Meet Kaili Ridgely - a STRONG One
"Fitness has become more than just a lifestyle to me. When I think about my WHY and how this journey of healthy living has blessed me, I am routinely humbled. I am a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason and that things occur in His time". My mom has taught me from a young age to be strong, a friend, a giver, and help others. It's some of her best qualities.
13 days shy of my First Birthday, I ended up in a Coma due to Spinal Meningitis. Most babies wouldn't have been so fortunate to come out of such an ordeal completely healthy. But, I feel God had other plans for me. My 1 year old pictures even show the patch of hair slightly missing from my IV site. My mom never left my side since that day.
Throughout my childhood my mom always found a way to LIFT me up. From changing schools 4x's, moving at least 5x's that I can remember, loosing "friends", parenting tough, going to all of my sporting events in her work uniform, kissing my boo-boo's; all the while assuring me life was good. She worked two jobs when my dad was out of work to make sure my brother and I were taken care of. We learned the true meaning of pride and selflessness.
Going to college and being fully on my own was the start of a transition. My athleticism and want to help others carried me through financially making ends meet. I used my lifeguard and Aqutics Instructor talents with me to Marshall University. My love for fitness began to blossom there. I later transferred schools and graduated from Wheeling Jesuit University; the first one to have this accomplishment in our family. When I had days of wanting to give up, I had a team behind me LIFTING me up. My mom was proud of me. I married my HS sweetheart (now of 13 yrs). I began coaching JO Volleyball (5 total yrs) and HS for 3 years. During this time, we welcomed our princess. I now had a little girl to teach all the things my mom had taught me. Life through the eyes of a child is one of the purest forms of love.
In true mom style, priorities shifted and everything became about our princess. My active lifestyle took a back seat other than helping on the family farm. Over the course of 4 years, my physical and emotional well-being was a rollercoaster. Our family endured my infertility issues, rounds of medications, and a heartbreaking miscarriage. My mom, again, was there to LIFT me up. A year later, we welcomed our precious baby boy in December 2010.
It was then at 201 lbs that I knew I had to take my health seriously. My family needed me. My first 5K was pushing our son in a stroller when he was 10 months old while our daughter rode her bike. Three years later, I ran the same race and pushed our son in the same stroller. We came in 3rd overall and 2nd in my age division. The other amazing feat that day...my mom decided that she would enter on a whim to challenge herself and help others. I only enter races that are Cause-worthy; this was for a local Breast Cancer Benefit and child with Cancer. She was last to finish but the glory of accomplishment is without words. When I finished running, I patiently waited for awhile. When she hadn't come I started running to find her. When she came to the last 50 yards, she was greeted by UPLIFTING cheers and a few jumped in to walk with us. Did I mention she did this before knee surgery?
We joined our local YMCA in January of 2014 and have met the most wonderful people. This place has become my ZEN, my routine, my therapy. Within these walls is Trinity P3 Performance. The amount of physical strength and confidence I've gained since March of 2014 is vast. This year alone I've signed into class over 400 times! My fellow gym Alpha Females who love to lift heavy are so encouraging. The trainers are a wealth of knowledge. I enjoy spending QT with my husband. But, that one voice I can hear from the track above is my momma. She is always encouraging me or giving me a thumbs up from the treadmill. I come out to check on her even though I know she's "fine". I jokingly call her the bionic woman with her new knees, rod in her shoulder, and new socket. When my parents divorced she gained a new leash on life.
My personal health has become the driving force that has made my WHY so intense. In October of 2013, I noticed myself having a lot neurological issues. They landed me in the ER and doctors office frequently. I distinctly remember getting the confirmation phone call of my Spinal Tap and immediately going to my moms and breaking down. It's been a long frustration of symptoms, specialists, and feeling like I'm going crazy. All signs lean towards MS. My mom cried with me but tried to assure me everything would okay.
Winning a free month at P3 has been the beginning of that rekindled spark I had in my early adulthood. This time I have a wonderful family and mom to share my crazy gym addiction. Her goals of being healthy and an awesome Grammy keep her focused. Through the constant support of many and eager for a new challenge, I am pursuing my NSCA-CPT. My dream is to leave others with that same feeling I have when my training sessions are done.
With my dad passing on Thanksgiving Day and my Aunt 3 days later, I've thought more about the importance of leaving a legacy. Each day is a gift to use wisely with whomever it allows. I have an amazing support system and people that love me. My mom never left my side and was there to LIFT me up when she needed just the same. We needed each other. Finding strength in weakness can be quite a raw experience.
So how does a 36 yr old, lover of God, wife, mom of 2, gymrat with an Auto Immune Disorder, mommas girl, who enjoys others succeed... Find a WHY? I look at HOW. Experiences and people have given me so much. My grandmother shaped my mother so richly. Watching our daughter grow brings me great joy and maske me want to be my best. The WHY is variable and requires a genuine acceptance of change. I've had my share of curve balls, but the one constant thing remains...MY MOM. TIME IS PRECIOUS.
To the elderly gentleman that complimented me on my hard work at the gym and asked what exactly I was training for....Simply Life Sir....just Life."