Submitted by: Creed Harkless
You can tell by looking at Tara’s before and after pictures that she’s transformed herself physically. What you can’t see is how much she’s changed as a person in general. Her mental toughness in class and her confidence outside of class have skyrocketed, and she’s of my favorite examples of someone who is constantly challenging themselves and changing their goals.
Q: How have your goals changed throughout your fitness journey?
A: Throughout my fitness journey, my goals have changed from where I want to be physically and the numbers to how I want to be mentally. Before this journey, I was so focused on the number on the scale and being able to fit into a size 3 pant. Yes, I did hit that goal of fitting into a size 3 but was it healthy for me mentally to focus on such an unimportant thing? No. I focused more on the numbers than I did my own happiness. I didn’t have the right mindset that would open my eyes to other things and let myself see how I was developing as a person. The number on the scale doesn’t matter, how heavy a weight I can lift in class doesn’t matter. What matters is my attitude and how I see myself personally.
Q: What role has Next Level played in that journey?
A: I guess you could say from looking at my before picture that my fitness journey began before I started NLXF. Yet, I don’t. I consider my
journey having started when I began NLXF and began seeing a change in myself. Personally, I was traveling to a place in life that nobody should end up. Before NLXF, I still saw myself as that person in the before picture. Unhappy, hard on herself, scared, stressed, and just not having a positive outlook on life in general. Starting at Next Level, though, saved me from making a decision that would have affected my entire life. I was placed into the NLXF family for a reason and at a moment in my life that I needed it the most. I began my journey as the person in the before picture but since then I’ve become the person in my after. Someone who has the confidence to get up every day and know I have what it takes to succeed and keep going. If I mess up, who cares? As long as you have the right attitude in life, you learn from things and keep fighting through. I still have my struggles but I now know I have what it takes, thanks especially to the trainers and the people (shout out to 5 AM) for that.
Q: How has fitness changed things for you in general?
A: While fitness has changed how I eat and care for myself physically, it’s helped more of my mentality and who I am as a person. Because of fitness, I’ve taken some huge leaps in life. Someone just told me the other day I seem happier and my attitude has taken a 180 degree turn since my journey started. Before NLXF, I didn’t have a very positive outlook or attitude about life. I was so hard on myself and worried/stressed about every little thing. In the past year I’ve found my faith again and have completely changed my attitude. I have opened up more to others and have developed not only lifelong friendships but a family as well. I can now look in the mirror every day, smile, and know I have what it takes and the choice to either choose the attitude I had a year ago or the stronger one I have now to do and be anything, no matter what the situation is. Now, every time I am put into a situation, I think to myself, ‘You fight through the hard and uncomfortable things in workout mentally and physically, now apply that all outside that room.’I guess instead of saying, ‘How has fitness changed things for you in general?’ the question should be ‘How has NLXF changed your life?’