Nationally Qualified

Crazy to think that last year on October 13th, I was sitting on the foot and ankle specialist’s exam table receiving coritsone injections. I felt the needle scrape the bones inside both left and right ankles. The specialist said the crushes in both of my ankles cannot be fixed or surgically ‘uncrushed’, therefore, my next step would be to have the joints surgically fused.

The slightest pressure on either ankle was unbearable so I had reverted to crawling on hands and knees. X-rays from the healing injury of crushing both ankles ten months prior, showed that the right ankle was indeed still fractured, while the left ankle was still trying to heal from the implanted screws from the surgery at the end of June of 2011.

Although this was a painful period of my life, it also became the open door to training for figure competitions. I continued to train and work creatively with my injuries, not to use them as an excuse and to give up. This past weekend I was ecstatic that my roommate Jeana Borkholder and I were in the top five for the NPC Natural Northern USA Figure Championships. I walked away with a first place trophy. Being now nationally qualified through the Ohio State show two weeks ago and through Dave Libermans show this past weekend.

On the outside, people see that I’ve competed at National and even world-class levels as a sprinter, hurdler, softball player, snowboarder, and now as a figure competitor. I worked hard for everything. I pushed through when it was too hard or too painful. I chose discipline instead of what was easy. I trained hard to be my best. I didn’t grow up with much money, as dad worked two full time jobs. I was taught to work hard so I worked odd jobs while in school full time. Although I had track scholarships, I still worked to cover expenses.

Nothing has been given to me. It is frustrating to hear others say things are just handed to me, that my life is easy. I began to boil inside with this frustration thinking how much sleep I’ve lost over the years to sacrifice becoming better or working harder.

As I stood at the stove stirring quinoa for my meals. I heard God whisper, “It ALL has been handed to you.”

What? I literally fell to my knees in the kitchen in such reverence. While the quinoa continued to cook. I prayed, “Heavenly Father, Wow. God you just took my breath away. You are so right, because it has been you handing everything to me. It was you that opened the doors inviting me to walk through, it was you that gave me dreams to seek you for guidance, it was you that gave me every single inspiration, it was you that showed me self-control and discipline to help me pursue being the best athlete I can be. It was you that gave me your perspective to see the inner child in every hurting soul, it was you that gave me the compassion to love them through their harsh words. It was you that showed me the power of forgiveness when your son Jesus breathed his last breath after the horrendous torture, and was hung by his flesh and nail as people laughed, yet, his last words were, ‘Forgive them Father, for they do not know.’

Thank you God that you taught me to forgive those that have hurt me, abused me, making times of my life torture. But you’ve taught me to forgive, and that set me free.

So Yes, everything has been handed to me.

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5 thoughts on “Nationally Qualified

  1. I’m humbled. You represent so much about the work we do and the possiblities for the women and children we serve. You’re an inspiration – now go write that book!!! Andrew (Love146).

  2. I wish there were words that didn’t sound cliched or overused, but unfortunately there are not. So brace yourself, haha!

    Sometimes I read what you have to say and all I can think is how awesome God is and that I can only hope he will work in my life even a fraction of what he has in yours. I am eternally grateful for the example you provide for not only those around you, but for future generations – an example of what it is to truly give your life over to God, what it is to truly desire to selflessly achieve, and what it is to be truly grateful for all that you receive. It is so easy for so many to superficially talk about how they know that God has led them and played a role in their lives, without ever having to walk that road.

    So thank you. Thank you for being so brutally, sometimes painfully, honest in sharing your journey and for being such an amazing, strong, beautiful, and godly role-model for all. We are all truly blessed to have the opportunity to know you and let your light shine in our lives. I am so glad that God has given you the strength at every juncture to be a brighter, kinder person and to move forward in your life and faith.

    Thank you for being so worthy of God’s choices, and for being a vessel he can use so fully.

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