"My Fitness Journey," by Bailee Holt-Sandsmark, FQ10 Personal Trainer - Fitness Quest 10

“My Fitness Journey,” by Bailee Holt-Sandsmark, FQ10 Personal Trainer

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I am not your typical trainer. Although I have been an athlete my whole life, the act of being fit is not an addiction for me, in fact, it can be a struggle. Most trainers love to exercise and love spending hours on end talking about living a healthy lifestyle. My journey has not been so wonderful and perfect. In fact, as a write this article, I am struggling with my fitness and body image. However, the article is about my path, where I have been, and where I am today. Ill take you back about 30 years ago

I grew up in the small ski town Mammoth Lakes, Ca. My young childhood consisted of hours and hours of skiing on some of the best terrain in California. I started skiing competitively when I was 6-years-old until my sophomore year of high school. In addition to skiing, I played AYSO soccer and Bobby Sox softball prior to high school sports. Once in high school, I quit the super competitive ski team and skied for the high school team as a Freshman.  I got 13th at the state championships and as a team, the women won overall. I also played JV volleyball for one season, three season of Varsity basketball, and four seasons of Varsity softball.I also was on the competition cheer squad for two seasons and the Varsity cheer squad for one season. Team sports were my favorite part of high school and softball was by far my favorite sport.

While I was in high school, my mom quit her job as a social worker and became a personal trainer. I remember when I was younger, I would go with her to Snowcreek Athletic Club and watch her take step aerobics classes, so her career path change was not completely unrealistic. Her decision to become a personal trainer had a big affect on me. When I was a junior, I started having knee problems, which we attributed to being a catcher for 5 years and having weak supporting muscles. My mom put me on a strength program that not only solved my knee pain, but my softball game improved immensely; I started hitting better than ever before and running faster than anyone else on the team.

This change in my fitness sparked an interest in me. I realized that I wanted to work with athletes, that I wanted to help athletes reach their highest potential, and to help injured athletes return to sport. I decided I wanted to take the path to become a physical therapist. I also discovered that I enjoyed exercise. I hated cardio but I loved lifting weights, the heavier the better. I went to college and because my school didnt have a workout facility available for the non-athletes, I took 1 unit of sports courses to try to stay healthy and eventually found cycling as a great sport.

Although I hated cardio, cycling did not feel like cardio to me. I loved feeling the wind as I would ride fast, I loved being outdoors, riding along the Sacramento river, and the freedom of being by myself in my thoughts. I started to get into the competitive world of cycling, started racing and was introduced to the wonderful benefits of therapeutic massage. I quit the physical therapy program, started down the path of business school, and went to massage school. I found that my athletic background, passion for sports, and gift to heal with my hands, were a great combination for therapeutic and sports massage. I began working with professional cycling teams as the team massage therapist. I got to learn a lot about nutrition for endurance athletes, and it sparked an interest in developing injury prevention programs for athletes.

When I started the entrepreneurial management program at San Diego State University, I started to find my way, my destiny, and my passions. I lived close enough to campus that I rode my bike to school every day, and fell in love with the gym on campus. I used to take spin class and then hop right into yoga. I loved the feeling of sweating and working hard in spin class and then getting the amazing mental and physical restoration of yoga. I also spent a lot of time in the weight room. I was always the only girl in the free weight room with all the jock, meat head guys, but I loved it.

I loved the feeling of being a strong woman and not being intimidated by the free weight area that was dominated by the guys. I started recruiting friends to go to the gym with me and started writing programs for myself and my friends. I realized that I was at home in a gym. I loved having people come to me for information on fitness. I knew I would get a certification of some sort and start being a coach.

I began learning about strength training and fitness from people who I admire, who share my philosophy and who challenge me to be my best. I worked hard and found myself at Fitness Quest 10, amongst some of the most talented fitness professionals in the U.S. I have been challenged, explored different methods of fitness and nutrition, and pushed to be my best since joining such an amazing team.

But I, like many of you, am on a constant journey to find what being fit means to me. I have been a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior, a powerlifter, a yogini, a massage therapist, a trainer, and a strength coach. I have tried strength training, cardiovascular endurance training, yoga, general fitness training. I have struggled with dieting, with loving and hating my body, with weight gain, with weight loss and I am still yet to find the balance that I have been seeking. My journey has been rocky, fitness and I have had ups and downs, but I think that my relationship with fitness is real. Just because I am a trainer, does not mean that being fit and healthy comes easy to me.

However, my great grandmother lived to be 101. She played golf, walking her bag to every hole, until she was in her 80s, and rode a stationary bike every day. Her life is a constant reminder that maintaining some form of healthy activity is the key to a long, healthy, happy life. Every time I struggle, I think about my grandmother and the people I get the pleasure of inspiring every day at the gym. These people drive me and inspire me to stay focused and get back on track.

In the world that we live in, with the media, and outside pressure, the most important thing is that we are true to ourselves. I hope that you have someone who you can look up to, to seek help from, and to inspire you.

There is a well-organized medical service with all necessary equipment. SCOTT & WHITE HOSPITAL- COLLEGE STATION.

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