As most of you already know, I have spent the last 12 weeks preparing for the Texas Shredder Figure competition.  I will try to share my experience without boring all of you to tears and writing an entire novel.

The number one question, aside from “What’s the first thing you’re going to eat after you get off stage?” is 
“What made you decide to do a figure competition?”

Several months ago I watched my friend, Jessica Clark go through competition prep. I watched her body and her life go to the next level and beyond. Her transformation and inspiration peaked my curiosity and motivated me to see what bikini/figure competition was all about.  I also wanted to get a different perspective on different training regimens, to learn to appreciate a completely different world of training outside of triathlons, running, and CrossFit.  As someone who loves all of those sports, it’s easy to get wrapped up in one training discipline and think it’s the end-all-be-all of health and fitness. 
Transformation in All Aspects
Leading up to my decision to prep for The Shredder I knew that I did not want this experience to be about vanity. In a sport where you step on stage, scantily clad, and are judged by your body, it’s appearance, and compared against the rest of the people in your class it can easily be seen as just this.  The transformation, the dedication, the sacrifice, the time, the countless hours of training falls on dead eyes to those who look at it on the surface.

In order for me to feel my best and commit to training and competing in this competition I knew I had to not only train my physical self, but my mental, emotional, and spiritual self as well.  I gave up watching all my Bravo TV shows because most of them are about materialistic things and vanity. I filled my time by reading daily devotionals and Every Day a Friday by Joel Osteen. Keeping my mind, my heart, and my thoughts on things above and deeper than myself was my top priority.  I wanted my experience and transformation to be as inspiring to others as Jessica’s was to me.  I wanted to be able to “walk the talk” for my clients, family, and friends…to show them what can happen if you commit to yourself, your body, your health; how great you could look and feel from the inside out.
“I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” 1 Cor 9:27

Hindsight is Usually Always Right
Being a competitor whether it be from when I played the clarinet battling it out to make first chair, to competing in duathlons/triathlons and racing to win my age group, to pushing as hard as I can to place well in CrossFit events, I train my mind leading up to each event with the expectation to not only do well, but to win.  I have special prayers, sayings, mantras of positive, inspirational, motivational cues that I say to myself to help me visualize success.

My mental preparedness as far as “winning” or placing in this event was no different than any other I have participated in.  I realize now that it may have been a little naive being my first one.  I ended up placing 13th in my height class and needless to say, I was very disappointed walking off stage.  However, my disappointment didn’t last long when I went back into the crowd and talked to Rick, my parents, and everyone who was there to support me.  As the day went on and as I continued to get words of support and encouragement from friends over Facebook, Twitter, and text messages the rest of the weekend, I was flooded with emotions and reminders of the original reason I set out on this journey in the first place.

Looking back, throughout the past 12 weeks I prayed that it be His will; not mine. I remained faithful to the process as well as to the outcome, that it would be for the best no matter what place I got. This journey was not supposed to be about me; it was meant to inspire others, not to become figure competitors, but to know that change is possible with patience, determination, and belief.  

I know that the outcome of my first show was for the best. I am still overwhelmed by how supportive everyone has been; I feel incredibly blessed and grateful.  Although there were times I didn’t want to do a workout, or eat another ounce of fish, or wash and pack another plastic food container, I enjoyed every single moment of this process.  Each week as I saw my body changing, I was motivated to give more and work harder the next week.

I’m getting refocused and looking forward to my next show.  Ronnie Coleman Classic; here I come!

Thank you Coach Kati for using your “Master Sculptor” skills on me. Thank you Jess for inspiring me, for answering every whiny text I sent, thank you Rick for loving me through every mood imaginable and your unending support. Thank you mom and dad for never talking me out of this, for supporting me and loving me through it. And thank you to all my friends out there for speaking positivity into my life.