A brief background: The Arnold Sports Festival is held every year in Columbus, Ohio. It is an incredible event with competitors of most sports foreign and domestic. It began in 1989 and is named after Arnold Schwarzenegger (Pumping Iron is one of my favorite movies that still excites me every time I watch it :) ) It's also a major competition for the world's best professional bodybuilders. I was honored to compete in figure this year last February. It was an amazing experience that I will cherish in my heart forever. I never would have imagined that I would compete at the Arnold. So many of my favorite professional bodybuilders have competed there. It was truly a blessing.
After Nationals last November, I was feeling a little discouraged and really didn't plan on competing for a while. One thing was certain, I love the sport of bodybuilding. Especially the figure category. There is no doubt that my heart is totally in it. It was more of the fact that I worked so hard (as most competitors do) and I wasn't "rewarded" for my efforts. I now know that not winning was not failure but a beautiful lesson in disguise. Often God doesn't give us what we feel like we want because He has something better for us. If I would have earned my Pro card last November, I would have missed this amazing experience. Dreams have no expiration date. I know that if I continue to put in the work and not give up that I will get there. I arrived on February 26, 2014. Mind you, I need my head checked for competing in the winter :) It was pretty cold when I left Little Rock (at least I thought that it was cold). When I stepped off the plane in Ohio I felt like I was in the North Pole! After checking in, I went back to my hotel room and meditated as I usually do before my show. I also journal, pray and try to keep my mind clear of anything that will disrupt my inner peace. The next day was all of the feminine necessities that I look forward to: Spray Tanning, confirming my makeup artist appointment and my final practice posing session. The day of my show, the 28th was a world wind. There were so many competitors from all over the world. Many of which spoke little English. It was beautiful to see so many people who all loved bodybuilding and worked hard to get there. Even with the language barriers we all had the same common thread. We all shared the same love and respect for the sport. That commonality is what united us and made me feel comfortable. I placed 2nd place in my division. I was surprised but mostly relieved that I placed higher than my last show in Ft Lauderdale. People in this sport often say that you're only as good as your last show. If that is true, it certainly restored my hope and made me feel a whole lot better than before. I'm closer to reaching my goal than I was before competing in the Arnold Sports Festival this year. Remember to always chase your dreams. If God places something in your heart to pursue, go for it. Never give up. Work hard and stay humble.