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Wrong Ashley Toms?

Ashley Toms

Physical Education Teacher

Red Oak ISD School

HQ Phone: (972) 617-2941

Red Oak ISD School

156 Louise Ritter Blvd

Red Oak, Texas 75154

United States

Company Description

Red Oak ISD is a AAAA school district of approximately 5140 students of unlimited potential. These students are instructed by over 375 dedicated, professional, and caring school district staff members. The community is an active partner with the schools i... more

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Background Information

Web References

In the wake of her husband's ...

www.herald-journal.com [cached]

In the wake of her husband's death, Ashley (Danielson) Toms encourages others to commit to a healthy lifestyle

COKATO, MN – Losing her husband just weeks before their first anniversary was the most heartbreaking experience for Ashley (Danielson) Toms.
But instead of letting her sadness overcome her, Ashley is using her faith and her husband's undying inspiration to help others live a "life of vitality."
Ashley, a 2003 Dassel-Cokato graduate, met her husband, Steve, in 2010, at Life Time Fitness in Lakeville, where she trained for figure competitions. Ashley described this as a feminized version of body-building, involving strict training.
Steve was the head the of personal training department and invited her to join him in his boxing class. He even bought her pink boxing gloves.
"That was his strategy, I guess, and it worked," Ashley said, adding that the two hit it off from there.
Steve then became her personal trainer, helping her train for upcoming competitions. She began competing in 2008, and has since competed on both state and national levels.
The couple married Nov. 18, 2011, and took their shared passion of physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle to their church.
Last fall, they began Christian Fitness Warriors at River Valley Church in Apple Valley, with the goal of teaching people to "live the life that God had designed for all of us, one of abundance," Ashley said. She noted their ministry was based on Romans 12:1-2.
The couple was also in the process of submitting a book proposal with the same name. This is something Ashley will continue to work on, based on her husband's quote: "People who live in a state of vulnerability, need to change to stability so they can really live when they change to a state of vitality."
Ashley explained it like this: "When we live in a vulnerable state we're susceptible to physical and spiritual harm.
As traumatizing as it was for Ashley, she has chosen to "make this circumstance a steppingstone and help others," she said.
Though her heart is breaking, Ashley said her faith is keeping her strong and it's important for her to be a witness to people and glorify God in all aspects of life.
"It's just a major part of how (Steve) lived, and how I continue to live," Ashley said.
Giving up is not an option for her, she said, and referenced a Bible verse that gives her strength and hope.
"As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more" (Psalm 71:14 NIV).
"God is good, all the time," Ashley said.
Ashley added that it doesn't have to be a fitness-related goal and that Commitment Day is also about supporting others in whatever their personal goals may be.
With the giving season upon us, Ashley was recently surprised with a gift of her own.
For Ashley, the morning of Dec. 5 started just like any other day at Red Oak Elementary School in Shakopee, where she teaches physical education – that was until she was handed the phone by someone she suspected was there from the local YMCA.
"I was totally touched by their kindness and compassion," Ashley commented. "It was absolutely amazing."

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