The story starts in September of 2014. A time that is hard to reflect back as it was one of the most difficult times I had to push through in my life. Growing up as an athlete I always found my identity in sports. But as I started my freshman year in college and the priorities that came with being a college student came along, I had less and less time to do the things that made me who I am. My mental health hit rock bottom and it came to the point where I felt hopeless.
I knew something had to change. I knew I had to take control. I heard about the benefits of exercise for mental health & “how good you feel” after a workout but I brushed it off just like most of us tend to do. Until one day, I decided that there would be no harm in trying. I started going to the gym almost every day just to run 4 miles on the treadmill (boring ik right??)
As I dragged myself to the gym to get in my daily run, I would watch all the other people lifting weights, especially the females who had the courage to lift next to the guys. I admired their strength & confidence and thought “ that could never be me.” Until it was. I started to look up the benefits of lifting and diving into Youtube videos on how to perform certain exercises and train different muscle groups. Before you know it, my runs on the treadmill became shorter and shorter as I made more time to lift weights. The gym eventually became my safe place that literally saved me from the daily hell my mental health put me through. I found my happiness in anything that kept me active; running, playing soccer, lifting, eventually competing in powerlifting… you name it, I tried it.
Fast forward 3 years, I faced my first major injury as I tore my ACL while playing in a soccer game. And those same thoughts that haunted me 3 years ago suddenly creeped back up. Working out was my only outlet. The only place that was keeping me sane. And I knew that the recovery after having surgery would keep me away from the place that has been saving me.
But I refused to fall back into the same dark place. I promised myself that I would find a way to work around my injury and come back stronger, both physically and mentally. I took the opportunity to rebuild my weakness and adjust to my setbacks. I was the girl who showed up to the gym in a full length leg brace with crutches because I knew I had to get up and make my actions match my ambitions.
I took it one step further and tried to figure out a way I could get cardio in with just one leg. And that’s where I fell in love with jumping rope. I began each workout looking like a psycho in the middle of the gym jumping on one leg. (I could barely jump rope on two feet before my injury so you could imagine how insane I looked.)
But I didn’t care. I improved my mental discipline and strengthened my willpower because in the moments when I had every reason not to go on, I kept going anyway. I realized that pushing through pain and discomfort and never giving into the negative thoughts that flooded my mind, served as a catalyst for new beginnings and change.
Fast forward another 3 years, jumping rope has become something that has made me SO happy & gives me something to look forward to everyday. It’s a hobby that I get to share with so many people via social media, has given me so many amazing opportunities, and has allowed me to connect with so many incredible individuals, all with their own touching stories.
Sometimes your set backs are just set ups in disguise. So when $h!t hits the fan, always remember that EVERYTHING happens for a reason and ANYTHING is possible. When things get rough, remember to choose all the gratitude and positivity and then take a deep breath and choose them again.
If you took the time to read my story, thank you. I hope some of this resonated with you. But most of all, I hope the message you takeaway is that no matter what your circumstances are, never forget that there is no limit to your potential. No limit to your dreams. No limit to what you can do.
From the girl who continues to struggle with mental health issues. The runner, the soccer player, the powerlifter, and the jumproper, who refuses to be labeled and limited in what she can do. I hope you all can look in the mirror, remember your purpose, and just see how big your existence is. YOU ARE BUILT LIMITLESS. And that means anything is possible.
Onwards & Upwards. I love you x a trillion.