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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Behind the Scenes

     Today was somewhat of a weird day. I don't feel like I was very productive.  I guess that's because I didn't get much done besides shooting with Incredible Features. Ohhhh, the life of a celebrity.  (haha)  There were a few photographers with me today, doing an update on me and my life, since the last time they ran my story...when Jared was a baby!  That was 13 years ago!  Anyway,  we were supposed to start at noon.  Then it got pushed to 1.  A little after 1, a different photographer/assistant showed up to get started, but he really wasn't informed on what they wanted him to shoot.  He was super cool though:)  He's now a new friend, and we're already talking about shooting some training videos to sell on my web site. 
     Anyway, at 2:00, the original photographer finally showed up (only 2 hrs late), and he re-shot half of what we already did.  Why?  I have no idea.  I just rolled with it. We then took a trip to the gym, stopping at Starbuck's along the way.  We were at the gym a good 2 hours!!  At least while they were packing up ALL the equipment and loading it back into the truck, I was able to get my cardio done so I don't have to go back!  Yay!!  
     Finally, we headed over to a nearby park, just in time for one of our gorgeous AZ sunsets, so he could get some head shots.  It was definitely a LONG day, much longer than the 1-2 hours I was told this would take.  Needless to say,  I'm glad this day is over.  I am always happy about making new friends though, and Cole is a cool dude;) 
     Shannon was visiting with me at my house before the photographers arrived and stayed for part of our shoot.  As always, she captured a few good "behind the scenes" pics.  She never disappoints!! 
So, here is one she shot of me chopping an apple....something I never do.  I usually just bite right in!!  Another is a pic of me and Cole, the fun, laid back, and coolest ever photographer.  Lastly, I thought y'all might like to see who my fantabulous, fun friend, Shannon is!!  Believe it or not, we didn't even talk about our outfits before she came over.  They just coordinate because great minds think alike....and we're both cool like that. (haha) You can expect to see all of the other photos in various magazines around the world! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Media Craze

     I have been in the media a TON lately.  It all started (this time) with the Huffington Post article.  It has all sort of spun almost out of control since then.  I honestly don't get it.  There's a lot of hype over me right now, and I just don't understand why.  To me, I'm just a normal (whatever that is) woman who does normal things....the same things everyone else does.  Yes, I do it without having arms, but SO WHAT?  I've had a lifetime to figure out how to get by without arms!  I feel like there are so many other people so much more deserving of this attention.  I honestly don't care for all the praise and accolades.   
     YES, I hope that my story somehow inspires, motivates, and helps others.  I'd love to see my "No Excuses" lifestyle rub off on the rest of our society!  I'd love for people to understand the power of a positive attitude and a "Can Do" mindset!  I'd love to be a positive role model for the younger generations, especially the girls.  That's what I hope for through all of this.  The praises and fanfare should be going to those deserving of our brave men and women in the military who put themselves at risk for our the families of those men and the law enforcement officers and firemen/firewomen who risk their lives on a daily basis for our the teachers who are teaching our children...and many more!!  I'd like to see them get the attention and recognition they deserve.  
      Back to this media craze:  This week is only half over, and has been and will continue to be busy.  Another interview came out today on,  Incredible Features is coming to my house tomorrow to do a photo shoot and update about my life (they did a story several years ago).   Next week will be just as crazy!   I will be on 'The Doctors' next Thurs, and they are coming on Mon. to shoot their backstory.     The next week,  Phoenix Magazine who already interviewed me a few weeks ago,  is sending their photographer to shoot some photos to go with their article. 
      I THINK I'll finally get a little down time after that.  Whew!!  At least I hope so, because I have other people to focus on! My oldest son is showing his horse (a wild mustang that he trained!)  I can't miss that!  I'm so proud of him!  My "grandson" is turning 2 and has a birthday party coming up, and I have several friends competing in our local bodybuilding show in a few weeks.  I like to be there to support all my friends!!   Other than that, I have a few speaking engagements to tend to.    I haven't even begun to think about the holidays yet!!  Can we please just skip them this year??

