It's safe to say I've experienced my share of turned-up noses and raised eyebrows when people find out I'm a "bodybuilder." For a while, I hesitated to call it "bodybuilding," and often answered questions of what I've been up to with a casual referral to "training" or "new workout regimen I'm trying out." However, I've decided to embrace the label of bodybuilding, and maybe clarify what it means to me.
I do bodybuilding because I want my physical body to reflect the strength and beauty that's being produced on the inside of my body.
There's a hardcore, never-ending fitness class going on deep within my spirit, a conditioning brought on by the Holy Spirit, that if I allow it to, will tear apart my soul and rebuild it just like a hardcore workout does to your muscles.
I've told people before that I believe fitness is God's preferred method of communication with me, and hey, I'm not going to question his methods. Whatever he's doing, it's working, and I like it.
Sure, competing in shows has given me a platform to start my own business, become a credible source of nutrition and fitness knowledge, as well as become an inspiration to those wanting to perfect their aesthetics. I think all of those reasons are proof enough of why it's an honorable position to be in as a bodybuilder. But, what I think can sometimes get blurry for competitors is discovering why they care about being an inspiration any way.
I'm afraid if achieving physical perfection was my only motivation for me crawling out of bed at 5 a.m. and crawling up the ladder of death, I mean, stairclimber, every morning, I would have worn myself out after a couple shows and over-tanned, vein-popping photographs, and then marked it off my checklist a long time ago.
So, why do I keep on going like the Energizer Bunny?
Not because I think working out is a Biblical law or spiritual discipline.
Not because I think I'm worthier of a person if I look and feel better.
Not because I think God loves me more if I work hard enough to prove to him I'm a hard worker.
Because the revelations in my spiritual life motivate me to shine out God's light in every which way I can, and to me, doing the shows keeps me accountable and challenged enough to never stop ... to never give up.
That's why no matter what critique a judge gives me, whether I'm too lean, too thin, or too whatever, I keep pushing myself and pushing myself, because I know who the real judge is. And he has whispered in my ear, "Good job, my precious daughter," enough times to remind me of why I'm here.
My hope is that you find encouragement to dig deep and hear what God is saying to you. If you feel encouraged to pick up a weight or two in the meantime, that's just a bonus. ;)