Erin is a certified personal trainer and veteran figure competitor, having graced the stage in six local NPC shows since 2009. It may be Erin’s experience in the gym since the age of 15 that led to her placing in the top 5 at each of her competitions, or it may be her understanding that the real competition is with herself. Erin strives for self-improvement in each show and displayed her best overall package in the recent 2014 Met-Rx Rocky Mountain Championships where she placed 2nd in Figure Open B. With her eyes set on securing an overall title at a local show in 2015, Erin’s fire is on overdrive! In the following installment, Erin shares her story with you.
I love how working out makes me feel and after completing my MBA in business management, I had accomplished quite a lot through education. I decided I needed a new goal and pushing beyond my own physical limits just seemed so natural. So, my journey as a body builder began. The satisfaction I get from the competitions is not the trophies that I bring home, but rather the realization of the focus, self-determination and discipline I develop through the process of training for the competitions. I find it very rewarding that through all the early workouts, cardio sessions and clean eating as well as the sweat and tears, I am able to be fully committed to myself. That brings much more satisfaction to me than any acknowledgments received from standing on stage.
Goals and Motivation
For me motivation comes from within. I love knowing that I have complete control and I am the one that sets my own limits. I love every single aspect of working out, preparing for a show and stepping on stage. There is nothing that I don’t like. One of my favorite areas to focus on is my legs. They are very strong and they have always been my area for improvement, so pushing them far beyond their limits is a challenge that I am willing to go after. Seeing the progress in my physique each time I compete continues to motivate me to push pass my own barriers, whether I am training my legs or prepping my food. Looking ahead to 2015, I would like to keep improving my physique and see what my body is capable of doing. I want to keep competing and earn an Overall title at the local level, and then compete on the National level where I hope to one day earn my IFBB Figure Pro Card and keep inspiring and coaching others. My passion has and will continue to be to help others become the best that they can be.
Obstacles:When Life Happens
Life sometimes gets in the way, but ultimately it’s the sacrifices you are willing to give to reach your goal and overcome any challenge. I would say that the mind games are the biggest obstacles. The mind is a very powerful tool, it can make or break you. Ultimately, I always decide to embrace every part of competing, especially the mind piece and harness the power of positivity.
Thursday, February 14, 2013 at approximately 10:30 am
I suffered from a traumatic accident that resulted in several injuries. I was sling shot in the face with a metal rod. If the rod would have rotated it could have ended my life.
I was rushed to the emergency room and unsure of what damage had occurred, all I know is there was a lot of blood and I was in a tremendous amount of pain. Once I arrived at the ER physical exams, neurological tests, eye test and examinations, a cat-scan and probably many other things that I cannot recall from that ER visit happened that day. I couldn’t see due to the damage to my eye, it was just too painful. I had to completely rely on others for information and feedback. I remember very few details from that day. I also had no idea of the road to recovery and what was ahead of me. That day and into the night with the days that followed my husband became my eyes and my caretaker. All I knew is all my control was literally taken away from me and that is something I prid myself on.
The damages from the accident:
Laceration to the face which damaged the tissue below the surface and to the skin surface itself, laceration to cornea of the left eye which caused temporary vision issues. The accident also gave me two black eyes, a swollen face, constant headaches, neck and back injuries. I also suffered from the following:
A double concussion
TBI (traumatic brain injury)
PCS (post concussive syndrome)
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
Sensitivity to light and sound
I wasn’t able to work out for over 8 months, yet still had to train my clients and be a positive influence in their lives while being constantly reminded of my obstacles and limitations. I also didn’t know if I was going to be able to ever compete again. That scared me immensely and I didn’t accept that. I went to therapy a lot. I am not ashamed of it, and I was willing to do whatever I needed to – to gain my control back which was taken away from me that day. I had to learn the new me and I still am learning how the accident affected me then and still does. It’s definitely challenging at times and it’s ultimately up to me on how I embrace the challenges. I could allow defeat or I can dig deep within myself and embrace my strength. The accident affects me daily, whether something triggers a memory, or I miscount something or I just can’t simply remember, or someone makes a statement. It could be something big or even the smallest sound and I relive that accident. Things are not the same, they never will be and I don’t even look the same. Scars tell stories and this one just happens to remind me every day when I look in the mirror. So the question is why do I keep going after something after such a traumatic accident that still affects me today? Honestly, it’s who I am. My control was taken away and I wanted it back. My life is the life God gave me and that day just marks a day in my history that forever changed me. Just because it happened doesn’t mean I have to give up on myself or my dreams. The road has been long and it has been hard and I know I will continue to have struggles. However, I choose to embrace them and discover more about myself and my strength. I have an amazing support system and a determined heart to follow my dreams and dig deep with any challenge or obstacle that I may face and I don’t plan on changing that now.
The Lady Lifters
It’s absolutely inspiring and encouraging to be part of a wonderful group of ladies. Being a Lady Lifter allows me to feel empowered and confident knowing that my fellow ladies support and believe in me.
Erin’s Inspirational Advice
“Dig Deep and find what inspires you, because ultimately that is what matters. Do it because you love it not because you have something to prove.”