It is not uncommon for women of my age to go through this cycle, no matter what their career or hobby of choice may be. What is uncommon – although, thanks to the fitness industry and equal opportunity, this is changing – is women taking notice of this “plateau” concept and taking action to rectify the situation. Over the centuries, women have been taught to feel guilty or shameful when they reach a state of plateau. Having no sense of direction meant you weren’t doing things well, or you were letting someone down, or not doing your job. Women did not stop to think that perhaps they simply needed a new personal challenge, or a renewed sense of motivation and a fresh outlook to jumpstart their lives again. For me, and I suspect for many women my age, this sense of going in circles was terribly frustrating and more than a little frightening. The questions I began asking myself became life defining; was I no longer a physically driven person? What had changed in my persona that was taking me away from my life-long passion? What would I do now? What would people think?
What came next was nothing short of an epiphany. I
decided to challenge my physical person instead of trying to analyze
it or, worse yet, ignore it. I knew nothing of competing in figure,
but I knew it would require a discipline that would take precision and
focus. And, at my age, who in their right mind would be trying to break
into such a physically competitive arena in the first place? It was
the perfect challenge and, true to form, I took the bait. It could not
have been a better choice. I began training in May of 2004 with National-level
competitor and trainer Tony Dodd, an exceptionally dedicated, talented
and soulful man with an uncanny understanding of the female physique.
Under his careful stewardship, I watched my body grow and change for
the second time in my adult life, responding to each training technique
and nutritional adjustment like the finely tuned machine it was. I was
infused with a renewed sense of empowerment, self-confidence and motivation.
This was what I was born to do! The following months were life changing;
I placed no lower than second in the 1st three figure competitions I
entered, and took the Overall in both the Masters and Unlimited Classes
in the 2004 Tournament of Champions in Anaheim, California. What an
incredible boost to my self-confidence it was. By the end of the year,
I was back on track with a positive and productive physical – and mental