A mirror can tell you a lot of things.
I used to look in the mirror and think of all of the things wrong with my body. I’d take my time and point out all of the areas where I needed improvement. It basically became a ritual of me picking myself apart for all of my physical imperfections.
I had this ideal image of myself as a high school basketball player. I wanted to look like an athlete so much that people knew the moment I walked into a room. But I developed an eating disorder while chasing that image.
And honestly, things got really dark. It’s the sort of darkness that’ll consume you if you let it.
But there isn’t a day that goes by that I regret that journey. I wouldn’t have grown into the person I am today without it. On that note, I’m positive I wouldn’t have had the strength to create my own fitness program to bring awareness to physical, mental, and spiritual health.
I think sometimes God puts us in tough situations and brings us out so we can help others dealing with the same struggles.
Let me start off by saying I didn’t plan the Sweat and Shine program—at all.
It honestly came together randomly after the basketball season and classes were canceled earlier in the year due to Covid-19.
Anyone that knows me knows my biggest passions in life are Jesus and physical fitness. So people started to come to me for workout routines with gyms shutting down from the pandemic.
Look, my art skills might look like a kindergartener’s, and my music skills might only appeal to people that can’t really hear. But when it comes to writing workouts, my creative juices really start to flow. That’s when I’m in my element—or my zone, as some might say.
Of course, I never expected it to take off the way that it did.
I put up one post on Instagram, and before I knew it, I went from sending out a few workouts to working with a little more than 250 women.
So yes, like I said, I didn’t plan this.
More and more girls started asking for workouts, and I enjoyed doing it so much that it turned into a niche for me. But it wasn’t just about the workouts. The shine part in the ‘Sweat and Shine’ name highlights the fact that you’re not just growing physically, but as a group of women, I want us all to grow emotionally and spiritually as well. Any day, we could go from talking about living our lives for Jesus to how much protein you should consume on a daily basis.
It’s my outlet and another way to let Jesus’ light shine through me so he can encourage others. I’m excited to do it. I’m glad to do it. Most importantly, I’m thankful I get to do it.
I just want to share God’s love with other women.
I was dead set on becoming a sports broadcaster in high school, but admittedly, having this opportunity kind of fall into my lap has made me pause and really think about some things.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the passing of the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation. It’s a landmark decision that would give me a chance to legally monetize my efforts and potentially turn this into a business. It feels good to have options, but at the same time, I’m comfortable with the fact that I’ll be wherever God wants me to be.
My ultimate goal is following his lead the best that I can.
He guided me through that darkness in high school where I worked closely with a sports nutritionist to overcome my eating disorder.
More than anything, I want to help girls that are close to being in a similar situation. I feel like there’s a certain level of understanding that comes with having gone through something like that.
I come from a family where sports and competition run in our blood. Growing up, my mom and dad always preached about being tough. I was raised to be tough. That’s part of what drew me to playing basketball in the first place—the physical nature of the sport. But sometimes, being tough isn’t enough.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. We’re all in this together. I’m just thankful my journey brought me to Presbyterian College and gave me an opportunity to continue competing in the sport I love, while also making a difference in so many other lives through Sweat and Shine.
It’s a dream I never considered could come true.
PC has given me so much more than just basketball.
My journey here has given me a real direction for the future. There was a time when I wondered if it would all be too much.
What if I got too busy with school and basketball and just didn’t have the time to continue my fitness program? I don’t have a ton of time on my hands, but I love the chance to connect with these women so much that it never feels like a chore. I’m just thankful for the opportunity.
My main mission and goal here is to help women learn to love their bodies because all of us are uniquely created by God. We don’t have to be so hard on ourselves for the way we look.
In many ways, I’ve learned the hard way that your entire life shouldn’t be consumed by working out and eating. There should always be a happy balance that keeps everything in check. It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to be different. It’s also okay to go out every once and a while with family and friends to enjoy a good meal.
Talking about my eating disorder isn’t easy, but it’s something I’ve come to terms with as long as it has the power to help someone else.
So, to bring this all back full circle. As I mentioned, a mirror can tell you a lot of things.
I used to look in the mirror and think of all of the things wrong with my body. Now, when I look in the mirror, I thank God for what my body can do, not what it can’t do.