My Bullying Story – How Fitness Changed my L...

My Bullying Story – How Fitness Changed my Life

*Please remember, that bullying is NOT as black and white as being picked on, or being physically hurt. It comes in all shapes and forms. Whenever you’re being made to feel unworthy, talked down to, or mistreated in any way, THAT is bullying. And it happens everywhere, every day. It needs to stop.*

I grew up and went to a school where being a little bit different, was just about the worst thing that you could be.

If you know me, regardless if you’re an acquaintance or a close friend, you would probably agree that i’m a little different. I’ve always been a bit weird. And I totally blame my father for it. For he is also a weird man (you are fully missing out if you haven’t seen him in my Insta stories).

Unfortunately, that’s about as funny as this blog post gets, because this is sadly, a serious topic.

And one that has given me some pretty bad memories that I have carried with for most of my life.

My bullying story - How fitness changed my lifeHigh school graduation, 2009

I was always an athlete. I played soccer (badly), badminton (extremely well), volleyball, track, rugby, etc, the entire time I was in school. In both my junior high and high school, students were very much separated into groups. Either you played sports, or you didn’t.

If you played sports, you were considered part of the ‘in crowd’ and if you didn’t, then no big deal, you just weren’t in with us. (It’s laughable that I say ‘us,’ because that would include me, and I certainly was not included).

Imagine being a part of a sports team, spending every single day after school with them, and being deliberately ignored or talked down to whenever you said something. Every single f*ing day.

Without going into too much detail, who said what, or who treated me like shit, let’s just say that I hated going to school every day. And you think girls can be mean, but trust me, guys can be meaner. Especially if you were dating said girls.

Even though I was part of the athletes/sports teams, my teammates and (for a time), ‘friends,’ were never that nice to me. It probably had something to do with my short shorts that I used to wear (YA, STILL WEAR EM), my sarcastic jokes that no one understood (STILL MAKE EM), and the fact that I would wear silver leggings from American Apparel to school. Basically anything that made me, ME, was grounds for not wanting to be associated with me at all. Fine.

My bullying story - How fitness changed my life

I dreaded being dropped off in the mornings, and having to wait around for those torturous 15 minutes before the bell rang for class to start. Every single day I would slowly unpack my stuff, put it in my locker, and walk towards the foyer where I knew everyone else was hanging out.

When I would get there, not a single person would look at me, make eye contact, or say hello. It was a nightmare, standing there by myself, trying to disappear. I felt so unhappy. I didn’t belong. But I had no where else to go. This was before we could stand around and look relatively busy on our cell phones. Sometimes I would go into the athletes locker room and just sit on the bench until the bell rang, just so I wouldn’t have to stand around by myself.

During my time at high school, we got our house egged three times. I got specifically uninvited to parties. I got laughed at behind my back, and to my face. I was shunned, given the cold shoulder by anyone who wanted to be ‘in’ with the cool kids.

Just because I was a little bit different. A little bit loud. A little bit too out there.

Even though I felt like this, I still loved sports, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop me from playing. I soon realized I wasn’t half bad at rugby, and decided to join a club outside of school. After the season ended there, I decided to dedicate all my free time to training for rugby. Rather than spending my days after school at volleyball practice with girls that hated me, I went to the club and ran sprints back and forth for an hour.

I starting working out 3-4 days a week, and running 4 mornings a week. I soon became stronger, fitter, more confident and assured of who I was.

My bullying story - How fitness changed my lifeHigh school rugby

Even though people at school didn’t like me (and even some girls at my rugby club, HA), I still had my health, my strength, and my sport. Playing rugby honestly did everything for me. It gave me something to look forward to. It helped me take all that negative energy, and put it towards something that would hurt, but in a good way.

It completely changed who I was and how I lived every single day. It gave me purpose. It gave me clarity. It showed me that I was more than some girl at high school who everyone loved to roll their eyes at for laughing too loud. I was a proper athlete, and I was more than what anybody could EVER say about me.

I promise you, fitness changed my life.

