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To Compete or NOT to compete?

So, the big question that I have been asked a lot lately is if I am going to compete this year, if I have picked a show, when am I going to compete, etc.

For those of you that know me know that I have competed in 3 competitions.

I have always been an avid reader of Oxygen Magazine and always admired the women who competed and really wanted to do that but never thought I could. I have always worked out on and off but never really stuck to a program. In 2008 I joined a new gym and started enjoyed Fitness Boxing Classes 2x week with Marc Lebert and started doing his Friday night hill running “barf” sessions…anyone who has ever done any hill running knows how gruelling it is, but it works. I started seeing changes in my body – I was stronger and leaner. In 2008, after the passing of my father, I decided to start committing more to me and my health so I started taking extra boot camp classes with Marc Lebert and got some amazing results.

That same year I started organizing Lunch and Learn’s at my work and our first guest speaker was Tosca Reno – yes, THE Tosca Reno!!! She is a great inspiration that helped get the ball rolling on my fitness journey.

In January 2009 I started working with a trainer, not to compete but to just to take my body to the next level. It was that same time that I met James Erdt of The Fitness Star Network. After connecting with him he encouraged me to compete…it was never my intention to compete but after seeing some amazing results with my body I decided to go for it. So in 2009 I competed in my very first fitness competition with the Fitness Star – it was their very first show. I had a great time, made some amazing connections and realized that I got bit by the competition bug.

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I started looking at other federations to compete and came across the IDFA. I went to watch one of their shows and loved the feel of it so decided that my next competition would be with the IDFA. At this time I was working with someone but wasn’t seeing the results I wanted so panicked.  I remember watching Nkechi at the IDFA show and met her at one of the posing sessions so I reached out to her for help. With her advice, guidance and support I made it to competition day and placed 3rd in my category.

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Going forward, I decided to compete at the next level with the IDFA that fall and worked with Nkechi. I was very happy with the competition prep that she provided, her support and guidance that helped me get to the next show. I built a bond working with her – I strongly admire her strength and drive.

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(I’m standing beside one of my mentors/leaders Carol Lama  – funny this was in Fall 2009 – and now we are together on Team Rockstar  with Lindsay Messina, Gretchen Coley and many more amazing people- funny how the universe works 🙂 )

Now it was the end of competition season, like many competitors, I felt lost and out of touch. You see, I reached my goal of competing. In fact, I competed 3x that year and I was and am very proud of myself for reaching my goals but I feel that I treated my goal with an end in mind instead of a journey. What many competitors do, me included, is try to continue with competition prep even though not competing. You get use to the idea looking a certain way, that isn’t necessarily a realistic look or way of living. I continued to weigh out my foods and be strict with my diet. I feel that this took a toll on my body.

So where do I go from here? I picked another competition date and that was my goal. So I started working towards my “goal” of competing again. I was almost there but gave up. I was at the gym 6 days a week. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the gym, I love getting strong, I love seeing changes in my body but I felt that my body was having a harder time getting to where it had to be to step on stage again. I also couldn’t mentally get into competition prep. I felt like I was doing it just to do it. There was no real reason why I wanted to compete again. Yes, I wanted to keep seeing improvements in my body but I thought do I really have to step on stage for that.

Never say never. I am content right now with the 3 competitions under my belt and grateful for the experience and all the great people I have met. I wouldn’t of met these people without competing and for that I am forever grateful.

For me right now, my goal is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to show people how to create their own healthy lifestyle.

I have wrote and rewrote this blog several times and after adding the photos – they did remind me of all that I did accomplish that year.  Three competitions, I was featured in Oxygen Magazine, in Muscle and Fitness Hers, Natural Muscle Magazine, Xtreme Lifestyle Magazine, and Beyond Fitness Magazine.  I met amazing people on this journey.

For anyone that is considering competing, I do recommend it as you learn so much about yourself on this journey and you meet so many amazing people.

I know – I still didn’t answer the question……will I compete again? ha, ha…..Never say never!! 🙂

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