San Diego, CA

I would say I came out of the womb an athlete! My journey in sports started when I was just five years old. Playing various sports in my formative years, my love for fitness truly blossomed. I dabbled in track (relays, long-distance, and field events), basketball, volleyball, and even tried my hand at wrestling. But the sport that truly captivated my heart was softball.

From as far back as I can remember, my days were filled with batting practice, ground balls, and conditioning. After school, my dad, my sister, and I would set up a bucket of wiffle balls and a tee stand on the back patio, working on fundamentals until the sun went down. As I grew older, I started playing select softball, traveling with older kids because my sister was also involved in select softball. My parents couldn’t afford to have us on separate teams, and this experience significantly shaped my work ethic, discipline, and dedication. My dad instilled in me the belief that to be the best, I needed to step out of my comfort zone and play up.

By high school, my exposure to college coaches through travel softball had paid off. I secured a full-ride scholarship to Texas Tech as a sophomore. However, life threw some challenges my way, and I moved out at 16, shifting my focus from travel softball to high school softball. This period marked the beginning of my passion for weightlifting and conditioning. The weight room became my therapy, a place where I bonded with my teammates and pushed myself to the limits alongside them. We had friendly competitions to see who could bench more, squat more, run the fastest, and hit the most home runs.

Towards the end of high school, I received another full-ride scholarship offer from the University of Houston to be their starting shortstop as a freshman. Given my strained relationship with my family, I chose U of H because it was closer to home. By then, I was so burnt out on softball that I didn’t want to play in college, but it seemed like my only option.

I attended U of H for a semester before quitting softball and returning to my hometown, Lake Jackson, TX. Feeling stuck, I made the impulsive decision to join the military in 2016. In boot camp, I excelled in the fitness requirements and even motivated others in my division to work out with me. After boot camp, in Pensacola, FL, I continued this trend, organizing scenic runs and gym sessions with other girls. At 19, I was sent to my first duty station in Yokosuka, Japan—a foreign country with a language I couldn’t understand. Despite my initial fears, it became one of the most memorable times of my life. On deployments, I would always find time to work out, even after 16-hour days. There’s not much else to do in the middle of the ocean, after all!

Upon returning to land, I was hitting the gym twice a day and running daily. However, without a structured workout plan post-softball, I found myself repeating old softball workouts. My seven years in the Navy took a toll on my mental health, and I struggled with alcohol addiction, a common issue among sailors.

In 2018, I became a mom, and life changed forever. Being a single mom for the first eight months was overwhelming. I vividly remember bringing my daughter, Sam, into the small gym at our apartment complex and working out with her in her car seat next to me. We would run up and down the parking lot, her in the stroller, me pushing to get back in shape and feel like myself again. This is when I discovered the "Tone and Sculpt" app (now known as "Evolve You"), founded by Krissy Cela. This app transformed my workouts, providing structure and variety.

Of course, my fitness journey has had its ups and downs. There were times of overeating, undereating, and feeling too embarrassed to go to the gym. Even now, I sometimes struggle to show up. But my perspective has changed. I no longer work out just to do it; I’m building a sustainable approach to fitness. I recently started a hybrid-style training program focusing on functional strength training and movements, and I absolutely love it. Despite the challenges, I feel stronger and more mobile than ever.

Currently, I’m working on obtaining my personal training certificate from the San Diego Community College District and plan to transfer to California Baptist in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s in Sports Psychology. I’m also training for my first-ever half-marathon in November. If you think you can’t run, take it from me—you can! I didn’t think I could run half a mile two weeks ago, but now I’m making progress.

In addition to these goals, I’m working on starting a YouTube channel focused on fitness, lifestyle, and motherhood. Competing in a HYROX event is also on my bucket list. Changing my approach to fitness has truly changed my life, and I hope to inspire others to embark on their own journeys towards health and wellness. Fitness is a journey, and it’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

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