The consistency and energy of our trainers at FBBC Cheyenne, is one of the reasons Fitters truely enjoy, and look forward to the grueling half hour we spend getting our asses in shape. One of the biggest draw backs of going to any old gym, is the lack of personality and connection one feels when going to work out. Out of shape gym newbies, can feel put off by the need to self motivate in a guideless envioronment. There is also a higher risk of injury for newbies who may not be educated on how the equipment should be properly handled.
Fit Body and it’s Trainers are aware of these issues, and when you step through the doors of their gym, you will immediately notice a difference between a “normal” gym, and boot camp. Firstly, FBBC, is primarily women! Yes! Women of all shapes, sizes and ages, socioeconomic back grounds and cultural blending. Secondly, men do boot camp too! Not as many as you see at a “normal” gym, and in fact, most of them are married to another boot camper, so there is never that letcherous feeling you may get at other gyms, with uncomfortable stares, and inappropriate comments.
Today, I was able to sit down and talk with Ashley Richards, one of the fantastic trainers at FBBC Cheyenne.
Ashley is like a contained ball of fire. At first, she can be quite unassuming at how much energy flies out of her when the class get’s going. I talked for a while with her about her fitness journey leading up to being a Fit Body Boot Camp trainer… Let me have the pleasure of introducing her to you; WORLD meet Ashley Richards!
Name : Ashley Richards
Current measurements : Arms- 11 1/2 in.
Chest- 32 in
Waist- 26 1/2 in
Hips- 37 in
Thigh- 22 1/4 in
Total Body Fat- 19.8%
Weight: 140 lbs
Weight at peak of unhealthy lifestyle : approx. 165lbs
Favorite Exercise: Dead Lifts, and Push Ups
Max-Out on Deadlift: 215 lbs (!!!!)
I don’t know about you, but when I look at Ashley, I see a strong, well porportioned woman, a woman who can easily exicute all exercises with a sense of finesse and ease. She makes everything look effortless; and for her, it is funny to think that just 7 or 8 years ago, she never would have dreamed of being a fitness trainer.
Ashley is a Cheyenne, Wyoming native and you may recognize her face from graduating from East High School. As a child, she participated in intermural sports, and she enjoyed the games of basket ball and volley ball. She even gave track a try, only to realize running is the worst sport out there.
When I asked Ashley about her diet growing up, she recollects that is wasn’t healthy; which plays heavily in to her mentality and current life style in tandem with her larger goals as a trainer. By the time Ashley had entered high school, she gave up sports, primarily due to the rather short shorts and revealing uniforms required by female High School sports participants. It would be almost a decade before Ashley’s attention would turn to physical fitness.
Anyone who has grown up in Cheyenne, will profess that there is little to do outside of school activities for the youth. Ashley was no exception, and since she was disinterested in school sponsored sports, she was on her own to find entertainment and fun. She readily admits to standard bored teenage behavior; parties, and lots of alcohol.
Ashley: I am pretty lucky. I probably should have died more than once from bad decisions.
Upon retrospect, she is thankful to be alive today, and fully conscious of some of her youthful, selfish decision making. Ashley realizes that she wouldn’t be where she is today, with out some of those mistakes.
Flash foward to around 2008. Ashley meets the man of her dreams, who happens to also be a former State Wrestler, football player and currently certified gym rat. Billy grew up in Hulett, Wyoming, and didn’t leave his athletesism behind after graduation. So, like any strange new date and the way relationships go, Billy took Ashley to the gym to work out with him.
Me: So what did you think of the gym, when he took you to work out?
Ashley: I was like, “why are you doing this? What is the point?”
This would be the beginning of two love affairs, one that would lead to marriage, and the other, a complete life style over haul.
Ashley: I started taking classes like Zumba, and Hot Yoga, a few times, but I didn’t like them; so I quit, and tried something else. I was going to a women’s gym, and I had the same mentalities as most people who start working out, ” I’m working out, I can eat whatever I want.”
Me: So was there any focus or teaching about nutrition at the women’s gym?
Ashley: No. Not unless you paid for a personal trainer. I later found out that the trainer at (the womens) gym, had only gone through, like an 8 hour weekend training certification in Colorado over a weekend. That disturbed me.
