Sensitive topic alert!

Never thought I’d see the day when I’d feel this way. When fitness and training, for general health and well-being as well as sports and competing,   becomes more of a chore and a struggle than an enjoyable act of self improvement. Because everyone knows…

However for the past month, I have awaken every morning bag packed headed to the gym with no pep in my step,  no passion, no excitement,  no joy! Like a cloud of despair and defeat looms over my head. I started to feel somewhat just FIT(ish) … going through the motions with no true desire to really be in the gym working out or home prepping meals and counting macros, etc. but all the while frustrated about my tendency for overeating (future blog post), the ever climbing numbers on the scale and the tightening of clothes that once fit just fine.

Part of it is sheer exhaustion and fatigue from the rigors of recent changes and transitions in my professional nursing career, that will eventually settle out once I get on a stable life-work schedule and routine. A second part of it is also sheer discomfort and pain, as a result of past injuries and musculoskeletal imbalances that nag my aging frame at now 35 years of age, that will also resolve with routine trips to therapy and adequate rest.

But lastly, a third part  to my lack of drive is more recent, and many will say its resolvable as well, as it simply requires mental toughness. But how easy is mental toughness and resilience when the very act of lifting weights and training, despite my recent decision to never return to the bodybuilding stage (details in a future post), these activities become a constant reminder of a poor decision made just a few short months ago, and the individual involved who hurt you and damaged your trust in them and consequently your ability to trust in general.

Emotional pain has a tendency to manifest itself in psychosomatic fashion, and the physical pain and fatigue experienced in the first two reasons mentioned for my lack of drive to workout and train could also be a result of the following scenario I’m about to share:
How do you find focus or enjoyment in your training when a lot of who you are, and how you train developed from the past trusted coach-athlete relationship you once had with the previously mentioned individual over three years ago. Despite no longer being in a coach-athlete relationship context with this person, and having developed a more personal relationship  in recent months, you find yourself in a situation of being betrayed to a point of no return.

So many levels of emotion and gray areas of confusion and emotion run through my mind daily since I learned the truth about this person. Not only as a Christian, professional career woman and an adult athlete, but also as a coach and trainer myself, it’s hard to grasp the complexity of the intentions this individual may have truly had from the beginning in the past during our coach-athlete relationship and based on the behaviors that occurred in the present during a more personal relationship with this individual. The blurred lines, the recent lies, and the mixed communication, etc. How do you catch all the warning signs without being blindsided?

It’s like everything you once thought you knew about a person is damaged eternally, because the trust you once had for them personally and professionally was a lie. Furthermore, the confidence you once had in yourself, your previous sport, your training and nutrition routine,  and even your own morals feels like it has died. You feel shame, guilt, defeat, doubt, depression, and simply a sense of lost control over how you manage yourself in relationships.

Currently, as a USATF Masters Athlete member of the board and association chair person for disabled youth track and field preparing for my officials credentials , I’m in the process of taking the U.S. SafeSport training. In watching and reading through the lessons in each of the training modules, all I can think about is how these same issues of safety, trust and respect, the dynamics of the coach-athlete relationship, consent, power imbalances, emotional, physical, and sexual misconduct, etc. that happens in youth sports, also happens to adult athletes as well, but in more subtle ways that rest in a gray area of “Oh you’re an adult, so you should know better” or “you knew what you were getting into”.

However, lies, manipulative intentions, and predatorial actions, despite asking the appropriate questions and no matter the age of the coach and/or athlete (whether present or former), are still unacceptable. Especially when one side of the situation has no remorse or sense of a need to at least be honest or apologize for misleading the other person.

In such cases, the athlete is essentially left to pick up the pieces of the sports activities they once enjoyed and learn to love themselves again, understand that they are not to blame themselves for what happen, regain a sense of control, and surround themselves with the people who truly have their best interest at heart.

