This Favorite Things is dedicated to a WHO rather than a WHAT!
Why is Ashley my ‘Favorite Thing’ this month? Because she has introduced me to a more confident, stronger, self-controlled and vibrant version of myself.
I met Ashley while working at Active Lab and adored her immediately…well, maybe not immediately. Our first encounter occurred when I was talked into (read: roped into, forced, harassed until compliant) one session of the Wednesday evening, girls-only boot camp at AL, run by Ashley Olson. As I was driving down to the facility, it occurred to me that I was a grown woman and did not have to go there and enlist in this torture-fest. I did not have to go and hang out with prissy girls, half my age, that had no idea what real life was like! However, I kept driving. Periodically checking my FitBit, only to find that my resting heart rate had crept up into the low 100’s….while driving…not even a stick shift! When I arrived, I sat in my car for an eternity and a half and eventually pried my own fingers off the steering wheel and ambled inside. I had to eat every word I had told myself.
Not only were the women fun, encouraging, brilliant and engaging – they were STRONG. And even though I was a complete unknown, they brought me into the fold and helped me to push myself and feel amazing through these workouts. And at the helm of it all is this little, blonde fire-cracker. Quite simply, I showed up that night and then I never left. I’ve been going for several months now and can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing of an evening than working out with this group. Ashley orchestrates the evening’s activities and carefully plans each circuit, challenge and exercise. It’s really extraordinary to watch her lay out her plans for the class, because you’ll find in just a short amount of time that she knows where your limits are better than you do.
Another lesser known fact about Ashley is that not only does she do all manner of personal training, but she also is a certified lifting coach (power lifting, Olympic lifting). I’m speaking to all the women out there…have you ever picked up a barbell with weights on it and lifted it up? Like some crazy, side-show guy at the carnival with a handle-bar mustache? If you haven’t, all I can say is…it feels amazing. Ashley has been working with me on powerlifting and I’ve absolutely fallen in love. And that’s the thing about her – she can help you or anyone else find their exercise! The one that you were made to do. The one that motivates, the one that doesn’t get stale, the one that your body was designed for! And my friends…my body was designed to pick up heavy things and then set them down again. Thank you Ashley, for helping me to discover a piece of myself that I didn’t know was in there.
She lifts heavy, she encourages mightily, she high-fives HARD when she’s really proud of you and she’s my good friend and lifting guru…Ashley Olson. We’d love to see you at Active Lab and introduce you to a more vibrant, more confident and stronger version of YOU!