In one month, at age 56, my 5″ heels and I will be stepping onto the stage at The Arnold Classic Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, in the Open Bikini Bodybuilding Contest division. I am so excited, yet at the same time, extremely terrified! Just the thought of being on stage, at the largest multisport festival in the nation, in front of over 3,900 people at the Veterans Coliseum makes me want to laugh, cry and throw up all at the same time. I never liked going to the pool in a bikini and now I’m doing this??? Can you see me shaking my head in disbelief?
I entered my first Masters Bikini contest just a short time ago back in April 2013. I thought about doing it for quite some time but just didn’t have the nerve, discipline nor commitment to enter that arena. I had my list of standby excuses…Give up wine?(I’m a certified wine specialist and work part time at a wine shop) nope…can’t do that. Give up happy hour at various international destinations with friends ?(I’m a flight attendant full time) …nope..can’t do that either. Eat chicken, tilapia and asparagus for countless days on end? Bleh! No dessert or dark chocolate? That’s just a sin! Give up wine? Oh, I already said that….! You get my drift.
Finally, one day, I was working out with my trainer and she casually mentioned that there was a local regional bodybuilding show in about a month. She told me I should think about entering the Masters bikini 35+ contest . A month would be enough time to tweak my diet and workout routine. Hmmmm. Again, the list of excuses started to pop up but, at that moment, I stopped and I asked myself , “What are you afraid of ? Why all the excuses? You know you want to do it. You can do anything for a month. Step outside of the box! Commit! Do it!” Right then, right there, I looked at my trainer and said, “Ok, let’s do it!” Of course I had no idea what I was doing. I frantically sought out the advice of some seasoned veterans in the bodybuilding world. They helped me change my diet. I gave up wine and dark chocolate (Gasp!) And started a new workout routine. Holy Cow! To see my body change the way it did, in a short month, was incredible! Much to my surprise and delight, I did well and placed third at the show. Well now, I think I’m digging this new adventure! Did I mention how awe struck I was watching my body transform into something I had never seen before? The diet wasn’t THAT bad. The training was intense but I enjoyed it. Was there sacrifice, commitment and discipline involved? Yes, but I handled it. I have been an athlete my whole life and have always been in good shape….so commitment, discipline and sacrifice weren’t new to me and besides, my body transformation was jaw dropping. I was in the best shape of my life and to see it physically change, at the ripe old age of 56, in such a short amount of time, due to the diet and exercise routine I settled into, literally blew my mind! I did two more shows for the year, learned a boatload of information in the process, met more great people in the biz and again placed well in the National and Regional show. So fast forward just a bit. . I got a wild hair one day and applied to compete at the 2014 Arnold Classic Amateur Bikini contest. Fast forward to a month later and BAM! I get a letter in the mail congratulating me on being accepted to compete at the Arnold! What? Oh geeze! What have I gotten myself into?lol. No age breakdowns in this show! Height divisions will divide up the competitors. Basically, I will be competing against gals 20-30 years younger than me. Why? At your age, people ask, are you doing this? This is an International event, you know you won’t place well. Well, so what! I’m not doing it to try to win. I’m doing it because I can! I’m being very realistic. I know I probably won’t place well compared to all the perfect, perky butts up on that stage. I’m doing it to prove to myself that the sky’s the limit and if I work hard enough, for anything, I will reap rewards regardless of how things turn out…in any venue I see myself in!
One year ago, I went to The Arnold as a spectator. This year, I’m going as a competitor. A lot has happened in a short year. I’ve learned a lot about myself. Commitment, drive, discipline and sacrifice are words that are staples in my realm these days. A new coach, Michelle Johnson and a new member of Team Knockouts, has gotten me on the right track! Not only for The Arnold but for other upcoming shows down the road. Positive changes have already occurred and I can’t wait to see my transformation and end results as I set out on this new journey with Michelle and my new team!
So, stay tuned for upcoming posts as I chronicle my journey to The Arnold and thanks to all my friends and family for all your love and support!