’In the Name of Fitness’
Okay, I kept a secret from most of you and I am truly sorry. After doing the figure competitions I decided to step up my game a little bit and ponder switching to fitness. The main difference is that fitness also includes a two minute routine with five required skills: One arm pushups, side split, straddle hold, pike hold and high kicks.
So, I went and dug in the very back of my closet. I had to look high and low – before the college years, before high school, before the Wave Nuveau, and before menstruation started. I went all the back in my closet to elementary school to pull out the tricks and skills I used to be able to do way back then. The first thing I tried to do was a back handspring (a back flip). Since I live alone, I had to think about what I would do if I landed on my neck. So I put the cordless phone on the floor next to me and prayed for the best. (You know that I was okay since I am able to write this column today!) I then went to Alpha Cheer gym and had DeShawn spot me on some other skills. I blushed after I did a tumbling pass and a kid in the gym said, ‘Wow! I’ve never seen an adult do that before!’
In less than two weeks I was able to pull together a fitness routine. DJ Que accomplished a miracle by putting together a mix of Michael Jackson songs for the music. I also needed a performance outfit but didn’t have a lot of time. So, I went to the costume store and purchased a cool looking gangsta outfit. The top looked great and I added some material to some shorts to match at the bottom. The most difficult part was getting through the two minute routine. Every night I would go home and a different body part would hurt. While ‘gym’ used to be my guy, ‘BenGay’ was slowing becoming my best buddy.
My first fitness competition was last weekend in Ft. Wayne, IN (see video). Like always, I had a blast. I was the only woman of color in the competition, but everyone was extremely nice. While driving home, I really thought about how wonderful an experience I just had. The last time I performed was over 2 ½ years ago. My mother and I performed with a group of women for a Krewe party. Even then I didn’t tumble. It was amazing to me, that at the age of 32 I was able to rise to the occasion.
Footnote: as fun and wonderful as the competition was, the next morning, my entire body was sore. It ached to walk. It ached to lie down. It ached to ache. But, with the help of a great massage and my buddy Bengay I am now back in training ready to hit that next pot of gold! It is absolutely never too late in life to accomplish something. Was there something years ago in life you enjoyed doing? What happened for you to give it? Why not do it again? Try it just once and relive that passion!
Video of Routine
It’s my first fitness competition. Where did those flips come from? Click on the photo to watch the video.
M.Y. July 2008