Monday, August 23, 2010

Ol' Gus

Captain Augustus "GUS" McRae, Texas Ranger
Born Feb. 6, 1996. Died Aug. 21, 2010.
May he rest in peace.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Never an Athlete?

I stand 4 feet and 11 inches straight up. I weigh 98 pounds wringing wet. I've never been what a person would call athletic.

All through grade school and junior hugh, I was ALWAYS the last person picked to be on a team, whether it be softball, kickball, volleyball, soccer -- it didn't matter. Nobody wanted me holding them back from the big win.

I found something to do with all my energy, though. I became a cheerleader. Now, in the 80's, cheerleading was not considered anything close to a spor
t. No, being a cheerleader did not make me any more of an athlete. It just was a way to be a part of something I was relatively good at. In rural Mississippi where I grew up, there weren't pottery classes, children's theatre or professional ballet prep classes. It was pretty much just sports and the marching band.

Now fast-forward many, many years later. I'm 39 years old...knocking on 40's door. I decided this year I wanted to do something athletic and healthy and fun before I turn 40. Now, I looked into endurance sports, like marathon running, but I got bored just thinking about all those hours of nothing but putting one foot in front of the other. No thanks. Not to mention, I have very short legs. I don't think that would be fair.

I thought about a triathlon, but I can't swim better than my self-taught dog paddle move. so, I guess triathlons are out.

In the meantime, I hired a personal trainer, Jennifer, to help me get in general good shape. Jennifer competes in body building competitions. After a few months of working out together, she starting telling me that I should consider being in a physique competition. She said, "There are different divisions. You can be in the bikini division, which is for women who are toned, but don't have huge muscles. They are judges on a great physique as well as a pretty face and personality. I'd have to take my training and diet seriou
sly for a few months.

Here were all my excuses to not do it:
1. I'm too short!
2. I'm too white and I can't tan because I've had melanoma twice!
3. I have no boobs! I mean NO BOOBS!
4. I carry all my extra weight in my butt, and no matter how skinny I've been in the last 20 years, I've still had a cellulite butt!
5. I have terrible stretch marks on my hips.
6. My hair is so thin you can see through it. I can't pull off all that big hair stuff.
7. I can't imagine my body looking like those bodies in a matter of months!
8. I'm older now. Nearly 40. Wouldn't it be crazy to take up a sport like this at my age?

So there they all are...and were. Laid out there. Plain as day. It just wouldn't work. Not to mention, the end result would be to walk on a stage in those ridiculously high heels and a bikini in front of God and everybody!

Then I started to think about it more. And it began to nag at me. Because I love to be on stage, and I have been all my life. (I'm usually fully clothed, however.) I love lifting weights. I love feeling strong. I love activities that allow me to do something new every day (and in body building, you have to keep it fresh to keep your muscles guessing). I used to be in beauty pageants when I was a kid, and loved it.

So I asked Jennifer if anything can be done about the other issues I had.

Well, I found out that I could have a bikini custom made with boobs built in!!! And spray tan is the way to go, keeping me safe from the sun's rays and it covers up stretch marks and even a little bit of cellulite! They make fabulous clip-in hair extensions that add thickness to your own hair! And with a high-protein, low-carb diet, anybody can lose the fat IF they are willing to be disciplined. Oh, and lastly, at my age, my muscles are mature and there is no extra layer of fat on my body now like we all had in our 20's. That's the cause of wrinkles, sure, but it's also the way to look ripped.

So. There you have it. I was talked into it. I needed a goal. I love a challenging project. I was in!

Three months later, I'm six weeks away from an IFBB National Qualifying Body Building Competition (Bikini Division) in Spokane, Washington. And guess what...I'm looking great.

I've been told several times lately that it's obvious I'm "very athletic." Ha! If they only knew.

It's never too late!

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