In an effort to not go into any further details on this topic, I will close with this: What do you do when it’s not FUN anymore….? Forgive,  Forget, and Move Forward. Train harder and live well. Let your negative thoughts drive you to be your best, thinking about it won’t change what happened to you, but your actions and choices you make going forward can change you, and that is the only thing you can control. As my belief system puts it, God will deal with those who hurt you, it’s not your battle to fight! So be blessed.

I do not consider myself a “VICTIM” in this situation, but instead a “VICTOR” because I learned the truth, despite how painful it was, and I got away before things could get any worse. The take home lesson in all of this is to always stay vigilant,  question everything, and if the answers aren’t good enough,  question it again…#StayWoke!

Watch and Pray 
Threats to your personal and professional morality and sense of self-worth are always around in every sport, at every age! As a matter of fact in every area of life itself because, not to start preaching,  but we are in a spiritual war (Read Ephesians 6:10-2).

So despite the recent incidents in my life, one thing is certain, and that’s that God has kept his hand on me on this journey. When I think about my bodybuilding journey in particular, I realized so many beautiful aspects about myself that for years I never realized or considered possible. I learned to love myself, embrace my perfectly imperfect frame and developed a undescribable sense of peace and zeal for life that so many people could not understand or even comprehend (Phil.4:7),  not even the person who helped me get back into the sport and eventually betrayed me years later. So credit is owed where is due, to God! For everything I am and still becoming, it was all God’s doing all the time. He created this athlete that stands before you and is still working on, in, and through me!

Situational setbacks can make you lose sight of the ONE who instilled your passion and enjoyment in your most loved activities. For me it was my personal fitness journey and athletic accomplishments.  Throughout my past and present athletic endeavors I learned so many things about myself,  I enjoyed the self improvements that I made in my 3rd decade of life and continue to set my eyes on God for the direction He wants to take this journey in next decade, and the one’s to come, because all the actual work back then and even now was performed by yours truly by the grace and hand of the Almighty God. To Him be the Glory and the Power Forever!

So until next time….on a lighter happier side of life …

~ I AM (still) CANDICE MARIA ~ and this is (still) ~CANDICE MARIA’S  FIT LIFE ~

Until next time…I AM CANDICE MARIA

3rd Place Open Figure – Class C – NPC Vulcan Classic




Until next time…I AM CANDICE MARIA

labrada app pic 1
Preseason 2015 photo shoot

Part 1: Becoming a Fitness Industry Certification Specialist

So you want to work in the fitness industry? You attend your first group exercise instructor certification workshop. You meet the person or persons leading the workshop, only to leave at the end of the day thinking to yourself “their job seems so awesome!”


Very few people realize the amount of time, patience, and financial investment it takes to become that “person” leading such an educational seminar of sorts.

The numerous hoops you jump through after you’ve become certified in your desired fitness specialty, then apply, audition,  and interview for the position to lead workshops for that particular certification.

The most cumbersome part,  is the apprenticeship. Before you can lead a workshop on your own, you have to prove that you can, through co-presentation with an established and experienced presenter.

Availability of workshops can be scarce or not fit your schedule, and often get cancelled last minute due to low registrations, so be prepared to hurry up and wait. This also continues once you gain your official examiner and/or presenter position as well.

The typical route to becoming a certification specialist is to first apply to become an examiner for the certification workshop you want to someday present. In this instance, if you also apply for the presenter position as well, you can utilize your check-off time wisely and finish your unpaid examiner check-off as well as practice presenting at the same workshop,  so on your next workshops visit you can get checked off on presenting and paid for examining the workshop candidates as well.


So before you begin to think it’s all glitz glam high life being a fitness educator, remember it can take as long as a year just to complete the application process, get scheduled at at your minimum two workshops for your presenter apprenticeship, or your one practice workshop for your examiner check-off, which is unpaid and not reimbursed, unless you are progressing onward through the presenter apprenticeship process, then at your second apprenticeship workshop you can serve as an examiner as well and receive compensation for it.

