Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Yeah, but you're Ashley Weber."


I wake up at 4:30 every morning, Monday-Thursday, for a fitness bootcamp.
I know it sounds crazy, but I love it. I truly do. It's something that has changed me... not only physically, but mentally ...emotionally.
It's a fight, but it's one I can't imagine not fighting.

I work out with amazing people. People from every walk of life. People working to become the best versions of themselves. People with reason. People whose physical strength far outweigh my own and people who are just starting their journeys.

This morning, one of the bootcamp leaders said the above to me.
I looked at him feeling hopeless, feeling like I couldn't squat for another second, feeding him excuses. ...and he said, "Yeah, but you're Ashley Weber."

I didn't say anything back to him, but his words triggered an instant internal thought.. "What's that supposed to mean!?" "Is that supposed to mean something!?"

That's where I want to stop you.

...because it does "mean" something.
It means something for all of us... But it's up to each and every one of us to choose that meaning. To create it and to fight every day for it. What words float above your head, what meaning spins around your soul, your body, your being... What does your name instill in others?
What is your purpose? Are you happy?
Does your name represent the person that you truly want to be? The person that you think you are...

His question lingered inside of me for the rest of the work out.
It was there when I drove home, it was in my tears this morning as I sat at the bottom of my shower crying... partially out of exhaustion, partially because I know that I have busted my ass building myself these past two years. Because I have been struggling to define, "Ashley Weber." Because I have ripped so much darkness from my heart. Because I needed to know my own answer to his statement without having to question it for the rest of the day... the week... my life.
I have buried my name time and time again only to turn around to dig myself back up and wash myself clean. I have cried hopelessly and I have rejoiced in everything beautiful. I have walked a thousand miles away from the broken person that I used to be. And it was hard. It was fucking hard. As I type this, I feel both strength and complete weakness... but not only do I want to be completely open here, I want to make you feel like you can be also. I want you to question your name, your existence... because I want to tell you that your life can change. You can change. You can be happy and you can be the exact person that you want to be. And I want you to know that that it is hard, but it is worth it.

I pray that my words stick. I hope with every single part of my blood and bones that something I do today can change someone, something, somehow ...for the better.

I want my name to breathe gratitude, humility, selflessness.
I want to make this day count, because for all that I know, this could be my very last.
And it could be yours too. 

I want you to know that I am here for you.
...That there are so many people that will be there for you.  That you need to be there for you.
That your happiness can change others and that purpose can change the world.

Be well.


  1. Uau...i only wish I could seat with you and talk for hours...and learn from you...i´m in the same process right now, reinventing myself. I´m happy I found you!

    1. I'm happy you did too! :)
      Thanks for being here!

  2. I think you may have misunderstood.

    After reading your words, I took a few moments to click through your Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook links. I saw some amazing things; one-of-a-kind creations, beautiful photographs, and the many, many admirers, seemingly from all different places in each of their lives. All of them, art, images, and followers, inspired by your ability to capture the beauty around us, both uniquely and in a way that obviously moves and inspires. And, of course, your thoughts out loud, both happy and sad, every word a source of admiration for who you are and who you aspire to be.

    So I do believe you may have misunderstood.

    Are you quite sure he didn’t say “Yeah, but you’re “the” Ashley Weber”?

  3. When I started my job search, I asked the director of the Lab if he would act as a reference for me. In addition, he wrote me the most amazingly beautiful letter of referral to accompany my resume. I sat in the car and read it and just bawled, I gave it to my husband to read and bawled again.
    "He wrote that for me. Somebody wrote that about *me*?!" I said.
    Hubby said, "Brandi, that *is* you."
    Which just made me cry harder. I am concious of being good enough, worthy of that letter. Some days I feel I am, some days I know I am.
    You are Ashley Weber. And I love you for it.
    Be well, beautiful bird.

    1. You the sweetest. I love this share.
      Thank you Brandi, you're amazing!

  4. Liz in Missouri USAMarch 6, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Oh Gosh! Just the right words on the exact day that I needed to hear them.

  5. Them's fightin' words, lady! You are an inspiration, getting up that early! I just started working out regularly and my goal is to be in the shop and working by 10:30. Dang. But more seriously, I love every word in this post, it's beautiful to hear your inner musings and know that you struggle and succeed just like we all do. Blessings. xo

    1. Thank you, Annie! You're the best! Keep up the hard work. :)

  6. fuck yeah.
    you're ashley weber. my warrior sister.

  7. Thank you.
    This isn't about anyone else, is it? Not what they think or feel or judge or love or hate or say...It's about being YOU. Unapologetic. Authentic. Staying in tune with yourself to know who you are at each moment and also knowing when you need to change something. A certain integrity...I think often of changing my name, that's how big my change has been. But what previously defined name could I put on something that feels so brand new?

    You are Ashley Webber and you are infinite, boundless...

    Did you thank the guy for the inspiration? What a great tool he used to pump more out of your body. Is he a psychologist I wonder? haha

    1. So amazing!
      And yes, he knows what little spark he gave me! I know he was just cheering me on, but really it was so much more!

      Thank you Andrea!

  8. wow wow wow
    beautiful post Ashley
    i so appreciate the journey that has gotten you hear
    to this place of happy, courage and a joy for life
    you are so right
    we can change our lives and in the process transform ourselves into the best version of who we are....the person we came into this world as before things got messed p and screwed around
    i see life as a constant journey back to ourselves...back to home
    you are on your way sister, well on your way
    these words you write could have been mine....
    and you are so right
    this journey is not one we do alone
    yes there is times of solitude, when we only see our feet on the path
    but for myself
    the further i walk the more I notice other walking the same path and along with the all the "unseen" helpers and guides, eager to assist us on our journeys

    it is a good life
    I am happy to know others like myself
    who live real and raw

    be well
    love and light sweet Ashley

    1. Perfect words!

      Thank you Cat, I completely agree!

      Keep walking the good walk!

  9. Thank you for your post. I loved it. My life has been in a constant state of transition this last year (lost my father, husband left, job just tanked), so it has been really hard to see the growth and the light.

    This post had me feel a little tiny pin of light. :)

    1. Keep finding that light. Every day!
      Happiness is a choice!

      xo Thank you Amanda!

  10. Thank you. I feel like I, myself, just kicked butt in AW boot camp. I didn't even sweat. I'm not exhausted, but it hit me hard.
    For a few months now, I've been asking myself a whole lotta questions. There are daily pep talks, prayers, meditations and tears that well up out of nowhere.
    I started blaming it on the winter.
    But, that's not it.
    I'm beginning to find the root of my insecurities, how my past reflects how I live today, and I wrestle with my secrets in silence.
    Finding happiness and purpose and to really and truly believe in yourself is not easy.
    Once in awhile, we could use some cheering on. Some encouragement. Some strength.
    And today I heard exactly what I needed to hear, from one of my favorite little Wren keepers.

    1. I will cheer you on anytime anywhere! We can all live the lives we dream of. It's hard work, but it is possible. You have to choose it. You have to work... and YOU have to believe that you are both worthy and capable.
      You wren, you are.