How did it become August and What's Happening Next

Guess who's back back back...back again....

For someone that loves to write and share things via writing, I am terrible at blogging. Mostly because I procrastinate and I'm always concerned that it A) won't get read B) will sound dumb and/or C) make no sense. I think the ones that have managed to be successful at this kind of thing didn't care about A, B, or C. 

Last time I updated you it was January, which shows just how bad I am at this thing. So here's a quick recap of the last 8 months:

I stopped working full-time in December due to some unfortunate circumstances that occurred with the company I was working for. There was no conflict or bad blood, just bad luck business wise and I had to take one for the team. Luckily, my employers were/are awesome and allowed me to personal train part-time and have a flexible schedule while I was working for them, so I had a pretty established client base and was able to fall back on that despite losing a full-time salary. I've been able to train about 20ish hours a week since then without having to find another job thanks to an awesome husband and some budgeting. 

I also went back to school last August online and was taking pre-requisites courses to apply to a two-year nursing program at my local community college and I was accepted! I start in two weeks  and hopefully by Summer of 2020 I can slap an "RN" behind my name. If you had asked me in high school or even undergrad if I had thought about nursing, I would've said "Ew! NO!" even though my mom is a Nurse Practitioner. As life goes, fitness made me more aware of just how vast the healthcare field is and how important it is and I have grown to love it. I love learning about the body and seeing what it is capable of and helping people improve their health so I feel like it has been a good fit for me. I'm nervous to start because it is a tough program but I have a peace about it and am excited to see where it takes me. 

Training wise, I hit a setback in March when I had a back injury that was pretty bad. After little to no relief, I visited a chiropractor who did an X-ray and found I have a pretty nasty bone spur in my TL junction (mid-back area of the spine). Squatting as heavy and as frequently I was, I had aggravated it and it was super inflamed to the point I couldn't even get under the bar without pain and was having problems sleeping and standing up straight. After lots of help from my Chiro and my coach and diligence on my part, we were able to let it heal while continuing to train. I have little to no pain now thanks to a long warm-up, supplements and some extra rest & recovery and was able to compete at the USAPL NC State Championships in June where I managed to break the 72 kg Squat Record with a 363 lb squat! I tied with my friend Taylor Carney (look her up on IG @tayloranncarney cause she's beautiful & stronggg) for total for our class but managed to take 1st thanks to being the lighter lifter. That was the first meet that I really had to pay attention to what other people were doing and it was definitely a learning experience for me.

Next up - USAPL Raw Nationals in Spokane, Washington in October. Being on the literal other side of the country is not ideal especially considering I'll be in school, but I'm hoping to have a good performance this year. Last year was my first National meet and it was a little nerve wracking, so I feel more confident this year as I will have a better understanding as to how things work. I am currently ranked 20th in the nation for my weight class so I'm hoping to cover some ground and have a much higher ranking at Nationals. Also 11th in the nation in squat and only a few kilos between me and the top 5!

Unfortunately, since it is a cross-country flight, this trip is going to be expensive and considering I am about to be a full-time student, I'm a little stressed about being able to afford it. I've had so many people congratulate me on States and ask me week after week how things are going and how long til Nationals and I know there are a lot of people that are invested in me doing well and rooting for me which makes it all worth it. Powerlifting is not a mainstream sport and it's tricky to understand all of the technicality but people understand that its hard and they understand that it takes guts. I can't thank those that cheer for me across the gym and check in with me regularly, enough for their support and I really just want to make everyone proud. I hate asking for money without giving something in return, so I'm thinking of some fundraising ideas that will be beneficial and fun for the community so any good ideas, please send them my way! Currently, my best idea is pimping Huck (my frenchie with the cutest smoosh face ever) out for kisses! I'd pay $5 to kiss him! I don't really want to start a GoFundMe page so I've added a donation button to this post that goes through the Store portion of my website for those that would rather donate outright. Again, I am so appreciative of all that has been done for me so far and I can't wait to get on that platform. 

Beyond the normal areas of my life, I've been trying to spend more time working on me. Doing things I enjoy, spending time with those that I love and getting in the Word. My goal is to read through every book of the Bible so I've been trying to do that a few chapters at a time. His Word brings something new every day and I am so thankful for the blessings that I have. Life can definitely deal us some bad cards sometimes but nothing is a surprise to God and He will see us through anything. None of the things that I do would be possible without my faith and I am in awe of what I have been able to do so far. Our bodies are so intricate, yet powerful and I consider fitness and powerlifting an act of worship in appreciation for the strength and the ability that I've been given. 

All I can say is that when you get thrown a curveball, drive and swing and make the closest thing to contact that you can. Even if you miss, you can't say that you didn't try. The timing may not be perfect and things may not go as planned, but you'll never get anywhere if you let a bad pitch take you out of the game. 

Here's to the last half of 2018 and maybe one day being on a "Welcome to Bladenboro - Home of.." Billboard :P Love you all!