Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wellness Diva #2: Ashley (The Fitness Rockstar)

Due to your rave reviews about our first Wellness Diva feature (yay Sarah!), I've decided to expedite things and get going with Diva #2 - Ashley O'Hagan!

Ashley and I met during preseason for volleyball at St. Olaf College. Ashley was from Red Wing, MN and I was from Seattle, and we ended up on the same floor of the same Freshman dorm. Ashley quickly became one of my closest friends. Not only was she an incredible teammate and friend, but her wonderful family took me under their wings within a month of school, inviting me to stay with them over the Thanksgiving Holiday. I still (to this day) am so grateful for their generosity and love.

(L to R): Ashley and her amazing sisters: Jamie, Lindsay, Ashley, and Katie (yes, Ashley & Lindsay are twins!)

About the Fitness Rockstar

Ashley and I played (and trained for) college volleyball together for two years. One thing I learned from Ashley (amongst many other things) is that she is beyond dedicated to staying in shape and taking care of herself. I still remember one day when we were working out at the gym, and I watched Ashley kill herself (in a good way) on the treadmill for an hour. I said, "Ashley, you push yourself SO hard every time we come here!" Ashley smiled and said "I motto is, if I'm going to take the time to come to the gym and workout, why not go all out every time?"

Ashley's words of wisdom stuck with me for years, and I think of her each time I go on a run, go to the gym, or do something active. If I aim for 20 minutes on a machine, I think "why not make it 30?" If I go for a run, I think "why not run just one more mile, or sprint the last stretch?"

Let's hear from Ashley:

1. What do you do to exercise/stay active these days? What is your favorite activity and why?

I belong to Lifetime Fitness, a gym here in Minnesota. I love, love, love their group classes that they offer. My favorite classes are cardio kickboxing, yoga sculpt (yoga with weights) and total conditioning (cardio and weightlifting in one!). I try to go to one of each class per week. I love group classes, because they keep me motivated for an entire hour workout, they are fun and the time goes by quickly! I also like to run outdoors (when it is nice out) and I play in a volleyball league once a week.

2. As a nurse, do you feel your profession contributes to your attitude toward your own wellness? If yes, why?

As a nurse, I am exposed to a variety of illnesses and diseases. I have a good understanding of how they affect your body due to poor diet or lack of exercise. I have also developed a deeper appreciation for being healthy, because I take care of ill children every day. This in turn motivates me daily to do something good for my body which I am thankful to have.

3. Why/how do you feel exercise contributes to your overall wellness?

After I am done exercising I instantly feel better than before I started and I am always in a better mood. I feel better about myself and have a natural high. Also, on the days I workout, I make better choices and eat healthier throughout the day which in turn makes me feel even better! I think exercise is just the beginning to overall wellness.

4. Anything else you'd like to add?

Being healthy is a choice you make day in and day out. I do think it is important to take days off of exercise and have a cheat day once in a while to splurge on ice cream or pizza. Everything is good in moderation! Too much of any one thing is bad...yes even too many carrots or working out too hard or long. Even little bouts of anything active is better than nothing!

Ashley and her husband, Sean, surfing in CA! (Congrats to Ash & Sean on their marriage in September 2010!)

Ashley - thank you for being an inspiration to me and so many others! My current plan is to have an AWESOME morning workout your honor :).


  1. Very inspiring! This girl has it all figured out!

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