Today marks the first day in 3 weeks that I have been able to work out my legs!  Three weeks ago I sprained my knee while lead rockclimbing outdoors.  The worst part about this was that it was for a photo shoot with the very talented outdoor adventure photographer Lane Peters who had climbed himself up a cliff and was anchored halfway down next to the route I was to climb.  I started my ascent and just above the first clip I came to a rather difficult overhang.  I literally had no warning whatsoever before I was hanging upside down with searing pain in my knee.  My feet had somehow slipped from underneath me while I was reaching for the second clip and I fell pushing my leg out horizontally.  This mind you was on the first route, just after the first clip, and there was Lane hanging on the side of the cliff ready to get a good shot.  I had to push myself past the pain though at the time I felt like vomiting and get back up that wall to give him at least one good shot.  I got back on the rock and gave it what I had left to the point that my leg couldn’t hold me anymore without shaking like a washing machine! The funny thing is this was only one week after my IFBB Pro Fitness Competition and it was a bit disheartening knowing that I had to nurse this knee back to health and everything had somehow lined me up to stop moving so fast.  It is still in the process of healing and we will see what it looks like when my next competition rolls around in October.

This moves me back to my last competition 4 weeks ago where I ended up placing 8th overall.  In order to prepare for this competition I was doing 3.5 hours of training a day not including routine practice for the fitness portion.  I was lifting as hard as I could and running my cardio both morning, afternoon, and night.  I had given my all to bring my best package to the stage.  There are two rounds in the fitness division, the first is the physique round where they judge you based on muscle size,conditioning, and proportion.  Think of this round like a beauty pageant with muscles.  The second round is the actual routine where you showcase your strength and flexibility to music for up to two minutes. After all the work I had put in when the physique round came along I was hopeful I would at least place in the middle of the line up because I already knew I couldn’t compete against some of the other physiques being that I am a natural competitor.  The moment of truth came and I got second call outs and was slowly moved to the outside of the line-up.  My heart sank as I realized I was not going to get the placing I wanted for the physique round.  I ended up placing second to last and I came off the stage with tears in my eyes.  I knew I still had the routine round ahead of me and could pull myself up from there but with all the effort I put into bringing my best physique to date and be placed that low I thought my heart would explode.  It was not until the evening that we had our routines and then another very unexpected thing happened.  You see my strongest part in the fitness division is my routine.  I hit the stage ready to go.  The Song I had chosen for this routine was “I Lived” by One Republic.  In the very beginning of the song it says, “I hope you take that jump but don’t feel the fall.”  This was where I moved into my first pose to showcase my strength, flexibility, and balance but as soon as my hands hit the ground I knew I had nothing more to give.  It was at that moment my mind went blank and all those times I had practiced and nailed my routine went out the door.  I physically could not hold the pose I was planning.  Luckily one of my gifts is grace in movement so I can make any movement look like it is suppose to look like that.  Nobody even knew I had not hit my planned difficult moves except for my husband Mike who had seen my routine.  The entire routine was like that and I walked off the stage even more disappointed than before because I knew I could do better!  I have looked back on that experience a lot and I have come to the realization that at that moment in time that was the best I could do.  I could continue to beat myself up about it or I could learn from it.  It brings me back to that first sentence of the song, I took the jump and pushed myself into a routine that I knew would be top 5 worthy but I just couldn’t make it work at that moment of time.  It was a rough couple of weeks for me mentally.  I questioned my own abilities and capacities then in the middle of the night the last part of the first line of the song again popped into my mind, “don’t feel the fall.”  I realized at that moment that I had felt the fall, I felt crushed, and I discounted what I knew I could do.  I have now realize it was not a failure  because it was the best I could do at that moment and the only reason I am feeling the failure is because I chose to feel the fall rather than take the lessons learned and build upon them.

So here is to everyone who has fallen and has chosen to get back up again because if we never fail how can we learn?  This moment creates a turning point for our mind, first we can choose to quit because we do not believe we are good enough and have already accepted failure as the permanent outcome or we can choose to get back up again and see the fall as a building block to bring us closer to where we want to be.  If you think about it the reason we fall or fail in the first place is because we are missing something that would help us to attain what we desire.  It is in that so called failure that we can find the steps we are missing and if we can find them we will then have the opportunity to implement them.  If we are then able to implement them we are that much closer to reaching our desired goal.  For me personally if something doesn’t turn out how I would like I always ask myself what is the lesson I need to learn.  This goes for any situations in life.  If you are not pleased with the results you can quit or you can look back on it and figure out what you need to change in order to get the outcome you desire.  I have deduced for myself what I need to change going into this next competition and now it will take action on my part to implement it but the whole reason for telling this story is to inspire others to not be let down by a perceived failure. The fact that you are still alive and breathing is reason enough to either re-evaluate your desired goals or implement the lessons learned so that you can keep chasing your dream, whatever that may be.  Realize I said re-evaluate for a reason because sometimes the lesson in the fall is not how to accomplish the goal you set out for but to realize that that goal no longer serves a purpose towards creating a life you desire and love.  You win when you don’t allow the failure to cripple you and you see it as a gift to learn and grow with, even if the goal changes you still win because you did not choose to become crippled by the fear of the failure you chose to become empowered by the power of choice.  This really brings home one of my favorite quotes of all time, “A man who fears is already suffering from what he fears.”

So here is to everyone living their life, chasing their dream, taking a jump, and not feeling the fall!