In June of 2016 I was trudging through life day by day. I worked 12 hour days managing a bakery and rarely had energy to do anything outside of work. I had gained weight and was overall unhappy with myself. I tried going to the gym, but after working from 4:30 am to 4:30 pm and fighting through traffic for over an hour to get home, I could rarely muster the will power. When I could barely shimmy my favorite loose-fitting jeans over my hips I realized it was time to do something.
A friend told me about Vertical Fitness Studio which offers classes in pole, aerial silks, and lyra (aerial hoop) and said it’s a great workout that is also incredibly fun. In my mind, it was impossible for working out to be fun, but I decided to give it a go nevertheless.
I’ll never forget my first class; it was an introduction to pole class and everyone in the studio immediately felt like family. There were women who had been clients for years and welcomed me with the same warmth as they did their fellow veterans. I had an amazing experience and surprised myself with my own strength. I decided to come back the next day and the next and soon it became a part of my regular routine. After 30 days of classes I felt better than I ever had, had muscle definition in places it had never been, and had a whole new group of friends who encouraged me every step of the way.
When I decided to compete in the Miss Sacramento County program it felt like the obvious choice for my talent. As you can imagine, when I brought up this idea there were many people who felt that it was not in my best interest due to the stigma of pole performers, but this is what fueled me even further to go for it. What most people don’t know is that in 2017 the Global Association of International Sports Federation granted pole sports “observer” status. This is the first step to becoming an Olympic sport. My goal is to continue to reduce the stigma against performers like myself and open peoples minds and hearts to realize that our passion and our art may look different than others, but it is just as powerful and incredible as any other.
My two year anniversary at Vertical Fitness Studio is quickly approaching and I continue to surprise myself with the things I have been able to accomplish. I am stronger than ever mentally, emotionally and physically. I will forever be grateful for having the courage to walk into the studio that first day, not knowing how much it would positively impact my life. I can’t wait to share my passion for my sport with all of you in June at the Miss California program.