There were times where I questioned my own self worth in this world.

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When I was 15 years old, I became a constant victim of bullying at my school and struggled to finding my own happiness. Feeling powerless, depressed, and unloved, I considered taking my life away.

During this period of my life, I didn't know how to express the way I felt because I was too afraid to reach out for support. I was too ashamed of how I felt and didn't want to be perceived as broken or hurt by others. I also didn't want to burden the people I loved with trying to "fix" me. Even though this was the wrong way to think about it, I didn't have the maturity to understand that it was okay to reach out for help. In a deeper sense, I wanted to hide that I was broken because I was too scared to admit to myself that I wasn't okay. 

While all of this was happening, I simultaneously was enrolled in a weight training class at my school. This was where my journey in fitness began. I had grown up as an athlete, but knew nothing about weight training. Although it felt awkward to even hold weights in my hand, I immediately felt a connection with the gym like no other. The gym quickly became a second home where I could find stable ground. Little would my 15 year old self know that fitness would change my life forever. 

Overtime, I became serious about nutrition and started seeing results. Beyond just a physical representation of growth, a more confident me began to emerge. Soon, I had developed the strength to stand up for myself against the bullies at my school.  As weightlifting was beginning to teach me fundamental values of hard work, I was learning how to fight through pain and find a greater strength inside I never knew I had. This eventually lead me to reach out for help and realize that I was capable of being so much more than what I thought I could be. I felt limitless.

Fast forward a year or so, I discovered social media influencers who would end up changing my life forever. After having a lack of role models growing up, their compassion and ambition to change the world inspired me to try to do the same. Feeling utterly lost in my life, they helped guide me to a road of self love, growth, and discovery that became critical to my own development of a better human.

The older I got, the more I realized that I was not alone in my experiences. I began to understand that humanity unites itself through struggle, yet hardship is one of the most alienating feelings in the world, especially when we don't reach out for help. Thinking back to my 15 year old self, I realized that I only needed one person to believe in me and tell me that things would get better. That's all it took to help launch me towards a path of getting help and believing that a better future was possible.

This is why the #StrongerSelf Movement was created. To empower a generation of youth and young adults to live their lives with integrity, kindness, and passion for creating a better world; to inspire Influencers to help share their story's of struggle and inspire others to do the same; and to help everyone discover a Stronger Self within.

Much love,