Celebration…in ALL Things!!!

It is interesting the paths our lives take, regardless of how hard we try to aim ourselves in a certain direction, the Fates have their own ideas, and I’m ok with that.  There is some comfort in feeling like my destiny, whatever it may end up being, has been planned by the Gods.

Four days ago was my 8 year post-op anniversary.  The day came, I took my comparison photos, the same as I have in years past, but something was different.  I chalked it up to not knowing my full numbers from my bodpod reading yet.  Well, three days ago I got those back.  Not a huge surprise, in fact, I was up 2.8% in body fat, but still, no big emotional reaction from me.  Now I sit here today, having finally added the new shots to the master comparison photos and I am finally ready to write this blog.

This past year has been a very different sort of year for me.  I have done so many amazing things, I can’t even begin to describe them all.  I have met some truly wonderful people and enjoyed being a part of their lives.  I have managed a balance in my life that is finally feeling even.  Greg and I have never been better, our lives are in harmony and seemingly almost too good to be true, but in reality, we both think life is almost perfect.  My creativity has gone through the roof, I am in the midst of writing a book with a dear friend and I am looking at some options for my own start-up company.

Life, as they say, is pretty damn amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been perfect.  With all good things, you have a modicum of bad.  I have fallen in and out of love, I have encountered individuals that showed me there are still feelings within me I need to work on but I have gotten stronger, gotten braver and walked away from some things I never thought I would have.  Over all though, I learned many good lessons over this past year.  Dealt with some real assholes too, but even they tend to teach you something in the end, even if its how to have self control and not kill them lol.

Up til my anniversary date there was a lot of coverage for my fighting.  I have both loved it and hated it.  Once you let the world see you, they don’t unsee you.  It has, at times, been overwhelming.  And affected me more than I ever thought it would.  But in ways I never expected.  The most positive of them all was something that my best friend Kelli Kennison pointed out to me after seeing me on TV.  She noticed that nothing was ever said about my weight.  That it was all about me being a fighter, a strong woman and an athlete.  I hadn’t even noticed.  Then I did the radio interview, and the same thing happened.  It was just about me being a fighter.

My fat girl past was never brought up.  And I liked that.  But it also scared me, which took me some time to understand.

Almost every day, someone sends me a message, talks to me or texts me about being an inspiration to them.  How I have helped them get off the couch, or want to learn to fight, or hell just be stronger.  So, when my anniversary came around the numbers weren’t as important to me.  I finally didn’t need them to validate that I was winning.  In part, because the competition was no longer inside me.

I finally felt satisfied with me.

I still have work to do.  I am no where near the shape I eventually want to be in, but this striving is different.  Its not the “I’m not happy with how I look so lets change it” its the “I’m good, but I always want to be better” variety.  And let me point out, it has taken me 48 years to get to this point.  It is not easy, it is not painless and it is quite possibly the hardest thing I could ever admit openly, but, I am satisfied with me.  Regardless of what society thinks, regardless of what my friends think, especially regardless of what my enemies think.  I WIN!

I will never stop trying to be better.  But at some point you have to decide to be happy with yourself, the way you are, before you can move to the next level.  When I put my new comparison shots up I felt good.  I felt proud.  And I realized I felt very different than I did this time last year, in almost every aspect.

Even with 2 World Championships ahead of me, with expectations riding high from friends, team mates and even complete strangers, I feel good. Do I think I will win?  I hope I do, I’ve been training my ass off, but even if I don’t, its OK.  I am going.  I am stepping into that eric with everything I’ve got and if its not enough, its not enough.  I’m not the best fighter, I’m not the best swordsman, in fact I am competing in styles that I actually don’t like.  I am NOT a singles fighter.  I am a melee fighter.  But I’m there, fighting, trying to get better with every opportunity I am given because who knows what the future holds.  Whether I come home with a medal or simply have dirt in a bottle, I win.  Because I tried and I refuse to give up or give in.

And no matter what, when I wake up in my own bed on May 12th, I start training for 2016.  Its simple as that.  Truly.

And whether I weigh more or less next year, whether I hit all my goals, whether I beat all my stats in 6 months…I will never stop working to get stronger.

Here are the new comparison photos for you all.  Hopefully you like them.  I did.  And even though I am 5 pounds heavier than I was 365 days prior, I am stronger, healthier and more fit.  That makes me happiest of all.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me, encouraged me and given me their inspiration.  I love you all and I hope your next 365 days will be amazing…I know mine will be =)

Amy

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