause. I needed that time to realize that I love the fitness industry and that I have a lot to offer. I learned in that time that what makes me different is my strength, and I have a powerful message to give others. I want to help people realize it is doing yourself a disservice to hold yourself back from doing something because you think you aren't ready for it, or you don't think you look the part, or have the right things to say... it's all a narrative you make up in your head that holds your back from your authentic, true self.

Couldn't be happier to be a part of The Handle Bar!! :)

I'm passionate about helping others become the best version of themselves as early as possible - and I believe that all stems from developing strong self confidence.

Just like our muscles, confidence is something you relentlessly need to work on for it to grow. I know that from experience, through trial and error. I am going to let you in to some tips, tricks, and powerful daily habits so you too can live your most confident, fit, authentically happy life. We are TAKING UP SPACE together. I'm so pumped to begin this journey with you.

As much as we try to hide from our past, it molds us into who we become. You will find your passion and true self by looking back on who you were and how you can help your past you. Now that I've shown you mine, I hope you'll show me yours - I want to know all the messy STUFF that makes you YOU.


Hey girl , hey!

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