Hey, fit grrrrrls. I'm Amy Clover, fitness blogger and champion for using fitness as a means to strengthen both our bodies and our minds. Not sure what that means? Let me tell you 'bout it, stud...
Growing up, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (an anxiety disorder), which made for a nasty mix. I was always über-emotional and also extremely anxious. Because of the stigma around these disorders, however, I never felt like I could talk about it. I knew people would make fun of me, and I just didn't want that extra stress on my plate. What I didn't realize was that NOT talking about it caused so much more.
I held all the pain inside for so long that I broke in my early twenties, and was hospitalized for a suicide attempt. When I was released, I committed to changing my life around. I committed to at least TRYING to get happier. I'd just never really tried before. I'd wanted it, but I'd never achieved happiness for longer than a few weeks at a time. I embarked upon a program with my therapist and started brand new medication, and it was a roller coaster for a few years. I'd do great, then I'd fail and it would send me into a tailspin of depression. What changed, however, was that I was committed to getting back up every time I fell.
When I started working out regularly, my whole world opened up. The more consistent I became in the gym, the more focused and effective I became at being able to follow my therapist's plan. I started feeling stronger and fighting for me in the gym, which led to more resilience and confidence outside as well. I started believing that I could fight and win in my workouts, and realized that everyday life is no different. Now, that's what I help other people realize. We've grown up in this society that tells us that pain isn't necessary, so if you're talking about it, you're probably just weak. Bull, ladies. Bull.
Without pain and struggle, we cannot get stronger. It's necessary. At Strong Inside Out, that's exactly what I hope to get people to understand. I teach intention-driven, high-intensity fitness classes that drive participants to their edge. By keeping them focused with intention cues (mantras), we have them prove to themselves that they can win over struggle here in the workout, and that translates to a stronger mindset beyond the event as well. I give 50% of our event proceeds to suicide prevention charity, To Write Love On Her Arms.
To take this movement out into the world, I need your help. I'm fundraising for this year's tour so that we can get out to major cities across the U.S. and start up our ongoing program that will keep event participants accountable, and moving with mindset-based fitness programs and challenges. You can read all the details here.
If you believe that we are stronger than our struggle; if you have ever beat the pavement after a hard day; if you have ever felt like maybe you just can't handle the pain, so you've gone on a run and sweat out all that sadness, I am asking you to please help us spread this movement. There are so many people who need to hear that they are stronger than they know. Let's rally behind them, Fit Girls, and let's show them just how loud we can be. Here's how to do it:
1. Click here to donate to the cause (every dollar and euro counts!)
2. Share it with your near and dear on Twitter by clicking here.
Hope to see you along the tour, Fit Girls! Let's sweat out this struggle together!