Yes it has been a long time since I have updated. There is so much going on. I am thrilled to be embarking on some new challenges this year.
Before I left for the Arnold, I had put in for a leave of absence from teaching for the following school year. I have to make a decision in March for something that is only going to happen in September. Perhaps that is why I am such a planner. In teaching you always have to plan way in advance.
I am looking to spend more quality time with my son, and have a bit more time for myself, and pursue some interests that I might not otherwise. Teaching has been very good to me over the years, however, I am very unhappy with the direction the education system is headed. I do not feel that my own personal expectations of students are in line with what I am being told to do in the classroom. I know that I am able to 'close my door' and still do my own thing, yet, ignoring what is happening is no longer an option. My colleagues are able to deal with the situation much better than I. Hopefully my leave will be approved, as my love of the students and my fellow teaching staff is what I felt has kept me teaching for almost a decade. The amount of work required of me as a teacher has tripled over the last 3 years, and I am unable to do the job that I am feel that I am qualified to do, as the amount of preparation, planning, correcting, and daily administration duties are beyond what is humanly possible in the span of a 8-12 hour work day. And if I am going to be putting in that many hours into something that I am not 100% passionate about, I might as well be giving the same amount of effort into something that I would anyways - fitness.
I feel that at this time in my life, choosing to do something 'different' and for me that would be pursuing training others, helping with their nutrition, and helping them change their lives for the better is something that has interested me since I was a little kid. I am willing to face my fears of changing my job in order to do something that I never viewed as 'work'. I love learning, and am willing to do the work required to get better. I am more motivated than ever at the prospect of being 'superior' at my job.
Teaching I always felt as though I was lacking, as there were too many variable that continuously changed. With a constant change in workload/subject area, I never felt as though I was progressing. Every year I felt as though I was starting over, and never had a chance to be 'great'. For me it was important to be able to add to my resources, not scrap everything and have to start over. I always felt like I was starting over.
In the last few years of teaching, I had a really difficult time of separating my two worlds - teaching and fitness. I felt as though I was not being authentic self when I was teaching. There were parts of me that had to be 'controlled' as certain aspects of the industry could be viewed as inappropriate. I am fully conscious of my role as teacher, and role model for the younger generation. I think that this move towards fitness is going to be more in line with who I am. I am still an educator - but one of health & fitness not just mathematics, science and ethics. (although I will always love math)
I will be training girls for shows to show them there is an easier way to contest prep. I am having more fun than ever preparing for my shows, dieting, and training than I ever have. I am to help those in need to achieve their goal of being on stage. It is such a wonderful time when the show finally comes around and you put what you have prepared for into action. I am following a few girls now, and am very proud and excited for them. Much more than I ever have been for myself. I love being able to 'teach' girls how to prep for shows, so hopefully they can take this knowledge with them for their next show (if they choose to compete again).
I am also starting a spray tanning service at shows (see previous post), for shows, and if I can - backstage. I want to be involved in many aspects of the industry and this just seemed like the next natural step. With a friend of mine, we are going to be attending various shows in my region (Sherbrooke, QC). Depending on the schedules of shows, and our schedules (she has 2 children, myself just one), we will be at various shows. Just check back here, or on my site for which shows we will be attending. The first one for this year is the FCPAQ show in Sherbrooke, on May 22nd.
On the competition front - lots of good things happening.
I placed 5th in the New York Pro show, and 6th at the Orlando Pro. I had a wonderful time at both shows. Really I just wanted to redeem myself from the performance at the Arnold. It was a better showing, but ultimately my goal is to make it to the Olympia this year. One more show that would allow me to qualify - the Europa in Texas in August. So I am 99% sure that I will be attending that show. I have a new suit in the works, and then I have to decide new routine, or just my Be Italian routine with a few modifications.
I did make it up to Toronto and spent some time with Liana Saadi - photographer extraordinaire, and close friend. We shot together. Images were amazing! While I was there, I was able to shoot with Oxygen and Inside fitness, visit with Erik Ledin of Lean Bodies Consulting and meet with my agent - Tereasa Panossa of the Red Group.
I have been traveling quite a bit in the last 2 months, so now it is time to take a break, and catch up with friends, and family. (and put the house back together).
I think I will be taking up golf this summer, take on a few clients (so you can email me), some vacation time, and we doing some alterations to the house, have plenty of visitors, studying (I am writing the CISSN exam in Clearwater in June), and prepping for the Europa Texas. There are plenty of things to keep me occupied since leaving teaching.
I have to say that I am super excited to get out of bed everyday. I really have not felt like this for a long time. I guess I never realized how unhappy I was teaching (or maybe just teaching the subjects I was teaching). Sometimes in life we do things that are expected of us. I am glad that I took the risk, and am taking the steps necessary to do what I really want in my life.
"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."
Vincent Van Gogh