In 2010, I started training for my first contest. I knew nothing about competing- I just knew I wanted to do something outside of my box for my 30th birthday. Little did I realize that I would be exchanging one extreme for another. I went from being the mom that distracted myself from my own life by starving myself... to being the mom that loaded the kids up in the car every single evening for them to spend 2 hours in the gym daycare. I had tunnel vision and within 9 months of competing in my first NPC show, I won my pro card in the IFBB.

I continued with my tunnel vision and all I could think about was qualifying for the Olympia. Because if I qualify for the O then I could say I made it. As cliche as that sounds...that is what I believed. Two years had gone by and my kids were going from being in school, to pretty much going straight to the gym, to eating dinner and off to bed.

And then a bomb was dropped.

3 weeks before my pro debut my dad passed away from a massive heart attack at just 57 years old. I still competed at that show...I actually had tears as I walked onto the stage. It was the fist time my girls and my mother had ever seen me compete and I will never forget seeing their sad faces as I did my quarter turns. I was ashamed. I was lost. I was heartbroken. And yet, competing remained the priority.

Life is different now. I am present. I still love to train, but it enhances my doesn't control my life. I took 16 months off from the stage and although I did 3 shows at the end of 2013- my kids were actively involved in my "hobby" and not once did I sacrifice my time with them. Losing my dad opened my eyes and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank him for his powerful message...

Time is the one thing I will never get back.

I am a better mom because of the gym, but I am also a better mom because I know what is truly important in life. I will most likely never qualify for the O or make it on the cover of a magazine- But it's when I'm standing on the sideline of a soccer game, helping with a spelling test or enjoying a moment like this~ I know in my heart... I've already made it.