Part II: Working as a Fitness Industry Certification Specialist

As fitness education specialist, we also at times have to travel a long distance from home,  for a weekend, usually a day trip only or so, depending on the workshop length, location, and format, and put up with any and everything that could take place once we arrive. Issues can arise anywhere from rude staff and inadequate facilities,  to ill-prepared, unsafe participants that refuse to adopt company policies and philosophy,  as well as just being in an unfamiliar city for a day.

Luckily,  most of these extremes I’ve been blessed to not encounter,  but they happen according to fellow colleagues in the industry.

However,  at the end of it all, this role is very rewarding in that you have the opportunity to enrich the lives of pure strangers for a day and help them launch their dreams of becoming the best fitness professional they can be, with national credentials to boot. Something to be very proud of.

Until next time…I AM Candice Maria


I AM my father’s daughter,  on the eve of my parent’s 36th Anniversary,  I have decided to follow in some of the same steps as my father did as a youth over 40 years ago! I have watched the opportunities the military has afforded those closest to me,  including my father in his educational and career quests in life while serving in the U.S Air Force .

I have finally taken hold of it in my mind and spirit not only this birthright as an American citizen,  but a long standing legacy I have witnessed among my father, his siblings, and many of my cousins for my entire life.

I AM heir born for the military and soon to be A•I•R•B•O•R•N•E in the U.S. Air Force!

Today begins phase 1 of Operation AIRBORNE – The Reservist Enlistment Process. Currently on the road headed to Montgomery today for examination and physical for job placement

So what does it mean to be heir born to be A•I•R•B•O•R•N•E:
1 : done or being in the air : being off the ground: as. a : carried through the air (as by an aircraft) b : supported especially by aerodynamic forces or propelled through the #air by #force


“Individuals play games,  but teams win championships” #WorkingTogether #USAF

Stay tuned for Phase 2…Until next time. ..I AM Candice Maria


There’s just something about human movement,  movement to me is life, energy,  and growth.  A body in motion is a healthy body.  Stagnation symbolizes death, disease,  and the dying process. No other professional track have I found studies everything that gives life to my soul and ignites my passion than the following terms listed and defined below!

“Exercise is Medicine”




Exercise Physiology


Medical Research


Preventative Medicine


So I’ve embarked recently on a journey to earn my Masters Degree in  Health and Human Performance with a concentration in Exercise Physiology,  Thesis track.  After all the years I spent working as a Registered Nurse,  I realized shortly after becoming a fitness professional as a hobby, that what I was most passionate about nursing didn’t fulfill.


During undergrad all we learned was how to “treat”

“cover up” or “accept” diseases. Very little emphasis was put on prevention,  conducting research,  and the improvement of health naturally.  Basically finding solutions,  fixing problems, or administering skilled actions because “the doctor ordered it” like we were supposed to be brainless zombies that simply were supposed to do as they were told because someone said so, whether it was a doctor in the clinical setting,  or a textbook in the classroom setting.  However,  nothing truly was ever questioned from either source,  just that we were supposed to know that it was “evidence-based” information and decision making,  critical thinking as they called it. However,  what I wanted answers to never came out of those sources. I wanted to do more and be more! I wanted to push the envelope of tradition and so called “evidence-based” practice (EBP). I wanted a voice in the industry, a platform for change! I was tired of just accepting statistics! I wanted to change them!


I get awkward looks and comments a lot when I tell people I’ve left the nursing profession. Most only see the surface,  and say “what about the money you can make?!” Life is more than that to me! I want to be legendary,  if money comes with it great,  if not, I don’t care because I still left a mark on the modern medical industry, the health care community, and humanity as a whole and that my friend means more to me than being some mindless zombie with a meager paycheck.


So anyway,  off to a fresh new start and new beginning for the career I was intended to have.

“The only failure in starting over, is not starting at all!”