July 4th, 2008 - We returned from our annual trip to Negril with all 4 kids in tow. Prior to our trip, I would say on abouts June 21st, I told my husband I did not want to go on the trip, I did not think it was a good idea and that I wanted to get a divorce. After much discussion, much begging, many tears, we decided to go anyway. It was with great hesitation and anxiety that I went on this trip. I think I may have even emailed Kristie something to the effect of..."this trip is hell in paradise." It was awkward and uncomfortable. I hated being in such a beautiful place that I love so much and feeling so much pain in my heart.
On July 7th, 2008 I met with my attorney for the very first time. A mother of 4 doesn't just decide to walk away without knowing what the options are and what the "picture" is going to look like after a divorce. Unfortunately, I did not know all the details of our life...or maybe it was fortunate that I didn't, for if I did perhaps it would have kept me here longer. Or maybe it would have made me leave sooner - I don't know. I can always wonder "what if", but it won't change "what IS".
It was on our Negril trip that I decided to train for competition. I figured, if I was going to give my husband "one more chance" that I might as well compete while I had the chance, knowing full well that single-motherhood was more than likely on the horizon for me. I have been blessed to have met some amazing people over the last year in my competition journey. People who have empowered me and helped me to realize my inner strength. Without even knowing it, these people helped me find the courage and confidence within myself to do "that which is necessary." I really believe that the competition process is what led me back to myself and really helped me realize that I can do what needs to be done. It made me realize that the power is within me to do anything I set my mind to doing. I've always been that person, but after years of allowing another person to take that power away from you, it's easy to forget that it really is still within.
As I prepared for my spring '09 shows, my coach (Dave) told me more times than I care to remember..."you're gonna have to suffer. You've never suffered before during your prep. You're going to learn what it feels like to suffer." Yeah, he was right, I suffered. And I thank him for that. Thru suffering comes victory and I deeply believe that the suffering I endured in preparation for competition is part of what taught me that no matter how much suffering I will have to go thru in my personal life, there will be victory (aka: happiness) in the end.
And so, a year later, on Independence Day, I am a soon-to-be-divorced mother of 4. Four beautiful, amazing, smart children. I am lucky. I am blessed. I am independent and strong and my children will be too! Although the road will be long and it will not be easy...without suffering, there is no victory and I want the victory!
I posted this quote the other day on Facebook and I've been playing it in my head constantly the last few days. Every time I get down and feel like curling up in a ball and crying. Even when I'm lifting or doing cardio, I say this quote to myself and it pushes me to go...one more round...