Press On

A year and a half ago, I never imagined my scrawny little back was capable of developing into this!

But with consistency, discipline, good nutrition, hard work in the gym, and help from a friend, I am amazed at the results.

Whatever your dreams, press on and please don’t give up. Remain steady, push beyond your comfort zone and you will sorely surpass your goals beyond your wildest dreams.  🙂

Sweet dreams!


The Conversation

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Pic taken before a big football game.

My handsome son B’Dazzle is 12 years-old.

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The recent killings of several young black men has been a frightening wake-up call.

My son too can become a victim of driving whilst black, walking whilst black, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, whilst black, being educated, articulate, and confident….whilst black, but be wrongfully profiled as being someone else….

… a drug dealer…a thug…a rapist…a killer..a kid up to no good…or some other derelict deserving of police scrutiny or brutality.

I don’t like it,  but I am just another mother of a black male who must have “the conversations” about how to dress and how to behave on the street, especially in the presence of the police.

Deny it all you want, it’s real! The black and minority men in my family and in my circle have too many stories of harassment by the police.

Take that hood off your head…

..is what I recently told my son.  We were at the mall shopping. His hoodie was tightly covering his head.

My son: Why?

Me: Because black men who wear hoodies on the street are often profiled (by non blacks and sometimes other blacks) in a negative way.

As we walked through the stores, the dialogue continued and he intently listened. He understood my message and quickly snatched his hood off his head.

“The conversation” isn’t new or revolutionary to responsible black/minority parents who are active in their children lives. The conversations have taken place for centuries.

It’s just that more recently there may be more of an urgency to having the talk.

In just a few years, B’Dazzle will be driving and enjoying more independence and is scares the heck out of me. Ignorance about his locs will add another dimension of negativity to the profiling ish!

In my neighborhood, I can count the number of boys on one hand, who look like him. I hope for the best, but realistically know that one day while walking, he could be stopped by the local police…

Am I just another paranoid mother of a black male?  No way!  I’m just another black woman who has hopes, prayers, and dreams for her son to grow up and become a dynamic black man who makes his contribution to society.  His life matters as all should.

“All Lives Matter” is the fundamental message of Nate Parker’s powerful film, #AmeriCAN. The video was created in response to the recent incidents surrounding the death of several black men.

Peace! 🙂


Random Cuteness

IMG_7254B’Dazzle is so handsome and is proudly wearing his first genuine leather men’s coat today!  My baby is growing up!

Saturday this fierce little dude held it down in his position as nose-guard for our township’s Junior Varsity Football Team!  He is lean, well-defined, weighs 86 pounds, and 4’9″ inches tall… And strong as a bull. It takes two and sometimes three football players on the defenders offensive line to stop him.  Saturday’s game was a good one, but his team, the Eagles came out on top with a win of 14-12.  Yay!!!

Who says size matter?  Haha! Athleticism is much to do about heart, will, determination, dedication, and drive….  He’s got all that and then some!

Did I mention that he eats all kinds of veggies, including the one’s most kids love to hate like spinach, zucchini, and asparagus?  When he’s in the kitchen with me, raw onions, garlic, and colored peppers are his favorite snacks.  Is his unusual strength genetics?  I don’t know, but I know that good nutrition in kids matter too.  The earlier you start most kids on veggies, the greater the chances they will eat more of them.

Happy Monday; I hope it was a good one!  🙂

 


Happy Days!

I had a slight setback on my #100HappyDays challenge, but, for me, happiness is a state of mind, so I will not let working and B’Dazzle’s football season allow me to give up. Lol!

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$2.99 a gallon for gas!!  Praise the Lord!  Jersey hasn’t seen this a long time.  Who wouldn’t be happy about this?!  #100HappyDaysChallenge4Lexa #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day37

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Who says you can’t wear sun dresses in October?  I’m still rockin mine and my Havana twists styled by my favorite salon owner, Victoria at KinHairitage!  #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day38IMG_3153.JPGHubby surprised me with a pan of broiled turkey chops!  Heeeey!  The were delicious!  They tasted like I cooked them.  He’s a good student… I guess I taught him well!  Lol!!   #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day39

Thank God Tomorrow is Friday because I’m beat and still have to get to the football field.  🙂


Blessed And Refreshed

Happy Independence Day! I know, today is Monday. During the post, an error occurred and this post didn’t publish correctly. Hubby and I decided to escape for the holiday weekend.

The hotel’s gym has real equipment. Most hotel’s idea of a gym is one treadmill and a few other pieces of equipment, but not this one; it’s the real deal. Yay!!!

I hit some weights this morning and now I am enjoying a delicious quinoa salad on the beach.

For the natural chica’s, to protect my hair from the salt water, I saturated it with my favorite conditioner, VO5 Herbal Escapes.

As I write this post on the beach, I am feeling blessed and refreshed!

Have a fabulous Day!!

🙂

 

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 Above the clouds is so magical.

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 Sitting on the plane before take off in Atlantic City.

 

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Free weights at a hotel gym!  Now that I know it’s possible, I’ll have to add this to my list of necessary hotel amenities.

