Ashley is a bikini competitor with her eyes set on competing in her second competition in 2016. She has overcome challengers that brought her down and risen high above, conquering a feat that many people only dream about: stepping on the NPC stage. A mother to three, Ashley makes no excuses in her diet and training and has found a balance that allows her to be an athlete and primary role model to her children. In the following installment, Ashley shares her story with you.
It’s Only the Beginning
I first began training in 2013 with the motivation and support of my best friend. I got started in bodybuilding as something to inspire and drive me after reaching an all-time low in my life. I lost my husband and the father of my children and quickly fell into a deep depression. I wasn’t sure how to put my life back together; it felt nearly impossible. Thankfully, I woke up one day and realized that I had three beautiful children looking up to me as their role model in life and, as a newly single parent, it was my responsibility to them to find my happiness and my strength. That’s when I began to do some soul searching and a little internet research. I spent hours looking up what a person can do to help alleviate symptoms of depression. After pieces together everything that I learned, I quickly realized that a pattern was forming and everything pointed towards healthy food and the gym. I began training with my best friend and got introduced to a trainer who further supported my new goals. With a strong will and determination to rise above my depression, I focused my efforts in the gym and the weight started falling off. I then started training for my first show. After much hard work, I stepped on stage for my first bikini competition in October 2013 at the NPC Colorado Natural where I completed in the open and novice classes. Since then, I took some time off and am now training and preparing to step back on stage in 2016.
Goals, Motivation, and Challenges
I truly found my passion in training and the bodybuilding lifestyle. I enjoy the process of building muscle and love the strong and empowered beauty that muscle brings to the female physique. I hope that one day I can build up enough and transition into the figure category, but for now, bikini is what I love. I believe that I have fall into this passion, in part, because of the amazing relationships that it has built in my life. I now have a partner to train with and that is the most motivating thing ever: having someone to train hard with! We take no mercy, or excuses. I also keep motivated by working out with a smile on my face and a little laughter. I think it is important to do what you love and love what you do.
Despite the happiness that training has brought to my life, it hasn’t come without challenges. The hardest thing for me is being a single mom and learning how to juggle three babies, a full-time job, prepping food, and getting every workout in. When a person is motivated, we can always find a way. I learned how to create a routine and still to this day eat at the same time every day and am at the gym at the same time. I find comfort in the routine and know that I have created something that works for my lifestyle and my family.
The Lady Lifters
Typically, I am very intimidated by a crowd of people I don’t know, but when I went to my first lady Lifter meeting all the women were so welcoming and I now feel like I have a second family who I can go to for anything from Bodybuilding advice to life issues. The community of ladies is so openhearted and supportive, that it is nearly impossible to leave without a smile.
Ashley’s Inspirational Advice
"Stick to you plan and DON’T over train or you will run out in the end of your prep!!"