A lifetime in the making and it’s finally here! When I set out on this journey, it is still difficult for me to imagine that I wrote the greatest portion of my memoir within the first month of my decision to do so. I was finally compelled to share my story, most likely due in part to feeling as though my platform within the fitness industry has given me a voice to make a difference, if even in a solitary person’s life. The fact that I am able to have a reach much grander is something I am extremely humbled by and most grateful for. I know it is easy for people to envision me a certain way, but that is precisely why I chose to share my story. I want to empower others to live with a purpose, because from that, our life’s greatest passion enables us to give that gift to others. Whatever it is, when you discover it and make a choice to give it away, the greatest gift is ultimately yours! How amazing it feels when you finally reach that point in your life!
I’ve always been passionate about writing. It began with my own love for great literature, for which I attribute to my 9th grade English honors teacher, Mr. Chandler. He was a very interesting man who lived on a boat with his wife in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I thought the life he lived was so intriguing and he constantly challenged us to form our own unique interpretation of the literature he presented us. He was so passionate about the works of Huxley, Chaucer, Hadas and the like, that simply being exposed to his enthusiasm for great literature and zest for life, made me exponentially excited to get my own hands on more of it.
In time, my own writing became a cathartic tool and ultimately my grandest form of self-expression, regardless of whether or not I shared it with the world around me. I kept it for myself, but it certainly provided an outlet for me to express what I could not speak. I hope to one day reconnect with Mr. Chandler to let him know how much he has influenced my life so many years ago. It’s people like him that craft our journey for the better and I personally feel he deserves to know just how influential he was/is to me.
My writing was a way for me to express myself during many difficult times in my life, when I may not have had the words to speak outwardly or the ability to express my emotions to those that hurt me. I built walls, I held in pain, regret, and remorse for things I’ve done and succumbed to. During my youth, I kept a diary, then a journal, then a book of poetry. Pain, heartache, love and anger, all expressed in a nonthreatening way, filled the pages. Occasionally I’d go back and read my own words and churn up the emotion all over again. Words that effortlessly flowed from me. Words I otherwise couldn’t express. I learned to appreciate writing as a form of expression that seemed to come almost naturally to me. Why, sometimes, is it easier to sit down and write a letter to someone than to say those very words to their face? If even we get our feelings out in writing and never share it with the one intended, so too can we delete the emotions associated with them. It is most definitely a form of therapy and healing.
Ultimately, I began working as a freelance writer many years ago and was able to combine my love of writing with my passion for health and fitness. Writing for many of the fitness publications allowed me to join the best of both worlds. This is different though. This is not about fitness or diet or how to get a hot body. This is about an inside look at how I healed myself. Years of poor self-esteem, body dysmorphia, anorexia, self loathing, self-inflicted pain, addiction, abuse all bubbled to the surface to reveal I am not what I may seem on the outside. I don’t share this for shock value or pity, I am in the best place in my life, because of making a choice. A choice to be the best version of me possible and that is not even something that meets the eye. I chose to share the interior, to give you a better idea of how I crafted the exterior.
Before you judge others, think about your story and think about the darkness you may have chosen to hide from others. Not only to spare their feelings, but your own in fear of judgment. If we’d simply relinquish our own fears, we could help so many that may have struggled a similar path. That has become my wish in sharing my memoir with you. How we respond to the situations and events that formed us can be our greatest comeback and the discovery of our inner badass.
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