Amanda York

Persistence is the refusal to quit. It is looking into the face of adversity and saying “I like my odds.” It is an unwillingness to move aside. It is believing in a cause and being distracted by nothing.

The adversity in my life came at a young age, 11 in fact, when I was diagnosed with a rare primary-brain tumor called a craniopharyngioma. Although the surgery was successful, the resulting medical and hormonal complications are challenges that I deal with on a daily basis. The side effects of the surgery manifested in physical changes to my body complicated by diagnoses of hypothalamic obesity, hyperlipidemia and adrenal insufficiency.

My illness became a defining moment in my life but it does not define who I am. Refusing to “accept” these consequences, I chose to rewrite my story, despite all the professionals who said it could not be done. Living without the hormone center of my body, the pituitary gland, meant that I had to workout daily just to help maintain a body that I couldn’t control. So twelve years ago in March of 2000, I became one of the youngest members ever to join Fitness Elite.

Recently, I came to a crossroads where I was forced to revaluate my priorities – I had put all of my time and effort into academics, graduated summa cum laude from UCLA, and was working my dream job in Marketing…BUT my health was suffering. So at that time I made a conscious effort to get healthy by being serious about my workout regimen.

Early on my goals started out small, like getting through my first spin class without blacking out, completing an hour of coreboard without 15 water breaks, and keeping up with the fast pace in kickboxing. Over time I gradually increased the frequency, variety and intensity of my workouts: my one-hour sessions grew to over four hours each day.

One of the true blessings in my journey has been the privilege of working with Linda Bell. She played an integral role in helping me reevaluate my mindset to not only get healthy but to reshape my body. In the fall of 2011 I began personal training with Linda at Xtreme Fitness. I still remember walking into Xtreme for our first training session – it was the most daunting and intimidating experience (second to brain surgery), but I got through it. She provided me with the hope and encouragement I needed, pushing me beyond what I thought was possible. I have learned to channel and focus my drive in every exercise I attempt: whether it’s running sprints on the treadmill or leg pressing over 800 pounds. Linda taught me how to be an athlete in every sense of the word. With her guidance I was able to arrive at the place I am at today by letting go of many limiting beliefs; turning the things I was told “were not possible” into realities. To date I celebrate losing over 85 pounds and maintain focus on my journey to remain healthy.

Lots of people go through life without ever even entertaining the idea that they have a choice. A choice in how their life plays out. I made a choice to believe in myself rather than the science behind my illness. This journey of self-discovery by refusing to quit in the face of adversity has given me my greatest gift.

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Xtreme Fitness
638 Camino De Los Mares #145,
San Clemente, California 92673
Phone: 949-493-1099

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