From boxing to bodybuilder to entrepreneur, a military spouse is making her dreams come true against all odds.
Pamela Bolado was born in Canada with a cleft lip that required many surgeries. This would be the first of many challenges that she would face, and overcome, in her life. Her story is defined by choosing to live life without limits, and instead shattering barriers that attempt to stand in her way.
“When I was little, I was very determined. I would look at myself and hate what I saw. My scar was a lot more apparent than it is now. It started young for me, I always wanted to do things to make myself feel better inside,” she explained.
That drive and need to feel good about herself led her to becoming a leader for student councils, playing challenging sports and eventually, becoming a boxer.
“I used to spar against the guys and they were scared to hit me. I would get mad about it,” she said with a laugh.
Bolado ended up being the first female amateur boxer in the east coast of Canada. She had nine fights with no losses and was poised to compete in the national fights.
But then she was in a severe car accident. Due to her injuries and need for therapies, she had to stop boxing.
“Since I was young, I always wanted to achieve what I thought I couldn’t,” Bolado said.
Although she had to stop boxing, she wasn’t done yet.
Bolado earned her medical esthetician license after high school and when she was 20, she left Canada for the United Kingdom with her now ex-husband. He was a refugee as a child and the great-grandson of the prince of Southern Iran. So, she became a princess – for a time.
After working in medical clinics throughout London for a few years, her husband asked if they could move to Kuwait to be closer to his older children from a previous marriage. Shortly after they arrived, she was pregnant. Then, 9/11 happened.
“In 2003, the U.S. came to Kuwait to invade Iraq,” Bolado shared.
She was fearful of being in the middle of war but didn’t want to leave her family.
“I stayed and had to build a shelter in my house. The war broke out and every time a missile would come over into Kuwait, we’d have to take cover,” she said.
Boldao explained that this is when her anxiety started.
In 2010, she was ready to leave her unhealthy marriage. Unable to divorce him in Kuwait, she lied about a trip she was taking to Canada with their boys. Once they arrived home, Bolado filed the paperwork to end their marriage.
“My life started all over again,” she said.
Although they were happy in Canada for a few years, her sons deeply missed their father. So, they all moved back to Kuwait in 2014. It was there that she met a charming American Air Force pilot.
She says he asked her on a coffee date, but she didn’t want to go to. Though that date changed everything.
“I swore I would never be with a military man, because I didn’t want that life. But everything is always meant to be,” Bolado said with a smile.
After marrying and moving to the United States in 2016, she dove in.
“I came here not knowing anybody or a job, anything – and started my life over. You manifest your life though,” she explained.
As soon as she received her green card, she started her business in 2018. Wellness and Wisdom was born of a desire to help military spouses recognize their worth.
For her first summit, she went door to door bringing flyers and was unsure of how many women would actually show up. Her first summit had 200 military spouses and her second doubled in size. During all of this, she also became a body builder.
“I’ve had three kids and I have stretch marks in every place you can imagine. I have a big C-section scar from hip to hip. I signed up for a body building competition and in just five months, I got on a stage and I won nine medals. Here I was, 41 years old doing this,” Bolado said. “Put your mind to it, you can do it. I know a lot of people say it, but it’s true.”
Bolado was ready for 2020 and planning to take her Wellness and Wisdom Summit across the country. Unfortunately, COVID-19 prevented her from doing that. But that didn’t stop her. She made the summit virtual, since it couldn’t be in person.
“It was scary in the beginning, I kept saying ‘what am I doing’. It ended up being really special and that anxiety I had turned into a blessing. I was capable of doing something I didn’t think I was capable of,” Bolado said.
In the midst of putting on a virtual summit, she launched a magazine, too.
Get the magazine: https://wellnesswisdommag.com
Despite the daunting tasks she’s faced throughout her life, Bolado knows how believing in yourself can impact and change your life.
“Everyone’s wellness is different, but when you really get motivated to take care of yourself. It makes such a huge difference in everything, your total wellbeing. I am so much better and love myself even more than I ever did in my 20s,” Bolado shared.
She encourages other military spouses to take the time to find themselves and live their dreams, without limits. If Bolado has demonstrated anything with her journey, it’s that anything is possible.