In college after I stopped cheering (yes I was a college cheerleader. Go Tech!), I needed an outlet. I loved to workout but it wasn’t enough at the time. I was so used to the thrill of being on the field during football games in front of 80k people. I wanted that thrill again. A trainer at the gym I was going to approached me and asked if I’d ever competed in a fitness/figure competitions. After talking to him a bit I thought ok this could be the thrill I need! I told a few good friends at the time what my plan was and almost all were supportive. Some were confused and thought I was getting into body building (not that it’s a bad thing, BB just isn’t for me). One friend actually said to me “you already look like a man with the muscle you have, why make it worse?” That comment would make a lot of people insecure. Not me. I saw it as a challenge. I thought, I’ll show you worse! And by worse I meant more lean and fit! I had muscle but it was thin muscle. My legs were muscular from tumbling and stunting. My arms were sculpted but not huge. So I used this negative comment as fuel.
I competed in my first figure competition that year and loved it! It was the scariest most exciting feeling ever! I’d never felt anything like that in my life! It’s one thing to stand in front of 80k people in a crop top uniform and tiny skirt and have them all lookin at you. It’s another thing to be in a swimsuit and have them literally judging your body! I remember shaking like a leaf up there. But I was so proud of myself after I finished. I took 9th out of 26. Not great but not horrible for my first time around. Not to mention I knew nothing about diet at the time so I was just winging it!
Looking back on old pictures now I still don’t see where the muscle I had “looked like a man.” I’m bigger now than I was then when I started. I have to think that person was just insecure and jealous themselves.
Now days I don’t compete on a competition stage but I do push myself in the gym like I used to. I love to look in the mirror and see muscle. In my mind I think back to that former friend and the comment they made and it makes me smile. They saw man muscles. Well guess what, my husband loves it. He actually told someone the other day his wife was jacked. To a fitness lover that just makes your heart melt.
Forget the negative Nancy’s of the world. Don’t let them tear you down. If you’re like me, use it as fuel! The only thing that matters is what you think, and of course the positive people around you who will lift you up!