Plover, WI

"They say pictures are worth a thousand words. Pictures also allow us to reflect on and reevaluate a moment that has passed. We are given the opportunity to see things we may have missed or view life from a different perspective.

When I received my stage photos after my first competition, I was gifted a broader view of the significance of what I’d accomplished. Instead of being focused on the outcome, I was able to appreciate my journey. If you know me, you know how much I love to win. At home with my family, this is the smile that widens when I dominate a game of UNO or sink the last battleship. It’s often accompanied by a deep belly laugh. Being a competitor has driven me to astounding heights and built this physique. Do I want to win? Absolutely yes. But I feel that in the ways that matter most to me, I’ve already won.

What I wanted to present on stage was reflected in every picture. I can clearly see how I honored the physique and power I wanted for myself. My next step is to grow in my ability to honor the sport by sculpting and posing my body into the desired form. But I’m thrilled I honored my vision first my initial competition. I know these pictures will bring me a lot of joy when I view them later on in my bodybuilding career. My goal is to win my IPE pro card and compete on the natural professional circuit.

Honoring my vision was not just taking my love of weightlifting to a competitive level, a love I developed at age 14. It was realizing a dream I have had to place on hold for decades to focus on the academic rigor required to pursue my career goals. It was the ability to conquer old wounds and kill it on stage.

Look at this girl who was born homeless.

Look at this girl who grew up feeling like she never belonged and recalls being teased for her features, such as her ears.

Look at this girl who used to have stage fright as a result of the treatment from her school-age peers to the point she almost fainted if performing.

Look at this girl who had a dream and has fought for it every step of the way.

Look at this girl who grew her wings and learned to fly against the wind. 🦋"