When my 18th birthday came around, I was allowed to stop wearing the brace, and I thought all my problems would be gone now that this thing that plagued my life was eliminated. I was wrong. Without the support of the brace, I became aware of how weak my back and shoulders were, and I began to experience intense pains in my back and shoulders that would shoot down my arms and get so bad that I could barely feel my arms or grip much of anything with my hands. This would happen whenever I was just walking around or doing anything on my feet for more than an hour or two, which made it really tough at work. This was my new reality, and it lasted for several years. I learned to be strong and push through the pain by sheer willpower and determination, I didn’t want this to hold me back but it was exhausting and I was very discouraged thinking I’d have to deal with it my whole life.
One day my parents heard about a local chiropractor on Christian radio, and I decided to give it a try – one of the best decisions I ever made! Over several months the chiropractic adjustments decreased my pain and it was eventually gone, which gave me hope. When I had to stop appointments due to finances, the pains came back so I was frustrated and discouraged again. I remembered the chiropractor telling me that the problem wasn’t just spinal curvature, but weak muscles associated with it, so 4 years ago I bought my first workout DVD by Jillian Michaels to help build my strength. I couldn’t go back to that state of hopelessness so I stuck with the program, my body began to change, and I got stronger while my pain decreased. I began to actually enjoy working out due to the benefits, I began to feel better about myself, and I was hooked!
Today I am pain-free and stronger than ever physically, mentally, and spiritually! I continued with the workout DVDs for several years, then in the past year I’ve stepped it up to lifting heavy weights, kickboxing, and bodyweight training that I never imagined I’d be capable of doing! I made peace with my scoliosis and the affects it had on my past, and it no longer defines me or my self image. I am now happy, positive, and quite the optimist! I no longer doubt God’s love and that He cares for me. He changes lives in many ways, and for me He used the health and fitness industry to do it. I strongly believe that no struggle is without purpose, and I can see how God used my struggle to reveal and develop my inner strength and determination, to grow my confidence, and to lead and equip me to find my passion for fitness, something I may never have found had I been healed a long time ago because I hated exercise back in the day! In a way, I’ve finally found my healing, and I’ve gained so much more than just a lack of pain.
Through God’s guidance I have recently become a personal trainer with my own online and in-home training business, and it is now my mission to use my passion to help and encourage others to reach their goals, overcome their own obstacles, and to become healthy and empowered through their own fitness journey. We all have different struggles, each person has something that is the hardest thing they’ve ever had to face or overcome, and God knows exactly what you need to conquer it. He can use your struggles for good and to prepare you for your calling, just as He did for me, and because of this there is ALWAYS hope.