“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine
To my 10-year old self, I hope I’ve made you proud. Thank you for showing me that everything I need is already inside of me.
My name is Ashna Khatri and this is my story.
The past 365 days of my life have been anything short of a rollercoaster. From a hospital bed to a competitive platform. From broken to whole. From sickness to health. From self-hatred to self-love. I’ve fallen many times and wondered if I had the inner strength to rise up. In all honesty I’ve dreamt of being this version of me my whole life. Strong – in mind and in body. During my lowest moments when I thought I didn’t have it in me to continue pushing forward, I dug deeper and discovered a well of courage that had been there all along.
This is my personal evolution.
I invite you with open arms to explore all that I’ve been and all that I’m becoming.
Senior Year of High School – 2013 Planting the Seed
I’ve always wanted to be an athlete. I’ve always wanted to know what the adrenaline of stepping onto the court felt like. The blood, sweat and tears invested into yourself and your passion showcased on game day. From months of training to suiting up for a competition, I’ve always been intrigued by the demeanor, mindset and lifestyle of an athlete. Senior year of high school was a time in my life where I planted the first seed of my dream. Despite being out of shape, overweight and with very little athletic experience I took a step of faith and decided to try out for the shot put team.
With each step forward, I felt the confused glares of many athletes staring me up and down wondering if I had lost my way. Clearly, I did not belong. Being the only girl amongst all these athletic guys felt extremely intimidating. First day of practice was brutal. From splitting a hole in my work out pants trying to swing my leg over hurdles during warm-up to sliding right into a pit of mud after a 40-meter sprint. Everybody seemed like they knew what they were doing, except me. After a couple weeks of practice, I was getting more and more comfortable with putting myself out there. I was so excited I even went out and bought my first gym bag. I couldn’t wait to use it!!
Rejection #1: “You don’t qualify for the team.”
Ever since that day my gym bag has been tossed around in numerous places: the trunk of my car, garage, storage unit, served as an earthquake survival kit among many other things. Not once in the past 4 years was I able to use my bag for its intended purpose. You may be asking yourself, but Ashna, it’s only a gym bag. What’s the big deal?
My gym bag is a symbol of my dream. It represents who I want to be, what I want to do, and where I want to go.
Summer After Graduating College – 2017 Nurturing, Watering & Growing the Seed
Do you know what it’s like to lose yourself? To feel pain in the depths of your being and not seeing any relief in sight. Being unable to answers questions like: “why is this happening to me?” “how will I recover?” “what could I have done differently?” Thoughts like these raced across the highways of my mind on July 21st, 2017. That was the day I underwent surgery for a recurring health issue.
The girl you see in the photo on the left was broken. She represents my past, my pain, and has given me the strength to become the girl in the photo on the right.
What appeared to me as a never-ending tunnel of darkness finally came to an end after my surgery. This was my time; my revival and I could feel it like goosebumps traveling up my spine.
I dreamt of being vibrant, healthy, strong and WHOLE. Years of waiting were coming to an end at last. The remainder of 2017 was dedicated to healing, growing and getting stronger. After about a month in recovery, my doctor gave me the green light to get back into the gym and start training again. The first couple months were tough. I went from working out three times a week to barely being able to lift 30 lbs. Even thought I was at my weakest, the possibility of my dreams coming to pass gave me the fuel I needed to show up each and every day.
“It never gets easier, you just get better.”
My 1st Powerlifting Competition – 2018 The Blossoming
Affirm: THIS IS MY YEAR!
July 14th, 2018, I competed in my very first powerlifting competition. Stepping onto that platform was everything I hoped it would be and much more. Suiting up, warming up to finally hearing the words: “Platform Ready for Ashna Khatri,” was a moment I will cherish for the rest of my days. For once in my life I felt like I belonged. I was in the right place at the right time in my life and I just wanted to soak up the experience.
I went from being told not to lift more than 10 lbs to setting my own personal records in the squat, bench press and deadlift. Last year when I started strength training I could barely lift an empty bar (45 lbs). I’m proud to say that I’ve come a long way since then.
Squat- 237 lbs |107.5 kg (1st attempt) 242.5 lbs |110 kg (2nd attempt) 253.5 lbs 115 kg (3rd attempt)
Bench Press: 104.7 lbs | 47.5 kg (1st attempt) 110 lbs | 50 kg (2nd attempt) 121.3 lbs |55 kg (3rd attempt)
Deadlift: 253.5 lbs | 115 kg (1st attempt) 264.6 lbs | 120 kg (2nd attempt) 270.1 lbs |122.5 kg (3rd attempt)
To my readers:
If you have a dream inside you that hasn’t come to pass, don’t give up on it. Whatever adversity you’re battling with at the moment is just a piece of a bigger & beautiful puzzle. You may not be where you want to be today but let that encourage you to keep pursuing.
I promise you it’ll be worth it!
“The distance between your dreams and reality is called action.”
I hope my story has inspired you to keep the flame of your dreams burning within you.
Thank you for stopping by. I wish you a beautiful journey ahead.