I’m Ashley and I’m here to inspire you on your journey to a healthier you. I’ve gone through so many phases of fitness throughout my life. For the longest time, I would try all types of exercise but could never make it a consistent & long-term habit. I would go for weeks abandoning the plan I set up for myself. I even got my degree in exercise! After years of trial and error, I figured out what was going wrong and what works – I’m excited to share all the good stuff with you.
In 2018 I received my degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, specializing in Exercise Physiology. I’ve worked with all ages, from coaching kids 5-18 on swim teams to working as a fitness supervisor at a retirement community. Movement throughout the life span truly fascinates me and is so amazing! My love of movement and using it as a tool to help others led me to pursue a degree in physical therapy. In receiving my doctorate in physical therapy April of 2021, I gained a new confidence in my understanding of how the human body functions. However, these accomplishments are not what allows me to encourage you to exercise. It’s conquering my own struggles and having my own experiences that allow me to share this blog with you.
The Fun Stuff
When I’m not buried in the books or blogging, I live for Saturday morning yoga classes, the perfect beach day, and traveling to my favorite person in Canada. We’ll surely get along if you’re down to gossip about the Bachelor over happy hour or take a spontaneous trip to the farmer’s market.
I remember being 5 years old and looking through our TV cabinet of VHS tapes. We had nearly every episode of Veggie Tales, maybe some Blue’s Clues… and then there was my mom’s pregnancy workout VHS. For some odd reason my 5 year old brain was drawn to this and I would ask my mom to play it. She would, reluctantly. She would give me the look like “who is this strange child of mine…” Anyway, I would roll out my mother’s workout mat and be fascinated by the instructions and exercises. Maybe that’s where this all started?
I was a lifelong competitive swimmer up until college, where I really gave some more thought to what exercise meant to me. When I could no longer tell people I was a “swimmer,” I started questioning my identity. A big lesson in this transition was learning that exercise was for me, not a team or not to compete. I went through many phases trying to navigate this world of fitness. All of a sudden it wasn’t built into my schedule and exercise became a real struggle while balancing all the obligations of a university student. I would go through spurts of getting really serious about fitness, to altogether abandoning it. I went through a running phase, a yoga phase, a lifting phase…you name it I probably at least tried it. But each phase never became a habit.
Calorie counting misery
When I gained 25 lbs, calorie burning became my focus. I developed an unhealthy perfectionist mindset in my relationship with exercise and how I viewed food. I no longer did exercise because I enjoyed it and although I did shed the pounds, immediately after I grew complacent with fitness again.
As I progressed in my studies and got a new job, I was constantly reminded about the importance of exercise. I remember feelings of hypocrisy creeping in as I spent all day studying and watching people exercise, when that was the one thing I was struggling with personally. Working at a retirement community fitness center gave me inspiration that fitness is for more than appearance or a number. It’s about overall wellness and function.
After I was injured in a car accident, I had to take time to recover and found myself frustrated I couldn’t do all the physical activity I wanted to. When I finally received the okay, my first day of real running I felt invincible. My reason for exercise was simply a celebration of my abilities and I felt so free. I realized this was the fitness mindset that is the most helpful and the healthiest – a mindset of joy and celebration.
If this intuitive & practical approach to exercise is resonating with you, you’ll love my free mini workbook. In it you’ll find 13 steps to work on your mindset and habits around fitness. So if you love all these ideas but are wondering what to do about them, I’ll email this printable to you for FREE!