I found this inspirational and wanted to share. Re-posted from gailauerbach.blogspot.com
My journey into bodybuilding started at the age of 6. 6 you ask? Yes, 6!!!! See at 6 years old I sat in a first grade classroom and I was the odd ball, the weird-o, the kid who was different, the one no one understood or wanted to be friends with. I was the one chosen last during dodgeball. At the age of 6 I was diagnosed with ADD, ED, BD and LD. I have attention, behavior, learning and emotional difficulties. Talk about being hit hard. EVERYTHING I did was a struggle and hard for me. So how did this get me into bodybuilding you ask? This was the beginning of me struggling to find my "place" or "home" in this world. This is where I began my first attempt to be understood for who I am and what I believe in.
So throughout school I got involved in gangs, sports, and a sorority, all attempting to find the people and place where I would be the most understood. I went to college on a cross country scholarship and went to the gym to lift weights three times a week. After a month my coach told me I had to STOP lifting! I was getting to big! After many stress fractures, I decided to switch to playing rugby in college. I got to lift daily and get as big and strong as I wanted! During college their was a bodybuilding show called Greek Physique and I decided I wanted to compete in it. I trained at the gym with many guys who offered to help me pose, diet and prepare. I loved the diet, loved putting on muscle, loved cardio, learning about supplements and loved competing! I competed in Greek Physique and won it 4 years in a row! When I left college I joined a gym back home where I was student teaching. I started working out there daily and meeting people who competed in the NPC and who told me I should do a show. I told everyone I wanted to focus on my first year teaching and just continued to train. I hired a trainer and he trained me 3 times a week. I started to see myself put on more and more muscle as time went on. I ate clean and started learning more about supplements. I decided to start attending the local NPC contests to see what it was like. During the first show I went to I had made up my mind...I WANTED TO COMPETE AGAIN! So in 2007 I started my journey toward my first competition. During the year I went to every show and met more and more people who competed. I started lifting, training and spending time with competitors and by the end of 2007 I had attended every local Illinois show and had met a whole group of friends who understood me and accepted me for who I was. They understood my "oddness" and in their eyes it was okay to be different. In fact it was my differences that made me so unique.
So in 2008 I stood back on the stage and did my first NPC bodybuilding competition. Ever since then I live the lifestyle daily, believe in the religion of bodybuilding and truly believe I found my "place" to call home! All of the struggling I did my whole life as a child only made me a stronger person. It only taught me resilience and to persevere when things are hard. This has helped me get through contest prep, in the off season when bulking and in my professional life as a elementary and special education teacher. The only difference is I have taught my students that it's okay to be this way! This is how I started bodybuilding and can't imagine my life without it!
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