Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Once Upon a Time....

Where it all began....2 short years ago....

Holy Smokes!!! Just 10 days out from the 2012 Fox Cities Showdown! I cannot believe where the time has gone. I am so incredibly proud of myself, and the work I have done. I have never put so much heart, passion, and drive into something before. This semester has been incredible through my journey student teaching in second grade AND prepping for my fourth NPC show, competing in the Bikini B class. I have had several obstacles with my body and not having a home at school for a while...but I blasted through those with a positive attitude believing that I will make it- no matter what.

This NPC show, it is more than the greatest show put on in the world :) It is where my journey began just two short years ago when my younger brother, Joshua was training for his first body building show where he would compete in the teen class. Looking back at those 12 weeks...I remember how crabby he was (haha sorry bro you were a BEAR to say the least...but you know I love ya) but more than that how much he sacrificed. I didn't understand the sport at that time but I remember eating meals at holidays like Easter, and Josh would be looking down at his chicken and eating quietly as we ate whatever my mom made. I remember him leaving and spending three hours at the gym and I just thought he was a nut for doing this.  When it came time for the 2010 Fox Cities Showdown, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew I was definitely going to support my brother. I remember looking around and seeing people eating chicken and yams everywhere. I was thinking...hey that's what Josh does! I wonder if everyone does this? haha

2010 Fox Cities Showdown...Josh took first in the teen class. My life was forever changed <3

I went to pre judging and I sat in the front row. My jaw was on the floor all morning. I watched in awe as each athlete was on the stage, showing off their hard work. By the time Josh got on stage, my heart sank and tears filled my eyes. I was so proud of him. I thought to this is why he made all the sacrifices...this is what the dedication and passion came from. When I saw the different categories of women on stage...bikini, figure, and then body building I was determined. I saw what they were doing and how strong and beautiful they looked, and I thought...could I EVER possibly do something like that?

Literally that Monday, I started researching. I looked into diets, and training. I gave away all of my food to my friends, and started a clean slate. I headed to the grocery store and I was determined to make this work. My brother literally spent 3 days with me in the gym and was like, "Ok sis....back/bi, chest/tri, legs/shoulders....Here is what you do...Ok good luck" haha And that was that. Then he went back to GB for the summer and I was on my own. I was determined that I was going to compete at the 2011 Fox Cities Showdown, and make my brother proud for following in his footsteps.

I spent that summer working my ass off, waking up at 3:45 in the morning and going to the YMCA before I would work at my nanny job 10+ hours a day. I prepped, measured all of my meals at the start of each week. I took advice from other lifters and used that to make my training more successful. I remember going to bed at night, and even if it was 11pm, I couldn't wait to get up in morning at the ass crack of dawn just so I could go into ::beastmode:: in the gym.

Progress after first summer of training: End of May, Mid June, and July (L-R)

I left for school that fall with making some amazing changes over the summer. I knew I wasn't going to be working out at the YMCA anymore....nope...I was going to be working out at the UWSP Strength Center with all of the (at the time I viewed them differently) big, scary athletes. I remember each day I would be dressed and ready to go to the gym, and I would get there and peek my head inside and it would be over crowded with purple and gold with the sounds of grunting and iron smashing on the floor. I was the little fish in the big pond, and I was scared. I was surrounded by average joes and older people like I was at the I was surrounded by college athletes. I called my brother and he told me, "Sara, you are the strongest girl I know. Heck your stronger than guys in my gym! Go in there, and show those stupid meatheads what a beast you are!!!" So I first it was scary. I didn't want to get in anyones way, and some of the equipment varied from what I was use to so I had to switch up some of my training.

As the school year progressed, I continue my strict training and diet regime and knew that my time would come in April. The campus gym wasn't scary anymore, it was like a second home for me and a lot of the athletes I was once intimidated by were now my friends. I made a lot of sacrifices and spent all of my free time outside of being a full time college student and working two part time jobs in the gym. I did my first contest prep: diet, training, posing, etc all on my own. I told myself I WAS going to make my brother proud and reach my goal to train and compete in the 2011 Fox Cities Showdown.....

{And that is EXACTLY what I did}

My brother, Josh and I at 2011 Fox Cites Showdown...less than one year before I decided to change my life.

Josh and I were featured in INSIDE WISCONSIN SPORTS magazine
 Looking back at all of life was forever changed thanks to the Fox Cities Showdown. This event is more than a competition to me, it is where I made the decision to follow a new path in my journey and inspire others through my success, obstacles, and passion. I made this lifestyle change, and I will continue to do it for the rest of my life. I live, breathe, and dream body building. I could not get through the day without the gym. I have only began the process, and I cannot wait to see where I am next five ten years...and so on. 

This sport has not only given me something to work for every single day, but it has given me confidence. It has given me life-long friendships. It has given me the ability to work towards something I want more than anything. It has given me the opportunity to inspire others and change their lives, just like my brother, Joshua did for me.

Thank you to everyone who believes in me. Your support means the world, and I could not do it with each one of of you. I appreciate those who are understanding and know that each day is spend giving 125% effort to my goals and dreams. It means a lot to me. I hope to see you this year at the 2012 Fox Cities Showdown!!!

::Come to the show....let it CHANGE {YOUR} LIFE forever::

Have a beautiful day. Make every second count-
<3 SJ XO

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