On Sunday, Monique won an Oscar for her performance in the movie Precious. During her acceptance speech she said, “Sometimes you have to forgo doing what is popular in order to do what’s right”. I’ve felt this way the past 12 weeks while getting ready for my last fitness competition.
The competition, The Arnold, was this weekend in Columbus, OH. Arnold Schwarzenegger was there in full force and there were competitors from many countries around the world. I knew that not everyone could win, so I prayed to God and set three goals – 1. To bring down my glutes (black women, we know our butts look great in jeans, but we aren’t packing too much muscle), 2. To increase my routine placing (last year it was 7th out of and 3. – to increase my overall placing of fifth from last year.
I was pretty nervous all last week about competing. All my days of not hanging out with friends, or skipping invites for great meals – would they pay off? All the many days spent in the gym and in the basement doing cardio – would it be enough? All the money spent on costumes, travel and prep – would anyone notice? All the fans and supporters that stood by my side – would I let them down?
The competition was Thursday night. On Thursday afternoon I went to a MAC store there and had my makeup done. After my visit with Janelle, I felt absolutely beautiful! That moment was the first moment that I felt prepared to compete. I was no longer nervous, I was excited. I knew as long as I brought my best package to the stage, I would be proud.
My routine went well and I had a cheering section that was heard loudly throughout the arena. For our two piece round, I wasn’t in the exact middle (which is where the favored person stands). So ,going home I really had no idea how I would place.
Saturday morning was the awards on the Arnold expo stage in front of thousands of visitors. The top five in my class were announced and I was one of them. 5th, 4th and 3rd were announced. That only left two of us. I felt like a Miss America contestant. As the announcer said 2nd place, I realized that he did not say my name. I WON!! I ACTUALLY WON MY CLASS AT THE ARNOLD!
I was speechless, overjoyed and glanced out in the audience and saw my coach Ceal beaming. The crowd was actually cheering for me. I received the winning trophy, me! I received the jacket – and for that moment, it was my moment to shine.
Dreams do come true. Goals can be set and accomplished if you stay focused. Be patient for your time to shine, because it could be just around the corner! (and boy was that Dominos pizza good on the car ride home!)
M.Y. March 2010