Strong women are not born they are created. Building a culture of youth and teens who are better able to deal with their emotions and life in general is vital . It is vital in preventing the already too many suicides in our country and it is vital in preparing our children for the world they will face as an adult.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 24 year-olds. It is common for teens to struggle with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction, and behavior issues. I myself suffered from depression in high school and at times my emotions felt out of control. Despite seeing a counselor I felt alone, it always felt like things were hopeless and my problems would eventually consume me. Many people that know me today see me as a mother, trainer, coach, and hopefully a strong woman. What many of my friends might not know is that high school was a horrible time for me and suicide was something I thought about on more than one occasion.
Now I look at my four year old daughter and I think about her sister who will be born in about 3 months. It scares me to know what I went through and to think these girls would ever have to face those feelings. It scares me to think how social media has influenced growing up in our country , how bullying is often not addressed, and how our society in general is shaping the minds of our young girls.
As a trainer I work with women everyday who have so many negative things to say about themselves but will struggle to find one positive thing. This mentality starts when you are young, I did it and still do it to this day. This is why I work very hard everyday to make sure my clients know their strength and what they are capable of and to make sure that my daughter won’t do it in the future.
It’s all about your mentality which is shaped throughout your life, your experiences make you who you are and give you the opportunity to gain strength. When you are young you haven’t had enough life experiences to find that inner strength you need to get through the day to day struggles. The classes in school and sports programs don’t address the confidence issues, bullying, depression, and overall mental health of America’s teens.
Personally, I wasn’t involved in team sports in school because I always feared I would fail personally or fail the team in some way. Instead I got involved in Karate, every night I went to workout, practice, and learn. It is the one thing I felt kept me strong throughout some of my toughest years. We moved to a small town from Phoenix, AZ when I was ten years old and the Karate classes were taught right across the street from where we lived. Eight years later I received my black belt after a two day test involving lots of running (10 miles to be exact), sparring, forms, training and more training, push ups, sit ups, and then some.
Years later during my college years I really discovered working out and what it did for me mentally was something I only experienced after that black belt test. In 2005 I started buying all the fitness magazines I could get my hands on and fell in love with working out, not only because it made me feel physically stronger but my mind felt unstoppable. \