Just A Thought

     The other day, a close friend of mine made a comment to me that has stuck in my head and made me think a little.  Me...thinking....scary, I know!  This friend of mine said that I'm one of the few people who is nice to him/her without ever asking for anything in return.
     Yes, it felt good to have my kindness/generosity acknowledged,  but more than that it got me thinking about how many times people are "nice" to others in hopes of, or with expectations of getting something in return.  It's sad, really.  
     It also made me think what a crappy feeling it must be to feel/know that most of the people you know are "nice" to you because of what you can do for them.  I'm happy that I can be that one friend who is just nice because I genuinely love this person and care about my friend. Hopefully, I am a tiny bit of sunshine in this friend's life, even when everything and everyone else is not so sunshiny. 
Think about this:  If you are nice, kind, generous, or giving to someone, with expectations of getting something for yourself in return attached, then are you REALLY being kind, generous, giving, or even nice?   My opinion is NO.  In fact, I believe if you're doing something for someone else in hopes of getting anything in return, it's not only NOT nice, it's downright selfish!  That's the exact opposite of how you're trying to appear.  
     Remember the Golden Rule??  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!  It's a great rule to live by, even if everyone else doesn't.  
     So what if you do nice and thoughtful things for people, and they can never repay you or give back?  Is it really going to kill you to GIVE ANYWAY?  Remember, it is more blessed to give than to receive.  I know that's a tough concept for many people to grasp.  Give it a try though.  Trust me, you will feel blessed for sure, and you never know how much a simple act of kindness can mean to someone.  There is joy in giving!
     To my friend: if you're reading this.....I love you:)

Monday, September 30, 2013

What Now?

     Now that competition season is over for me this year, what am I doing??  I'm staying on top of all my motherly duties, first of all.  Raising two teenage boys is not an easy job!  As far as fitness goes though,  I'm still getting about 30 min. of cardio in at least 3 days per week.  I'm going to gymnastics lessons/practice 4 days per week, which is a good workout in and of itself!  I'm also doing legs once per week.  Now that the weather is cooling off a bit, I need to start hitting the bleachers more regularly again too.  
    As most of you know, I LOVE food!  I am a big eater!!  However, I am trying super hard this off season to stick to a clean meal plan, control the number of cheat meals I allow,  and not gain too much weight.  So far, it's going well.  Obviously, I'm going to put on a little weight, but hopefully not as much as I have in the past because it's not healthy, and it makes contest prep that much harder.
     So...goals for my off season....#1 - maintain a good weight and clean eating, and #2 - master the gymnastics/tumbling tricks I've learned and gain enough confidence to do them on any surface so I don't chicken out on stage again next year. 

