…it comes from an indomitable will. – Ghandi
Lots to update, lots to share, and frankly, it’s 7:45am and I’m on my 2nd cup of coffee, so I’m ready to write.
We came, we saw, we conquered…in our own little way. Carlos and I ended up both placing third in our respective categories for the Times Best of Acadiana, which is pretty damn good if you ask me. Nobody at work cared, but I guess if you’re not first, you’re last. Despite that, it was still a personal victory in my book. The whole experience was very humbling and eye-opening; it’s made me want to be a better bartender, a better person, and kinder to everyone despite the gratuity they leave (but still…I got bills, y’all!). And going from a few paintings every couple of months to 3-6 a week is a vast improvement for Carlos. I’m so proud of the effort he put into this whole project, and the response from people has been overwhelming. As far as the art thing goes, we’ve got some big things in the works. I’ve even picked up a paint brush to help out and we’ve got a little show coming up in August. Not only was I impressed by (and extremely grateful for) the outpouring of support from people, but I was surprised by the support we received in our personal life. So many people have been encouraging of our relationship, and that is something that is very hard to come by in today’s society.
So there’s that. #PowerCouple
Then there’s the whole training aspect of my life. I’m 6 weeks sober, 6 weeks hungry, 6 weeks tired and 6 weeks in/6 weeks out! Now the response to my physical changes has also been overwhelming. I think the greatest compliment I’ve received however, came from an old high school buddy who took it upon himself to send me a little message explaining how much more confident I seem to be. After two bouts of ED therapy, body image is a touchy subject. I’ve had my fair share of up’s and down’s and I’m finally comfortable and proud of the work I put in. I didn’t starve myself to look this way. Which brings me to another point:
I got a new coach! I’m so happy to be working with someone reputable and local. My diet has dramatically improved and the calories have actually increased at this point. I’ve got some direction, some support and someone to be accountable to. So I’m eating more, I’m moving more, and…drumroll…the words “cheat” and “meal” have been mentioned! Crossing my fingers for a cheeseburger this Sunday (saving the pizza for my post-competition date)! I’m excited to be a part of a team, a group of like-minded individuals, and people to uplift my healthy choices and lifestyle.
After a brief period of emotional instability, I felt like I just really needed to change my focus. I went home for a few days, I cleared my head, I had some long talks with my dad and I came to several conclusions. Everything I’ve ever truly wanted in life has been difficult. I decided early in college that I wanted to be a runner like my dad, but born with “wonky” knees, flat feet and scoliosis, I wasn’t the most graceful on the track. With some time, persistence, new orthotics, and patience…I’ve successfully run several races in the New Orleans area. When I wanted to get into the #1 nursing school in the state of Louisiana, I had to jump through 1,000 hoops to transfer credits, fax forms, drive from New Orleans to Lafayette and back twice in one day to make deadlines, etc; but I did it. When my heart decided I should move to Lafayette and every aspect of that fell through, I was still able to rise above. I landed an amazing job, worked my ass off to afford my own house, paid for my own schooling, and picked up the pieces of my shattered life by myself. Now I am in the best shape of my life, I’m happier than I can ever remember being, and I feel like I’m only on the up. I’m strong, but not because I’m in the gym 6 days a week, but because of my indomitable will.
When my training plan fell through earlier this year I was devastated. But now here I am, never having given up, and the support I’ve received from this is also overwhelming. I thought I was alone, I though I had nobody in the fitness community, but after a few handshakes and e-mails, I’ve got all the help I could need…and some.
I’m blessed, but a lot of these blessings came from my own persistence. Los called 2013 the year of the redhead, because it brought us together. He’s named 2014 the year of progress, and the progress we’ve made individually and together has been unimaginable.
On the topic of progress, I’ll leave you with a pre-humpday update. Since I’m working with a new team and a new plan, I’ve decided to nix the Red Stick August 2nd so I can fully dedicate my energy to prep for the last show of the season. The picture on the left is an embarrassing example of posing, but that’s what I was working with at the moment. So I’ve been killing glutes and hamstrings in an attempt for growth — My waist has come in significantly, my legs are leaning out and that booty is perking up. 6 weeks to go – and I’m definitely anxious to see where Team Driven takes me in that short amount of time.
All in all, no matter where you are in life, no matter what your goals are, no matter how alone you feel — it’s all a matter of perspective. The harder you work, the more rewards you will reap, but you have to open yourself to those rewards and allow them into your life. If you sit around sulking over the things you’ve lost or couldn’t have then you’ll never get anywhere; go out and make it happen. People are going to clown you, people are going to hate, but recenter your focus; it’s your life and your happiness, they’re just bystanders.