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September Athlete of the Month-IFBB Pro Ashlee Adams

wildmanwill84 September 2, 2014

September Athlete of the Month

 IFBB Pro Ashlee Adams

As we enter September and the summer season changes to fall, we at Fitastic are changing as well. Our Athlete of the month is transitioning to Transformation and Athlete of the Month. Going forward our featured person will be a mix of Athletes and every day folk all of whom have overcome both mental and physical transformations. You will also be hearing from our featured person directly. This inspirational person will be writing their story in their own words to bring you closer to them. Along with five interview questions asked by myself (Wild Will) to dig deeper into their story, their struggle, their success. You will also be able to follow him or her for the month as they pick an exclusive Training Program from Fitastic. Get excited for updates, pictures and videos as they take you through their Fitastic development and results. Those of you currently on programs can follow along right with them. We are a community at Fitastic; we support, help and inspire each other.

We are kicking off this new season with a BOOM!! Our September Athlete Ashlee Adams as you will soon read began using serious drugs and abusing alcohol at a very young age. Read her story on how she pulled herself out from becoming just another junkie with no future to becoming a Bikini IFBB Pro this year at Chicago Jr. Nationals. Fun Fact: Ashlee is our first IFBB Pro. Here is her story.

Before Fitness

Before Fitness

My story starts when I was in middle school, I was very active- involved with cheerleading, track, and gymnastics. Great student, great family as well. However around 13 years old I got myself involved with the wrong crowd of people. I started drinking and using drugs around this time and I continued to use substances until right after I turned 21. My grades started to slip, I was missing school, had been in and out of jail numerous times before I even graduated high school. Eventually everyone caught on and my family had tried so many times to get me help but at that point in my life people, including myself, thought I was a lost cause. At 17 when I graduated I moved to Chicago where I attempted to attend college at an art school, I had completely given up on any sort of fitness or wellness at this time and started drinking and using drugs every single day. Towards the end of my freshman year of college I started to realize I had a serious problem but I still wasn’t willing to give it up or get help for myself. I moved back home to Grand Rapids, MI and my life continued to be a complete chaotic, messy blur for the next 3 years. I lost all my friends, family had no idea how to help me anymore, my mental state was so out of line that I couldn’t see reality what so ever. I was depressed, alone, scared, lost, and confused. I had attempted suicide more than 3 times, was in and out of hospitals, and couldn’t think of anything except when and where I’d get my next drink or drug. I had shut out everyone, completely changed into a different person and had lost all hope. I completely lost myself to the disease of addiction and it wasn’t until 3 weeks after I turned 21 something hit me. I had reached a bottom, got the gift of desperation and found some willingness inside of me to change. I checked in to Brighton Recovery Hospital the next day and stayed for 60 days. At Brighton was where I found fitness. I remember we had a counselor named Mike- real old school, straight to the point guy. He also ran the gym… we had one treadmill, one elliptical, some machines and a punching bag. He taught me how to hit that bag harder than I have ever hit before. He told me to pick up an old punching bag, throw it over my shoulder and run down the hall. He screamed “that bag is all the weight you’ve been carrying for years Ashlee, do you feel that?” I came back to the gym and he told me to hit the bag with a baseball bat as hard as I could as many times as I wanted to. I have never felt a more freeing experience in my life! Brighton Hospital had saved my life in more ways than one.

Upon leaving I returned to Grand Rapids where I joined a gym, started taking kickboxing, yoga, crossfit, cycling classes- anything and everything! I loved the motivation and determination I saw in a gym. I started lifting weights with some of the

Her Pro Card Win

Her Pro Card Win

trainers I met and I fell in love with lifting! I started to change my diet completely; I read article after article online about nutrition, lifting, exercise, and basically anything that involved fitness. The trainers had been saying I should compete but I didn’t really know what it was all about so I brushed it off for a while. I ended up doing makeup (I worked for a cosmetic company at the time) for a friend who was competing in an NPC Show in Grand Rapids in March 2013, I had no idea what to expect… but I loved it. I wanted to be on that stage and I made up my mind that day I would go for it. I started researching more online about competitions- diets, posing, training and I worked my tail off till I competed in the Nicole Wilkins Natural NPC Show July 2013 where I placed 2nd in my class and I couldn’t wait to do it again! I knew at that point I wanted my Pro Card- I remember saying to a close friend “Just watch, before I turn 24 I will earn that card” I took some time off but I knew what areas needed to be improved on and I worked my hardest to be the best athlete I could be. My second show was the Simmons Peckham Showdown April 2014 where I placed 1st Bikini Class Short and 1st Overall. I then went on to compete in Chicago at Jr. Nationals this past June where I took 1st in Bikini Class B, turning my dream into a reality of becoming an IFBB Pro Bikini Competitor! It’s been an absolute wild journey and I haven’t done this alone. There have been many people that have helped me along the way. The biggest change for me was when I decided for myself that I knew there was something better out there for me. I took a risk at leaving my old life behind and that was the best decision I could’ve ever made. I absolutely do not regret my past, nor do I wish to shut the door on it! I am forever grateful for where I was and what happened- it made me the woman I am today! The gym has become my safe haven, my refuge, my home away from home. I train not only for competing but also because of the way it makes me feel. I ALWAYS feel better leaving the gym. If I’m having a bad day I lift or run out any and all stress, anger, and frustration and I leave it there. Fitness holds no boundaries; the gym is a place where I feel free and alive!

