Ali Smith

AliI grew up in a very small town in Southeast Idaho, we’re talking less than 500 people in the whole town! In Jr. High I played a little volleyball & softball but as I got older I found I just wasn’t that competitive when it came to sports. Once I reached high school I decided to try out for the dance team. Having no previous dance experience I remember being really nervous but as it turned out, I was pretty good. I earned the Drill Mistress title, putting me in charge of the team, as a sophomore and served as President my senior year. I was also the first person from our school to earn a spot on the 5th District Honorary Drill Team. In the high school dance world it was like going to State.

To say that fitness wasn’t a big part of my life after high school, marriage and 3 kids is an understatement. In 2008, after a routine checkup, my Dr. wanted to put me on medications for my high blood pressure and cholesterol. He also recommended that I try to “lose a little weight”. Things were getting serious but it wasn’t until Christmas day of that year when a seemingly simple event changed everything. I stepped onto the Wii Fit, that Santa had so generously given me, and watched as my little Wii person turned into an obese Wii person. In that moment surrounded by my family, everyone who loved me, all I wanted to do was run away and cry. I was devastated, embarrassed and lost. I needed help. My help arrived a month later in the form of a new co-worker who kept showing me youtube videos of people doing CrossFit workouts. I thought he was crazy and didn’t think it was for me. I wasn’t a firefighter, police officer or in the military and I didn’t have any real sports experience outside of P.E.  It was months later when I finally worked up the nerve to go try it. I picked a day that I knew he wouldn’t be there, to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself, and that was all it took. I was hooked.

I lost 60 lbs. in just 6 months and ended up finding a new career and a new love in the process. I ran almost every day, not just for exercise, but to clear my head and think, or sometimes, to not think. This was where I discovered who I was and what I wanted and needed to be truly happy.  I also found that competitive drive. I may not have been the fastest or strongest chic on the street but I knew who was and I was chasing her down! The workouts challenged me mentally and physically but it was the people working along side me who pushed me to do better, to be better. There was an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and of belonging to something that I’ll never forget. That old fear of failure quickly disappeared into the distance as I found myself surrounded by new friends and unconditional support both in and out of the gym.

Trading in the cubical job and high heels for Olympic lifting platforms and running shoes was the best decision I could have made. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to meet new people and share my story and passion for fitness. I absolutely love what I do and look forward to helping others find that same strength within themselves. There is no limit to what you can achieve when you set your mind to it.