Coffee Talk: My Journey – “The Decision”


hemmed, hawed, backpedaled and have had inner debates with Joe, (my cuppa), as to whether or not to discuss this with you.

Joe says, “Go for it, girrrlll — I GOTCHU!” 

And though most days I trust Joe with all my inner musings, his hopped-up-on-caffeine, eager beaver mentality has me doubting.

Why do I doubt?

Well, to be frank (Joe … Frank … what is this??) — it’s that Vulnerability piece that makes me unsure – that “putting myself out there to be judged, held accountable, held to the gun by the masses that has me treading lightly.  It’s frightening to allow a peeping Tom into your inner self where all your dreams, aspirations, fears, doubts reside.

So — without any further ado — here’s what Joe and I have to say.


I’ve decided to thrust myself back into the world of

figure competitions and am taking a much broader step

by embracing this side of fitness training as my ongoing sport.


I’ve bitten the bullet and have already started down my training road with another competition on the books for June 27, 2020.  The Steel City Championships in Pueblo, CO.

There.  I’ve said it.  Now I’m REEAAAALLLLYY committed!


But there’s more …

Joe and I would like to invite YOU to be part of this journey.

To me the JOURNEY is this:

The process of beginning something – dedicating time, energy, resources, focus, – revealing the struggles, the pain, the pitfalls – being vulnerable enough to share the HIGH’s and the LOW’s, the small VICTORIES and what feels like the massive DEFEATS along the way.


Why exactly would I want to put myself out there like this – for every Tom, Dick and Harry to scrutinize?

Listen, I’m not looking for platitudes.

I’m looking for CONNECTION *** on a TRIBAL level.

I hope to encourage YOU as you encourage ME along the way.

I’m not looking for followers, groupies, empty flattery-givers but I AM looking for those who want to sit down over a proverbial cuppa Joe and share LIFE EXPERIENCES with me – partake in the similarities within the realms of what we ALL are trying to accomplish for body, mind and spirit.  A veritable “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” kind of synergy.

So …

For Today’s Coffee Talk let me begin by giving you some background information.

Most of you know that I’ve been in the fitness industry for 25 years now.  (Goodness — how in the world did THAT happen so quickly?) .  I’ve been involved with so many various forms of fitness training and have learned a lot about my body (and your body too) along the way.  I have participated in Triathlons, Adventure Races, have taught nearly every kind of fitness class under the sun, have been a part of small, private owned gyms as well as high end wellness facilities.  I’ve worked for “the man” and have also created from the ground up, owned and operated two fitness studios. I’ve launched my own signature brand with many components attached (signature nutritional supplements line, exceptional website, other signature resources).  I have certifications out the wazoo and continue to strive for excellence in all I do.

This is not a platform for bragging rights.  It’s just the facts of where I’ve been, where I’ve come, where I am now.

—- Joe is nudging me to get to the point —-


Along my own fitness journey, outside of business development, the thing that has been the MOST BENEFICIAL to my personal  body, mind and spirit “fit-ness” has been COMPETING in Figure Competitions. 

Beneficial means NOT WITHOUT major struggle.  It means —

Despite the struggle and pushing through the struggle have I benefitted the most!

HOW SO, You ask?

For my BODY competition training is actually the least traumatic because it isn’t muscle wasting, but instead Muscle Building.  I believe muscle is part of the “fountain of youth” and as we age, the harder it is to preserve it.  Competition training does not encourage my body to eat away its own power but instead, further develops that power to support a thriving metabolism, healthier joints, increased physical strength and transformational body composition.

My MIND becomes laser focused during competition training.  It tells my body what to do and gives the executive order.  Through this type of training I have learned how to WILL my MIND to tell my body YES — YES it can do what the mind is dictating.  Competition training has helped me develop an iron will within my mind.

And my SPIRIT??  Oh, friends — competition training forces me to dig deep within my spirit.  To drag out the emotions attached to a lot of YUCK, past and present that could crush me.  I have had to go to such depths during my training at times that my children have found me on the treadmill – tears streaming down my face as I LET GO of some very deep, very personal, very agonizing pain within my spirit.



My first NPC Figure Competition:  The Warrior Classic in Loveland, CO – August of 2012 at age 43 


And then the Mile High Championship in Golden, CO – November 2015 at age 46

just prior to major surgery and also upon beginning the menopausal phase of life



  • Learning how to properly fuel my body
  • Balancing my work schedule, social schedule, family schedule and training schedule
  • Understanding the proper cardio exercise protocol (very different from what I was accustomed)
  • Trusting the process
  • Managing the fluctuating hormones and the push-back from my body on a daily basis
  • Managing an extremely difficult family situation that could’ve demanded I quit
  • Learning that not everyone is FOR ME because for some reason my dedication to my path highlights their difficulty in committing to their own path
  • Accepting that the journey is a lonely one most days
  • Streamlining my exercise regimen so that no part of it is counterintuitive to the goal (THIS IS A BIG ADJUSTMENT)
  • Pushing through the days of exhaustion and lack of motivation
  • Sticking to the nutrition protocol NO MATTER WHAT : Excuses don’t fly.  I either DO what I need to do or I DON’T
  • Ignoring the scale and paying more attention to non-fluctuating body metrics
  • Understanding HOW to NOT lose lean mass while dropping body fat
  • Holding fast to my regimen despite everything (and everyone) that is trying to force me to cave
  • Pushing beyond the mental, emotional and physical difficulties that are always present
  • Reinventing my palate and my way of doing most everything


Why do I want to involve YOU?

