This month, instead of a Profile of the Month, I thought I would share with you my journey through 2018, and hopefully give you a little hope, inspiration and motivation to go out there are kick some serious goals in your life too; because if I can, anyone can!
In December 2017 I collapsed in my ensuite. My resting heart rate was 150, sweaty, clammy and short of breath. Over the previous few months I had lost most of my muscle, I was constantly exhausted and was struggling to walk let alone train clients, without my heart feeling like it was going to jump out of my chest. I had ignored the signs my body had been showing me that something wasn’t right, and just kept pushing through, cos that’s just me; keep pushing. Til it was too late. On the floor of my ensuite, I was no good to anybody; not my family, not my friends, not my clients. So putting all of them before myself for so long, took its toll and now I was no good to anybody.
My husband Theo wanted to call an ambulance or take me to hospital. I refused, suspecting it was my thyroid, requesting to go to my GP instead. Once there, I ran through my symptoms and she agreed it sounded like my thyroid. It was approximately a week or so before Christmas. We were leaving for Port Douglas on the 28th of December. A holiday we had planned for ages. We hadn’t been away for over six years.
What I had I done?
I had a simple blood test and confirmed it was Hyperthyroidism. The question was, what had triggered it? Especially since up until then, I had Hypothyroid.
I made an appointment to see an Endocrinologist in January after we got back from our trip, since I couldn’t see her before Christmas. In the meantime? How was I going to survive a two week trip in tropical Queensland? I called my naturopath desperate. I knew I wouldn’t be able to see her before Christmas but asked if there was anything I could take to help my symptoms, at least until I got back and I could consult with her properly in January. Kristine was amazing and recommended a couple of natural supplements which I invested in immediately. Within days my heart started to settle and I felt like I would be able to see the trip through. Which I did.
I survived our trip, only just, and started consulting with my Endocrinologist and Naturopath to conquer this challenge, as I was supposed to start comp prepping in February. I had a ton of tests done and found that I had iodine toxicity. I needed to detox the iodine I had been taking for the Hypothyroid so my system could calm down. Cutting a very long story short, by March I was given the all clear that my thyroid levels had come back down to normal. As long as my thyroid remained managed, I could lead a normal life again.
I continued to consult with my Naturopath Kristine, who eventually went on to have a baby and had to refer me to another Naturopath, another legend, Emma. Between them, these ladies worked some serious magic with their awesome herbs. I was able to consult with my Coach Reece and start planning for a Figure Comp. We decided on September, the ICN Vics. We had plenty of time to sort out my hormones, rebuild my muscle, my strength, and heal injuries that I had sustained along the way during my downfall and to start rebuilding my confidence again. My confidence had taken a serious nose dive when my health had deteriorated, physically, mentally, emotionally and as a Coach.
I had a number of challenge along the way with more injuries, work load, family commitments, a coaching course I had enrolled in, my mental state and more. Each challenge just made me more determined.
Over the course of the following months I realized the more I immersed myself into my comp prep, the more I had to offer my family, my friends and my clients. I was more present. I was chirpier. I was laughing again. I was confident again. I was fun to be around again. I was no longer moody, no longer snappy and no longer cried at the drop of a hat. The more time I invested into myself, the more I gave to others.
I started seeing my body change in ways it had never changed. When I began prepping I made the comment to my coach that I had never had nice legs and nobody had ever succeeded in being able to lean them up. I had issued with cellulite since I was 9 years old. His response was simply, ‘Challenge accepted’. And accepted it was.
Not only did my body change, my legs leaned up and in those final days before the final competition at the World Championships, I no longer had any cellulite! None. Nil. Zilch!
The changes that came on a daily basis was mind blowing.
I followed the plan each and every day. By the time the final comps arrived I was training up to five hours per day between my strength training and cardio training. On top of that I had 14,000 steps to complete (yes on top of the cardio), meals to prep, a family to cook and care for, a business to run, staff to manage, and I had not let go of a single client. That meant I had the same work load, I just needed to fit comp prep into it. I didn’t have the luxury of taking weeks off, or reducing my hours, I just had to make it work. In between all of that I needed to make sure I practiced posing for at least half an hour each day. I took a few days before each comp off, that’s it. ‘I don’t have time’ did not enter my mind. When my coach gave me an instruction on next step the only thing I considered was ‘How can I make this work?’ It was literally about just getting the job done, no negotiation. The outcome was super important to me so I had to find a way, no matter what. You know the old saying, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way!’ It’s so spot on!
My hard work and dedication paid off. I grew as a woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a sister, as an aunt, as a friend, as a boss, as a Coach, as a client, and as me. I discovered things about myself I had no idea about. I learned just how much I had to offer, to give, to push, to take and to endure. I learned so much about nutrition, training, rehab, mindset and time management. I also learned just how much I actually already knew about each and every one of those things, and just lacked the confidence to really use my knowledge.
My journey in 2018 has been one of the most difficult things I have ever lived through. That’s a huge statement considering I have had spinal fusion, Anorexia, tumors, etc. It has also been one of the most rewarding.
There were days I had no energy, I couldn’t be bothered, I was sick of cooking, I was sick of washing dishing, I was sick of grocery shopping, I was sick of trying to figure out how to pay for everything, I was sick of walking, and I was sick of being tired from the lack of sleep. On those days, I simply got on with it anyway because I knew the day would pass. I knew I am not a person that gives up. I don’t stop half way through. I don’t stop until the job is done. And the job wasn’t done. So I pushed through even on those days I thought I just couldn’t. I just did.
Where did I find the motivation? I didn’t. I had discipline. Motivation will get you started, but discipline will keep you going and see the job through.
I competed in the ICN Victorian Championships on the 22nd of September. I walked away with two golds and a silver.
Three week later on the 13th and 14th of October I competed in the ICN National Championships and walked away with a fourth and a fifth position.
Just two weeks after that I flew to Queensland with my hubby and two amazing kids and competed in the ICN World Championships on the 27th of October, from which I took home 2 golds, a silver and a bronze.
Upon receiving my first medal, the silver, I was in tears standing on that stage in Queensland thinking about what a blessing it was to achieve that medal that day. My thoughts went back to that hospital ward back in 2005 leaning forward onto my walking frame, willing my feet to move one in front of the other. 13 years ago, I was learning how to walk again, and on this day, I was standing on a stage in heels, in a bikini, in front of a stack of people, receiving a medal of congratulations. It blew me away. What an honor!
I am not anyone special. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend, a neighbor, a boss, a coach, a client, a customer, a mere woman on this earth taking each day as it comes, til my mortality is proven. I am merely, just like you.
I am no superwoman. I have nothing special. I am and have nothing you don’t. I share the same struggles. I fight the same demons. I get anxious. I get sad. I get angry. I get tired. I get fed up. I get….all those things, you do.
So if I can, you can.
If you take nothing else from this journey of mine, take this; THIS IS YOUR LIFE!
That should be motivation enough to go out and make it amazing.
Live it, don’t just live.
– Terri Batsakis, Founder of Terrific Fitness