Fitness Year In Review

As I sit here at my desk on this eve of the New Year, I reflect on what I have accomplished in 2013 and what I wish to achieve in the year to come.

I would have to say that the most significant moment of 2013 may have been my decision to compete. I remember that moment very well. I was so excited that I was likely perceived by others to be having a manic episode. I did not make the news public right away because I was unsure of how my family and friends would respond. The first person I told was my brother and his reaction was quite unexpected. Imagine my shock when I revealed this very personal decision and it was met with laughter. Yes, my brother laughed in my face. I cried. When it was explained to him that I did not intend to compete in the muscular female bodybuilder category but rather in the less muscular bikini and fitness divisions, he realized his mistake and was very apologetic. However, had I wanted to build that huge female bodybuilder physique, I would have made sure he paid for that.

I made my decision to begin training in March with the goal of competing in July. This was not a lot of time to get ready, especially for someone who has never been involved in weight training. I have participated in sports for my entire life so I had a good foundation and perhaps that was why I felt confident that I would be able to ready myself in time. However not everyone felt I would be ready. While still being supportive, certain gym rats in my family thought I wouldn’t quite be competition ready by the July date. I was determined to be ready, prove myself right and prove everyone else wrong.

When I told my friends of my goals, some were supportive and some were apprehensive. None of them really understood what my journey would entail and to be fair, I didn’t expect them to fully understand. One of my friends believed that lifting a five pound dumbbell would transform any lady into Arnold so I could definitely sense her silent judgement. You have to be ready to ignore the white noise.

The highlight of the year would likely be the first time I hit the stage. It was an amazing moment and I have never felt an emotion like that before in my life. Imagine the feeling of being prepared for something you have trained so hard for and not feeling any nerves about completely exposing yourself. You could make the decision to feel vulnerable but instead you know that you have done everything that you need to do and you are more than ready. You take that first step on stage wearing next to nothing in front of a packed theatre. Despite not being nervous, the very second I stepped on that stage, my smile instantly contorted into clown smile. That is unattractive. In all of my preparations, I had forgotten to practice my smile. Yes, that is important. Eventually I was able to rein in crazy face and all was well. Even if you don’t place, you have to know that everyone in the audience is looking at you with admiration and likely envy as well. I did place though, and I knew I would. And that statement doesn’t come from arrogance but rather from true belief in myself. As silly as it may sound, I feel as though I was meant for this.

During the course of my training this year, I watched myself transform physically but also mentally. And the change was noticed by the people around me. I became more outgoing, more bold, and overall more in charge of my life. A friend even commented on how I dress differently now, wearing mostly very fitted clothing and buying designer labels. While not so good for my wallet, I have a new appreciation for dressing for success and celebrating my body.

Aside from my attaining my education, this is possibly the best decision I could have made for myself. I feel that I am addicted. Addicted to a healthy lifestyle, addicted to the gym and addicted to competing. If I am going to have an addiction, at least it is a productive one.

For 2014, I aim to compete to win. No more second place trophies. My next show is set for March and I intend to kill it. I plan to qualify for an IFBB event this year and get to the Arnold Classic for 2015. For any doubters out there, I encourage you to watch me do it and kiss my perfectly formed behind while you’re at it.

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