Wow! I got goose bumps when I first read this story. I assume you did as well. Here I dive deeper into the Who, What and Why

FEAR is a LIAR

FEAR is a LIAR

Addiction is always with us even when we overcome it. How do you deal with addiction day in and day out?

I deal with addiction day in and day out by staying in touch with other people in recovery and those who are also on the same path as me. I have a great support system of people who know what I’ve been through and they are there for me to help me whenever I need it! I believe that if you surround yourself with positive, like-minded people it’s easy to stay in that positive mindset. Life is life and I will always have to deal with situations that come my way but keeping that negative energy out of my life is very important to me!

How do you feel when you see fellow bikini girls and other competitors abusing drugs like steroids? Do you say anything or do you choose to ignore it?

When I know of other bikini girls using enhancing drugs I don’t say anything at all because it’s not my place. After all it’s the sport of bodybuilding and some women feel the need to take certain drugs to grow which is fine- I choose to eat to grow (those who know me know I eat like a growing teenage boy haha) Each person is going to do what they want to do in order to obtain their goals, and I’ve learned that I can’t change another person no matter what I do or say so it’s best for me to stay on my side of the street and let others do their own thing!

This is a very personal story, why do you want to share it with the world?

I want to share my story with the world because I know there are so many people out there who struggle with the disease of addiction. Some have yet to realize it, some don’t know how to get help, some may be scared to ask for help. I’m here to say you CAN change your life- the disease of addiction is one centered in the mind, change your mindset and devote your energy to living a positive healthy lifestyle and your life will become more than you could ever imagine.

For people struggling with addiction from alcohol, to drugs, to food what is the best advice you can give someone as a person who lived through to help them become stronger than their addictions?

For people still struggling with addiction I would have to say it’s necessary to get at the root of your problem. There is a reason why I was using substances- I wanted to cover up the emotions I was feeling on a day to day basis. I didn’t want to think, feel, or see reality so I consumed anything to cover that. It’s key to get the negative people, places, and things out of your life that are bringing you down. I have done a lot of personal life work that has allowed me to get to the root of why I started to use in the first place. Ask for help!! I wouldn’t have been able to do this unless I got that gift of desperation, let go of my pride, asked for help, and changed my life completely.

 Do you feel that fitness and healthy living can help anyone overcome anything in their life? An if you will metaphor for pushing and lifting weight that could be holding them 10014973_10202938959968669_5135513513200829990_odown; keeping them at the bottom?

Of course fitness and healthy living can help anyone overcome obstacles in their life! The gym is a place where you can go for motivation, encouragement, and positive energy. Find a gym that you FEEL good in- walk into in and really notice how you feel! Changing your life to positive, healthy living is so rewarding and you’ll ask “why didn’t I do this sooner?” This way is the easier, softer, way of life and I don’t for one second regret making that switch. I love being able to take any stress or problem to the gym and run or lift it out. I literally envision my problem as the weight and I push the weight as hard as possible or I run as hard as I can and I leave it there. With yoga, I leave it all on the mat and I don’t pick any of that energy back up. The gym holds absolutely no boundaries- It’s all mind over matter and once you realize how to channel your energy and thoughts you can truly overcome anything!

As I’m sure you call see from this article that transformations are not just about the physical. It’s not only about extreme weight loss. Think about how many people can’t say ‘No’ to Diet Soda or McDonalds. Now think about Ashlee overcoming serious addiction that nearly killed her multiple times. You don’t have to be an Athlete, you don’t have to compete. You can be a normal everyday person who wants to live a healthier life. It all starts with one decision. The decision to better yourself and to get the help that you need, whether that is rehab for Ashlee or Coach Steve, Heather Hayes or I. Make the choice, make the decision, be happy.

Ashlee Adams everyone, a true inspiration to us all.

Wild Will Wilson (W3)

 


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