2013 Competition Season Is Over

2013 has been a heck of a year for me to say the least!  Honestly, I should have put competing on the back burner because I had too many irons in the fire at once, so to speak.  I like to be able to focus on and give my 100% to everything I do, and I tried to give 100% to too many things at the same time this year.  There were other things in my life that took a much higher priority than competing, and my attention/focus was there more than it was for competition stuff.  I felt I could have looked better for Jr. Nationals, but I went and planned to kick butt anyway. However, I got sick. I totally half-assed my routine, just trying not to puke my guts out on stage. Oh well.  It happens.  There is always another competition.
     Then it came time for North Americans. I was really excited about doing that show because it's one I hadn't competed at before.    As it got closer and closer to show time, I was stressing out more and more because my body was far from ready.  I think between my body fighting me/rebelling because I had been dieting so long, and other things that took priority in my life, I just was NOT ready.
I debated about going or backing out.  I finally just decided to go for it and JUST DO IT.  I figured I might regret not going, and I might as well just have fun with it.  I did have fun at the show for sure!  I met some awesome people, made some new friends, and got to see my dad!  He flew in from Texas to watch me......another reason I really wanted to be in my best shape ever.  He's my dad; he's proud no matter what.  He thought I looked every bit as good as the rest of the girls though.  
I did F up my routine though. I had planned on having one of my flips in it, and I chickened out at the last second.  I was so mad at myself that I forgot my freakin' routine and had to improvise for a big part of it.  I thought my routine absolutely stunk up the place! My dad only mentioned a few tricks that he knew were supposed to be in there but weren't.  Other than that, he couldn't tell I messed it up, and neither could anyone else apparently.  In fact, one of the judges told me it was the best routine he's ever seen me do!  I thought, "Really?? Then the rest of them must have REALLY sucked!!"  After seeing a video, I realized it wasn't as bad as I thought.  It wasn't as good as it was supposed to be either.  However, I placed 5th, which means I remain qualified to continue competing on the national level for another year. Whew!  At least I won't have to bother doing an extra show next year just to qualify again.  That's one burden off my shoulder!!  
When it was all said and done, I am happy that I went and competed, even though I knew I was far from being my best.  I still had fun, and it was a great experience.  Do I ever want to go on stage feeling like a fatty ever again??  Hecka NO, but I don't regret being there.  I plan on competing there again next year. I have to say it was probably the best run show I've ever competed in!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blingy Bling Bling!

     Yesterday, I discussed my determination to see this contest through.  Today, I'm getting excited!  I took my routine costume down to 'Luv My Bling' to get it all fancy-dancy blinged out!!  I wanted to keep my costume simple this year, but I just could NOT go on stage without bling!  I should have it back in about a week!  I can't wait to see it!  Ya, I know...I'm easily excited.  All it takes is sparkly and shiny stuff!  Now I just have to decide what shoes I'll wear:)   Fitness girls have so many choices to make, but it's SO much fun!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Determination & Stubbornness Are Rearing Their Heads Once Again

Jr. Nationals is just around the corner it seems, and I was debating about whether or not to even send in my entry form.  This has been, without a doubt, the worst contest prep I've ever had.  In all the years I've been competing, I have never struggled this much to get ready for a show.  It has been absolutely ridiculous.  If it's not one thing, it's another getting in my way.  There have been obstacles popping up around every corner.  My life has been quite chaotic this year, to put it mildly, which is sooo not what I'm used to.    Stress and knee pain have been my biggest and toughest battles.  Between unnecessary emotional stress, thanks to a certain male friend, and stress from my 16 yr. old, I've been a mess...physically, emotionally, and mentally.  My son is now going to school in another state, where he can get the help he needs in different areas of his life.  I am beyond grateful for the folks who are in our lives now to help.  Now that I've gotten him all settled and my heart is at peace, I can finally relax, be a lot less stressed, and focus on MY goal to compete in June.   It's amazing how stress can affect fat loss!  The fat IS coming off, but it has been fighting me every step of the way and taking its sweet time to comply!  My body does not want to cooperate and do what it knows to do!!  It's extremely frustrating!  I'm expecting weight to start dropping a bit faster now that my stress level is much lower; at least I hope so.
My knees have been the other major obstacle.  Both of my knees are jacked up.  They're always swollen, full of fluid, and they hurt almost constantly. The proof is on my M.R.I. films.   These knees of mine are really putting a cramp in my style when it comes to training, conditioning, cardio, gymnastics, and routine practice.  I was ready to throw in the towel and retire AGAIN from competing, until my doctor referred me to a chiropractor who has a fancy super-powered laser that will help my knees tremendously!  There are only 4 of these lasers in the country, and luckily for me, one of them is here very close to me!!   You can read about this laser at  I've only had two treatments so far, but I can already feel a difference.  I've been advised to stay out of the gyms just this week.  I'm doing my best to obey orders:) It's not easy to obey tall orders like that when I'm only 7 weeks out from competition day.  
In the past, when I learned different gymnastics tricks and flips, I chickened out when it came to actually doing them in my routine on stage.  This time, I've been more determined than ever to master a few tricks and perform them at Jr. Nationals.  I realize that this may be my last competition due to my knee health. So, I want to go out with a bang, have an awesome routine, and prove to MYSELF that I can do this!  So, when I thought about maybe having to quit, it just killed me!  Because of this laser, I have renewed hope.  I am not giving up just yet!  Giving up isn't in my DNA.  At the end of this competition, I want to be able to say that despite every curve ball that was thrown my way, I kept pushing, kept getting over the hurdles, and made it all the way.  Is this determination or just pure stubbornness on my part?  I'm not completely sure, but I'd like to think it's both!  Nothing is stopping me now...not teenagers, not a man, not stress, not emotional turmoil, not knee pain, and not stubborn fat!  This chick is taking the bull by the horns and is going to bust my butt to finish what I started!!  Yee haw!    See y'all in Chicago!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Speaking in Canada

