Oh yes I did. Neighborhood market, bikini, stilettos.
This photo was taken in October 2014 when I challenged myself to spend a few hours going about my daily business in Los Angeles dressed in what I’d be wearing on stage in Miami the following month. It would be my first fitness competition, and I thought I might need to test my confidence with exposure and “judgment”.
The decision to compete took quite a significant amount of thought-integrating, internal demon-fighting and self-image shifting. I knew the most difficult work for me would not be within the walls of a gym, but within the confines of my head. I had committed to competing, and I decided to do whatever it would take to bring my best to the stage. To do this, I had to expose and clean up 40 layering years of self-image vandalism.
In the months leading up to the event, I took a Neuro-linguistic Programming practitioner course with Dr. Matt James, listened to Psycho-cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz on audiobook, attended a 4-Day High Performance Academy conference by Brendon Burchard, and forgave the negative influencers on my life through learning the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono.
I also meditated. A lot.
All of these things, together with the unwavering love and support of my best friend – my boyfriend and trainer/nutritionist Ben Patwa – made me immensely stronger in mind, body and spirit.
As a result, the 3-hour bikini romp was in a word, easy. I dropped into a coffee shop, grocery-shopped, grabbed some accessories for my camera and ate lunch at the bar of a favorite restaurant. The reception I got was overwhelmingly positive, and I was cognizant of the world as it reflected back to me through my own happiness and positivity. If there were snickers and sneers, I surely didn’t notice!
The work I put in paid off. While I felt my most notable accomplishment was actually stepping foot on stage – an act I had found terrifying to merely think about just months before – I walked away from the competition with two medals and two trophies, placing in each category that I’d competed! This has afforded me the opportunity to use the platform of fitness model and competitor to reach and inspire even more women to strive for greatness, which is my overarching aim.
This year, this week, this day…what are you willing to do to prepare yourself for a coveted goal, and the life of your dreams?
Are you willing to be uncomfortable, and do what it takes to get there?