Looking back: 2014.

Oh 2014 has certainly been a year. And looking back on it today, I found myself having a “moment”. Of course, I was having my most reflective moment of the year about 10 minutes before finishing my last workout in my gym, not for 2014, but forever.

I found myself a little nostalgic as I finished my shoulder workout and looked around the space that I have used to sculpt my body, build strength and set some pretty great personal records over the past 12 years. It’s hard to believe that when I started there, I was only pushing a single 25-lb plate on each side of the leg press. Or that I didn’t even know what a deadlift was.

This year, in this gym, my body has seen some of it’s most drastic changes. For the first time in my fitness journey – I was finally sculpting shoulders. Erin Stearn’s Elite Body workout gave them that boost they needed. Instead of having that rugged, firm athletic appearance, I was leaning out. I was, by the end of May, on track to my first stage appearance in the fall.

This is also the same year, that after a year of not really powerlifting – at all, I hit the gym one night and by the time I walked out, I’d broken my backsquat PR of 125-lbs, setting a new one at 140-lbs, and randomly deadlifted 300-lbs for 10 reps, finding myself surprised that I hadn’t lost more of my “powerlifting abilities” during that year. Excited that I was so easily able to get back to 300-lbs, I was setting myself up for breaking my 350-lb for five reps on the deadlift by the middle of this summer.

Then four days later, I found out I was five weeks pregnant. All powerlifting came to a complete halt. And my fitness journey became something else.

Pregnancy has made EVERYthing “something else”.

After receiving the news at the end of April, that at most, with all the medicine of today could do, it was coming time to accept children were not a part of my future, finding out that I was pregnant, was shocking. Life suddenly became…. different, for a lack of a better word.

2014 has had bad news and bad people, and a car accident, but knowing that I had a little tiny human growing inside of me has canceled out every single bad memory, every single negative thing that has been said to me, and all I can think of is the positive.

I was able to be a part of a good friend’s amazing journey to her second time on the competition stage. There, I met some wonderful people in the industry, learned a lot of the ins and outs of it and competing. At the same time, I got to meet one of my fitness idols, Mike O’Hearn. I got to watch him pose. I got to pat Stryker.

Sure, being pregnant this year took me off course and down a different road, away from my own competition, but hey, it’s not like it’s the end of the world. There’s always next year. And those that know me, know that I don’t ever give up, sometimes life needs a little rearranging, but I always make it happen.

Through ambassadorships with two fitness brands, I have met some incredible people whom I’ve grown to admire. One ambassadorship brought me the opportunity to be a part of an upcoming e-book.

Pregnancy has brought me so many great things as well. I’ve moved around the camera. After reading this article on HuffPost, a cord was touched inside. At that point in time, I wanted to work on moving around the camera. Coming out from behind it, but never really could. Knowing that I have a little one coming made things different. At first, yes, I forced myself to do it, but I did it.

In doing so, in documenting my fit pregnancy on social media, I realized something with all of the feedback I was getting (okay, 99.9%, you still have those negative bitches out there): Women were finding my journey encouraging, influential, positive. Other fellow fit pregnancy women and I connected, and have become a part of each others journeys. I found current moms working their way back to their fit lifestyles. It’s like a blooming flower, that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. And it’s amazing. Empowering.

It’s really great when you find yourself at that point in life when you realize just how tiny the negative stuff really is. Just how monumental the positive is. How when you really focus on finding the positive in everything, just how upbeat and bright your life will suddenly become.

Next year is going to be a heck of a road too. We’re starting it off a little rocky, dealing with an injury from our furbaby this morning that has his lower back and hind legs weak and a little messed up, but he will be okay, so that’s all that matters. A very special little boy will come into the world in February, bringing a shining light into our household. I’ll finally, after all of these years, be getting cozy with weights in my own space. I’ve got some really great plans worked out for fitness for the local people, a great program I’m working on for online clients to purchase – and I’m even looking at considering a YouTube channel with workouts (that’s right, not just photos, but videos of me… Moving up in the world!). And I’m also going to start my fitness road to get on that stage. Maybe not in 2015, but by the end of 2016, it will happen.

So long 2014. You’ve been a pretty great year and have left me with a lot of beautiful memories.

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Photographer. Writer. Fit mom. Athlete. Trainer/Coach. Nutritionist. Heavy lifter. Yogi. Pit bull mom. Outdoor enthusiast. Food lover. 1st Phorm Legionnaire.

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