This past weekend was an adventure to say the least!   My friend Shelly and I traveled all the way to Brantford, Ontario to speak at a fund raising event for the Children's Safety Village and Everyday Heros.  BTW, you can learn more about my awesome friend at 
Fri morning, after we arrived at the airport, Shelly mentioned our passports, which I quickly remembered that I left at home.  I raced home and back to the airport, only to miss the flight...kind of. I got back just in the knick of time for them to close the airplane door, which they refused to open for us.  The key note speaker (me) is not supposed to miss her flight!!  As you can imagine, the entire day went an entirely different direction than was planned, with several twists and turns along the way.  We eventually did make it to our destination a day later than we planned and just in time to have lunch and get on stage to speak. Talk about cutting it close!! We then had to turn around the next day and make our trek back to Arizona.  It was a LONG 3 days!  We were so happy to be home. Shelly and I sure had fun together though, as we always do, and made some new friends and met some other amazing people in Canada as well! The newspaper in Brantford ran a story that I'm told landed on the front page!  I'm hoping I get a copy of it to add to my collection:)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Monday Will Be THE Day!

Several of y'all have sent me messages via Facebook, YouTube, and my website, asking how progress is going on my back flips. Well, it's been going great!!  If you recall, I had a horrible mental block for a while.  Hell, those are freakin' scary!!  One day, I just said to my coach, "Let's do backs today," and I did!  She is barely spotting me now! Monday, she is making me try them alone!  It's scary, but also very exciting!   She had me do them on the floor one day, which is a very different feeling than landing in the resi, but that will be the next step!  My goal is still to have it in my routine at Jr. Nationals this year!  I WILL do it!!  I will try to upload a video for you! Videos from my phone never seem to upload on here. I'll give it a shot though.  Oh ya...and no goggles this time. hahaha 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I'm Human Afterall

     For as long as I can remember (in my adult life) I've always been the one who is STRONG, not only for me, but for others as well.  I've never been a "needy" person. I've never been one to have to reach out to my friends and family for support or comforting words, etc.  I'm always the one doing that for everyone else.  I've never been one to get stressed out easily, and when I did feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, I just handled it on my own...and very well, if I do say so myself.  I enjoy being there for others and helping others whenever I'm able to.  I'm a giver; it's just something that is in me. It's a natural thing for me to do.  I like making others happy, and I also find it very rewarding and in a sense, therapeutic.  
     However, in the past months, I have not been myself....AT ALL!   I still do for others and can be strong for them. Being strong for myself though, has been a completely different story.  I'm not sure if it's because everything happened all at once like a giant avalanche just came crashing down on me, or if it's because they're all matters of the heart.  All at once, divorce and extreme hardships with my son happened.  As you can imagine, I love my kids with everything in me, and these hardships I'm facing are absolutely tearing me up inside. This is, without a doubt, the hardest thing I've ever had to do...and it's killing me.  I have been an emotional disaster!  On top of that,  I'm having to do it alone, and it's been quite a while since I've had to cope with these things alone. Yes, I have my girlfriends who are appreciated more than anything, but I mean the day in and day out details of this situation that I'm dealing with on my own. I feel almost abandoned in my time of need.  Nearly every day, I just wish I had someone's arms to be wrapped around me for a few minutes, to be told it's going to be ok, and to not feel completely alone.  I have a close friend, who I assumed I could depend on for that, but I guess my neediness (if you want to call it that.  I don't really think time together and a hug is being extremely needy) is pushing this person away, which is exactly what I don't want.  You know who you are, and I love you and value our special friendship.  I'm very sorry for dumping my issues on you, when you too are facing a difficult situation. 
     I just can't wait for the situation with my son is resolved. Then, I can relax, and feel like ME again....STRONG, not stressed, and definitely not needy!  I hate being this way!
    On a different note, I am still pushing to get myself ready to compete at Jr. Nationals again!  I have 11 weeks and 2 days to go!  Even though, this is adding to my stress, it's also the one thing keeping me somewhat sane because it gives me a goal to focus on, something to look forward to.  Fitness is still my passion, and I'm giving it all I've got at the moment!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Limb Loss Education Day (ACA)

