Wednesday, October 29, 2014

D.N.F. - Redefined

Did Not Finish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In racing Did Not Finish (DNF) denotes a participant who does not finish a given race, either because of a mechanical failure, injury, or involvement in an accident. The term is used in all forms of racing, including automotive racinghorse racingcycling, and track and distance running, among other types of racing. Athletes try very hard to avoid receiving a DNF, and many associate it with a negative stigma.


Did Not Fail

I will not be competing in the November show. Yes. I've reached the end of this journey. In reality, looking back, I never should have begun this second leg of show prep. My body didn't have adequate recovery time, my immune system was compromised, and my heart was broken. Still, I pushed on. And the more I pushed, the more I broke. You've all watched as I've struggled with this second prep, my ups and downs. I finally got my head on straight a couple weeks ago, but my body just wasn't cooperating... and that renewed clarity finally revealed a few things to me, the most important of which was that this journey was done. Unplug the machines. Call it. Put a tag on the toe. It's over. 

And I am so relieved.

Whatever I told myself, the truth was that I took this second journey to prove to the judges that I AM good enough. And the truth of that is that it couldn't matter less. I achieved what I set out to accomplish in that first journey. With Kayla as my guide, I made the trip to the stage in great health, strong, and in a good mental place. It was the right way. My nutrition was amazing, my training was incredible. I was ready. In fact, I was ready several weeks ahead of schedule. My posing was tight and top notch - natural, graceful, strong. (Eventually, I'll get my act together and share my practice posing videos).  As I went through prejudging, the jostling event aside, I felt so good! I felt like I had this! Top 3 without a doubt. Of course, I didn't realize my posing had slipped several levels, but still - my conditioning was arguably the best up there (with the exception of the gal who took first, then overall - she KILLED it!), and my body was where it was supposed to be. When it came time for the placing and awards, I was stunned to be ranked last. We all were. Kayla was furious! We earned better than that, and honestly, I got shafted, lol. But the greater tragedy was where I allowed it to take me. 

I let my bruised pride and broken heart deafen me to what my body was trying to say - time to rest.  I fought and struggled and crawled through this second leg of prep, much of the time hating it. Hating a process that I truly enjoy. Hating the food, the work, the time required to reveal the physique I love so much. I hated my beloved sport. After battling that down, I finally and deliberately turned back to the joy of the journey... And then I got sick. And stayed sick. My poor abused body finally had my attention, and this time I listened. 

I spent hours searching my heart, to make the right decision for the right reasons. And I'm at peace. Monday I talked with Kayla and told her my decision. She fully supports my choice. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. And when I came home and told Bill, the absolute and utter relief on his face confirmed my decision.  I've spent the last several days doing nothing but recovering, and though I'm still sick, my mind is free. 

So... I did not finish. But, I did not fail. I do not walk away a loser. I won. I took this broken body to places it shouldn't be able to go. I stood tall and proud of what I'd done. I gained more poise, grace, and courage. I became stronger. I became more flexible. I built a better body. And most importantly - I became more of who I am. The journey was a success. 

My competition stuff all packed up.
Will I open this box up again in the future? We'll see!
Will I compete again? With all my physical issues, training for a show has to be 100% healthy - solid nutrition, thoughtful and deliberate training, and joyful. Should I decide to compete again, I will return to that, to what Kayla and I did the first time around. And... it'll be one-off. One show a year, carefully scheduled so that my family is not "punished" by my training schedule and dietary limitations (which probably means spring - and then, hey, I'm all ready for bikini season, lol). 

My focus now is on my family, on being present in each and every moment. I'll continue to train and eat clean because that is my lifestyle. But I don't "have" to spend so many hours each and every day in the gym, or doing show-prep related tasks... now I can be a fully functioning member of my own family. Ha! And I can focus again on my business - on, this blog, the forum... I can be present again there, too. It's time to rediscover my own balance.

I truly cannot regret the journey(s). I've learned more about myself - and what's important to me, than ever before. I've reached new heights, survived new lows, I've experienced and grown. Nothing is wasted. And again, though I did not finish...


Thank you for being here with me, each step. Your encouragement and support are so precious to me, and I deeply appreciate you all. I hope you'll stay with me as I step up to the present, and look to the future. I've got a lot in store for you, and I think you'll really like it :-) 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Birthday Bashes Galore...

Thank you everyone for all the wonderful birthday wishes! Turning 44 was no trauma for me... half the time I can't remember how old I am anyway, lol, so what's another year that I won't be able to keep track of? Ha! Take that, time bitch!

My birthday itself was quiet... no cake and ice cream, lol, though I did enjoy time chilling with my family. In order to make it happen, I did all my cardio, sauna, etc earlier in the day, so I had the evening hours free. It was really nice :-) I wasn't expecting any gifts, in fact, I had given express orders to my hubby NOT to buy me anything (we've had some recent expenses - I had to buy a new laptop, plus there's my training and accompanying costs), but did he listen to me? No.

Now... a little backstory... my beloved hubby has many amazing skills, but gift-choosing isn't one of them. Our resulting routine is that I tell him exactly what I want, providing web links if appropriate, photos including barcodes, etc. It works for us, lol. Don't get me wrong, he has hit a couple home runs over the years on his own, but typically we stick to the routine, lol.