When it was finally time for me to move to Vancouver to start my undergrad degree at UBC, I was terrified. I HAD to leave Calgary. I hated the city and the city hated me. There was no future for me there.

But if people in Calgary didn’t like me, then why would Vancouver be any different? Was I going to spend another 4 years being ignored and shunned by everyone?

Short answer: NO. It was nothing like high school.

My bullying story - How fitness changed my lifeUBC rugby, 2010

I made more friends in that first month than I ever made in Calgary. My rugby team actually LOVED that I wore short shorts to practice. They thought it was hilarious, and NOT in a mean way. They took me under their wing and gave me the confidence to love who I was.

The girls in my residence saw past my weird outfits, the fact that I would bike in heels, and laughed louder than was publicly appropriate. They liked me, for ME. That was also a hugely defining moment in my life. It confirmed for me that the reasons people back home didn’t like me wasn’t because I was an unlovable person. It was all on them. They couldn’t get past their own prejudices.

Fast forward 8.5 years later. 

My bullying story - How fitness changed my life

I used to hold onto all that hate that developed in me during my time in high school. I told myself I would never forgive my fellow students for putting me through what was the worst 3 years of my life.

But in the end, high school is high school. It’s shitty. The people who I went to school with are not the same people they are today. At least I hope. (There are a couple people I think will never change).

I’ve wanted to share this story for a long, long time. One thing that held me back was the fact that it almost seems unlikely that I would have this story to tell. My mother would say that people would look at me, and just see a pretty and confident girl. They wouldn’t think I was one who got bullied and ignored.

What made me finally let go of all that anger was coming to the realization that I am actually so INCREDIBLY happy. And so much of that happiness stems from you guys – my readers, my clients, and my followers.

No matter what I went through at a young age, I came out a better person because of it. Fitness and sports opened so many doors for me. It allowed me to model for massive international brands. It gave me this blog. It gave me the chance to quit my job, and pursue fitness and health full time. But the very best part of it all is this:

I was able to do all of it, by staying true to who I am.

I never once changed my style, my laugh, and most importantly, my personality, because of what people said about me. I fully believe that the more different you are, the more successful you will be. Even if it means a few years of being picked on or talked down to – you can never let it get to you.

I sincerely hope that this goes out to all the girls and boys who are dealing with the same thing right now. If you know someone who is getting bullied, please pass it onto them.

Know that everything happens for a reason. That these situations will ONLY make you stronger. And if you can persevere and push through the judgments, the unkind words, and the bullying, you will turn out to be an amazing person, doing amazing things.

From that unhappy and lonely 16 year old girl, to a confident, driven 26 year old woman – I promise you that.

My bullying story - How fitness changed my life

Shoutout to Bettina Bogar for the lovely captures xx

  1. Karen

    22 January

    I’m so sorry to hear that your high school years sucked. People are mean. And it doesn’t stop!!

    I was teased starting in elementary school. I was a goody-goody fairy winkle (always had my hand up and was a NICE kid), a buck tooth beaver (braces fixed that much later in life), and when I moved schools and thought it was all over, I became “conehead” thanks to my high hairline. Tyra Banks references helped me get past that one.

    I’m seeing that it doesn’t stop though I no longer experience it on a daily basis, I DO see that others do, particularly those who expose themselves online. Would love to hear about your strategies for online bullying!

    Why can’t we all just get along?? #liveandletlive

    • beverleyc

      25 January

      Awww, i’m so sorry to hear. Thank you for reading and for commenting.
      I’m lucky and rarely get unkind messages online (or any sort of online bullying). I do see it happen and hear about t so much tho, and my heart goes out to those who have to be on the receiving end 🙁

  2. Doug

    22 January

    I’m so sorry that you had to put up with that crap for so long. My wife has a similar story, and I can’t comprehend how someone so beautiful, inclusive and fun loving could be shunned. I am glad you found your happiness.

