What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
There have been many challenges I have overcome in my life. However, the challenge I overcame as a young teen — which set the foundation which I would build upon for many years — was learning to express and deal with my feelings rather than run from or bury them in unhealthy ways. At the age of 15, I was part of an intense outpatient addiction program for alcohol abuse. There were many factors that contributed to what led me to that program, but in many ways it became the path that would lead me from the “diamond in the rough” to a young teen who went on to public speaking for Snowball and Snowflake programs as well as lead teen counseling sessions each week with a group of students at my own school. That program and the people that helped me open my eyes to what I was capable of, will always be a part of who I am.
In what ways has that challenging situation changed your life for the better?
First, it taught me the true meaning of discipline and standing apart from the crowd! These would be the two most powerful catalysts to success and fulfillment in my life. I had to confront things that my peers did not and I became an unstoppable force of energy with every situation I encountered. I stood apart from the crowd and followed “my” inner voice instead of listening to the voices around me. I had always been a child who, in many ways, took the path less traveled and followed what I wanted, but this growing experience intensified that in me.
What are you most proud of when you think about how you handled that situation?
I took what I learned from the program I was part of and turned it into a raging fire! I began helping others by sharing my story and doing what I had always known was my calling, inspiring others to be their very best self!
Do you have a power phrase that helps when you are facing a difficult challenge?
When I encounter difficult challenges in my life, I put my face to the wind and I drive onward. I learned this as a young child when I faced health challenges with my asthma and allergies. I learned this as I went through the outpatient program and I also learned this through my 12 year bodybuilding career. When the going gets tough, get tougher! “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Just think about that for a moment…
Did you have a mentor or someone who helped you on your journey to being confident?
There is no one person but rather a combination of many positive individuals that influenced me. I think I have always been one to stand on my own two feet with the love and support of those around me. It is the love of those in my life who I call family and friends that have always given me the strength to untangle my wings and FLY!
How did that person help you believe in yourself?
There are many voices that I hear when I think of encouragement. Here are some of their words;
“My diamond in the rough”
“You dance from your heart and soul”
“See what you want in your mind, and go get it”
“Never give up”
“You are so beautiful”
“Never be afraid to be REAL”
“You inspire me”
“I will NOT give up on YOU”
“I love you mommy”
If you could whisper advice to your younger self, what would it be?
“This too shall pass”, and “in ten years none of this will matter”. I often share these two messages with my younger clients to remind them that whatever they are going through, it will not last forever. When we are younger, our vision of the world is very small. We only see a tiny piece of the puzzle…and there is SO MUCH MORE!!
What do you consider your three biggest strengths?
My determination, passion and creativity.
When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
Last Saturday!! For an hour and a half!
What has been your proudest moment?
Hands down…Becoming a Mother to each of my 4 children!! There is no greater pride, there is nothing more humbling, more extraordinary, more challenging or more rewarding! I was born to be a mother, this I know for certain! Every Christmas as a little girl I asked Santa for a new baby doll. My husband says I haven’t changed a bit! Today my children are ages 16, 11, 7 and 3. Our daughter and three sons light my way, every single day!
If you had the power to choose your forever age — what age would you pick?
Every age is my forever age! I have earned where I am today and to stay somewhere forever would mean never growing, and that is not what life is about. Life is about continued growth and evolution!
Who is your ultra-ego? Why did you pick that person?
My ultra-ego, if that implies the greatest part of who I am, I would have to say two people, my father and my mother. Each of their strengths has become my strengths and has assisted me in becoming who I am today. My father’s ability to stand apart from the crowd and follow his own path, my mothers unwavering positive outlook and never ending energy and passion for having fun. Finally the ability to NEVER EVER GIVE UP, which I learned from both of them.
When was the last time you tried something new that totally scared you?
I honestly don’t have many fears. Fear = adrenaline to me and I have always walked towards that feeling rather than away from it. It is when we walk toward that feeling into the fire, that we truly LIVE! Yes, I have been sky diving, river rafting, barefoot water skiing, I have miscarried a pregnancy, I have truly loved, I have endured loss, I have carried new life within my womb, I have heard my 4 children’s first breaths taken, I have watched a loved one take their final breath, I have sat in an ICU waiting room completely helpless, I have laughed so hard I have cried, and I have cried so hard I have laughed. I have had enough pain to be humbled and enough joy to be grateful. I have kissed my child as they were carried away to surgery praying I would hold them again, I have climbed to the top of the mountain and I have fallen many times, but I always get back up. I have really lived, and I will continue to do so and inspire others to do the same until my final breath in this world!
What do you do to feel good after something challenging?
Celebrate with those I love and cherish in this world!
Jennifer L. Abrams
“Steps To Success
Personal Training/ Coaching”
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