Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thank You Tri-Fitness Challenge!

I am blessed to have so many different “families” who have shaped the person I am today.  In 2007 the Women’s Tri Fitness gang became another addition.  I started doing fitness competitions in 1998 through the help of the late Kenny Kassel and the NPC contests he hosted.  The larger muscles and abundance of body builders really wasn’t my style (I have much respect for them though!) and I began my search for the “right” fitness competition sanction.  In 2003 I found Fitness America and fell in love with the organization.  Everybody was very friendly and the competitions were a blast!  The problem was this organization liked more of a “bikini model” look, which also totally wasn’t me.   I still loved the scene and just accepted the fact my routine scores would be higher than my bikini scores.  My next experiment was Ms. Fitness. Once again, an amazing group of girls, and competing with so many girls from all over the world at Ms. Fitness World was an experience that cannot be matched.  I was thrilled they had a speech round as one of my favorite pastimes is hamming it up in front of crowds.  My new problem was that my routine couldn’t compare with the European Olympic gymnasts.  I still had a blast and hope this competition will one day return on ESPN!

One of my first fitness competitions:
Women's Fitness Extravaganza at the age of 19

But then I walked into the room for Women’s Tri Fitness.  I showed up in Vegas not knowing much more about the contest than what I read in Oxygen Magazine.  Alone (and kind of scared!) I was immediately surrounded by fun, kind, and outgoing athletes.  Al greeted me with his trademark stressed out smile and I knew I was in for a great weekend.  This competition scoring is based much more on the athleticism of the girls, with only a quarter of the score based on the bikini round.  And even with that the scoring in the bikini round isn’t looking for just one type of body, all different beautiful types make it up onto the award stand.  The bikini round and routines were old hat for me, but then I was faced with my new challenge: the obstacle course and fitness skills.  As I made my run through the course I realized I wasn’t alone.  I had 10 girls (strangers!) running along side cheering for me!  The same went for my bench press, box jumps, and shuttle run.  Exhausted by the end of the weekend, I truly felt like I accomplished something.  I had found my comfort zone and my new family.

After a few more years of competing with Tri Fitness (I still throw in a Fitness America and Ms. Fitness show from time to time!) Al approached me asking if they could help my cause with the Huntington’s Disease Society of America with their new “True Grit” team challenge in the sand.  What an honor.  Two weeks ago Peter and I went down to volunteer at the World Challenge and first True Grit in Florida. In the trial event about $1500 was raised in one of the most challenging obstacle races I have ever been a part of or seen!

My Team finishing this grueling beach obstacle course: TRUE GRIT!

With the success of this spring’s event, the entire thing will happen again on a bigger scale this November at TradeWinds Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida.
Fitness friends- I encourage you to give the Tri Fitness Challenge a go!  It is a weekend you will never forget!  And any of you looking at Tough Mudders, Warrior Dashes, etc. the True Grit Team Challenge will be right up your ally!

So thank you Al and all of the girls in my Tri Fitness family.  So proud to be part of your organization and am gratefully you are helping families suffering with Huntington’s Disease across the United States.
Tri-Fitness and True Grit Challenge November 15-18