ACTUALLY, IT WAS NEVER A CASE OF IF, BUT WHEN.
In 2008, I, unfortunately, had to pull out of my last figure competition preparation. I was working full-time as well as caring full-time for my terminally ill Mum. I couldn't do it all and something had to give.
I still remember the conversation I had in the kitchen that morning with Mum. I told her my time with her was far more important than any competition preparation. She became visibly upset. Of course, she understood my decision, but she didn’t like the fact that my life had to change because of her circumstances.
My Mum was my biggest fan, and would come to support me at as many competitions as she could. She’d even go as far as making sure her fridge and pantry were stocked full of all the required foods I needed when we'd come to visit her. Even down to buying electronic scales. My Mum loved me and did whatever she could to support me. So in the kitchen that day she made me promise her I’d return to the stage, and return to the stage I am, in memory of her.
Grieving the loss of both parents, an overseas deployment with work to the Middle East and then Breast Cancer, all impacted the ‘when’. The timing's as good as it'll ever be at the moment so I'm locking in my commitment to compete at the INBA All Female Classic in 2017.
I'm under no illusion that it'll be harder than my previous seven competition preparations. I also have no doubt I'll want to quit on a daily basis, but won't. I even tried a couple of times in the past and failed because I found every excuse under the sun as to why I couldn't or shouldn't.
If the truth is known, I might even fail this time around. And that's okay because I'd rather fail at trying than not even try at all. I'm resilient. I never give up. These traits are what I'm relying on heavily to get me out of this rut I'm in and back on track with life, once and for all.
There's so much more I want to share with you about my competition preparation, but for now, this will do. Publically announcing my return to the stage is enough accountability and pressure for today. I'll save some details for my next few blog posts for those interested.
Until then, wish me luck folks!
Photograph by Dallas Olsen