When Lightning Strikes
It was time for my first national competition of the year. Chicago, IL. I had a lot of people on my side predicting that I would win my height class and turn pro. All 25 fitness competitors were backstage warming on. The first woman was lined up to perform – and then the lights went out. A storm with 70 mph winds swept through the city. We were without electricity with over 300,000 other people. No tv or radio for updates. No clue as to how long, or even if, it would be until we would compete.
For the next hour and forty minutes myself and the other competitors sat backstage and took the time to get to know each other. And then out of nowhere, the bright lights came back on. They asked us if we wanted to warm-up again on stage, but some women said “no, let’s just go”. I hate to jinx myself at shows, so I usually don’t watch the competitors that go ahead of me. On this day – it was a bad idea.
I sat in the dark for an extended amount of time, I never looked at the stage before going on. When it was my time to perform and as my music started playing, I stood on the stage and couldn’t see a thing. My eyes hadn’t adjusted to the change of light. I just had to wing it. As I walked off the stage, I knew I didn’t perform my best routine. I was disappointed in myself. It was a good routine, but not the great routine that I knew I would need to win.
And I let that get me down. I wanted to win. People expected me to win. There were some amazing competitors there and I assumed that I would place 3rd. But when the awards were presented, I ended up placing 5th. I was so disappointed and frustrated and thought about just hanging up my competition shoes for awhile.
The day I was contemplating what to do, I received this great email message from OnyxLouisville reader Margaret Davis. “You may have had some unfair things happen, things that you don’t understand; but let me tell you, you have come too far to stop now. Instead of allowing those things to hold you back, why don’t you let go and take a step of faith into the new? It’s time to get a new, bigger vision; it’s time to get a new, fresher outlook; it’s time to rise up with a new attitude! Instead of settling where you are, pick up and move forward. Have the attitude that says, “I may not understand it; it may not have been fair, but I am not getting stuck on this page. I know God has a new chapter for me-a chapter filled with blessings, favor and victory!” Her email was related to something completely different, but it was just what I needed to read at just the right time. We need to quit dwelling on the past and what ‘could have been’ and instead stay focused on the opportunity that will exist in our future! Thank you Margaret for helping put it all in perspective!
M.Y. July 2010