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I brought this tasty quinoa salad at Starbucks.  This salad was the bomb!  Fresh lettuce,cherry tomatoes, and chicken!  It’s nice to eat healthy on the beach.

 

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What’s better than an ocean front view?  An ocean front view that can be enjoyed from the shower!  Awesome!

 

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I had fun trying to figure out how many different exercises I could do on this baby! Cool!

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After a brief rain, this lovely rainbow brightened the sky.  So pretty. 🙂

 

This little monkey was one of nearly a dozen strolling around the rental agency's parking lot.

This little monkey was one of nearly a dozen strolling around the rental agency’s parking lot.  I’d expect to see monkeys strolling around in another country, but not in Florida.

July 4, 2014 - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Having a blast on the beach.

 

IMG_6832I love palm trees. I want one in our backyard.  Umm… not in Jersey though.  :0(

 

IMG_0356Selfies on the beach.  For once, we’re both relaxing.

 


No Dream Deferred Here!

There is something magical about the many “firsts” that we experience in life, which cannot be duplicated.

The jubilation a mother experiences after hearing the first cry of her newborn, the jittery feeling of starting a new job, the joy of buying the first car or home, your child’s graduation from kindergarten or college, or in my case debuting as a figure competitor at 48 years old are feelings that can never be replicated.

The raw and unexpected ball of emotions that evolve from the onset of something new is remarkable!

Calm… anxious… proud… hype… disbelief… happy… tearful… overwhelmed… and more!

It took nearly two years of me pondering and to man up to the challenge of competing. The seven-month flight took me along a road of expected twists and turns. Today I’m scratching my head and earnestly wondering,

“Why the heck did I wait so long?”

I can’t help but to reflect on one of my favorite Langston Hughes poems:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Thankfully, my desire to compete didn’t dissipate into a distant memory . However, my desired lingered and festered like a sore. Like a relentless kid in a candy store pulling on mom’s shirt tail, the want to compete, tugged and nagged at me until I couldn’t take it anymore and succumbed to the challenge.

I am happy I did, for I would have surely missed out on an incredible experience.

Ohm-gosh! There is so much to say, I’ll have to break it down into segments of several posts.

I’ll start with the question of, How did I measured up?

 IMG_2499 Women’s Figure Debut – 2nd Place

Women’s Figure Debut is for first time competitors. To place second behind a woman who has previous “stage” experience is pretty cool. I’ll take it.

3rd place

 

Women’s Figure Masters 40+ – 3rd Place

Women’s Figure Masters 40+ is just that, women over 40 years old. I went up against a few seasoned unofficial pros. To place 3rd is a major accomplishment!

 

4th place

Women’s Figure Open B ~ 4th Place

 In Women’s Figure Open, I competed against women’s entire figure division, young and old, so I am pleased with my results.

The most inspirational and moving moment was the ANBF’s first wheel chair body builder competitor.

 

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Amongst spectators, I sat and then stood screaming and applauding in amazement at his performance. This guy was remarkable! It was his front chest pose that stunned the audience evoking tears from many, including me. His muscles were well-defined and his composure and finesse was outstanding.

People come up with endless excuses for why they can’t or (chose) not to exercise. Yet a man, suffering from a brain tumor, with every valid excuse not to work out, obviously takes on the challenge and title of bodybuilder.   Come on now; really there is NO excuse.

I credit my success in this competition to my wonderful friend and trainer.

My inspirational friend and BEST Trainer around!

My inspirational friend and BEST Trainer around!

She’s an awesome woman, who helped me to develop not only the body, but also the confidence and ump to successfully compete!

Her dedication to a healthy lifestyle and  her commitment and work ethic is impeccable.  Regardless of how many hours she worked before we hit the gym, she brought her A game and kicked my butt daily!  Most mornings, I started my day feeling very sore (some days like I had been hit by a truck), but it was always after a fun, challenging, and very creative workout.

Thank you AR; you ROCK!!

My family and friends made me feel special on stage. They sported their blue, “Team Tanya” t-shirts and make their presence known.  The competition had a large number of competitors, yet my crew sat for the entire show (over 6 hours) and waited for the presentation of the awards. Thanks guys! I am so blessed!

Loyal "Team Tanya" supporters.

Some of the loyal “Team Tanya” supporters.

 

The guy in the front with the black t-shirt is from "Team Karen" who shared in the enthusiasm of my team.  Lol!

The guy in the front with the black t-shirt is from “Team Karen” who shared in the enthusiasm of my team. Lol!

The extra sparkle and edge on stage surely came from my “Glam Squad!”   Hair stylist and owner of KinHairitage Salon, Victoria Shelton and the fabulous make up artist Miss Takiyah did their thang!!  I wanted to represent the Natural Chicas in a Big way and they came through big time!!   I loved the hair!!

glam squad

There are more pictures to share with you, I have to get them off of my daughter’s camera, so I will post them in a day or so. For now, here are a few more photos.

 

This journey has been a blast and I am truly thankful for everyone’s support.

What’s next?

I’ve been bit by the bug…. Let’s just say, I’ll be back!!! Lol!!

 

3rd Place in Masters (over 40)

 

Happy Sunday!