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.

  1. 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?’
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

This pic is supposed to highlight my natural hair growth.  Instead my shoulder attracted the attention!  LOL!

This pic is supposed to highlight my natural hair growth. Instead my shoulder attracted the attention! LOL!

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!!

Read More

Project FitCom14 Is Officially Underway!


WOD With The Fellas

This picture was taken of me during Thursday's WOD.  I had no idea!  Heey!

This picture was taken of me during Thursday’s WOD. I had no idea! Heey!

SWOD:  6 X 200m Row (Roughly 1.1 Work/Rest)    

WOD:   20 – 15 – 10 – 5

Pull Ups

C & J @ 95/65

T2B

Wall ball

Starting Friday’s 5:30 p.m. work out with an intense row was right up my alley.  Cardio baby!  I just can’t get enough. Loved every minute of it!

Yesterday while I was rowing my little heart out, unbeknown to me, my picture was being taken.   Not bad for an action shot!  I’m told that my back “is beautiful,”  “is ripped,” and  “looks great,” but I haven’t really checked it out.

My results are from eating clean (90% of the time) and consistently working out.  My big cheat… 337!!   According to medical studies, red wine contains resveratrol, which may be good for the heart— in moderation of course.  Okay- this isn’t a wine ad, so I’m done.   But really, if you enjoy a good “Cab,”  I suggest you give it a taste.

Anyway, I need to hurry along in this post.  Tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m., I’m working on this lovely back of mine.  Ahh yes, it’s only going to get better.  I’m excited!

Real quick!  Today was my first time taking the 5:30 p.m. class.  Well!  I looked around and I was the only female in the box.  Did I miss the memo?  LOL!

Working out with the fellas is highly motivating for me and it doesn’t matter if I’m running, shooting hoops or anything else.   I’m a subtle competitor who is joyful when I beat a guy at anything!  Sprinting it out across the finish line at the end of a 10-mile run in front of some guy who can’t catch me is an incredible high!  LOL!    Seriously though, guys you are encouraging!

I have to get some rest for tomorrow’s work out.

Sweet Dreams!


Thursday’s WOD

SWOD:

6 minute EMOM 3 rep strict pull ups w/weight (Max Effort)

WOD:

7 rounds of:

OTM 1- row 100m + 8 SDLHP (55/35)

OTM 2- 1 rope climb (sub 6 chin ups) + 8 T2B or 16 K2C

OTM 3- 6 Burpee Sandbags  + 2 sled push

Buy out:

3 rounds

30 Sec AMRAP V-ups +30 sec AMRAP supermans

Missing Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday’s WOD was disappointing.   Well, that’s really an understatement.  To be honest, I was pissed!

Pissed because I’m feeling the struggle and tug of war of desperately wanting to make it to CrossFit and making sure that when my son looks over to the sideline at football practice, that I’m sitting there encouraging him.  Next week will be different so I look forward to that.

On the bright side, I took a spin class on Monday (the first in nearly a year).   It tore me up and I enjoyed every minute of it!  The instructor, Judy, a fellow CrossFitter, from LivingWell CrossFit led a high intense and challenging class.  I may not have lifted weights or boxed jumped, but I work and I worked hard.

Now for today’s workout.  I arrived at the box early.  I sat in my car and watched this video.  The same video that I posted earlier today.   The video gave me just enough fire to walk in the door with a little sass and confidence that I would kick it out.

While fatigued and laying on the black top in the parking lot kissing a sandbag, I reminded myself of the message,  “Choose to be blind and do whatever it takes to see.”   The images of the athletes’ determination, drive and commitment, moved me to complete the WOD.

As I was saying my good byes and walking out the door, a classmate questioned, “You’re not staying for the rest of the workout?”  LOL!   Apparently, I didn’t see the Buy out at the end of the work out.    I laughed aloud, got my butt down on the floor and finished the workout.

I look forward to tomorrow’s workout.

Sweet dreams!


Friday’s Flow

Warm Up:     Coaches Choice

Mobility:       8 Min

WOD: TRIO

– 500M Row
– 40 Air Squats
-30 Sit Ups
-20 Push-ups
-10 Pull-ups

500 Meters didn’t seem like much.  Ha! Ha! I was very wrong!  Only after the first round, my legs felt like rubber bands.  As I moved on to the air squats my thighs were on fire! I reminded myself that the burn nets results– I listened to the music, found my rhythm and kept getting them in.