Me: So how did you come to Fit Body?
Ashley: I saw it on Facebook, and I was working for the County, and one of the girls I worked with was also interested in checking it out. We came to a class during lunch, and I the first day I tried it I freakin’ loved it. I freakin’ loved it! So I signed up. But my sincere fitness journey, didn’t start until about a year and a half ago.
Ashley started training part time, while holding down three other jobs. She credits Owner and Operator of Fit Body Boot Camp, Cheyenne, Sara Goossen, to be her biggest inspiration and influence.
Ashely: I learn from Sara, I watch Sara, I grow from Sara. She is the reason I do, what I do. Had it not been for her, I wouldn’t be where I am at.
With Ashley’s new found determination, she jumped head first into getting her certifications to train. She is currently certified through the International Sports Science Association; the Center of Health and Fitness. Ashley has studied nutrition and training, while keeping up with her continuing education credits and is working on becoming versed in Strength Training for Kids.
Me: Where would you like to see this (training) go?
Ashley: I want to see kids get healthier. I hate seeing obese kids. I think kids deserve a chance, ya know? I grew up, eating crap; I grew up not knowing anything about working out. I played sports, but it wasn’t teaching me anything I would take with me.
Me: So what is your vision?
Ashley: I just want more classes. I want it to be something that is “us” at Fitbody. I don’t want to take it out on my own. And why? Because I feel almost like I owe the payback. I want to pay it forward. I feel like, if we can do it through Fit Body, then it’s more like “Fit Families;” Mom’s and Dad’s and kids, you know, that would just be better… becoming something ‘more’ than we already are, and incorporate what we already have into something bigger.
Me: So like a 4:30 kids class upstairs, that would be cool.
Ashley: Yeah, something like that, or just to start out, a summer program. As it grows we would have to grow with it, but to start from there, we (would do the summer program and) see where it goes.
No interview about fitness would be complete with out hearing about the struggles a person faces in making such a drastic life style change; especially when the person is interested in helping others change their lives as well. Empathy and comisseration are part of the job, and Ashley is no stranger to personal struggle.
Me: So what would you say, has been your biggest struggle in this journey?
Ashley: The goddamn eating! (laughter)
Me: Keeping up with your nutrition?
Ashley: Yes! Like I tell everybody, our bodies are our grown up science fair project. And we all work so different. What may work for me, isn’t going to work for everybody. What works for you, may not work for me. That has been my biggest struggle, figuring out how my body wants to be fed, not the way some one else wants to feed my body.
Me: Are you finding balance with that?
Ashley: Yes. I piece together my program from all the things I have tried, and what has worked for me.
Me: Where do you feel your greatest advances have come through this.
Ashley: My biggest advance, is that even on a bad day I love myself more now, than I ever have. I have been through a lot of stuff in my childhood, as has everyone. It’s the love for myself. I couldn’t be happier. Of course there are those things you nit pick about yourself, but I think at some point, it is better to embrace what you have, and love what you have been given. To Love YOURSELF! If you don’t love yourself, how are you going to love anyone else? Another struggle I have is practicing what I preach. We preach so much as trainers, sometimes we forget to practice what we preach. Who are we to give advice if we can’t take our own advice.
Though Ashley has only been a trainer for a relatively short time, she is obviously dedicated to it. She has had to make some comprimises and adjustments to her life, to embody this as not only a life style, but a carreer path; and she isn’t looking back. Her desire to impact families in this community is inspiring, and I wish her well with the task of building interest and participation.
If you attend Fit Body Boot Camp in Cheyenne, and/or you have kids, make sure to express interest in seeing a summer kids program. The more interest shown, the more potential of getting the program up and running, sooner than later.
If you don’t attend Fit Body Boot Camp- Cheyenne, but you would like to see what we do here; contact Sara Goossen or Tristen Williams at (307) 421-7387, or on FaceBook at Fit Body Boot Camp Cheyenne. Set up a consult, come do a class, and make that life style change you have been thinking about.
If you would like to read more about my first hand experience with Fit Body, you can check out my past blogs here.