42/Owner of Challenge by Choice Training Studio/STRONGCAMP Akwesasne 2015
Why did you sign up for STRONGCAMP?
STRONGCAMP has always caught my eye and seemed like an awesome challenge to add to my fitness list of to-do’s! I compete and had set a goal to get my PRO card. That dream came true in 2014 and I needed inspiration to continue and do some soul searching on what my next goal would be! Being surrounded by like-minded women, helps fuel the fire within! I also just started Strong GIRLZ, a camp at my fitness studio for girls 7-14, created to empower them at such a developmental stage in their lives. I saw what it did for them, and I needed my own STRONG camp to continue to develop my passion for fitness, and grow as a STRONG role model for these young girls. I LOVE what this camp is about and I hope they continue to grow in number!
What was your favorite part of the STRONGCAMP weekend?
It is hard to pick just ONE!!! I honestly loved how the tone was set for the whole weekend at the Meet and Greet with some of the local Mohawk women. These women shared with us the strength of the Haudenosuanee women and how they were viewed with so much more power than those of the colonial women. The role of a woman was respected and we were inspired to bring that tradition into our own lives and view ourselves as the nurturers of our own being. If we don’t feed the “seed” within us, how will we grow? I took that powerful tone and kept it with me the entire weekend. I also learned some valuable rituals I will be taking back to my own 2 daughters to show them how amazing they are and how to respect themselves. Also I just have to mention that sweating it out with people pushing themselves to perform, is a privilege. I learned that weekend that 98% of people settle for good enough, and 2% strive for excellence. At STRONGCAMP…I was surrounded by and part of that 2%.
What was the most valuable lesson or technique you learned (training or otherwise)?
ALL of the women who presented at camp were amazing! A valuable lesson I learned is that it’s okay to show our weaknesses, and that doing so does NOT make us weak. Drawing on the strength from those around you in moments of vulnerability truly develops our acceptance of self……right where we are at, today. That we are never alone, that we are all so beautifully different and can depend on each other. Sometimes in surrendering we win, and sometimes to win we must also fight until we think we have nothing left…..that strength comes in so many forms, and ALL women have a STRONG to develop deep down within….no matter where they are at…..right now….today.
Who is your biggest supporter?
God is my biggest supporter and the one who holds me up. It is truly by grace that I have the life I have today. I turn to Him to guide me daily, as on my own I am sure to run my life askew. My husband and children are right behind Him, as they too continue to support my passion in life to help others find their strength in mind, body and spirit. Out of college, I was in the fitness industry and in my field for 8 years. I pursued other avenues and ended up back where my true passion was after getting married and having my children. When I decided to open my own business, my husband also being a business owner, he knew the sacrifice involved, and he encouraged me completely. We are a team to be able to be good parents and still both run a business. I couldn’t do it without him.
What are your future plans?
My plans are to continue to develop myself to expand the territory of people I can serve in this industry. I know too in my heart, I will compete again and continue to train to do so! I am also dedicated to developing more ways to reach women and young girls, and empower them to honor the one body we get in this life. It houses the mind and soul and we are the caretakers. With such precious valuables inside, we need to do the best we can!
Anything else we should know about you?
I would like to add how there are no coincidences in this life. I came home from STRONGCAMP and was immediately thrown back into chaos, being pulled in a million different directions and had to deal with disrespect from those around me. Part of my focus while I was there was to get centered and learn skills to keep developing my inner strength. I was given the chance to practice right away! For this I am grateful. Had it been an easy week, I may have forgotten what I learned. I was mindful, respected myself, and was able to set boundaries with the help of amazing women that support me. I hope to pay it forward daily…..thank you again STRONGCAMP and Laura Tarbell for your hard work and commitment!