"What you look like doesn't define you; however a healthy lifestyle will help you live a more fulfilled and content life" - Rachel
My fitness journey:
At the age of 13, I wrote myself my 1st workout routine. I hung it up on the garage wall. It was summer break and I wanted to get in “the best shape of my life”. I made a list of push-ups, pull-ups, jump rope, jumping jacks, “killers”, layups, free throws and some random army drills to do each day. Fitness made something in me come alive. Feel accomplished. Challenged. Myself.
I went to a small private middle school where my teachers and the principle encouraged me to pursue running in High School. They saw something in a young girl I could not see in myself. This led me to run cross-country and track competitively in high school and college, consistently keeping a spot on varsity.
About 7+ years into competitive running, senior year of college during the Cross-country season, I chronically injured my spine during an interval routine. I managed to jam my back sprinting downhill. It was a week before the national meet. I was told by doctors to permanently stop running, to “find a new hobby”. For those of you who are runners, you know that is an absolutely devastating statement. I felt like someone was locking me into a cage at the zoo and asking me to stay put.
The stubbornness in me made up my mind that I was not going to believe the doctors. I was going to be healed. I frequented a chiropractor 3x a week for 9 months and eventually got my visits reduced to once a week. I began weight lifting more and adding in a lot more core/abs. Every so often I would try to jog a minute on the treadmill and it was just too excruciating. After a year and a half of the make shift Rachel Rehab, I managed to begin lightly running and signed up for a half marathon. I mustered it out painfully with a pretty decent time and decided the next year I would do my 1st full marathon, all the while I continued to see the chiropractor once a week.
There were times of immense pain. I often had to do half my run in the AM and half in the PM because my spine couldn’t handle all the miles at once. I even took an entire week off running as the race approached at a point of severe pain. I turned to trying out spin classes 2x a week and running less, in hopes to keep my body’s pain under control.
It was in the spin classes God began to noticeably spin/turn the tables. The class teacher was this large African dude on a tiny little bike. He would often keep me after class to ask me questions. I decided if he was going to keep me after each week, I was going to ask him some questions too. I had always had the desire to be a personal trainer, but wanted it to be a part-time gig outside of my professional career. More so, a passion, not a “job”. I discovered Amara was a trainer. He was kind enough to take me under his wing. He helped me get certified, allowed me to shadow him with his clients, began letting me train clients and he taught me the ins-and-outs of his esteemed career.
It was Amara who saw something in me, I also did not see. He told me I had the genetics to compete in a “bodybuilding show” and said it could really help me become a better trainer to understand a fitness niche. After much convincing and lots of research I decided I would give it a try. But I wasn’t willing to go on a diet.
Looking back this makes me laugh SO much. I told him I had never been on a diet and I wasn’t willing to change my eating. I thought I was eating “healthy”. Family bets were on the table that I could make it 4 days on a diet—so I set out to prove them wrong. I followed the training, diet, and posing to the T and ended up getting 1st place in my 1st show. The training required a lot less running than marathons and it actually significantly reduced my back pain. I began to think maybe my dream of being a competitive marathon runner wasn’t over, but maybe God was leading me to a different industry in fitness. I fell in love with the sport and felt very blessed to have found something I enjoyed as much as running that had a similar level of determination and dedication.
I have since competed in a total of 5 fitness shows and done several professional fitness photo shoots. I have been training a wide variety of clients since 2011. Fitness is one of my biggest passions!
P.S. What about that back injury?
Well, I had it for nearly 6 years and did in fact see my chiropractor once a week, sometimes more, during that entire time (craziness). Training was always painful for me; however in spring of 2013 through the simple laying of hands in prayer at a small gathering, God healed my spine 100%. I have since been absolutely pain free- able to run, lift and travel without hindrances. Not only do I have a passion for others to get healthy, lose weight and get fit, I have a passion for my clients to find Morr for their lives. To uncover and pursue their calling. To live a full and fulfilled life. To find their true identity, and true identity does not come from the gym.