When I had first moved to Tallahassee from 1,000 miles away, it was quite a culture shock, to be honest. I had no friends, no familiarity, and no idea what this town had to offer. One of the best decisions I made was joining a gym here for my health and to meet people in the field I am interested in. Within a week, I ended up randomly talking to a girl named Mary about a legging brand we both liked, and from there it was history. Little did I know, a year later we would hang out for at least 2 hours every day, and she would even hold me at my pappy’s funeral while I struggled to stand. This girl has become such a rock in my life, helping me through personal and even physical struggles when I am tired or being lazy at the gym. If there’s one person in my life who brings the best out in me, it is her. She pushes me to lift more, longer, harder, and everything in between. I am a better athlete because of her. She is also physically stronger than me in every way, so she gives me someone to look up to. I am an only child and could never truly understand what it means to have a sister, but after meeting her, I no longer feel that way. If I am ever in a rut or have a problem, even with 2 kids, she will find a way to make time to help me and get me back on track. She treats me like one of her own and I know that if I ever needed her at 3 am on a Thursday night, she would be there.
Mary is also a very strong, independent woman who has shown me my own strength mentally. Like the old saying, iron sharpens iron, she challenges me to dig deep and see what I am capable of. No matter how much I psych myself out or struggle with anxiety, she is living proof that I can overcome any situation, so long as I keep my head up, take it slow, and rely on my support system. I am someone who struggles to ask for help when I truly need it, but she has shown me that it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s okay to reach out when you need it. I can’t express how much love I have for Mary or how much of a role-model she has been in any amount or type of words, but in the simplest terms, she has helped me bloom as a woman.