Name: Ashley Johns
Occupation: Creator and Owner of Fierce Forward, Online Consultant & Mentor, Personal Trainer
Meet Ashley Johns, a compassionate, driven, and motivated mentor and personal trainer who has dedicated her life to helping others transform their lives through her website, Fierce Forward. Fierce Forward is Ashley's personal mantra, an attitude, and a lifestyle inspired by her own journey and transformation.
Before “The Fierce”
Part of what makes Ashley so good at what she does is the fact that she was her own first “project”. She wasn’t always the fresh face, fierce body that you see pictured here. Just three years ago while working as a Personal Banker, Ashley was experiencing daily anxiety attacks, turning to food for comfort, and letting an important relationship fall apart.
“After enough time, I was very unhappy in not only my job but the choices I made in response to my environment. I ate to be happy and to escape and I began turning into a girl I not only didn’t recognize, but didn’t know anymore. I was in a dark, deep hole.”
On New Years Day Ashley reflected on the previous night’s events. Everything about the night reminded her of how much she had let herself go. Ringing in the New Year has a way of doing this to us. Often we find ourselves thinking about how far we have come, or conversely, how glad we are to have the opportunity for a fresh start. Ashley’s fresh start was on the horizon but first she had to confront the stranger in the mirror and let her know it was time for change.
“I looked into my watery eyes and really, honestly did not know the spirit of the person I was looking at. It’s the best way I can explain it. I just was so sad and unhappy and I knew I had to move forward NOW. So I made a choice while looking at myself in that mirror and from that day forward, I started working out and bought healthy food and filled my fridge with pictures of fit women and motivational sayings and as I say now, ‘Fierce Forward’ towards the life I wanted.”
One year later Ashley had lost a total of 30lbs, quit her job at the bank, and decided she wanted to be a trainer – the kind of trainer that would not only help people reach physical goals but also one that would be a constant source of motivation and inspiration for her clients from beginning to end.
Ashley’s personal experience is part of what allows her to connect with her clients and offer something beyond training routines and diet tips.
“I realize that these people, at this point in their journey, are vulnerable and need positive influences in their lives. I’m able to truly be there for them because I’ve stood in their shoes three years ago.“
Paying it Forward… Fiercely!
Ashley approaches training from a physical and emotional perspective; something that has facilitated amazing results for her clients such as Voula. A Fierce Forward training program always beings with understanding the client’s goal. Voula’s goal was to change her body composition and feel good about herself and the choices she was making.
The Fierce Forward Training Plan: “I created a lifting and cardio plan for her that started slow and steady. I told her to come back and see me in 4 weeks and exactly 4 weeks later, she came back and was ready for a new approach. I coached her with her diet and taught her what it meant to eat clean and be healthy minded. I created a meal plan for her based on all of her stats and her goal and she followed it. She listened to all of my advice and here is what came of her hard work and dedication….“
Fierce Forward Client Results
In addition to helping women like Voula achieve their goals, Ashley has ambitious goals of her own. She continues to improve her own life while helping others do the same and this is exactly why she is our Fashlete of the Month.
Ashley’s Personal Goal:
This November Ashley will be taking a trip to Peru for a four-day treck up Machiu Picchu; a physically challenging adventure that also (in Ashley’s words) “has the ability to open you up and help you realize what’s important.”
When I asked Ashley what she hoped to achieve through completing the climb she responded with the following:
"I’ve spent most of the past two years of my journey focusing on my training, regimented diet and my body composition. I am in a new place and on a new journey presently. After quickly being swept up within the Fitness Industry I realized my place was not to be a role model for women who have lost weight, trying to achieve leaner body compositions, but rather to be a role model to women to work hard, be healthy and realize that your inner worth is what matters most; that this is what you should be journeying forward for."
It is not about the “perfect” body for Ashley anymore. Trying to fit a physical mold (even if it was supposedly a “healthy” one) was having a negative effects on her mind.
“I am in a new place, finding balance and a love for my self that I lost when I was trying to attain a leaner physique and fit into the social ideals of a fit body. Where ironically, within my attempt to fit this ideal, my mind slowly became unhealthy. My focus and my energy now go into the present. Being grateful for what I have and giving back is what makes me happy. I know on my climb and in my travels, I will be connecting with myself on a higher level and with others on a level I am not able to most of the time. I know this climb will bring good things into my soul.”
It should come as no surprise that even Ashley’s personal goals involve helping others. After the climb she plans to stay an extra week to work with a volunteer organization that is rebuilding homes destroyed by a major landslide that washed away most of the town of Taray this past February.
“I hope to see things from a new perspective. I believe it’s human nature to take what you have, the life you lead for granted. I struggle with this and I really hope to reconnect with others outside of my daily world to realize that this isn’t just about me. There are other people out there who truly are struggling not with themselves but with even having enough food to get by for one day. I really want to reconnect with the part of me that gets washed with the every day life. I may not have money to give people but I have positive energy, caring thoughts and Fierce Forward bracelets to give them to remember to always be strong in their journey.”
We wish Ashley the best of luck on her endeavors as a personal trainer and on her exciting trip to Peru. She is a wonderful inspiration and a reminder that in order to be of service to others it is important to fulfill your own ambitions as well.
As Fashlete of the Month, Ashley is receiving a sterling silver necklace from Fashletics customized with the words of her choice: “I Slay Fear”. This is the attitude that started her journey three years ago and the one that will carry her through her journey up Machu Picchu and beyond.
Congratulations Ashely! Fierce Forward!