Hey there! My name is Misha. I am originally from a small town in Michigan but in order to get the experience necessary to further my career I have moved to Texas for a temporary timeframe.
When Ang approached me about this opportunity I was very excited! I am by no means the most knowledgeable about the way our bodies work, nutrition or even physical activity. However, I have read many books and I truly ENJOY learning about my body (and mind) and the ways to make it function most efficiently as well as understanding why and how we are able to push our bodies to some of the limits it can go.
So here is a little bit about me. I grew up in a very small town, I was always quite athletic, keeping busy during every sport season. When I was about ten years old my parents opened up a fitness center, so it is easy to say that I have been around some kind of healthy, active environment for some time. I was always told I was the skinny kid growing up and for the most part that was true. I didn’t realize it until later on but quite possibly similar to some of you, I only ate when I was hungry, I was always busy and on the go. So of course I was skinny, at some point in high school its wasn’t cool to get lunch, just wait until the snack bar opened up and have a cookie and maybe an ice cream cup and call it good until dinner. God forbid I get up early enough before school to eat breakfast either. There was no way you could convince me that something in my stomach was better than sleeping an extra ten minutes every day.
I was a three sport athlete in high school and had gotten some phone calls my senior year to continue my athletic career into college. What an overwhelming decision, it came down to tears but I chose to take a partial scholarship from Central Michigan University, fire up chips! I went on to compete for the Chippewas for nearly five years as a high jumper on their track squad. This was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I gained so many amazing friends that not only did I get to have fun with but I also got to fight, struggle and reach new limits with. I wish I could tell you that I reached all of my goals in college, I set a goal my sophomore year in high school to jump 6’0” feet by my senior year and at the very least in college. However, injuries happen, life happens and frustration sets in. I jumped 5’7” when I was 16 years old and never did it again. I had some amazing coaches in college but I also had 5 different ones within my 5 years of competition. This was very confusing for me, as soon as I got comfortable with one, the next one was on his way in and I would have to start all over at square one with a new philosophy.
My freshman year I ended up with a stress fracture in my foot that essentially ruined both indoor and outdoor seasons. I came back with a new coach my sophomore year who was very knowledgeable but it hadn’t clicked yet. Then my junior year I had hit a collegiate personal best and jumped 5’5” in my first meet. I was through the roof and knew I had to do whatever it took to stay in the best physical shape. This was definitely a double edged sword. Track in general (as well as in some other sports), females and maybe even males are constantly reminded about nutrition and body mass. As a high jumper, I need to be able to get off the ground (be light and fly) and there were goals for my weight set by my coach. When I would hit that goal weight I assumed I would be jumping with the most elite, I wasn’t, so I tried to lose more. This is where I got into a rut of dangerous and unhealthy habits that continued because of my mindset until the end of my track career. My weight would fluctuate up to twenty pounds. I would do great and lost over 17 pounds one time in a 7 week time frame. What did I reward myself with? You’re right, food. Ice cream, fried food, pizza, popcorn or anything else I could get my hands on. I felt so deprived that I just went for it. Gaining approximately ten pounds of my hard work back in just over a week.
With that being said I am happy to say that I have stopped my unhealthy habits and realized it was the pressure that kept me resorting back to unhealthy measures. Since the completion of my track career I have bought many books and done a lot of research on different diets, ways of life, physical activities, mind sets you name it. I have learned so much and realize that with all of these things, one thing does not work for everyone. You are not like anyone else, so why would you think that what works for your friend, family member or coworker, will work exactly the way it will for you? If it does, great, but when it doesn’t we get into this habit of comparing ourselves to others when we need to realize we are on our own journey and what we do now with our health is what is going to make us able to play with our grandchildren and be around to see their children as well. Not only that, but we are able to make the best of this beautiful life set out in front of us and count our blessings each day that we have the use of our fingers and our toes, a clear mind, and the opportunity to effect change as the day progresses.
I realize now that getting healthy is for everyone, it isn’t just to get skinny. I remember when I was in high school and the skinniest teacher in the school came up to me and asked how much my parents charge for membership. All I could think is why? You are already skinny, why do you need to be at a gym? Naïve thinking, I know, but I can’t help but be thankful now that I have learned that being skinny does not mean you are healthy, could be far from it too! I am not trying to be responsible for multiple life changing situations but this is a great opportunity to share knowledge, recipes, and see things from a different point of view. I have not always been a runner, though I do run. In reality I love a big variety (ahem, see below), as you will find out, my attention span isn’t the longest. My true passion is weight lifting and high intensity workouts, don’t get me wrong I have been through some four hour practices and felt amazing afterwards knowing what I had just accomplished, but if I can feel a burn after just an hour and still be sore days later? I know I’m still getting an effective workout and can spend that extra time prepping my meals for the week ahead!
I will say this, I am doing this blog to talk about REAL things, real problems, real struggles and to share in real triumphs. I try to pray every day and go to church every Sunday but I still cuss, get angry, act crazy and forget to be grateful for all the amazing things in my life sometimes. By no means do I work out every day or even enjoy working out sometimes when I do. I don’t have my ideal body. I don’t eat a salad every day, one of the best things to happen to me would be that ice cream is calorie free and I’m talking about the real stuff, there are good substitutions but if the real stuff was calorie free, y’all wouldn’t even know about it because I would have eaten it all by now. This is why I love to try new recipes because sometimes a miracle happens and the healthy version is way better and you can eat twice as much because it’s good for you! Can’t go wrong there. As long as we strive to be healthy and put effort towards making improvements, the most important thing to me is HAPPINESS with yourself and where you are in life.
Currently I am keeping busy with work. I just graduated with my Masters in Sport Administration at Central Michigan and though I am still not sure what I want to be when I grow up I am enjoying learning how different sport organizations and institutions work until my next opportunity comes. I have an amazing family back in Michigan, I am the baby, having grown up with two older brothers and older sister. My parents are the epitome of supportive and the main reason I want to head back north! My mom is on her own journey towards good health and though it is nice sending pictures of meals and talking about what new activity is on the table I can’t wait for the times I get back home and actually get to do it together.
I LOVE to try new things out in the kitchen, you will learn that Ang and I get WAY too excited about healthy recipes that taste amazing. I am always willing to try new things and I cannot believe how deep my palate has become in the last few years. I have an amazingly supportive man in my life that I have been with for a little over a year now. We have been in a long distance relationship since day one, it can get hard at times but we are in it together and we never give up on trying to be the best versions of ourselves.
Since the completion of my collegiate career in the middle of 2013 am always looking at new ways to keep active and rely heavily on nutrition. I have committed to doing a triathlon this upcoming spring and am so very excited about it! I’m starting small but who knows, I might get hooked! Guess you will have to tune in to see 😉