     Yesterday was the Limb Loss Ed. Day event that I mentioned in my last blog.  I didn't go in the morning to listen to the speakers.  I mainly went to be on the panel of "Active Amputees in AZ."  I didn't take too many special tools or anything because I honestly don't have/need many.   It was a fun day all around though.  I got to see some older acquaintances, meet new people, and try a new activity!!  Jessica Cox and I decided to share a table and put out our very few handy tools. lol She also had a video out, and we both handed out our business cards.  I think we were able to answer  everyone's questions and give hope to a few newer amputees, which is what this is all about, right?? I met a little girl named, Piercella, aka Pierce, who is 3 or 4 years old, totally adorable and is missing part of her left leg.  She needed some revisions to her prosthetic and is waiting for her new leg to be done. In the mean time, she hops around on her right leg and plays just like any other child does!  She was very talkative and funny.  We had a conversation about her shoes that were so cool and the boo boo on her knee. lol  To little kids, those things are big, important things. So, I take the time to listen and see the importance.  Another little doll was there, who I met briefly about 8 months ago.  She will be 2 years old next month, and was born without her right hand.  Her name is Rumi, named after  poetic dancer.  She is quite the little dancer herself!  I have to say that I TOTALLY fell in love with this little angel.  Her smile and presence completely lit up the entire room.  She was pretty fascinated with my nub and kept playing with it. Toward the end of the day, we were saying, "One, two, threeeee!"  On three, we were giving "high nubs," a high five but with our nubs. lol  I think we must've done that about a zillion times!  She loved it, and her smiles and giggles sure brought joy to me as well.  
   One of the events they had was rock climbing on a GINORMOUS rock wall! They had Ronnie Dickson, C.P. from Orlando, FL there to help, who is an avid rock climber! BTW, he is missing his left leg.  Well, the competitive nature came out in me, and I asked Jessica if she wanted to try, and we could race to see who gets to the top first! She agreed that would be fun!  So, we gave it our all!  We quickly figured out that rock climbing is NOT a sport for the armless folks, even the athletic ones!  haha  Thankfully, Ronnie was there to help us out.  Poor guy; he really got a workout! He was going back and forth between Jessica and I helping us go higher each time!  Technically, Jessica got to the top first. Then Ronnie helped me:)   The bottom line is, even though it couldn't really be a competition, we BOTH got to the top with Ronnie's help!  That was quite an experience!   At the beginning, I figured out that it was much easier to kind hang almost upside down and pull myself up with my toes/feet..can you say hamstring and core strength?? Whoa!!  However, due to safety reasons..blah blah blah, they would not allow me to continue that way.  I am attaching a picture of that though. 
I am also attaching pics of Pierce, Rumi, and their mommies!  It was a great day, and I'mm looking forward to keeping in contact with some amazing people!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Limb Loss Education Day

