The Dark Past
I grew up in NYC, Florida and Texas. My dad was and is a stoic, funny, super chill Type B. My mom was an incredibly active, hyper organized, insanely healthy Type A. You know what they about opposites attracting…
I started dancing at a very young age. Tap, jazz, ballet, modern. You name it, I danced it. I loved everything about it until I hit puberty at age 10 (way too young!). I desperately wanted to look like the other dancers and be a delicate waif. Instead, I possessed a pair of awesomely strong, thick legs and a wide back from years of swimming butterfly; the opposite of what a ballerina was supposed to look like. This turned into a short struggle with anorexia and a seven year battle with bulimia.
By age 18, I had been living in NYC for 2 years (graduated HS at 16) pursuing an acting/dance career. I had a small part in a major motion picture, was signed to Sony, and had just landed a role in Sesame Street Live (Yes, I was a Muppet!). Fast forward six months. My part was completely cut out of the film except for a topless scene. I was dropped by Sony, and I had a career ending injury while on the road. I felt humiliated, depressed, and completely worthless. It was one of the darkest periods of my life which was handled with an unhealthy dose of self-medication.
From 2002 to 2007, I moved to Boston, Houston, New Braunfels, Buenos Aires, San Diego, back to Houston, Los Angeles, and finally back to Houston. In an effort to escape my mom’s terminal brain cancer, I threw myself into training for triathlon and personal training others. I found that helping others was salve for my soul. I also felt like a complete hypocrite because while I was great at helping others, I was doing a really crappy job of taking care of myself. When my mom passed away in 2008, I knew something had to change.
The Fit Past
In the midst of a crying spell, I picked up a Bible and begged a God that I hadn’t spoken to in over 10 years to speak to me. I closed my eyes and placed my finger on a page. I read where it landed: “As a mother comforts her child,so I will comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13.
The miracle of that moment changed everything for me. I quit drinking, dove headfirst into my renewed faith, got baptized and ran my first marathon, in that order. I read every book that I could find about self-improvement, the mental game of sports, and nutrition. I got married in 2010 and opened 1960 CrossFit less than a year later. Over the course of four years, we helped 100’s of people get fit.
The Happy Present
As I sit here typing, my two year old son in sleeping in my bed while my husband is watching TV on the couch. I’m remembering the past and instead of feeling sorrow over the difficulties I endured, I feel gratitude. I’m grateful to have known pain and darkness because they made me appreciate the joy and light I feel today that much more deeply.
To me, the idea of fitness has always been all encompassing: spiritual, physical, psychological, fiscal, and relational. At 37, I am the most fit I have ever been in my entire life. Now I get to impart my joy and knowledge on all my online clients. I feel like the luckiest woman in the whole wide world. God is so good!
Side Note: If you’d like to follow the RV adventures of my family check out @gocheeryos on Instagram and Facebook.