    • beverleyc

      25 January

      I’m sorry that it happened to her. I hope she was able to let go of it eventually 🙂

  3. Lorraine

    22 January

    Great blog!! I agree with your mom; I would have never imagined someone like you had gone through this situation before (especially to this extent). I am so glad that you shared your story with us! I initially followed you on Instagram because you looked amazingly fit. As I got to know you (through your IG stories), you’re one of the best people I liked following!! Not only do you look good, you’re confident, and you’re beautiful! Thank you for this post ☺️

    • beverleyc

      25 January

      Hi Lorraine! Thank you for commenting and reading. You are so kind to say all that <3

  4. Kate

    22 January

    <3 <3 <3 Relating so hard. You're amazing!

    • beverleyc

      25 January

      As are you girl! xx

  5. Beverly

    22 January

    You are such an incredible person Beverley! You are such a huge inspiration and you really shine so bright.

    • beverleyc

      25 January

      Thank you so much! Great name btw 😉

  6. jaclyn

    22 January

    I am so sorry to hear that, but so proud of the strong woman that you are now. I am currently in the middle of escaping domestic violence(and child abuse for my minor son) from my almost ex husband. I know you can’t compare bullying/abuse, but your story makes me smile. Thank you for sharing, makes me feel better knowing that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Glad that your awful hs experience made you a stronger person 🙂 xoxo

    • beverleyc

      25 January

      That is so awful, and I hope the best for you and your sons future. Keep your chin up. Thank you for reading and sharing your story, it means so much. Lots of love xx

  7. Veera

    22 January

    Love you Beverly! So happy you didn’t become anybody else, you’ve changed so many peoples lives with your true personality!!!!

    • beverleyc

      25 January

      Thank you Veera! I appreciate that so much xx

  8. JOy

    22 January

    Your mom was right i never thought a beautiful lady like you got bullied. I’m truly inspired by you. When i was younger, i was always bullied because i’m skinny, they always told be to eat more and maybe when i get a little gain i will look a lot better, it hunts me everytime, feeding me all the insecurities. They made me feel that i’m not good enough and because i’m skinny i wont be enough. I’m almost 29 now, and someone love me for what i look like right now and yet im still being bullied by people younger than me, criticizing my decision to workout, saying i don’t need it because i’m already skinny. I’m following you on Instagram and Facebook and i’m arranging my schedule at school and work so i can join your workout sessions. Thanks for inspiring me and other girls out there. YOU ARE AWESOME and AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL. God bless you

    • beverleyc

      25 January

      Thats terrible that people still feel the need to say such horrible things. I hope you ignore it all and keep your head up high. I hope to see you out soon girl! xx

  9. Nikki

    23 January

    Thank you!!! This gave me chills because it hit so close…I actually went on home schooling for half of Grade 9 because of the bullying I suffered all throughout Junior High. I never had a strong pull towards athletics at that time. I wish that hadn’t been the case, because now as a 38 year old, I find strength and confidence in myself every day from physical activity. I applaud your bravery in sharing, and thank you again for putting this excellent message out to the world!!

    • beverleyc

      25 January

      Ahh, thats so sad to hear. Even though it was so long ago, it still sticks with you! I’m happy you have exercise now, and are able to use it to your advantage. Keep killing it <3

  10. Rorie

    2 February

    Love this post. You’re right- bullying comes in many different shapes and forms. I can SO relate to the part where you’d wait alone in the locker room before class started (pre smartphone days) so you wouldn’t need to stand awkwardly by yourself! I use to go the washroom too as well even if I didn’t need to or the library. I wasn’t bullied in the sense people made rude comments to me- but I was basically invisible / ignored / like a ghost and didn’t exist to most. That’s also a form of bullying people don’t talk about. Seeing how you’ve let go of your resentment towards high school days is inspiring- I am your age and sometimes still hold on to it but I have to remember like you said it’s high school and overall shitty. I had the exact experience with you when I moved away for university! I finally found people who liked me for me and made a good group of friends. I no longer felt invisible

    • beverleyc

      5 February

      Aw thanks for this reply! I’m sorry you had to experience that too. Such a horrible feeling. I’m glad we both got our happy endings 🙂 <3

  11. Jennifer

    16 February

    I loved reading this. Thank you for sharing. I’m so happy you are living your dream. It’s fun to hear about your adventures from your mom.

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