Today, Facebook let me know that it's International Women's Day. I have so many truly amazing women in my life, but I really want to focus on my Team Center Stage family.
I had an interest in bodybuilding for several years. In 2011 I went to the Arnold Expo in Columbus, Ohio and I remember looking at the line up of women who would compete that year and I was in love! But I lacked the know-how and, more importantly, discipline to really get myself there. It was 4 more years before I would get the weekend partying and off-again-on-again gym lifestyle out of my system. During my husband's first deployment I decided to get into the best shape of my life before he got back. Really wanted to stun him when he got off the ship. ;)
With that goal achieved I was able to stick to the gym this time. I was seeing the results that I really wanted and my little wins; getting stronger, seeing new muscles, and overall feeling better helped me turn going to the gym into a natural part of my day.
In 2015 I was introduced to Mary Bell, owner of Team Center Stage. A mutual friend told me that I should contact her because I looked like I should compete, and she would be the one to help me get on the bodybuilding stage. I was hesitant. I had had a 'coach' before and it ended in disappointment, but Mary was different. She was excited! We sat down in her studio and she made me feel right at home. I left feeling thrilled and full of hope. I would actually do this!
About a month into working with Mary she sent out a message to her clients that she was going to have a team meeting where we could get together, she would tell us about show day, women with experience could share, we would look at fabric swatches for posing suits, and for those who wanted to stay a group posing class at the end. I told my husband I wasn't going to go. I didn't want to sit around in a room with a bunch of women who were competing against each other. It was going to be catty, bitchy. I could see it in my head. Thankfully, he convinced me to go. That day I made some of the best friend's I'll ever have.
Team Center Stage is full of strong, supportive, bad ass women. We all come from different backgrounds, but were brought together by a desire to push ourselves to physical limits in the gym and in the kitchen. I've been on stage with some of them. Sat in the crowd and cheered for others. Cheered from my couch when I couldn't get to a show, and they've done the same for me.
3 years later, and 3000 miles between us we are still a team. A lot of us have military affiliations, I'm a spouse, some are in the military, and that means moving. it's the nature of the beast, but no matter how far we go we are all still a part of the team.
I love these women and I'm proud to be a part of the Center Stage family.