Sponsored Figure Competitor
My name is Ashley Nordman and I am 23 years old. I grew up on a farm in a small town in Illinois. I currently live in Fargo, ND where I run my online personal training business.
I’ve been an athlete ever since I can remember, and to this day, I still live a very active lifestyle. Growing up, I played anything from Soccer to Volleyball to Track and Field. I was a tomboy as well, so getting sweaty and dirty was all I knew. Once high school came around, I cleaned my act up a bit, but I was still in love with sports. Unfortunately, I tore my hamstring my freshman year of Track, and it put me out for a long time. I really started to clean up my diet because I feared that I would get out of shape since I couldn’t exercise, and that is when I first started to care a lot about nutrition and food. When I was healed, I picked up running again and began to run daily. Exercising all the time combined with eating a much cleaner diet brought huge results for me! However, I started to drop weight, and I quickly became very lean. I was always a muscular and fit person, but for the first time in my life, I was starting to look lean and very tone! I got a lot of attention but unfortunately it brought a lot of hate with it. People started to make fun of me and say that I had an eating disorder, or that I was a “freak” for running all the time, and before I knew it, I was being bullied on a regular basis. I grew insecure about my new, lean build. In time, I lost more and more weight from being depressed and also from believing the lies that people said about me. I did, eventually, develop severe eating and exercise issues, and I struggled for the rest of my high school career with this. I actually graduated early so I could just get out and start fresh, and get my life back in gear.
When I went to college, I decided that it was time for something new. I did research and read about all of the great benefits that came from weight lifting, which was something I had never really done before. So I started going to my university’s gym and lifted weights daily, and I quickly fell in love. The weight room became my passion, and running was put on the back burner. I gained some healthy weight and muscle, and people started complementing me on my new physique! I loved feeling strong instead of skinny, and since then, weight lifting has been a huge part of my life.
Learning about weight lifting also educated me on my nutrition, since food intake is so important when it comes to weight training. I started to develop a much better relationship with food, and I am proud to say that to this day, my old “disordered” thoughts are forever gone. Food is fuel, and I will always see food in a positive light, rather than in a negative one like I once did.
Since going through what I did in highschool, it has served as a huge motivation for me to help others who struggle with their body image and their lifestyle choices. When I graduated college with a business degree, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do as a career. But my heart eventually pushed me to pursue something that I have always loved, which is health and wellness. I am now a personal trainer and absolutely love what I do. I also compete in bodybuilding competitions, and this sport has truly helped me grow as an athlete. I work every day to be a positive influence for other women, and sharing my journey with the world has been so rewarding. I am proud to represent Rise Above Fitness because I believe that we should all rise above any doubt, insecurities, and negativity that may be surrounding us.
- Ash Nordman