Courageous Conversations: Manda

Manda Reyes is a positive go-getter who has been growing and transforming in multiple ways over the past couple years. She is a corporate trainer, a mother of two daughters aged 23 and 11, and a crossfit athlete living in Colorado. This time of year, she loves to be outside in the bright warm glow of the summer evenings. We sat down to talk about her journey of Self Love and the powerful shifts that have taken place and helped her get to where she is today, and her story is sure to leave a powerful impression.

What does Self Love mean to you?

“Self Love means actually loving yourself and loving you for who you are, even your flaws and weird quirks.” begins Manda. “You have to accept you as you”. She goes on to say that part of Self Love is loving the inner you: “Love your struggles and what you’ve been through, [stop] playing the victim”. Expanding on struggles, Manda opened up about one of her biggest struggles - the passing of her father when she was 12 years old. “I used that as a crutch, that I grew up without a Dad, and would think maybe if Dad were here things would be different” Manda explains, then talks about the process of healing from that heartache. She eventually ended up coming to terms, in her words, “being okay with it and forgiving him for what happened.” 

 Why is Self Love important right now?

I think it’s important because there’s so much hate and angst amongst everyone you meet.” begins Manda, referring to the divisive nature of the times. “There’s always a negative, so you have to learn to love yourself before you can even be nice and love other people”. Expanding on the importance of Self Love, Manda talks about knowing your worth. “You have to be okay and say to yourself that you are worthy of more, and there’s something out there that will treat you with respect and with what you’re worth”. 

What has your journey of Self Love been like?

“It’s been an ongoing struggle” Manda begins, confiding that she used to self mutilate. She was able to stop roughly four years ago after going to a seminar about meditation, where she went through the process of “digging into the way that something made [me] feel the first time, so every time that it triggers it makes [me] feel that way. It made me realize that this was my problem, not other people’s”. The journey continued a couple years ago with a little help from her best friend, who signed her up for a month long bootcamp that started at 5:30 am.”I did it for a month, then did a 60 day challenge”. But soon, she got bored with the workouts and sought out the help of a coach that worked at the gym. This coach agreed to send her workouts and slowly worked in Crossfit. “It pushed me mentally,” remembers Manda, citing two workouts in particular, one of which was 100 burpees for time,and the other of which was eight miles of running with 20 burpees between each mile. “After that, I felt like I could do anything and jumped into Crossfit. It has made me love myself more and shown me it never hurts to try and I can do anything I think I can”. Adding in meditation and finding time to relax and have calm has also been helpful. “I need to be in control and I don’t like change, meditation and working out allows me to let that stuff go and not be so mad at the world”. 

What are you growing through on your journey?

“Working on staying positive because there is a lot of change. I’m selling my home because it’s in my best interest financially and will allow me to be debt free”. As if moving weren’t stressful enough, with preparing the house for sale Manda has not been able to go to Crossfit as frequently as she was, but she won’t let that get in the way. “I’m making sure I retain stamina and strength while I am out and not using my going less as an excuse.” In order to hold to her commitment to herself, Manda has set a goal: “My goal is to be able to lift more by the end of summer.” With her positive attitude, that should be no problem!

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