My name is Ashley Nordman and I was born and raised in a small town near Chicago, Illinois. Growing up, I was an athletic tomboy and played sports like Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Track, and Cross Country. In high school, however, I focused mainly on Track and Cross Country where I made it to State Finals in multiple events every year. Running over 10+ miles a day and lacking an understanding of proper nutrition, I dropped a lot of weight throughout high school, and by the end of my senior year, I was incredibly thin and weak. At 5’6” and weighing around 100 pounds, I was very insecure with how small I was. I was at a very low point during this time, where I suffered from issues with my body image, restrictive dieting, depression, and anxiety.
A few months later, I went to college at the University of Illinois, where I studied Marketing and Advertising. By this time, I was burned out from years of running, but being such an active person, I sought out a new sport to commit to. For the first time in my life, I had access to an amazing gym with tons of equipment (my hometown has one, small gym with limited equipment) and it intrigued me. I began researching online and started to see how beneficial weight lifting was, especially for someone like me who wanted to gain muscle and strength! I printed off a few weight lifting programs, watched videos online, and before I knew it, I was lifting weights 5-6 times a week! I fell in love and began to take it very seriously my sophomore year of college. I focused more on nutrition, where I added more protein and complex carbs into my diet, and I noticed great changes.
That summer, I got a membership to a private gym where a professional bodybuilder worked out. After a few weeks of being a member there, I was approached multiple times by members and trainers to talk to him about doing bodybuilding because they saw my dedication and drive. I had never considered the sport, but with so many people pushing me and believing in me, I eventually approached this bodybuilder, who happened to be a trainer himself. After a few conversations, I made the bold decision to prep for a competition, and although I didn’t know it at the time, that decision changed my life forever. Prepping for my first figure competition was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I learned so much about myself and grew as an individual in ways I never knew I could. From that point on, I fell in love with the sport and have continued to pursue bodybuilding since then.
My first competition was in November of 2012 where I competed in the OCB Midwest States and won First and Overall in Figure. The following year, in August of 2013, I competed in the NPC USA Coastal and placed First and Overall in Figure, where I qualified for Nationals. In the spring of 2014, I changed it up and tried out Bikini, where I placed 2nd in the NPC Mid-Illinois Championships, 3rd in the NPC NYC Metropolitans, and also competed in the NPC Pittsburgh Championships. Doing Bikini was extremely fun, but my heart has always been in Figure, so in May, I competed in the NPC Jr. USA’s, where I placed 5th in Figure. Jr. USA’s is a National-Level competition, so making first callouts at this show was huge for me! In my 2015 competition season, I competed in Jr. USA's, Jr. Nationals, and Team Universe, where I placed Top 10 in the nation! I considered being done after that, but the heart wants what it wants, and I will be competing again in 2016. My ultimate goal is to become an IFBB Pro by winning a National-level competition!
While preparing for my bodybuilding competitions, I have made many transitions. I graduated college an entire year early, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia immediately after graduation, and I worked out of a cubicle for a big corporate company. I quickly learned that I was not passionate about my job, which ultimately left me unhappy. I found myself spending all my time either wanting to be in the gym or wanting to help others reach their fitness goals. I created a fitness account on Instagram (@Passion2BeFit), surrounded myself with people who had similar interests, and before I knew it, I was living and breathing a life centered on health and fitness. I quit my corporate job, moved back home and started fresh, where I focused on what I truly loved. I became a personal trainer and worked with many clients in person, but eventually I transitioned into becoming solely an online coach, and I also serve as a mentor for my supporters. As I continue on my journey to get my Pro Card, I work as hard as I can to help others reach their goals. I have found my passion and I could not be more satisfied with what I do for a living. I want everyone to be successful, happy, and confident in themselves, especially since I know how it feels to be insecure and unhappy with your body image.