Fitness 360: Ashley Horner, Fitness Forward
Achievements in life have different values. Winning a competition, getting married and raising a family call those value assessments into question. What's more important?
But if you have the energy to do it all, the question is moot.
Ashley Horner Fitness 360
Watch The Video - 11:24
Name: Ashley Horner
Height: 5' 4 1/4"
Weight: 129 lbs, 118 lbs Contest
Occupation(s): Figure Competitor, Personal Trainer (also online), Life Coach, Columnist for MMA UNCAGED, Bodybuilding.com writer
Education: Metro Christian Academy (Tulsa, OK.), Northeastern State University
Station: Dededo, Guam,
the Mariana Islands
Super Powers: Cook dinner, update social networks, help online clients and play super heroes with Tripp (age 5) and Cash (age 3) all at the same time.
Hobbies: Guam Crew team (boat racing), Guam's women's soccer team
Ultimate Goal: Achieve success on ALL levels. Continue to empower women who put themselves last, women who have a dream to recreate their lifestyle.
Meet Ashley Horner, who is the total package wrapped with a lovely bow. The exotic beauty (native American, part Choctaw) dedicates part of every day to staying fit.
Even on her rest days (which she spends tooling around the tropical island of Guam), she runs the beaches, hikes and swims in the colorful waters of the Pacific Ocean.
But this mother of two is also a figure competitor, and a damn good one.
She's only in Guam because her husband is on active duty in the U.S. Navy. She is 17 hours away from the mainland United States.
Being on an island isn't as isolated as it once was. Ashley is completely connected with the fitness world via social media and email. She guides online clients half a world away.
Look out America! In a few months, this Choctaw warrior will return to the mainland and renew her quest for fitness excellence.
Ashley has been a military wife long enough to become an expert on dealing with deployments, and the understandable stress placed on the spouses who stay home. Along with dealing with it herself, she helps other military spouses before, during and after the mission.
"They get really emotional because there are times that they think they can't do it, or that they can't take on another day because they are all alone with three kids and no one to help them," Horner said. "The strength it takes when a husband, or a spouse deploys - it's a lot to take on. That's why it's so important to be able to focus on something like training while your loved ones are gone."
Horner is an Oklahoma girl, born and raised. She spent her childhood outdoors, on a large ranch. Her summer passed riding horses with her father, bailing hay and fishing the ponds behind their Rockin' D Ranch.
"You could say I was a Tomboy, never wanting the girly dolls to play with," Horner said. "I was always trying to keep up with my older brother. So at a young age my Mom and Dad put me into sports, playing a variety of all kinds. I stuck with soccer, playing competitively through high school." She walked on to the collegiate soccer team at Northeastern University in Oklahoma.
Ashley will play for the Guam National Women's Soccer team this summer. She also does dragon boat racing and participates in numerous outdoor athletics. Ashley's athletic prowess spreads across multiple mediums. She does crew, gymnastics, CrossFit and is an avid runner.
After she gave birth to her first son, she wanted to lose the weight and rekindle her love of fitness. That decision, and countless since, put her on the path to the Figure stage. She is now an NPC competitor, and up-and-coming rival to the best in the division.
Her community involvement inspires those around her. She works with military spouses and active members. She's organized events for both the Wounded Warrior Project and American Cancer Society. She lost her father to cancer, which he called a '6-letter' word. His loss inspired her to give time and energy to help others who've lost loved ones.
"It echoed through my body, reminding me that my time here is not promised," Horner said. "But while I am here I will make a positive influence on all of those around me."
We could go on and on, telling you how genuine and kind Ashley is, how she leads by example and teaches her sons how to be strong in the face of adversity. But, we'd rather let her say it herself.
Wife of War - Pacific Theater
Military wives often move with their husbands from station to station around the globe. This puts stress on them, not just because of the worry over their spouses' fates, but also because they have families, and abruptly become single parents, at least temporarily.
But, that doesn't mean they sit and dwell! Ashley Horner won't rest for anything. Learn how she handles her husband's deployment and helps other spouses deal with life apart from their significant others.
Guam is a small island that is only 212 square miles, stretching 30 miles long and 2 miles wide. It is located in the North Pacific about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines.
When I travel back to the United States, my air travel time alone is more than 17 hours, not including layovers.
Guam is very tropical year round. Every day, temperatures reach more than 85 degrees. I love it and will miss it when we move this summer . Coming to Guam has magnified my training.
The land has become my training field. I have had some of my most intense workouts, from swimming in the ocean to long hikes and jumping off waterfalls. This little island has done so much for me.
I moved here with very little clarification on what or who I wanted to stand for … I learned more than how to live, I learned to become alive. Being secluded from the States, I was able to completely focus on all of my goals and aspirations. I kept my head down out here and it pushed me even further, no distraction, no clicks, just me competing against myself everyday.
I've also grown so much the past two years as an athlete. I have been a part of the Dragon Boat racing team. Practices were held early morning, before the sun was up. I started playing for the Guam Women's Soccer team and recently got invited to play on Guam's National Soccer Team, which is a huge honor. Practice is 4 nights per week for 2 hours.
I've learned to scuba dive and have been fortunate to dive some of the most beautiful waters in the world, see some amazing creatures, and explore a different life. When I came to Guam, I felt like I stepped back in time 20 years. Life is simple here. The people of Guam place value in God, family, and friends … not on material objects, not on superficial things that don't matter.