That said, he knocked it out of the freakin' park. He bought me these...
I have been drooling over these for months. Ya'll know I go through earbuds like a fat kid goes through candy. I kill them with sweat, I burn them out, I wear out the wires... a typical pair only lasts me a couple months. Also, they don't fit right, ever. They fall out, they irritate my ears, the wires get hopelessly tangled. Recently, I've tried spending a bit more on them thinking that would make a difference. No. But... these looked very tempting. But... no way, the cost! I couldn't justify it. Didn't stop me from drooling over them in every store  - they even carry them at my gym and you know how often I'm there! Much drooling. While I've had conversations with my coach about them (she loves them, too), I've never mentioned them to Bill. Ever.

Imagine my shock when I opened the box and saw those gorgeous babies looking up at me! Actually - my family is a little twisted and we have a tradition of wrapping gifts in other boxes... like an iPod wrapped in a Depends box, lol - so my initial gut response was, "Oh man, that's just mean". But then I realized, it really was the earbuds I'd dreamed of! HOLY COW!! How did he know???? He said he saw a commercial for them, and thought I might like them. Ha! Maybe just a little ;-)

And can I just say... they're amazing!!! They fit! They are comfortable! No wires! Incredible sound! OMG, they're truly the best ever! EVER!!! Hubby scores!! I've even used them during grocery shopping, I love them so much!! :-)

Then, to prove he's the absolute greatest husband ever, he gave up his weekend of football, couch and beer (lol) to take me to the Phoenix Europa! Saturday and Sunday, I loaded up my cooler with my fish, celery, asparagus/kale, pistachios, and so forth and we had a great time! We toured all the booths, watched the shows, watched the people, hahaha, it was great! I did have a OMG moment though, lol... we had hoped to get there Saturday in time for the amateur figure prejudging, and as we rushed toward the competition, I stopped at a booth and tapped one of the gals working there on the arm to ask her if figure had already gone yet. When she turned to face me, I was so stunned, couldn't think, and being flustered, I blurted out, "do you know if they've already done the figure prejudging?"  She gave me a funny look, then smiled and said she didn't know, then paused and looked at me like she was waiting for something, then turned back to the people waiting behind her. I grabbed Bill by the arm and all but ran away. She wasn't just some cute little girl working a booth, it was Felicia Romero, IFBB Figure Pro. LOL!! OMG! Bill was like, let's go back and get your picture with her, and I'm saying, Oh hell no! I just totally insulted one of the bigger names in Figure! Oh geeze! Major faux pas! Yeesh! Starstruck and mortified, yep that's me!

That aside, it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Bill and I were both sick, and getting sicker. In fact, Sunday, we ended up leaving early. Boooo. I was in bed by 6:30pm, and didn't move until 8am the next day. After consulting with Kayla, we made a few tweaks and modifications to my schedule, and hopefully this bug will GO AWAY.

Today we're celebrating my daughter's 21st birthday :-) It's also rest and reefed day lol, so that worked out nicely! Hahaha! For her breakfast, I got to cook something other than fish ;-) and served up a gorgeous blueberry French toast casserole - OMG! So pretty! Look!

See that paper and pen?
Proof that I can't follow a recipe to save my life, lol! I just have to tweak!

And yes, I'll share the recipe soon :-)
So now, I'm off to pick up a dog from the vet, then it's time for Shiloh's dinner celebration! Buffalo Wild Wings is her pick for the festivities, and I was thrilled to see that not only do they post their menu online, but they also offer an Allergen Guide! VERY cool! I love that more and more restaurants are doing this! And I'm VERY excited about my beef meal tonight, lol!

Ok, time to head out. Cheers! ;-)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kale, YEAH! Check this out!!!

I know I've got a lot of catching up to do with ya'll from my birthday weekend (had a great time, minus being sick as a freakin' dog). BUT... I wanted (and got permission, lol) to share this with you!

One of my fav bloggers, who I've followed for years, ( sent out an email this morning for pre-orders for this shirt. I've already ordered mine :-) Now... while I love the shirt - serious chuckles there, what I love even more is the work the shirt does.  I've included the info below, and encourage you, if you're able, to purchase your own shirt, and in doing so, provide 12 emergency meals to families in need this holiday season.

Don't worry about choosing a size during order,  you'll get an email after you place your order with instructions on sizing. ;-)  If for some techy-glitchy reason the links below don't work, just use this one

A cute shirt with an awesome story:

Each "Kale Yeah" tee will provide 12 emergency meals to families this holiday season

Since the early days of blogging, I've been asked to create a shirt or some type of apparel for the blog. Ever since then, I knew that if I decided to create something, I wanted to find the best possible supplier. There are many overseas suppliers (who can create bulk orders for insanely low prices), but I wanted something created here in the US using sustainable materials. I finally found my dream match, and even better: by partnering with them, we're supporting an incredible cause.
Fed By Threads is based out of Tucson, AZ (my hometown!) and the company is near to my heart. The owners, Jade and Alok, are amazing, and even let us film Soli Beat at their studio, the Movement Shala.
Everything from Fed by Threads is from upcycled, sustainable and organic materials. With each item of clothing that they sell, 12 meals are provided to hungry families on a local and national level. You can read more about their mission here. So far, they've provided the funds for over 200,000 meals!!

A little bit about these KALE YEAH shirts:
Made In America
50% Organic Cotton / 50% RPET (<-- recycled plastic bottles)
12 meals fed per T sold
Vegan Materials
Non-Heavy Metal Dyes
Non-BPA or PVC Inks
They are preshrunk, but run small. Order one size up!


Want to get one? Pre-order here (via PayPal!). They are $30 (+ $4.99 shipping and handling). I will be packing and sending all of the orders with love.

 I will close preorders one week from today (Nov. 3) and send in the order. I'll have them out to you in early December so you get it in time for the holidays! If you order now, we'll be our own KALE YEAH team, since there is only one run of this fun design :)

Have a very happy Monday!!