Here’s the deal.  I am, for nearly all of my fitness-related endeavors, the LONE RANGER.

I don’t have workout partners, a training tribe, a group of people whose sole focus as a group is to push, challenge, encourage, pick someone up after falling and do this FITNESS THING together.

I have ME.  MYSELF & I (and Joe, of course.  He gets a little agitated when I don’t mention him).

I’ve often wondered why it is that I’m the Lone Ranger. 

—Maybe it’s because it’s just part of my focus.

—Perhaps it’s that people are “scared” and don’t want to join me, though if they are scared of me, then they have quite the incorrect view of me.

—But maybe it’s because I haven’t allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to  YOU so that you realize  that I WANT you to be a part of my journey — or better said — I NEED you to be part of it.

I looked down at my coffee the other day, and also replayed in my mind the advice that I received from a colleague and someone I also call “friend” who challenged me to put myself out there — all the GOOD, the BAD, the UGLY and actually INVITE you along.

He reiterated that there’s something very contagious about being raw, open, authentic and that it serves a greater purpose by allowing OTHERS the freedom to connect because they understand that they aren’t alone on their own path — which in turn, breeds the freedom for authenticity in them as well.

I had an honest heart to heart and decided then and there that my vulnerability (or my lack thereof) is, was, and will continue to be the key and that change is imperative.




That’s a biggee in this world of

“LESS Authenticity 


MORE Smoke and Mirrors.”


Joe barraged me with questions:

  • What if they see your vulnerability as weakness?
  • What if they completely misjudge you and think you are seeking attention?
  • What if you FAIL?
  • What if LIFE hands it to you and you fall flat on your face — AGAIN?
  • What if your body says NO even though your heart and mind scream YES?
  • What if they criticize you?
  • What if they misplace your intentions?
  • What if it looks like you are trying to be like many of the other narcissistic, social media junkies?

I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly and have come across several lines that I blurted out in response to Joe’s questions (and to partly shut him up!)

  • “Vulnerability is not “winning” or “losing”; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”
  • “Vulnerability is not weakness.  It is our greatest measure of courage.”
  • “Don’t try to win over the haters.  You are not a Jackass Whisperer.”  (Joe picked this one)
  • “The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories, to appear more or less acceptable, but our wholeheartedness depends on the integration of all our experiences, including the falls.”
  • “When we spend our lives waiting until we are perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena [of vulnerability], we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable.”
  • “You either walk inside your story and own it or you can stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”
  • “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”

And finally — to top it all off and end this questioning session with my cuppa Joe, I threw in Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote that gets me super fired up!

It is not the critic who counts;

not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles 

or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, 

whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;

who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;

but who does not actually strive to do the deeds; 

who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions,

who spends himself in a worthy cause,

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement

and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, 

so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls

who neither know victory nor defeat.




If expressing my vulnerability with YOU is key … then here we go —

Here’s where I am for the start of my training.

  • I am 51 yrs old.
  • Am POST-MENOPAUSAL which means my body doesn’t produce those hormones of youth any longer and instead wants to store body fat
  • I’ve had 5 cortisone shots in the last 5 years (1 in my hip, 3 in my left shoulder and 1 in my right shoulder)
  • I have managed, with the help of menopause, to put on the amount of weight equal to what I weighed when I gave birth to my first child
  • My coach says there’s quite a bit of body fat for me to lose (kindly called me a “fatty” — haha.  That’s what I heard)
  • I raised 3 children of my own and am a grandma to 1
  • I am sole owner and operator of a business which means it’s up to me to keep the business alive
  • I am a busy person — just like YOU — and don’t have “all the time in the world” to exercise, prep meals, count ounces of water, take supplements, keep workout logs etc




Well, my friends.  I hope you will come alongside me.

I need YOU.

I need encouragement from YOU, urging me to never quit.

I crave YOUR input, especially how any of my vulnerability in the future may match something in your own life.

I seek connection with YOU.

I desire to communicate with YOU, hope to inspire YOU if possible, help YOU set your own goals as you spur me on towards mine.

Will you join me?


Real talk about Real victories and defeats with REAL solutions to reaching REAL goals?

I look forward to meeting you here … taking you on my journey each week … talking about the highs and the lows and the “AHA!” moments along the way …

And for the record — Joe has invited himself, so I guess he comes with the package.

Authentically YOURS,





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