"Although I can't always control what happens to me, I CAN control my response which can be more powerful than my trauma."
My passion for fitness always stemmed from a therapeutic place especially after losing my mom at 17. But it wasn't until my sophomore year of college when I was raped by a college acquaintance where fitness and connecting to my body was essential for survival.
I could not recognize myself in the mirror for six months after the attack. I had no connection or association to my body anymore. It was just a reminder of an event that changed my life and identity. I felt like a prisoner in a shell of a body that I couldn't escape. My trauma not only affected me mentally but it took a toll on my body as well. My immune system crashed again and I had serious digestive inflammatory issues. It was then that I realized how much of a hold trauma can have on your entire life. When I realized that I couldn't control what happened to me and that there was going to be no consequences for my attacker; I chose to confront my demons and take my life in my own hands. I started slowly but surely breaking my silence. It was a chain that dragged me down to a very dark place. Once I started to speak up I realized it was never my secret to keep and therefore I was not going to let this event determine my future.
I spent the next 3 months boxing everyday with a friend and reconnecting to my body. The stronger my body became the tougher I became mentally. Fitness made me strong again inside and out. It is still a process and I continually work on my wellness. This year especially has reminded me that I am not alone and that I do not have to suffer silently. I have gotten better at identifying my triggers and learning techniques to be able to process and overcome them, but most of all I have a very strong support system that can help me along the way. We hope that we can use this blog to share more stories of overcoming trauma and adversity to spread hope and inspiration.