Fitness has been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my mom would bring my sister and I to the gym while she taught aerobics, and once I became older, I would often join her in our basement to do step aerobics most nights of the week. Because my mom inspired me to become fit and eat healthy as a lifestyle, I believe that this was how fitness became engraved deep inside of me. Not only did I learn that being healthy made you feel good, these moment were also a way of bonding with my mother, whom I still consider my best friend. From the early ages, fitness and sports continued to grow on me- I played softball, basketball, volleyball and badminton through elementary and high-school, which led me to play college volleyball in the NAIA for both the University of Sioux Falls and Dakota Wesleyan University.

Image: Seeleyfit Photography
After graduating, I still continued with a fit lifestyle, but for such a goal-oriented individual, I felt lost not having something to work towards. In college, I had stumbled across images of bikini competitors and was envious of their muscular physique, as well as their commitment to the sport. Somehow, the sport found it’s way to me through a mutual friend of mine and my boyfriend’s, who had just started prepping for his first competition. This was what brought me to working with my coach- Brandan Fokken. I competed in my first show, the Warrior Classic, in August of 2015. I placed 5th in Novice, 6th in First Time Ever, and 10th in Open. Knowing that I had made many mistakes along the way, and still having placed fairly well in one of the largest shows in Colorado, I fell in love with the sport, and there was no turning back. There is something about being selfish in my fitness, diet and routine that helped me turn from being codependent and very skeptical when it came to trust, to becoming independent, happy, and secure with who I was. Because I was so passionate about how fitness had changed my life for the better,  I decided to compete in the Max Muscle Mile High in June of 2016. Success; overwhelming gratitude; and a sense of belonging washed over me after this competition. I conquered my very specific goals: 1st in Novice, Novice Overall, and 2nd in Open (My goal for Open was 1st-3rd). I am now a nationally qualified competitor and cannot wait to take you on my journey of living a fit life, finding balance, and ultimately making my way to Nationals in 2017, no matter what it takes.