BIKINI BREAK (a pause from all things nursing)
I have taken a bit of a break blogging for a moment to pursue a long overdue goal that I had started about 20 years ago in which I didn’t reach the finish line. Now being 42-years-old the clock was ticking as my body is sadly aging (a tear runs down my cheek as I type those horrific words) which makes this particular goal a bit harder to achieve now then it would have been for the 22-year-old who started it all of those years ago. My 22-year-old self could run on empty and didn’t have two jobs, a family and a small gaggle of animals to care for. Oh, the glory days… How I long for them sometimes. If I only knew then what I know now, I still probably wouldn’t have changed anything anyway as I was having so much fun.
I have been training like a beast for a little over a year and just competed in the WNBF’s “World'” show which is their largest bikini competition to date. I have been into fitness and all things health for a very long time, and although I had taken the occasional hiatus when a girl just had to have some fun, I always come back to my home away from home… The gym, the place that grounds me and keeps me accountable. I am grateful that my mother signed up my chubby 18-year-old self with an affinity for vanilla cupcakes at Bailey’s Total Fitness Gym all of those years ago. Along with my slight cupcake addiction, I was also a fixture at HomeTown Buffet and China Roma with my then boyfriend, and it was becoming a real issue as evidenced by my increasing pant size and decreasing self-esteem.
After walking that stage at the John Hancock Theatre in Boston and seeing the complete transformation of my body while spending the last year channeling my inner Rocky Balboa to grind out every last rep deliriously laughing, starving, crying and questioning over and over why the hell am I doing this at times, I came to the same conclusion that I did roughly 18 years ago when I was in my last semester of nursing school.. I am doing this because it’s mine. I chose it, and I pursued it. I will see it through, and no one can take it away from me. Back then I was saying a variation of those words while trying to wrap my head around the cardiovascular system. I had a hard time with that one as evidenced by my barely passing grade on that exam. This time I found myself repeating the mantra as I was staring at a block of fudge at the cash register in the grocery store while picking up another two pounds of white fish and asparagus as that was about all I could eat towards the final countdown to show day.
I stayed the course and saw it through. I did cardio twice a day, lifted until I couldn’t lift anymore, sprinted in the cold, cut and cut and cut my diet again and did every and anything my trainer told me. And when he said ” trust the process,” I did. Ok, well I didn’t always trust, but I did what he said anyway with resentful hesitation (shout out Damico Fitness). On show day I slapped on my clear high heels, and the tiniest custom made bikini (how does so little fabric cost so much?) and walked on that stage. I felt nervous, scared then relieved and like a million bucks because I did it. Can I now add BC (bikini competitor) to my credentials? … Because I honestly feel that I should be able to. This was one of the hardest things that I have ever done if not the hardest. It has changed me and has made me so much stronger. It is so important to pursue our goals. I think many of us have had the same ones since childhood. Know this… They are attainable, no matter how silly, (I paid nearly 3k to learn the 80’s hair band Poison’s Every Rose has it’s Thorn on the guitar) hard, exhausting or pointless they may seem….. they are yours. Go for your dreams one baby step at a time, and like a staggering, exhausted Rocky Balboa right before you’re about to give up, take your final swing for the knockout then grab the microphone and yell to all who are listening or yell to yourself, “Yo Adrian I did it!” I did.