Staci, 44

“This is ME… Raw, Real and Vulnerable. I am 44 years old and mother to 3 amazing children, married to my best friend and soulmate who supports me in every phase of our lives. I was unaware of Trisha’s ‘For Real’ Campaign until a dear friend of mine reached out and mentioned that she was looking for a “fitness” feature and suggested I do it. Initially I laughed, was like ‘no way’ and dismissed the idea.  But as I reconsidered the opportunity, I realized there was really no better way to end 2018. You see this year my theme has been FAITH Over FEAR and overcoming personal challenges, insecurities and self-doubts. 

The thought of being photographed was incredibly intimidating, then add the element of no make up…. it put me completely outside my comfort zone. As a coach I ask athletes every day to believe in themselves, push a little harder and get uncomfortable… Because the magic truly happens outside of your comfort zone. It’s much easier to say these things then walk the walk and do these things. So again, here was another reason to take advantage of this opportunity. I truly had no expectations for this photo shoot as I’ve never done anything like it besides family pics. Trisha is amazing… completely putting me at ease and making entire experience FUN.

What I didn’t expect to happen during this experience was to feel empowered. Empowered to be ME. As an athletically built women I often receive comments about my appearance. Some complimentary but mostly negative and judgmental regarding my choice of workouts, eating style, muscle definition… I could go on and on. The ‘For Real’ experience gave me an avenue to just Be ME. To look the critics and nay-sayers in the face and refuse to blink. I DO NOT need to apologize or defend my lifestyle choices. Because the truth is: I LOVE the rush and sense of accomplishment after a good workout. I LOVE the push and camaraderie from fellow athletes. I LOVE the feel of chalk on my hands and the sound of a barbell hitting the ground after a heavy lift.  And I LOVE the way I feel when eating healthy. 

As a coach and gym owner, I am blessed with the opportunity to be a part of many women’s fitness journey. These ladies are from all stages of life; from young girls, expectant mothers, middle aged women and grandmothers. My hope is to provide a safe place for them to come together be surrounded by and empowered by others with strong minds and bodies. To work together to accomplish goals by building each other up, supporting and cheering each other’s accomplishments, inside and out of the gym. As a mother myself to a teenage daughter I am extremely aware of the pressures of body image that begins at a very young age. My wish for my daughter and all the young girls we train is to learn at this age to find what sets your soul on fire and do it! Regardless of the critics. To embrace having strong healthy bodies and ignore what society views as feminine. To love themselves in every shape, size and stage of life. Strength is beautiful!

At first seeing these pictures caught me off guard. Honestly, I looked for the flaws and faults first… but then took a closer look and saw a different side of myself; vulnerable, happy, courageous, graceful, and beautiful. Trisha, thank you. Thank you for this experience, but also for showcasing so many beautiful unique women in all walks of life and providing them an avenue to share a little bit about their life journey with the rest of us.”