Finding Comfort in the Uncomfortable with Coach Alysha

For the Love of Basketball
Alysha has been a personal trainer and the athletic program director at Bent On Better for almost three and a half years now. Before B.O.B., Alysha was a professional basketball player and finished a criminal justice and sociology degree. Her fascination with detective fiction and her love of the CSI television series had prompted her to pursue a career in criminal justice. However, she soon came to the realization that her true passion was in sports and fitness, and that a career in criminal justice or the federal government was not for her. Alysha also ran her own exercise routines during her time playing basketball, so criminal justice and sociology had to take a second seat.

Alysha pushed past her comfort zone and is now a leader of others. She’s fitter, stronger, wiser, and giving back to her community.

The Pressure to be on Top
Alysha always had a strong interest in sports and physical activity, even when she was a child. As middle school athletics became more competitive, things turned a bit difficult for her. She was under a lot of pressure from everyone around her, including her parents, coaches, and teammates. In some way, knowing that there are individuals who are rooting for her made her feel anxious. Being the black person in her team also meant that she was expected to excel, which added pressure to perform her best.

Alysha dealt with these pressures by spending more time in the gym during off-hours, when she is all by herself, with no one looking, just her practicing her craft, improving her skills, and becoming better. It was at these moments that she felt most comfortable. 

Being around her teammates allowed her to break down her walls of self-doubt and build greater self-confidence, which in turn increased her talent.

It takes a wild heart, an adventurous mind, and a strong body to help others explore their full potential.

Becoming a Professional Athlete
Being a professional athlete meant that Alysha had to travel abroad, going away to another country all by herself. It took her a lot of courage to leave her family and friends behind and set foot in a new country, with a language and culture different from her own. As the season went on, it got really difficult when she was missing home, but she was able to cope with loneliness by tapping her spiritual side and strengthening her faith. She also went to gyms and worked out instead of sulking from isolation and missing family. Although it took some time for her to adjust, Alysha had spent five years playing overseas.

Stepping out of her comfort zone
Alysha is a huge believer in the mental aspect of things. That you can accomplish everything if you put your mind to it. Throughout all her challenges, Alysha learned to step out of her comfort zone. She found her passion in physical fitness because she took time to look into herself and discover what she enjoys doing the most instead of sticking to her academic degree. She had a successful career being a professional athlete overseas because she was courageous enough to let go of the comforts of home, family, and anything familiar to her. She found Bent On Better because she understood that she could still pursue her passion even when she no longer plays basketball or as a professional athlete. And when we step out of our comfort zones, we discover so much more about ourselves, we grow, we develop skills, we gain wisdom, and in turn, we become an inspiration for others.

It takes heart and it takes soul—Alysha at her best at coaching people.

“You can’t really let what other people think or say about you affect how you think about yourself. It all starts from within, you’re the one living your life, you’re the one who’s experiencing life for you, nobody can do it better than you, so make sure you’re confident on how you feel first.” – Alysha Womack

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