Christina Adler Interview
Christina Adler is a 38 year old wife and mother of two living in Hudson Ohio with her husband Jonathan. Christina was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and went to Kent State University for political Science and to the University of Notre Dame Law School. She worked several years as a corporate attorney and then as a senior staff attorney for an appellate court. Recently, however, she has been making some big changes in my career path.
MP: What propelled your interest in health and fitness?
CA: After having my second daughter Madeline I came down with a severe case of postpartum psychosis. I was placed on multiple medications and was hospitalized a few times because it got so bad. I ended extremely overweight and overmedicated. The turning point in my life was when my oldest daughter Ellen went looking for something to make her mommy feel better. It turns out that the mommy daughter yoga class she suggested saved my life. After I started the yoga, I then signed up for a pilates class on my own. That turned into me attending bodypump classes several days a week and mountain biking almost every day.
MP: Growing up as an athlete, what kinds of sports did you play and how have such sports impacted your life?
CA: I grew up in an incredibly athletic family. My father was a high school football and baseball coach and my brother played on both varsity teams. And with me being as competitive as I am, I had to play those sports too along with golf and gymnastics. I think that playing all of those sports gave me a great base for the muscle that I would later put on and also taught me to work both as part of a team and as an individual. I know that with the sport of bodybuilding, one has to be able to challenge themselves internally while also staying motivated by what the competition might be doing. Growing up as an athlete helped in both these areas.
MP: As a “recovering attorney”, what are some of the major career changes in the near future?
CA: Well I will most definitely not be practicing law. My husband is a law professor and I’m always going to conferences and lectures with him. I was so worried that I or he would be embarrassed about my career path and that his colleagues would no longer be interested in talking to someone who was not a “professional.” It turns out though that almost everybody is interested in health and fitness and nearly everyone I talk to has either suffered from depression or knows someone very close to them that has been affected by it. I think that my training as an attorney has helped me to communicate all of the information that I have discovered about making huge physical and mental changes, whether it be tweaking a diet or workout plan or explaining to someone a safe way to try to discontinue antidepressants. I think this is why my blog www.redheadlaw7.com has become so popular. I love to help people and I love to write. So I will continue to blog and hopefully I’ll be able to finish the book I’ve already gotten started writing sometime soon. Additionally, in the next few weeks I will be making my first attempts at attaining my figure pro card and will try again for my masters figure pro card in the fall. If that happens then I will be switching over to the fitness lifestyle for good.
MP: Describe the darkest time in your life and how you got past it?
CA: The darkest part of my life was the night I asked my husband to check me into the hospital to be treated for postpartum psychosis. I talk a lot about it in my blog so I’ll just touch on what happened briefly here. But at that point I had quit my job, I had stopped socializing, I had stopped changing my clothes and doing my hair. I was only leaving the house to go to doctors appointments. I couldn’t drive or function like a normal person. I couldn’t care for myself or my children and I started drinking to knock myself out. I was placed on SSRIs, benzos, and antipsychotics. I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I slowly made my way out of it with the help of my family. I had to struggle through the withdrawals of all the drugs I had been taking but with tons and tons of exercise and it really was terrifying but like Robert Frost said “sometimes the best way out is through.”
MP: What’s your advice for someone going through depression or a very traumatic period in his or her life?
CA: My advice is for them to realize that when you are caught up in the moment you can’t realize that the depression or the trauma is not you. It is temporary. It is not your natural state. Even in the most horrible of cases there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’d suggest that people try to avoid making any life decisions while feeling so low and not to place any more stress on themselves than necessary. And first and foremost they should never self medicate. Drinking and taking pills to cover up the pain is never the answer. It just makes things worse in the long run and cause additional unnecessary suffering for themselves and those around them.
MP: What does your family mean to you and your health?
CA: I think the question should be what does my health be to my family? I know that my family is so excited to not only have the old me back but they may even have a better me. I am so much more present in my girls’ lives and I have so much energy to play and to discover new activities with them. I also think that I serve as a role model to them. They see a happy healthy mom who loves to exercise and eat healthy and who never stops working to achieve her goals.
MP: What has health and fitness done for your life and career?
CA: Well I’d have to say that health and fitness literally gave me my life back. It hasn’t done much for my legal career but it has let me discover what I am truly passionate about which may have been the reason I initially chose the path to becoming an attorney. I love to help people. And that’s what I plan on doing for as long as I can: showing people that anything is possible and any goals can be attained.
MP: Describe your typical day in the gym?
CA: Most people are actually surprised to discover that I actually don’t spend that much time in the gym. Leading up to my first and second competitions I was doing leg days on Mondays and the rest of my body on Tuesday. I can’t tell you what my routine was because I didn’t have one. What I did have was a personal trainer that was integral in making sure that every day was different and challenging. We would mix up machines, free weights and plyometrics. Regardless of what we were doing though he’d have me begging for mercy by the end of the workout. On days when I’m not in the gym I either spend a few minutes bouncing on my mini trampoline in front of the TV or I head out onto the bike paths around my house and go for a 20 mile ride. I refuse to do any cardio on any machine. Life is too short to stare at the wall of my gym and I’d rather tweak my diet and cut out a few calories than add in more activity.
MP: If you could pick only one exercise that has had the best reward for you, what would it be and why?
CA: I would have to say that it would be leg pressing. No one believes me until they see me do it but I can leg press 625 for reps. This is the one exercise that I think has built up my legs the most and for some reason I’m really good at it. It’s usually the exercise I do at the start of leg day and before my full body workout because I think it gets the testosterone and blood flowing and it gives my legs size without widening out my back.
MP: What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
CA: My dream right now is to go pro. I know that it may be a very hard and long journey but I can’t see me living a life right now without foreseeable goals. I also hope to continue writing fitness articles and blogging. Most importantly, I want to continue to inspire others to choose a healthy and active lifestyle.
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