I remember the first time I opened an Oxygen Magazine in 1997 and saw the women on the pages. They were my version of Barbie - wide backs, round shoulders, thick legs and 6 pack abs. They had the perfect body in my eyes. Jen Hendershott, Monica Brant, Jenny Worth, Kelly Ryan - these women were the type of woman that I wanted to be. Beautiful, confident, strong and top athletes. They were FIGURE COMPETITORS! For years I paged through the mags, did their workouts and dreamed of the day when I would step on stage. And that was as far as it went. Dreams, wishes and "some days". I'm not going to lie, I knew I had what it took physically to step on stage. I could do the workouts and the diet, but the confidence was what I lacked. I am the type of person who LOVES being covered up. The less skin, the better. And wearing a bikini in public was NOT high on my list of to do's and actually something that I had never done before. Call it being shy, humble, silly...whatever. I just don't like to be "out there" like that. I would rather show you my ability by lifting something heavy or running a race, but to be judged for what I looked like, half naked no less, scared me to death.
So, I ran from my fear. I ran 5K's, 10K's, 8 milers, 10 milers, half marathons, relays....I ran, and ran and ran. I used running as my excuse why I couldn't do a figure show. (Figure competitors are not supposed to run long mileage because it hinders muscle growth and runners aren't supposed to put on too much muscle because it will slow you down...see my conundrum?) I was comfortable running so that's what I did. So last year when I dedicated my running season to BTS, I ran hard and I ran a lot. I got new PR's in every distance that I ran. When the season was over in the fall I was tired, beat up, a little bored and feeling like I had gone as far as I wanted to go in the running world. I had been there, done that and reached all of the goals that I wanted to. I needed a new challenge. I thought about a marathon, but that sounded more like torture to me than a new adventure. Yes, it would take me out of my comfort zone, but not in a fun and exciting way. I needed something different.
So I prayed and God answered my question by asking me a question...If not now, when? Huh. True - I wasn't getting any younger, the timing wasn't 100% perfect and I could come up with a million excuses, but why not chase down the dream that I have been talking about for years? The only real reason I could come up with for not doing a show was a stupid four letter word...FEAR.
I overcame the fear and I stepped through the other side a stronger person. I completed a major goal in my life and there was NOTHING like that sense of pride and accomplishment. All of the times I wanted to give up, all of the days when questions filled my head and the negative jibber jabber that came from people who didn't understand my passion isn't what I will remember about this journey. I will remember the PRIDE I felt from all of the hard work that I put into this, the ENCOURAGEMENT from those who never gave up on me and the FAITH that I knew the Lord would get me through it.
|Taking 1st in Figure A Class|
|Going out for Overall Figure|
|Minnesota State June 22, 2013|