Athlete of the Year Submission Spotlight: Feel Like Who You Are…

Sarah Cook
March 14, 2016

Throughout 2016, we will be sharing some of the amazing submissions we received from the Athlete of the Year contest. We hope these stories inspire you to realize your potential within Iron Tribe Fitness as well as in your personal life as much as they have inspired us — and remember to keep submitting your stories here!

This week, we’re sharing a story from ITF Highway 150 Bham, AL, Stephanie O!

Feel Like Who You Are Supposed to Be

“As someone who had never been into fitness or even participated in sports, ITF was something I would’ve looked at in my former life and literally laughed. My whole world up until three years ago revolved around my family. As a mother of five, every day, every moment, was spent on my children. Over time, I had let myself go, physically and mentally. I was depressed, and 100 pounds overweight, my hair was falling out, I was on the verge of diabetes, but really not caring to do anything about it. I just thought, this was the way it was going to be.

My husband joined ITF and I began to notice his excitement and transformation. Meanwhile, my 40th birthday happened. I looked in the mirror and wondered where I had gone. I knew I had to do something. I soon joined ITF, intimidated and not knowing if I’d make it or not. I couldn’t even do a push up, never lifted a barbell in my life, and had never even attempted to run. Ever.

Today, I’m 43 and feel better than I did when I was 20.

I was all in. Started eating clean. Going to the gym at least three times a week. Everyday was a challenge, it was hard and fun, sometimes depressing but made me feel great. It became a way of life and I kept going. Knowing I needed to do this not only for myself, but for everyone around me. My coaches and friends from the gym were always encouraging me along the way.

I began to notice not only a change in my body, but my attitude, my confidence, and my overall being. For the first time in years, I had confidence when I walked into a room, I could fit into regular clothes o the rack, I had more energy for my kids, I felt better, I felt strong, fit. Finally, after years, I felt like myself (like who I was supposed to be)

Today, I’m 43 and feel better than I did when I was 20. I have lost a total of 95 pounds, I can dead lift 195, clean 130, and do an unassisted pull up, all things I though I would never be able to do in 101. However, I’ve learned that ITF has been so much more for me than dead lifts, cleans, and pull ups. It has given me a family I didn’t know I needed, a changed life, for myself and my family, and a new passion for fitness, health and competition, and to give back and make others that were in the same boat as me — stronger and better and to realize that we all can be #strongertogether.”

Sarah Cook

Sarah oversees social media and internal communication for Iron Tribe Fitness. Her goal is to share the mission of Iron Tribe so others can be transformed by the program, and ultimately become the healthiest version of themselves.