"So, how did you get into this industry anyway?"
That's the question I get asked on a daily basis. Sometimes more than once a day! The truth is, there were several reasons why I got into this industry and how I'm still learning the ropes. It's not something that I just woke up to one morning and said to myself, yeah I'm going to start going to the gym now. As much as many of us would like to think and believe that it was that simple, it's really not!
Growing up, I was always active. The scronny little girl in class that sure didn't play any sports, but I danced from the time I was 4 years old, and retired when I was 21. I did everything from ballet, jazz, hip-hop, musical theatre, tap, and highland, but what consumed my dance career was Irish dancing. I still remember watching Riverdance over and over again as a little girl, pretending like I knew how the dances went. It was then that my parents decided it would be a good time to get me involved in Irish dancing, and from there I was addicted.
I danced competitively in Irish for many years, and even had the opportunity to make it to the North American Nationals stage twice; once in Nashville, TN and again in Chicago, IL., and I knew when I walked off the stage in Chicago, that it was the last time I was going to compete. It wasn't that I was giving up on dance, I knew that I didn't want to push it out of my life completely either. I just couldn't stand to put my body through the pain it encountered my last competition. I knew I had to retire.
The year following that, I experienced everything from an eating disorder to gaining weight to the point that I didn't feel like myself anymore. I knew I had to do something about it. My boyfriend at the time was heavily involved in football, he was this big muscular guy that spent countless hours in the gym. I didn't really understand why he liked it so much, until he got me to go with him one day. I never left.
A few months after pretending like I knew what I was doing, I got myself a personal trainer. Angelique has been my absolute fairy godmother when it comes to my fitness journey. She has literally taught me everything I know up to this point about lifting, competing, and self worth. She has watched me go through more than I'm sure that she had ever imagined, and I have every bit of me to thank her for it. So when I approached her telling her that I wanted to compete in a fitness competition, she got me to where I need to be to step on stage for the first time, and again the second time. I will never see anyone else for my personal training needs.
There is a huge difference between competing in a healthy way, and in an unhealthy way. Being a bikini competitor is not what consumes my every day life, and although it may for some people, I would much rather focus on what my goals are through health and wellness. Don't get me wrong, I love competing. I love picking a date and setting a goal for myself, but there needs to be a balance between that and your own sanity, and if there's anything I have learned from competing, it's that your sanity tends to lack towards the end of the road. I'm talking really, really not all there.
Now that I have had the opportunity to compete at the provincial level, I know that in this next year I will be working towards bringing the best, healthiest, and balanced package with me for the next time that I step on stage. I've been so fortunate to have had the support from my family and friends throughout my entire life to get me to this point, and grateful that I have them for the future as well! This is a lifestyle by choice, and I am choosing to live it happy and healthy.
Providing you with the knowledge that I encounter on a daily basis through my fitness lifestyle.