Since I've started this whole "fitness lifestyle" I have encountered more conflict and ridicule than I've ever faced in my life. I have lost friends, been talked about horribly behind my back, and had my physique - fat to skinny fat to muscular - scrutinized and mocked to a point where I've questioned human kindness in general. It's so difficult to try to better oneself. Sadly, I've learned the hard way, most people are much kinder and friendlier when they can sense that you're unhappy with yourself and/or feel like a failure. When I began losing weight, I simply started with a few cut backs (no soda and less sugar intake) and walking several times a week. At that point, no one even recognized what I was doing nor did they care...even for the sake of mockery. Then when my consistency and success became noticeable, people would come to me curious as to what I was doing...not always supporting my methods. After plateauing with my self-taught cardio, I started going to an actual gym and little by little I began classes and making my way into the weight room, adding in some dumbbell and machine work. Bored with that, uncertain of effectiveness, and knowing that in order to grow I needed to learn more and lift heavier weights, I partnered up with a fellow gym-goer and hired a trainer. (FYI: there's nothing worse than hiring a trainer that has no regard to your goals and only cares about filling training slots.) Three partners (continued motivation is rarity or maybe my desires were overwhelming) and 30ish sessions later, I had made some progress but was no where near where I wanted to be. Coincidently, about the same time, a sweet lady in town asked me if I was interested in teaching morning HIIT/tabata classes at a local dance studio. I was ecstatic not only to do it, but that someone recognized my hard work and believed that I actually had the potential to do it. This is when my name was ran through the ringer. Rumors from the gym I'd worked hard at for nine months ranged from I was an inadequate and incapable, I was trying to take their business (an entire gym...wish I had that clout. Haha.), to I'd had butt implants. [HUGE eye roll, but I tease it must have been a four for one special cause all three of my kids got a booty, too.] Anyway, I moved on to teaching classes and trying crossfit...where I started drastically slimming up. All was great (except I hated how my joints hurt), but I wanted muscle and to look like I was a hardcore "powerbuilder". Continuing to teach classes and crossfit, I joined another gym in town and started "real lifting". This is where my heart and passion was/is. After about nine months of more self-taught, researched lifting, I took on my first client. I guess the classroom teacher in me was excited to take on more "students" because what I thought was weight room love was then amplified by my desire to train others. This put me on the path of longing for even more betterment. As a trainer who was unhappy with a past trainer and gym situation, I wanted to make sure that I was constantly learning and inspiring as well as reaching personal goals, so I hired the best of the best, Gina Davis with GForceTraining, who will continue to train me during my paralleled powerlifting and bodybuilding ambitions.
On the plus side, the last year, although not without obstacles - being non-rewed from a gym, shoulder surgery, and other health issues for starters - I have experienced so much and met so many great people that the path I've taken on this journey - good and bad - has been 100% worth it. I have gained the BEST clients. I have the only all-female powerlifting team - Iron Maidens - in Oklahoma and one of just a few in the nation. My wilks score is ranked second in Oklahoma. Between USPA and SPF I hold 22 state and 14 national records. My desired body composition is closer and closer everyday. My youngest daughter is now powerlifting and already setting state records, and my husband has joined us in the weight room. My oldest daughter will be joining us after basketball season. I will be adding several more ladies to my team this year as well as starting a female youth program who I'll eventually have competing with my team. I've been approached and been through two rounds of interviews for a reality television show for "fit families". I'm aspiring to be a sponsored athlete on the Invictus Powerlifting team.
BUT...the greatest part of every aspect of this journey has been that I have been able to inspire and help other women, straighten their crowns, and assure them of their endless worth and abilities. Just so much positive has come from powerlifting. God is recognizing my hard work and rewarding me with great things.