Wow! What a weekend! After months of preparation, Universe Weekend has come and gone. For the first time, I placed in the top 10 at an international show and I am pumped! A competitor’s primary goal is always to win, but I am more than satisfied and incredibly happy with my 8th place finish at the 2013 Fitness Universe competition. I am especially pleased since I watched a video of my performance on Saturday and it was not up to par. My energy was low, I wasn’t fully warmed up, and I just know I can perform better. All things considered, 8th place, with a tie for 2nd place in the bikini round, is more than fine with me. (On a related note, congrats to the first ever Ms. Fitness Universe Pro Division winner Anca Bucur and to the winner of the Fitness Universe Open Division Kristy Lee Wilson! Both of these women are power houses! Incredibly talented, beautiful, and super nice!)
It took an enormous amount of preparation and training to get ready for this show and there is no way on Earth I could have done it without the help of my incredible sponsors, Sean and Nancy Keenan of Enjoy Life Concepts. Their sponsorship took an incredible amount of stress out of this process. The financial burden of competing is huge, ask any competitor, so not having that weight on my shoulders (pun intended) left me with more energy to train harder. On days when I didn’t want to workout or practice my routine or go to yoga, I thought of them and that kicked my butt into high gear. I cannot thank Sean and Nancy enough so I hope that you will support them by frequenting their awesome establishments, both located in Decatur, Napoleon’s Bar and Grill and Harbor Bar and Fish House. Both restaurants have an incredible selection of delicious, healthy choices, and some more indulgent dishes if you’re feeling frisky! Check both of them out on Facebook!
I would also like to thank my support system. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many supportive people, my family, my friends, my clients, my Dance 101 students, my Dance 101 coworkers, and so many others who are always there to give me words of encouragement and inspiration. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, by text, by phone, or in person, your positive and kind words fuel me and keep me working hard every day.
Now that this competition is over, it is reflection time. This past weekend was incredibly inspiring for me, not only because I was surrounded by so many women and men who worked their butts off (or worked their butts on, I should say) to prepare for this show, but because I was able to spend time with two incredible women who happen to be both friends and students of mine. They travelled to Miami to cheer me on at 9am on a Saturday. Following the show, I was able to spend part of the weekend with them and listen to stories about their lives. Learning more about their backgrounds and watching them work even as we enjoyed a meal or walked down Lincoln Road inspired me to push myself harder and keep working to achieve my goals. We all need inspiration and this past weekend, they were my inspiration. I am excited to push forward and see what I can achieve in this coming year. Thank you, Nancy and Kathy, you are wonderful role models and friends and I am honored to have you both in my life.
I used my travel time in the car today to reflect on their stories and my own experiences of this past weekend, and as I drove through Alligator Alley, I came to the decision that I will be competing again in November in Las Vegas! It’s only appropriate, I am a Gator, I was in Alligator Alley, and Gators win, it’s what we do. So, I have to keep trying until I do! Get ready Fitness America, I’m coming for you!