As a US Embassy kid, I had the fortunate experience of being able to live overseas in the Middle East, Africa and Europe when I was younger. I know that experiencing all those amazing cultures have had a create impact on me to be open minded and compassionate to people who may not be like me.
My husband and I have been blessed with a daughter and fraternal twin boys and although it was incredibly hard the first years of the twins lives, I was able to learn about myself and the strength I didn’t know that I had. Those darkest days of Postpartum Depression ended up actually being an amazing blessing. I found my calling in life and that is to help those with mental illness to realize they can live an amazing life. It took some time but I decided to own my mental illnesses and try my best to make a positive difference in this world.
I found a love for fitness as I was trying to climb out of my dark hole of depression and it has made a big impact on my physical and mental health. I decided to study and take the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam and passed it the first time! I have also trained and completed half marathons, 10 milers, 10k’s, 5k’s and sprint triathlons. I enjoy the challenge I have to put my mind and body through to get to the finish line of those races. I am by no means fast in any of the sports of swimming, cycling or running but my goal is to continue competing against myself and obtain my own personal bests which all help me manage my bipolar and anxiety symptoms. Fitness has not only brought about a body I am proud of with the muscles to prove it – I was the very skinny girl in high school – but the mental clarity that is appears after a good long run or a lifting session is something I can not put into words.
My mental illness has not stopped me from feeling good about who I am but if anything, I actually feel blessed to have Bipolar Disorder. I will share my experiences with the hope that you will find peace about your own mental illness, or really any of the curve balls that have made you the person you are today.
If you want to start a consistent exercise schedule or want me to speak to your group while sharing my story of hope, email me at Annie@ownitdaily.com.