To my surprise, a few years ago at a Halloween party, I was encouraged by two incredibly fabulous and inspiring women to compete in a figure competition. Although fit, I was flattered, but never did I image myself competing on that level, let alone strolling across a stage in a itsy bitty bikini. I also knew that my time was limited and I couldn’t make the commitment, so I graciously declined.
What is figure competition? It is a body building competition where women are judged on their physique. Judges look for muscle symmetry and definition, so intense training and a strict diet are key.
Because I didn’t really know anything about figure competition and the idea piqued my interest, I decided to attend the event as a spectator.
Since then, I’ve been to a couple of competitions. I was amazed by how these woman, especially the ones over 40 sculpt their bodies to perfection. I also noticed the absence of black woman on the stage. Hello! Where are the sistas at? Sparse, to say the least! I was disappointed.
Curiosity led me to YouTube, fitness magazines, and other internet resources. The pictures and videos posted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, are jaw dropping. The more I looked, the more engrossed I became.
My emotions have cultivated from having “a general interest” to an “intense yearning” to discover how I can transform my body into a lean and muscular skeletal work of art. Yeah! I said “work of art.” After all, creating art in any medium requires time, patience, consistency, creativity, attention to detail, and commitment. The result, as in any piece of work, is amazing!
So officially I am in pursuit to uncover amazing! Project FitCom14 is underway. LOL! For the record, I am TERRIFIED!!! When I imagine myself strolling across the stage in 4-inch heels and a two-piece swim suit, goose bumps cover my body and my stomach knots up.
Like a jury deliberating for a verdict, I have given careful consideration to this challenge. What are the pros and cons? How much time is required? What are the costs? How will the training affect my family? Who will I train with? The list goes on and on.
While I am on a quest to uncover amazing, other factors played a key role in my decision.
- Life is precious and short. I have this need to constantly challenge myself, but ten years ago, I certainly didn’t vision myself partaking in a competition of this nature. With each accomplishment, a new challenge must lie ahead. Down the road, I would hate to have to ponder, “What if I had tried?’
- Fitness is my lifestyle and my passion; so I always make that part of my “me” time. Too many women, especially black women, slight themselves of their own interests and of taking good care of the body, mind, and spirit. Women make sacrifices for their family, but not for their own happiness. Over time, resentment and regret can seep into our soul and our spirit. I can support my family best by maintaining overall health and wellness. At my best, I am a better listener, more patient and understanding, and can better deal with the daily challenges in life.
- Lead by example. Recently an unsuspecting phone call from my 24 year-old daughter plastered a huge smile on my face.
Shaina: “Mom, what do you eat?
Me: “Healthy Food.”
Shaina: “I know that, but what kind of food?
Me: Laughter! (This child has lived with me all her life. She just moved in June. What the heck was she doing when I was slaving in the kitchen?) I shook my head and laughed some more
Our exchange went on for a few minutes because I was trying to figure out why my daughter had a sudden shift and interest in “eating healthy.” That is definitely not her thing. Finally she laughed and confessed,
“You’re an inspiration! OMG! I saw that picture you posted on Facebook”
I almost fell over! LOL! “Oh that!” She’s NEVER said those words to me before. I posted a picture of my hair growth progress, but my shoulder drew more attention than my hair growth. Here’s the picture.
Seriously, I’m so happy that my daughter is taking an active interest in her health. If I can inspire, encourage, and help others see value in caring better for themselves and possibly save a life along the way, then my efforts are worthwhile.
So, on September 27, 2013, I made the commitment to compete in my first figure competition. Future posts will include my progress. Ooooooh! More goose bumps!!