My entire life I have never been very athletic. The only sport I ever participated in as a kid was dance and ballet, and my shyness and insecurities held me back from continuing. In 2005, I started receiving private voice lessons which boosted my confidence. In fact, those singing lessons helped me try out for a play in 8th grade, where I was cast as Cleopatra, one of the evil stepsisters in The Glass Slipper.
Of course, this blog post is not directly about confidence. But these actions gave me the confidence to try out for my high school cheerleading team. To my surprise, I made it. I entered this new world of running, jumping, and kicking. As I mentioned earlier, I had never been much of an athlete and I sure wasn't someone who RAN. I remember being the very last person on the track after running maybe two laps. My team, being cheerleaders, waited at the foot of the track, cheering me on. I hated every second of it. It was borderline humiliating. Not only was I the slowest person there, everyone was watching me, waiting for me to hurry up. My stamina never improved throughout my 4 years of cheerleading. Maybe a little, but I still remember struggling to make a 10:30 minute mile in my PE class.
It wasn't until college that I started understanding my body and how to strengthen it. As cheesy as it sounds, I took control of my fitness and health because of the Miss America Organization. I have always been thin but never had much muscle definition. When I first started, I just wanted abs and thought cardio, one set of 10 reps of bicep curls, and maybe not ordering a milkshake with my burger and fries might get me there. I worked all summer before my sophomore year of college, in the gym and on the elliptical machine. That October, on a Thursday, I started prepping for my first 5k (which was on Saturday). Thursday I ran two miles straight. Friday I ran 2.5 miles straight. I couldn't believe it. As someone who could not run a straight mile in high school, I ran my first 5k in 32 minutes without stopping or walking. I was pretty proud.
Would I have done that if I wasn't involved in the Miss America Organization? Probably not. But maybe. This organization has changed who I am today in more ways than one. I am looking forward to see how I grow (pun intended) through my fitness journey and as an individual in charge of her own health. So cheers to a healthy 2015! May your year be filled with protein, vegetables, water, and muscle mass. Don't forget to follow my "Fitblr" Fit for a Crown!