On Thursday, June 30th, 2011, Broken Records Magazine had the privilege to chat with fitness expert and Survivor: Redemption Island contestant, Ms. Ashley Underwood.
Regarding her Survivor experience, Ashley Underwood remarks “it was crazy. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. Obviously, I was starving, exhausted, and I lost over twenty pounds. When I came home, I was so sick. It’s so weird because I want to go back. When you get as close as I did to winning, it makes you want to go back and prove yourself, and have another chance at it. So, it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but it was one of the most rewarding experiences for sure.”
Underwood reveals they would sing the whole time, while on Survivor during their “tea time.” “We had the best time! We would make tea and we would always sing ‘Airplanes’ by B.O.B; obviously, we would sing ‘I Will Survive,” and ‘I’m a Survivor,’ by Destiny’s Child.”
As a result of Survivor: Redemption Island, Underwood notes that she appreciates everything more, such as food and hot water and warm showers.
Underwood has developed her own fitness program designed to help people get a body similar to the one she had on Survivor. Underwood remarks “it takes approximately thirty minutes at home. All you need are five pound dumbbells and stability balls. Basically I do full-body workouts, and for my arms I do lots of pushups. I try to do something active every day, and I eat healthy as well. Healthy food is always accessible to me, so I am lucky that way. Although it may be intense everybody can do this workout, and everybody can get lean and strong! It’s amazing.”
The hardest aspect of her job as a fitness expert involves seeing the hard times that her clients go through, because when they are working out she feels what they are feeling. “It’s hard for me to watch them struggle, but it’s rewarding when I watch the outcome, and when they achieve their goal, it’s all worthwhile. It always ends nicely,” acknowledges Underwood.
On her proudest professional accomplishments, Underwood states: “being on Survivor was huge for me, but growing up, to play basketball professionally was a dream for me. When I signed my contract to play overseas in Switzerland was my proudest moment, and my family’s proudest moment, since they watched me play basketball since five years old.”
“Miss Maine USA was my first pageant I ever competed in. I did not know what I was doing at all. I had to learn everything! I won the first time I competed. When I went to Miss USA, it was amazing! Being on live TV on NBC was amazing as well,” says Underwood. “Honestly, I think that’s what got me into Survivor. I think the weird resume that I had stuck out in their minds,” she laughs.
In addition to her many talents, Underwood also worked as a school nurse at three different schools. “It was fun. I had such a great time. I love kids. It was really the perfect job for me, and I would have loved to keep doing it!” exclaims Underwood.
On future plans, she notes that she is in the process of planning “Back to School” seminars for teenagers. “I want to speak to them about how to overcome peer pressure and anxieties in school, build their confidence and courage, and show them how to set goals and succeed. I have a lot of my plate, but it’s really fun, and I love to stay busy. It’s all really rewarding for me,” says Underwood.
On alternate career choices, Underwood notes “I would love to host. I love speaking in front of people, and I love being in front of the camera. I love entertaining people. That would be a dream come true, to be the next Kelly Ripa.”
On the use of Social Media to stay connected with her fans, Underwood states “I am on Facebook, I am on Twitter and I am constantly promoting my website and my blog.”
For her supportive fans, Underwood remarks “thank you so much for all of the support. I appreciate it. It’s what keeps me going. I am so thankful and blessed. I love you!”
Ashley Underwood concludes, “I want to be a good, positive person that the youth can look up to, and show them that they can get to where they want to be, by being classy and a nice person! I hope I can keep going.”
Judging from her exquisite resume, it is safe to say that Underwood is certainly on the right path!