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How growing up in Orofino shaped nationally known fitness expert

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Cristy Code Red has helped thousands of people here and across the country lose weight with her programs. Cristy Nickel grew up just outside of Orofino in the small community of Grangemont.

She said her childhood was tough, but those memories are where she still finds her inner strength.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my childhood and appreciate every single second of growing up in Orofino,” said Cristy.

Cristy Nickel says she and her two sisters grew up poor.

“A ranch 100 acres, chicken, cows, horses and pigs…so much snow so much hard work and what it took to grow up like that,” she explained.

Her parents didn’t have any extra money.

“So I learned at an early age that if I wanted something, I had to work hard for it. I had to earn it myself.”

And so she did earning money as a 4-H kid, and doing odd jobs, but when she wanted that Arabian horse named Ben….” My mom and dad had no money and Ben was the most beautiful horse ever,” she said.

A subject still near and dear to her heart….” even to this day the memories of Ben, I just have such wonderful memories of Ben.”

She knew if she wanted to purchase Ben, she had to come up with the money herself.

Her neighbor gave her a price of $500 so that driven little girl, figured out a plan, and babysat.

“I made a $50 monthly payment for ten months at ten-years-old,” said Cristy. “And to this day just one of my greatest memories.”

Even though her childhood was hard, what they did have was a houseful of love. Because her parents couldn’t give them material things that other kids had, they made sure to make even the simplest things special.

“We would go for a drive in the truck and they would make like let’s go for a drive and we’d say Yeah!”

Today, Cristy is a nationally known fitness expert who’s helped thousands of people lose weight and get healthy. She credits her childhood experience in playing a key role in who she is.

“To grow up the way we did was king of rough life and it wasn’t easy, mothing was given to us and to make it to where I am now…shoot.”

Her life isn’t void of challenges but she knows exactly what to do.

“If something’s demanded of me now I just channel my inner Orofino, I channel my inner Grangemont kid,” she explained.

Cristy Code Red will have a book signing tomorrow (Saturday, April 7) at the Red Lion in Lewiston from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.

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