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Costa Rica

Summer Mast in Costa Rica

How did you get started in the fitness industry?
When I was growing up skinny was considered “sexy” I would look at models like Cindy Crawford or Nikki Taylor and get down on myself because I knew I’d never look like those women. I was more athletically built and for the longest time I was ashamed of my body because of it. In my late 20’s I started paying attention to the women who were gracing the covers of fitness magazines and I fell in love. I felt as if I could relate to them in a way that I couldn’t relate to the models of my youth. These women had muscles and curves and I thought they looked absolutely stunning. It empowered me to start embracing my body rather than being ashamed of it.

I saw that many of these women competed so I embarked on the journey into the competition world in 2012. I competed as a WBFF Diva Bikini competitor for 2 years and earned by pro card in 2014. Thanks to my years of competing I learned a lot about myself both mentally and physically. Most importantly I learned that I am so much more than what my body looks like. It’s about being healthy and feeling good about yourself! I am now able to view my body as my vehicle through life. As long as I take care of it, it will take care of me. At this time I am not strutting my stuff on any competition stages, but I regularly weight train, practice jiu-jitsu 2-3 times a week as well as perform yoga when I can. I am in the best shape of my life and love what the fitness industry has done for me.

How do you stay motivated in your career?
To me, living a fit healthy lifestyle leads by example and knowing that I’m able to inspire others by doing so keeps me motivate. It’s important to always remember that people are watching. They are continuously taking in what you are doing, how you are training, what you are eating, etc. People WANT to be healthy! A lot of the time they just don’t know where to start and feel uncomfortable asking for help so I enjoy being able to help motivate them in any way that I can.

Hope Beel - Costa Rica Heather Marsh - Costa Rica Rah Engstrom

What was your biggest challenge in your fitness journey?
The biggest challenge that I feel I personally faced was the lack of support I had in the beginning. People had a difficult time understanding my desire to enter into the competition world or change my lifestyle from the one that I was living. There was a lot of negativity, judgment, and criticism in the beginning so I had to grow a “thicker skin” when it came to some people, but I’ve come to realize though that their negativity was a reflection of their own insecurities and it had absolutely nothing to do with me. Now I feel as if I have a great support system that continues to expand as I meet others with similar goals as mine.

What are your favorite clean foods and splurge food?
I love scrambled eggs, avocado, and fresh salsa or sweet potatoes mixed with cinnamon and coconut oil. I could honestly eat those items every single day and be completely satisfied. Splurge food wise, I love bacon cheeseburgers or nachos!

How amazing was your trip to Costa Rica and what was your favorite part of the trip?
Man, where do I even begin to describe the Costa Rica trip! I booked this trip totally on a whim. I’m at the point in my life where I want to travel and experience different places and things but am guilty of holding myself back due to the fear of the unknown. Finally, I was like, “Summer, get out of your own damn way!” LOL, I booked the trip knowing only 2 people out of the group and traveled to and from Costa Rica by myself.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity and that I made myself go. Costa Rica was absolutely amazing. The whole atmosphere was super laid back and it’s breathtakingly beautiful there. The sunrises and sunsets are forever captured in my mind as is the sound of the howler monkeys that we heard every single morning bright and early. They were so loud, but it was amazing being able to see them in their own environment! And the food, the food was phenomenal! Everything was very fresh and I have this new found love of Ceviche. Something I’d never even heard of before this trip. It’s definitely a place that I would recommend others check out if they are looking to travel.

My favorite part of the trip was the people who I shared the experience with, hands down. As I said, I only knew 2 people going into it, but I left with 20+ new unforgettable friends. It was wonderful being able to spend 6 days with like-minded people and just have FUN! There was so much love, laughter, and acceptance in the group that I know this was a moment in my life that I was exactly where I was supposed to be and with exactly who I was supposed to be with.

For More Summer Mast:
Follow her at @summermastfitness
More Justin Martin @justinmartinphoto
More Brett Seeley @seeleyfoto


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