     As most of you know, I lost my arms when I was 2 1/2 years old in an electrical accident.  With the help of strong parents, patient therapists, and my strong will and determination, I have become an independent woman who lives life as normally as anyone else.  If you know me, you also know that I haven't been involved at all with amputee groups, mainly because I do not choose to define myself as an amputee. Yes, I am an amputee (I can't deny it), but I am so much more than that!  If I could choose what defines me, I'd choose to be known for the kind of person I am, the kind of mother I am, and for me determination as an athlete.  
    However, last year I was invited to be a guest speaker at an amputee expo and received an award!  You may recall that I blogged about it, too! I realized that day that it wasn't about defining myself. I didn't need to be there for myself.  I do need to be there for the others though. I realized that I have some great insight on what it's like to be missing limbs, adapting throughout life, and keeping a strong and positive mentality.  It was very apparent to me that I have the ability to be of great service to others in this area.  Click on the above link and read that blog if you can.
     Anyway, I was invited to be on a panel of "Active Amputees in Arizona" this weekend at the Amputee Coalition of America's Limb Loss Education Day, which happens to be i Phoenix this year.  Of course, when they asked me to be there, I replied right away with a happy, "YES!"  It's going to be very casual.  All of the panelists will be just sitting at a table where people can come up and talk to us, ask questions, ask for suggestions, support, advice, etc.  I was told to bring any special things that I use in everyday life that I could show.  I have a few things I will bring, but I honestly don't use any special tools, except for what I use for dressing.
    I am looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully helping several people.  I know I'll be on cloud 9 before I ever even go....I have a date the night before, and he might be going with me for this as well!!  Yeehaw!  
   For anyone who is interested in attending this, you can get all the info. at:  I hope to meet some of y'all there!!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Life Happens

I know, I know, I haven't heard from me in quite a while. What can I say?  Sometimes life gets in the way of such important things as blogging. LOL.   2012 was not such a great year for me.  From around Feb. on, I was faced with making some huge decisions that I had hoped I'd never have to make.  These decisions really weighed me down for several months.  Finally, in Oct. I made some big choices that would be life changing.  It wasn't easy.  However, in the end, I did what I felt was best for everyone involved.  I am now having to practice some very tough love with one of my children, which is the hardest thing for me.  I love my boys more than anything in the world and want the best for them.  Having to be tough right now is what has to be done, but in the mean time, my heart breaks for him.  In the long run, he will be a better man because of this.  I do hope my other son learns from his brother's mistakes/choices.  Besides the issues and changes with my son,  there is another big change that I never wanted to happen.  I will maybe discuss that one at some other time, but then again...probably not.  All I'm going to say is that I NEVER thought I'd be single again, yet here I am...single again, which isn't necessarily a bad thing I guess;)  
So, moving the last 3-4 months, I kinda hid inside my own little bubble, which is why I have not blogged in a while.  I just needed to deal with my own hurt and pain in my own way.  Thankfully, I've never been one to stay down for long!  Eventually, I get tired of being in my own bubble!  I'm now ready to live again!!  I am back in the gym, back in gymnastics, and back to life/reality!  I am ready to do what I've got to do to take off the weight I put on during this time of emotional turmoil.  I tend to feed my emotions with food in times like that, even though I realize it only makes things worse.  However, I'm ready to get back to my norm and be ME again!!   I have re-joined the land of the living, along with my friends and people who care.  I am so thankful for everyone who has been here for me through all of this.  They seriously were, and continue to be, my saving grace!  
I am still planning on competing again at Jr. Nationals in June! Contest prep begins the first Fri. of Feb!!  I already have a routine choreographed, which is one giant weight off my shoulders, thanks to Mika.  I just need to practice, practice, practice...and get back into shape!  I'm hoping to go on stage looking even better than I did last year, with the help of my new coach Dustin Franke!!  I'm also looking forward to going back to STS for posing practice!  I hope Kelli is ready for my sweaty self in her group again!! haha. 
I will TRY to post on here for y'all a little more regularly again.  Until the next time, stay positive and remember: "CAN'T" is NOT an option!!!