SYMONY CALL MERRILL
I grew to love fitness through sports at a young age. I begged my parents for so long to let me play basketball, and finally in fifth grade, I got my wish! From then on, it was always basketball, volleyball, track or soccer everyday, even in the off seasons. I brought that live with me through college in the form of various weight training classes and intramural sports. Unfortunately, I found myself in an abusive relationship that took away my dedication to my mental health, as well as my physical health. I stopped taking care of myself and let go of all my love for fitness.
For years I struggled to regain any control over my well-being. I would try to go to the gym here and there and dream up healthy eating plans, but nothing ever stuck.
It wasn't until I decided to work on my mental health with multiple counselors, religious leaders, and family members that I started to feel any kind of change. As my mental and emotional states improved, the abuse in my marriage worsened. I knew I had to get out.
So I did. It took everything I had to be strong and stick to what I believed and knew. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. But it was the exact thing I needed to get back what I lost. Because of the abuse, and through the divorce, I found my strength again. I found myself again. I found the motivation I needed to get back on my fitness journey.
Regaining my mental health gave me back what I needed to get back to the gym, and the gym gave me what I needed to hold onto my mental health through the hard times. The gym has helped to stay in the happiest and healthiest place I have been in a very long time. The gym has become one of my best friends.