There were nights I woke up with lumps in my throat.
Jerking up in the early hour darkness, before the light of dawn. The feeling of choking on air like a fish pulled fresh from the water trying to gasp for its final breath of life.
Extreme bouts of it haunted me day in and day out. And even crept into my REM state like a demon in the night.
Sleeping it away used to do the trick. Hit the pillow, and when I wake, I’d feel so much better again. But after a while, that coping mechanism just stopped.
I spent some time blaming the pandemic.
It’s the easiest scapegoat, to place at its feet all of this midnight drama. But after looking through my journal, I realize this is something that had been happening for some time.
Moments Of Epiphany And Agony
My journal, over the years, seems to be the place I come to when I’m going through periods of extreme stress.
It makes it seem like the only recorded parts of my life have been the times when I wasn’t feeling as great about myself.
When I was trying to move past times of extreme self doubt, first world problems and perceived trauma (much of it self-inflicted), and attempting to figure my way out of periods of my life that felt extremely unpleasant for one reason or another.
And I noticed these periods seem to aggrandize in the years after I stopped competing.
You see, by that point I had quit all of my passions and the things that I identified as core parts of who I am.
Roxie the dancer – done.
The actress… – done.
Roxie the competitor – done.
The idols of my life in many ways. The professions, passions, and fields that I dreamed about since childhood, that became a part of WHO I thought I was, were gone. Not because I was fully ready to move on and was fulfilled in all my accomplishments, but because at some point I just quit.
And that’s the hardest part to admit about myself.
That I am a quitter.
The Price And Poison Of Perfectionism
When things get tough and I get to the point that self-doubt makes me insane, I just give up. I’ll fight for a while. I’ll try all I can. But in the end, I decide to walk away if things aren’t working and I’m feeling defeated that they aren’t.
I know that this is all deeply rooted in my constant obsession to be perfect and excel at everything I do. I would much sooner and rather quit than to not be in top form at all times.
And if I’m being realistic with myself, this mindset is poison.
Even further, it could be the very reason why the success I dream of in my life continually falls short, despite my talents.
Part of me feels I might be criticizing myself too harshly. And maybe I am.
But the reality, when I look back, is that in the 3 things that I loved so much, when I felt I hit a ceiling and I no longer had the strength mentally or emotionally, I had quit instead of stood my ground.
Redemption And Resurrection
This morning as I write this, that rush of anxiety jolted me up at 4:45 am once again.
Today, it was sparked by this gnawing feeling inside of me that I have to do “SOMETHING.” And that something, at the same time both scares me – and excites me.
As of late, I’ve been forced to hold up several mirrors to myself.
My journey into my faith and a deeper understanding of God’s great hand in my life has found me on my knees begging Him to please lead me. To lead me in my next moves, in my business, in my personal life, and in the way I am experiencing this world.
Your Talent Will Illuminate The Way
My best friend always reminds me that “your talent will always make room for you.” Meaning, that whatever it is that you’re good at, if you are dedicated and show up, it will allow a pathway for your success.
And I’ve leaned on this over the years. What I realize now is that so much of my life and what I HAVE been able to be successful with HAS been rooted in my God given talents.
I’ve had so much pure JOY over the years when I allow that talent to touch the lives of others, to motivate, and to unfold in ways that lead people to connect with me.
My talents have allowed me to fulfill my purpose and calling on this planet to simply inspire others to greatness.
Yet here I have been, for the last 10 years, RUNNING away from them.
And doing so because of my own limiting beliefs and immense self-doubt that I seem to always mask behind the guise of poise and “confidence.”
But as of last week, my soul has been called to stand in what God has given me. To allow myself to enjoy my life. And to get back to the things that give me passion and great joy.
And so the next chapter is ready to be written.
Back To The Drawing Board With A New Outline And Outlook
Moment of truth…
It’s been 7 years since my last competition on the IFBB pro stage. I left that stage feeling defeated. Feeling like I no longer had a place in the sport. On the stage in the division that made me a pro.
The rapid change in women’s physique left me feeling like I had no other option than to just step back.
I’m not sure why I didn’t just move back to figure. Maybe I thought I was too big at the time.
Honestly, I was just tired. Mentally. Emotionally. Personally. Just drained.
In those 7 years I did zero bodybuilding. I trained mostly to stay fit. I focused on decreasing muscle and just working out because it’s just what I do.
In the 2.5 years since the pandemic, I have BARELY worked out consistently. I mean I am a complete SHADOW of who I once was in the gym.
But like riding a bike, the body never forgets…
Returning To The IFBB Professional Stage – As A Figure Competitor
I’ve been coasting in on nothing. The bare minimum. And this is my starting point.
I know… Some people have this as goals. And I am thankful. My genetics do me well. Even at 42 years old.
What I know is on my heart is a yearning to get back to ME. To get back some purpose and a “why.” All rooted in what makes me wake up in the morning and have a pep in my step.
I miss dancing.
I even miss acting.
And I damn sure miss competing and the drive it gave me in the gym.
This is where I had an epiphany. That the only thing and person holding me back IS me. And just because I decided to walk away when I did, it doesn’t mean I can’t return.
In fact, that break was necessary. Because this time, I feel like I’m returning with a new sense of self, of purpose, and of passion.
So here’s to a new beginning. I’m not sure where this will end up. I am contemplating stepping on stage again. I haven’t told him yet but… My old coach (Kim Oddo) is about to have his old thorn in his side soon 😂🙏🏿😭.
Before I make those moves though, I’m going back to the drawing board. I’m going to build up this body. I gotta fill out my back, shoulders, arms, hams and outer quads.
My focus is to do this as natural as possible. By that I mean at some point I know I will have to consider fat burners, maybe research peptides potentially. But I vow to do this without steroids. That was my issue the first time and I refuse to make it my issue now.
I want women to see what we can do naturally. Be strong. Fit. Muscular and… Be feminine.
But here we go y’all. New chapter begins.