Royse City, TX

Struggles with mental illness have been a constant companion throughout my life, with major depression and anxiety casting long shadows over my days. Yet amidst the darkness, I found a glimmer of hope in the transformative power of fitness and clean living. Whether I'm out in nature, hitting the gym, or nourishing my body with wholesome foods, these habits have been my saving grace, offering respite from the storm within.

My journey began in the humblest of settings, growing up in poverty in the heart of the woods, crammed into a single trailer with my mother—a single parent battling severe alcoholism. The shadows deepened when my father tragically took his own life when I was just three years old, leaving behind a legacy of loss and struggle. With each passing month, my mother's addiction tightened its grip, prioritizing bills and booze over the bare essentials of life.

Money was scarce, and opportunities even scarcer. Without a vehicle or means to travel, I was confined to the narrow confines of my world, isolated and introverted, a target for bullies even among my own teachers. Sports, clubs, activities—luxuries afforded to others—remained out of reach, leaving me with only one solace: fitness.

From a young age, I found solace in movement. Whether it was pounding the pavement on a run, building forts in the trees, or plunging into the cool depths of a lake, physical activity became my refuge. And when I finally gained independence at sixteen, working and living with my sister, I seized the opportunity to embrace rugby—a sport where I could excel, leaving behind the shadows of my past.

Fitness wasn't just a pastime; it was my lifeline. It provided me with a sense of purpose and belonging, guiding me out of the darkness of poverty and into the light of my dreams. In a world fraught with uncertainty, it remains my constant—an escape, a sanctuary, and a beacon of hope guiding me towards a brighter tomorrow.

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