I met Ashely off of Instagram this past year and I don’t remember what initially connected us, but I’m so glad we did meet! I’m also so blessed and happy we got to spend both of our birthdays this past year together as well. Ashely is an amazing person who is fun, real, positive, down to do about anything, and most importantly an amazing friend. I’m always in awe of how positive she always is even though she struggles with some chronic illnesses. She doesn’t let those take up her whole life, but instead uses them to empower and push herself to live in the moment. She is an awesome person so I wanted to share a bit about her so you could get to know her awesomeness as well! Xoxo
– Hey girl! Tell us all a bit about yourself. Ashely: I’m 25 years old, born and raised in Iowa, and I currently live in Tacoma, WA. I work as a massage therapist at a physical therapist facility, because I’ve always wanted a career that would help people. (Mikaela Here- Ashely even was completely down to help my mom recently, and they both check in still. I appreciate her so much! ALSO She has the most freaking beautiful red hair ever!)
– What made you go into fitness? A: I was a very active child growing up participating in dance, tumbling, volleyball, softball, tae kwon doe, and I did cheerleading for four years in high school. Growing up my mom fought in the UFC so I would watch her train all the time in our basement, and my dad was in the military so when he came home to visit we’d bond by being active. I started “weight lifting” in high school because I hated PE, but my true love for it didn’t start until a year after my first lung surgery in 2013. I was done with being weak and tired and I needed a way to get out of my own head so I hired a trainer at a small gym in my hometown and I’ve been in the weight room ever since!
– What motivates you to work out on days when you don’t feel like it? A: What motivates me to workout on days I don’t want to workout is knowing my body and mind as well as spirit will feel much better after I get a session in. No one is always motivated to get out of his or her comfort zone, it takes dedication and resilience. (Side note from Mikaela here- Ashely is super driven with her fitness. Always trying awesome new workouts with different trainers. Getting it done early in the morning and always on the grind. She inspires me!)
– How have you come to terms with your chronic illnesses and not let those take over your whole world, but instead push/shape you? I’ve had two lung surgeries from 2013 to 2017. I’ve had injuries and illnesses in between those as well. I was just diagnosed in 2018 with fibromyalgia and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which is a connective tissue disease, and I suffer from chronic migraines and a heart condition as well. My chronic illnesses don’t hold me back however, because I know I need to be strong to feel better. I know if I don’t push myself I will become dormant and very sick. I need to be active, I need to love my body because if I don’t my body will never forgive me. I however, also need to listen to my body and know when I can and when I can’t be active. It’s all about balance. Balance is very important in your every aspect of your life. #Fightingsicknesswithfitness
– What are ways you find help you to really live in the moment and enjoy life? Well to be honest, I really have to rely on my faith and believe that God has a plan for me. I have Jeremiah 29:11 tattooed on my side, it’s on a hat I own, and it’s hanging up on my wall. It says “for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future” It’s truly my life verse and without it I don’t know how I would handle the ups and downs life throws at us. It’s cliché, but life is short, you never know when it’s your time or when a close family member will pass. I’ve dealt with a lot of death growing up, and it’s never easy, but I know they’re in a better place and that brings me some peace. The world can be cruel and people can be horrible, so I vow to be forgiving, loving, kind, and empathetic to those in need. You just have to live day by day the best way you can until its time for you to go home.
Ashely is definitely one of those unique people you really only meet once in a lifetime. Always down to do anything and always there with positive encouragement even if she is not feeling the best that day. If we all could have an Ashely in our life.. Boy would we all be so freaking lucky! I wanted her to share a little bit about herself just so you could meet an amazing girl and hopefully take a little something from her words. Xoxo