I believe that with every setback, there is a comeback.
My name is Zoey Wright I'm 26 years old and until 2012 my life was just like every other young female in her early twenties. I enjoyed going out with friends for drinks, I studied and played casual sports and spending summer time in a bikini on the beach. This all changed in 2012 when I was diagnosed with a lifelong chronic illness called ‘Ulcerative Colitis’. This condition often ends with the patient requiring surgery to remove the whole large intestine and to be fitted with an Ileostomy bag in order to carry on living.
From that point on I was given a label. I was given restrictions. I was given a cocktail of extreme medication to try and prolong the inevitable surgery at such an early age. Eventually though, in 2014 the medications failed and I had to undergo my worst fear. No longer would I wear a bikini or any other item of clothing without having this bag attached to my skin. A very raw thought you’ll agree, and it broke me as a young woman who was only just developing a sense of self awareness and character.
I had to find a way to take control of my physicality and show myself that even though I’d been struck down, I could still take control of my body and channel some inner fury. It was then I stumbled across weight training as a way of developing my body and making it stronger. This was just what I needed and I decided I wanted to compete, just to prove to myself that I could step on stage and not be ashamed of my condition, and in doing so I could create awareness for other people.
In 2015, ten months after my life changing surgery I stepped on stage and won first place in a figure competition. I have since made it my mission to try to inspire and motivate people to believe in themselves. And demonstrate that our setbacks do not have to define us as people!
For me training isn’t a compulsory addiction, it’s a daily celebration of the beauty & capability of the human mind and where it can take the body.