CONNECTING WITH CAMEE
FITNESS and WELLNESS—No one can buy it for you, do it for you, or take it away from you. All you, for you, by you.
While visiting my site, I hope you find strength, motivation, and courage on your path to wellness. I’m eager to get to know you and to connect.
I can give you tools, guide you, help motivate you, and hold space for you, but doing the work is up to you.
My approach to optimizing overall health includes working cohesively in a judgement-free environment, while simultaneously providing services focused on wellness, making fitness enjoyable, engaging, progressive, and healing.
Whether you’re just starting, a professional athlete, or trying to get your groove back, I would love to work with you!
“the three strands woven together represent the strengthening of the mind, body, and spirit.”
PASSION WITH PURPOSE
I was born strong.
Don’t get me wrong, I was your typical dark-haired, extra chubby, marshmallow, but from a young age I showed a natural gift for physicality. I tried, and played, almost every sport, but gymnastics became my childhood passion. Many people enjoy the grace and beauty of gymnastics. But me? It was all about the power. Those feelings of pushing my body to go higher, to last longer, to endure more, that was the part of gymnastics that spoke to me. Long hours training and conditioning turned my young body into rock hard muscle. Other seven year old girls, were flexible and lithe, I was walking around with biceps and an eight pack. (I still hold the elementary school record for most pull-ups.)
Simply put, I was born with the enormous potential for physical strength..
However, life has taught me that “strength” is much more than being fit and muscular. Emotional strength. Mental strength. Spiritual strength. Those were weaknesses that I have had to fight to improve.
Like most everyone, I have experienced my share of hardships and challenges. My past involves a teenage pregnancy, (obviously followed by being a young mother), an unhealthy marriage, divorce, losing a brother to suicide, and in the midst of it all, battling my own anxiety, self-doubt, and depression.
For a few of these tough years, I mentally checked out.
I was going through the motions of being a mother. I laughed when things were supposed to be funny. I said the things I was supposed to say. But my family can tell you, I was just a shell. A shell of the person I knew was inside.
How does a person break through the fog?
How does someone find life again?
About eight years ago, I felt inspired to try a figure competition. Growing up I saw a fitness pageant on TV. (Remember the pageants with the gowns, the tumbling routines, and the obstacle courses?) I had always wanted to try one! My gymnastics background, and that old connectedness with my body, made me think fitness could be right for me. Little did I know, that these fitness pageants were fading out, and figure competitions were taking their place. I found a trainer and started to put in the work. Like I said, I was born strong! Putting on muscle was my forte! Trying to stay lean and not get too bulky? That took WORK! I made it to Nationals and felt content with my efforts. At the time I didn’t realize that Fitness was helping more than just my body, but looking back, I can see that having a goal, and working hard, was building me up as a whole person.
Round 2 of life came out swinging. In the middle of a painful divorce, my little brother, my incredible *younger brother, took his own life.
Devastated. Destroyed. Distraught.
If you’ve experienced any kind of grief, you know it's emotionally, physically and spiritually derailing. I didn’t have the inner strength to deal with so much distress, so I reverted to numbness. But fitness had given me a foundation, a path to work my way out of the fog.
In addition to fitness, I also had two daughters to take care of. I couldn’t let myself wallow. I felt a strong pull to get back into kickboxing. Previously I had used Tae Boe, and fitness kickboxing classes to get back in shape after pregnancy. But this time, UFC was on the rise, and I kept seeing fights on TV. Socially, I liked to go watch local fights with friends. So this time, I wanted to find a gym with real bags, mitts, and possibly some sparring. I found a fight gym, started learning true technique, mechanics, strategy, and just a general understanding of the sport.
It was like the heavens opened, and the fitness Gods gave me my own little miracle.
The workouts were just what I needed. Learning combinations was stimulating for my foggy mental status, the physicality of it was producing endorphins, the speed of it required concentration and focus. The full body workouts sculpted and leaned out my physique. I built confidence and found myself feeling more upbeat and hopeful. I would leave each class dripping with sweat and exhausted, but feeling stronger, more like myself, and less burdened.
I kept at it, and as I improved, I started to spare lightly.
Learning to take a punch and keep going is empowering.
With every workout, with every new skill I learned, I found more of me. Nothing is more cathartic than having a horrendous day, feeling full of turmoil and grief, and then going to the gym and taking it all out on a bag or a mitt session.
All of those emotions, all that self-doubt, all that pain. Instead of letting it fester inside of me, I left it to die at the gym.
Taking the next step to fight an actual person is a big decision. And let me be honest, my first fight did not go well. I was nervous and jittery and my mental game was way off. I was embarrassed and disappointed how it all played out. I mean, my whole life I’d been the strongest. I’d been the toughest. But on that night, in that ring, that was not the case. So, I had a choice. Wither up. Turn inward. Give a voice to the doubts in my head. Let mental weakness cripple me again, OR keep training, improve, bust my ass, and get my head in check.
My second fight went much better. My whole family, my closest friends, my kids--they were all there to watch me. I came out with the win, and more importantly, I was pleased with how I performed.
If you passed me on the street, you would never guess that I am a fighter. I’m not just talking about MMA, I am talking about the war I have waged with myself, to become a better, stronger, healthier person. Fitness and fighting gave me the tools to strengthen my body, and in the process, I found the will to fight for myself.
Is every fight a victory? No.
Do I come out on top everyday? No.
But I know how to pick myself up and keep going.
From kickboxing I have ventured into strengthening my mental game by learning about mindfulness and yoga. I find great joy in creating unique and intriguing workouts for myself and friends. I use my spare time to volunteer at the Humane Society and teach yoga to kids and teens through the PROMISE Program.
I don’t say these things to pat myself on the back, but to help you understand that because I have fought to know myself, I can empathize with your fight.
I can help you be the champ of your own life.