It grounded me, made me realize there is so much more to life. On Sundays, businesses close and the days are spent having fiestas on the beach with family.
Since being on Guam, I've been able to put together charities for the Guam American Cancer Society, and for the Wounded Warrior Project. I have been able to spread the love for fitness to this small little island, but I'll never be able to give back as much as it has given me.
I've realized that you can go anywhere in the world and have something in common with someone who shares your passion for fitness.
Regardless of race or ethnicity, having the same goals and passion is like a brotherhood or a sisterhood in this industry; it doesn't matter where you're at in the world.
There are some pretty fit girls out here in Guam! They read the same articles I do, follow the same people and get on Bodybuilding.com, but they still have a lot of questions.
Guam has its own small bodybuilding show. The thought of competing in the states seems so terrifying to most of them. Some of the girls I know out here would kick some booty in the states!
When the time comes, if Tripp or Cash decide they want to be a part of the United States Military, I would be so proud of them.
As a mother, you always worry about your children, especially when they volunteer to put their life on the line or at risk.
It's my job now to teach them to be brave through all things, to give them the confidence to overcome all challenges that may stand in their way.
It's up to me, as their mother, to teach them now by example to always give 100 percent. And, if there is something they want in a career, to go after it full force, never backing down.
So yes, when the time comes and it's a decision they make, I will make sure they are ready to be leaders. Not just leaders, but the ones everyone else is trying to catch.
Blaine is one of the fittest guys I know. I'm always trying to keep up with him! I am so blessed to have a husband who fully supports my lifestyle, OUR lifestyle. It makes it easy.
We both love to cook and eat healthy; we love to be outdoors and it's a priority for both of us to get our gym time in and to be in top physical shape.
I believe fitness should be a focus for every military spouse. Although we are the ones who stay back while our spouse deploys, it's so important to stay physically, mentally fit. I believe both go hand in hand: physical strength and mental strength. We have to be ready for anything.
Any news, or instructions and we're responsible for taking care of the household while the other is gone. I have been so fortunate while living in Guam to work with spouses whose husbands are gone. I've had them completely break down on me, tears flowing … they repeat the words "I can't do it."
My heart sinks every time because I know how hard it is. I look at them sternly and say 'YES YOU CAN!' I make them keep training, I make them focus on their diets; the stronger I see them get physically, the stronger they become mentally and emotionally.
They hold the family together. It's vital as military spouses that we make being fit a priority.
I did give up a lot, but not nearly as much as the active-duty members in the military. They make the biggest sacrifice. Life is all about choices and the one constant in life is change. The world is changing all around us. I've learned to continually mold myself to whatever situation I'm in.
I'm a big supporter of our United States Military. I'm so proud to be a USN wife. I will support my husband through anything he decides to go after, in the military or not. I'm proud of him and everything he's done for his country.
Competitively speaking, it has been hard; booking a flight and traveling 17 hours to do a competition was a lot. Since being in Guam, I have done 4 shows. I would begin months in advance preparing my travels, making every single day I was in the States count, from the moment I landed to the moment I took off.
I would book photo shoots, have my press cards ready. If there was an expo going on with the competition I had to map out the companies and people I wanted to meet. I would walk right up to them, introduce myself, give them my press card or my portfolio and then move on to the next thing.
My time was so valuable and short, I used every second I had pushing my name and promoting myself as a competitor and an athlete. I never took it for granted. I had to leave an impression. I had to stand out.
Being in the military does require you to move a lot. It's hard on any family to move, especially every 2-3 years, just as you get comfortable.
To be honest, I love it-the more people I get to meet, the different parts of the world I get to see and experience. With social networks the way they are now, you can be anywhere in the world and still keep up with your friends.
This may be the last overseas station for Blaine and me. So traveling within the 50 states from coast to coast is going to be so easy.
Being in the military, you have friends planted all over the world. That's the beauty of this big family.
You may be packing up and moving thousands of miles away, but you know you'll see them again.
If you would like to get Ashley's full nutrition, training and supplementation programs, click the links to her other pages. To connect with Ashley via social media, go to her BodySpace and Facebook pages or check out her website. She also has a youtube page!
- Follow This Discussion by:
I love reading her comments, articles and quotes. Yes she seems authentic in her desire to help others. Learning a bit more about her and her life in this article is very inspiring!
I love her article.. It gived me so much motivation to want to be fit and healthy. Love the fact that she helps military wifes to stay focus.. I'm a military wife my self and i know it can be hard sometimes.
I completely understand the challenges of being a military wife. The move from Hawaii to Mississippi completely changed my work out routines. I went from having a full support team dedicated to fitness to suddenly being surrounded by- All You Can Eat Buffets ! You look amazing! And very inspirational! Thank You!
I remember seeing you train at Andersen's AFB gym! You are such an amazing and inspirational woman, I am so glad you made yourself known to the world for everyone to HEAR AND KNOW ABOUT! Wish I had the opportunity to train with ya, but good luck in your future goals! (:
You are a truly an inspiration for busy moms. We do tend to put ourselves last. Thank you for showing that we matter too and being at our best enables us to be the best for those we love and care for. You're awesome!!!