No, not awkward at all to be amongst naked bodies all getting spray tanned before a bodybuilding competition. I suppose the professional tanning is for lighting purposes, helping the judges to give their best judgment on each competitor when we are all on stage displaying our hard work. But wait till you hear the rest.
Last night was quite the experience. “Things happen for a reason” is said too easily and thrown away too easily, while most of us never come to any thoughts of what those reasons are, but say it for the sake of just saying it. I like reasons, even though I don’t expect to understand everything. I never asked God “why me?” when I was raped right before I crushed both of my ankles while competing professionally in boardercross. Things happen for reason, and I’m seeing them unfold.
Last night was part of that reasoning. It was because of the people I met, it was because of the friends and family that supported and believed in me. It was about being intentional about making God a priority when the demanding diet and work outs were so intense and taking over my life. It was about learning discipline, self-control, and not giving up. Sara and Gretchen are two more reasons that God creatively put in my life.
While waiting for the professional tanner, I sat next to Sara, whom I’ve never met. God really used her to ask me the right questions of exactly why I was doing this show to begin with. It was not about the competition or finishing well, but for something more. Before I went to bed that night nervous about being on stage, my conversation with Sara helped me to keep focusing on the real reasons of doing this show. I later found out that Sara is the broadcaster for the Salem Christian Radio station for The Mohsin Program, and asked to interview me on the air December 14th. I couldn’t breathe when she asked me. I am so undeserving and humbled. I am still shaking my head in disbelief.
After talking to Sara, the show tanner, Gretchen, came in and had me stand in a tent to contain the dark pigments of the spray tan. Our conversation instantly went deeper than tanning or body building, but it was about our faith in God and our relationship with Christ. Completely divine and beautiful. What phenomenal women. Gretchen even went out of her way to run up to me right before I went on stage to pray with me, asking God for His beauty in me to shine on stage. As I walked on stage, I felt like a deer in headlights and felt very unprepared to pose like any of the other girls, I heard Gretchen root for me, and her prayerful words circulating in my heart, “for His beauty to shine on stage.”
I probably would have never done a fitness competition if I didn’t have my accident. I decided to train for a fitness show to be intentional about making my particular situation a positive one. God says all things happen for our good, so I wasn’t about to allow myself to wallow in misery wondering why I had to take sponge baths for three months. Things do happen for reasons, whether we understand them or not. What I do know, is that meeting Sara and Gretchen were two of those reasons!
While learning how to walk in heels again while coming back from my injuries, I used my crutches. A funny picture but I had to do it somehow! As soon as I walked off the stage, I took my heels off because my ankles hurt so bad I couldn’t take another step. And yes, the dieting and work outs were a bit intense and extreme at points, but everything i went through made it worth it to have the support of amazing friends and family that believed in me every step, and to meet beautiful people like Sara and Gretchen.
I look forward to being the encouraging friend to others as they have been to me and meeting more Sara’s and Gretchen’s. Although there won’t be another quite like either of them, God has doors everywhere to be connected to the right people, at the right time if we are willing to listen. Where we can talk with someone sitting right next to us instead of texting, or taking a conversation a little deeper than skin deep.
Thank you everyone who has supported me and encouraged me!