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My Struggles and Triumphs

Kathy’s Story

From the time I was a little girl, I battled with my appearance. I never felt comfortable in my own skin. I had little to no self esteem or self confidence. I continued to struggle into my teen years. At age 15, I was diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder that caused me to have seizures on the left side of my body, every time I would get up out of a seated position or try and take a step forward. Very debilitating to my self esteem and self confidence, which was already almost non-existent.

At the age of 18, I fell in love with a show called the Caribbean Workout. I realized pretty quick that exercise was one of the few ways that I could be active. Fitness became my safe place to fall, my saving grace, and a way for me to start my day in a positive way. I spent my 20’s and 30’s trying to figure out my own body. I through myself into the various community programs, and self esteem courses, but I didn’t use the tools that I was taught and I continued to struggle.

There I was in my mid thirties, a mom of three kids heading back to school for the second time, in a field I had no interest in having a career in. I had no idea who I was, what my values were, or my purpose in life. I spent my life on and off of the system and the one thing I wanted most in life was to be the sole financial provider for my family. I knew I had one last chance to try and help myself so that I could take care of my family and stand on my own two feet. I decided to try another self esteem program, but this time…I wanted things to be different. This time, I would fight for my life. I completed the self esteem program, and felt I had to continue putting myself in situations that made me get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I applied for a women’s leadership program through the Women’s Empowerment Network called Power Up. I began to learn about my strengths and all the positive qualities I had. The women that run the Power Up Program see the strengths in you, that you don’t recognize in yourself. I graduated from the Power Up program and decided to take another community program called Assets. The Assets Program re-enforced all the skills I realized I had during the Power Up Program.

In 2015, I was offered an opportunity to share my story to different organizations within the Saint John Community. I shared my love of fitness, and was offered a chance to become certified as a group fitness instructor, courtesy of the Women’s Empowerment Network. In April of 2016, I completed my certification requirements, and went on to open up a fitness studio for women called Misfits Studio. Misfits is a safe and comfortable alternative space for women, where they can make connections with other women, and build a network of support for achieving their individual fitness goals. I offer a full body cardio drumming class called Poundfit. Pound uses yoga-inspired moves that combine elements of Pilates and muscle conditioning to music, movement, and drumming with weighted drumsticks called Ripstixs. The Ripstixs weigh 1/4lb and are specially designed for doing cardio.

Leading Pound classes has been life-changing for me. I have lost 60lbs, and every time I lead a class, I become more of my authentic self, that person I was truly meant to be, in spite of my struggles. I get to use my love of fitness to help other women achieve their fitness goals. My classes are very healing and therapeutic, I help women to build their self confidence and self esteem, and to feel good about their appearance.

I have been seizure-free for 7 years now and I have decided to go after my dream. I hope to inspire people to challenge their beliefs about themselves,  to put themselves in situations that get them comfortable with being uncomfortable, and see the beauty in self-acceptance.