I forgot to record my time on my cell phone, but if I remember correctly, I completed the WOD in 13:36.  This was my best today, but I would like to try this WOD again on a different day–preferably in the morning. I’m certain I can do better.

Overall this was a good ending to a long work week. Next week I’ll return to CrossFit, but look forward to running this weekend.

Sweet dreams!


Living Through The Disappointment

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All credits for this cool image go to Read, Love, and Learn! Thank you!

Ugh!!! Disappointed is an understatement! I missed CrossFit today. Long story short… team pictures and football practice for my son.

I read this quote on Pinterest and literally laughed out loud. Why? It says to “do something” about the disappointment and I did.

I’m sipping on a glass of 337 and relishing in three tiny cubes of Panama Organic Extra Dark Chocolate!   As my dad would say, “Salute!!”

Sweet dreams!

Oh wait!   Real quick… For the women who have not tried CrossFit, check out this cool video!  If I can do CF at 48, so can you!!!

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My daughter took this picture last summer (August 2012). I was about one month into CrossFit. A combination of eating well and consistent CF, nets amazing results. Footnote… When I’m not doing CF, I’m running on average 7-10 miles 4-5 days a week.


Do What You Fear!

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Now that I have returned to work, many of my blog posts begin on the football field sidelines.

I am sitting on the sidelines at my son’s football practice.  At 6:15 p.m., the current temp is 82 degrees.  I can still feel the sun on my back, but there’s a nice breeze. My tank is dry.  Unlike this afternoon…  After a brisk walk on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, I returned to the jury room with horizontal water stains lining the front and back of my tank top.

I am trying to constructively work through frustration this afternoon.   Jury Duty caused me to miss CrossFit today.  Once I realized I was going to miss the class, I hurried to Sports Authority to buy a new pair of Asics Gel Nimbus.   I really need a new pair.

My running sneaks were worn down more than I realized. The hint? An aching hip. After closely examining them, I realized they are badly worn on the outer heals of both sneaks. Running in worn sneakers is the worst thing you can do, at least if you’re over 40.

I found my sneaks, but they didn’t have my size. I was disappointed.  However, a friendly sales clerk saved me a few dollars and ordered them online for me.   I pray they are delivered to my home by Saturday morning.  I desperately NEED a long run.

Last Saturday, with two beautiful women supporting me, I conquered the bridge!!!!  And you know what? I stressed for nothing!!

The night before my walk, I tossed and turned a bit before falling to sleep. The morning before the walk, my nerves ran me to the bathroom several times.  I probably lost a pound or two before walking. LOL!

My fears were counterproductive.  In my mind, I knew that my fear of heights would paralyze me.  I was confident that my fear would overwhelm my spirit and possess me to grip the railings while sobbing all the way across the bridge.  I even thought I might even end up crawling to the other side.

Well…

I was incredibly wrong about crossing the OC bridge.  No crying.  No gripping the rails.  No heart palpitations.  Nothing whatsoever!!

My walk across the bridge was peaceful, pleasant, and breathtaking!  I am sorry that I haven’t walk the bridge sooner.  It was built with pedestrians in mind.

The bridge’s walkway is wide enough for at least four people to hold hands and stroll across.  At 8:00 a.m., the bridge had a steady flow of friendly walkers, runners, and bicyclist.

After the first quarter mile, I was relaxed and began to really enjoy the morning sun, the calm bay, and the great conversation.  I began to appreciate the beauty and the blessing of being on the bridge.

A visitor’s center and fishing pier is located half-way across the bridge. This is also where the urge to RUN set in.  I was dumbfounded that I was afraid of this beautiful and serene like place.

The state estimates that “during peak season, over 40,000 cars pass through each day,”  but somehow the sound of the roaring engines, and perhaps the elevation of the bridge faded deeply into the background.

I am grateful to my friends Nicole and Tara for making Saturday happen.  We walked across and back; five (5) miles total!  Thank you!!

I will be running this bridge in the very near future.

Do what you fear and fear disappears.

David Joseph Schwartz

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This picture was taken as we approached the bridge. Yes, I was still nervous!

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This picture was taken about a quarter-mile into our walk. This is not the highest point of the bridge.

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I was encouraged by my friend Nicole to take this picture as proof that I crossed the bridge. LOL!