FROM PROCRASTINATOR TO ATHLETE TO COACH – HEATHER BLOSSER

“IT IS STRANGE, BUT TRUE, THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT TURNING-POINTS OF LIFE OFTEN COME AT THE MOST UNEXPECTED TIMES IN THE MOST UNEXPECTED WAYS”- NAPOLEON HILL

IF YOU ASKED PAST HEATHER, THE GIRL WHO QUIT GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, SOFTBALL AND DANCE BECAUSE I WAS “TOO GOOD” AND HAD EXCUSES OF WHY I ALWAYS COULDN’T. IF YOU EVER TOLD ME THAT I WOULD BE AN ATHLETE, CAPTAIN AND COACH, I WOULD PROBABLY GIVE YOU A STRANGE LOOK. GROWING UP I TRIED MANY SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES BUT NONE OF THEM HELD MY ATTENTION. I NEVER FELT GOOD AT ANYTHING OR A PART OF SOMETHING, SO I TOOK THE EASY WAY OUT AND KEPT CHANGING ACTIVITIES.

FAST FORWARD THROUGH MANY ACTIVITIES, LIFESTYLE CHANGES, DROPPING OUT OF COLLEGE AND BAD RELATIONSHIPS/HABITS, I WAS NOW AT MY HEAVIEST OF 230 LBS. I NEEDED A CHANGE. IT WAS AFTER A VACATION OF TOO MUCH INDULGENCE THAT I STARTED MY TYPICAL “I NEED TO DO SOMETHING” PEP TALK. THIS TIME IT FELT DIFFERENT, I WAS UNHAPPY AND WAS SICK OF THIS CYCLE.  I WAS TIRED OF ALL THE MONDAYS THAT I WOULD START AGAIN, THE EXCUSES AND FEELING SO DOWN ON MYSELF. I NEVER HAD A BIG “MOMENT” THAT MADE ME CHANGE. I JUST COULDN’T KEEP LIVING THE WAY I WAS SO, I TRIED SOMETHING NEW AND KEPT SHOWING UP. I GRABBED A FRIEND AND WE STARTED ZUMBA CLASSES THROUGH MY WELLNESS PROGRAM AT WORK. SURROUNDING MYSELF WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO WANTED THE SAME THINGS AS ME TO LOSE WEIGHT, FEEL GOOD, BE HEALTHY WAS A DIFFERENT FEELING THAN CONSTANTLY CHANGING ACTIVITIES. EACH CLASS I LEFT FEELING BETTER ABOUT MYSELF AND STARTED TRACKING MY NUTRITION TO GET ME TO A HEALTHY WEIGHT. SHOWING UP TO THESE CLASSES IS WHAT STARTED ME DOWN MY PATH. THESE CLASSES AND EACH SMALL WIN LED ME ON TO THINGS I WOULD NEVER HAVE DREAMED OF.

MY OWN FITNESS JOURNEY INSPIRED ME TO GO BACK TO COLLEGE TO HELP OTHERS ON THE SAME PATH THAT I HAD BEEN ON. THIS LED ME TO AN UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE DEGREE IN EXERCISE SCIENCE, FOCUSING ON WELLNESS PROGRAMS, PERSONAL TRAINING, FITNESS CHALLENGES AND HELPING OTHERS WITH THEIR GOALS.  MY OWN FITNESS JOURNEY CONTINUED THROUGH MY COLLEGE YEARS. I WANTED TO BE A PART OF SOMETHING AGAIN AND FOUND ROLLER DERBY, A FULL CONTACT SPORT PLAYED ON ROLLER SKATES. BEING A PART OF A POWERFUL SPORT FILLED WITH STRONG WOMEN IMPACTED ME MORE THAN I EVER COULD HAVE EXPECTED. PLAYING ROLLER DERBY I FOUND MY OWN CONFIDENCE, STRENGTH, DEDICATION AND VOICE. I ALSO CREATED SOME OF THE STRONGEST BONDS WITH MY “DREAM-MATES”. I’VE NOW BEEN A PART OF THREE TEAMS, CAPTAINED TWO TEAMS, TRAVELED COMPETITIVELY WORLDWIDE FOR MY CURRENT TEAM STEEL CITY ROLLER DERBY (RANKED 69TH WORLDWIDE). I FOUND MY LOVE OF STRENGTH SPORTS BY CROSS TRAINING TO BECOME BETTER AT ROLLER DERBY. THIS TRAINING ALSO ALLOWED ME TO EXPERIMENT IN STRONG-WOMAN TRAINING WITH EVENTS OF THROWING A KEG OVER A BAR, CAR DEADLIFTS AND PULLING TRUCKS! (THERE’S SOMETHING ODDLY SATISFYING ABOUT DOING STRONG ACTIVITIES LIKE THIS AND I WILL FOREVER BE PROUD OF MY STATE RECORD FOR MAX KEG OVER BAR!) MY CROSS TRAINING WAS USUALLY DONE ALONE, SOMETIMES WITH A PARTNER WHEN TRAINING FOR UPCOMING EVENTS. I LOVED THE COMMUNITY THAT ROLLER DERBY GAVE ME, BUT I WAS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT IN MY TRAINING.

 I WILL FOREVER BE THANKFUL FOR THE WEEKDAY I WAS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND SAW AN AD FOR A NEW GYM IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD. I CLICKED FOR INFORMATION, SIGNED UP FOR MY INTRO SESSION AND AT THE END OF THAT INTRO I WAS OFFICIALLY A CROSSFITTER. I SHOWED UP NERVOUS TO MY FIRST CLASS NOT BEING SURE WHAT TO EXPECT, OR WHAT I HAD SIGNED UP FOR. BEING THE NEW KID IS ALWAYS STILL SCARY FOR ME! I ENJOYED THE CHALLENGING WORKOUTS AND THE FEELING OF COMRADERY WITH FELLOW CLASSMATES AFTER A SOLID WORKOUT. THE TEAM FITNESS ENVIRONMENT WAS SOMETHING I HAD MISSED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF MY JOURNEY. THIS MADE ME WANT TO EXPLORE MY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE AS A TRAINER AND COACH. I BEGAN LOOKING AT BECOMING CERTIFIED WITHIN THE CROSSFIT COMMUNITY. I AM CERTIFIED IN ONLINE COACHING AND AM CURRENTLY REGISTERED TO TAKE MY LEVEL 1 CERTIFICATION. I AM THRILLED TO BE ABLE TO HELP OTHERS THROUGH THEIR OWN JOURNEY. I’VE BEEN THROUGH IT ALL, THE UPS AND DOWNS OF, “HOW THE HELL DO I GET STARTED?” FROM “HOW DO I TRACK MY NUTRITION?” TO “HOW DO I STAY MOTIVATED!!?” AND THE ROADBLOCKS THAT COME WITH STARTING YOUR JOURNEY TOWARDS HEALTH AND FITNESS. MY JOURNEYS HAVE TAUGHT ME THAT I CAN DO ANYTHING THAT I SET MY MIND TO, THAT IF I SURROUND MYSELF WITH SUPPORTIVE LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. IF I CAN GO FROM A COLLEGE DROPOUT, OVERWEIGHT, UNHAPPY TO A ROLLER DERBY, CROSSFIT ATHLETE/COACH THEN ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU. I’VE LEARNED THAT I AM STRONG, UNSTOPPABLE AND THAT THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT BEING A PART OF A COMMUNITY. I CAN’T WAIT TO HELP YOU ON YOUR OWN JOURNEY!

– HEATHER BLOSSER

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