WHERES YOUR STRENGTH??
Strength can be a number of things, Inner Strength, Mental Strength, Muscle Strength. They are all types of Strength.
How many of you can say that you have all three.
How many can sit there and look at themselves and say that they will sacrifice everything to get what they want, or get to a goal they have set, or to make the right choices all the time. That’s the difference of giving everything to something, to devote and put 100% in, doesn’t matter how long it takes. To do the same thing day in and day out and not to waiver one little bit. Well they are the things that define us and allow us to get to that goal. Not giving up and not giving in. Even when those voices become louder and louder.
If you can say that you are and can and will. Then and only then, can you say “I have given it everything I have.”
Let’s go Back to late 2009.
Kelly was doing her best to stay on top of things. She had a few BodyPump classes at Re-Creation, the vibe and atmosphere were phenomenal there. She loved it there and everybody was so connected and such a great team. Her Training was amping up and she was looking fantastic. Yes!! Looking fantastic. Feeling Fantastic. Still a No. But it wasn’t stopping her.
She knew her routine back then and it really hasn’t changed much. Fuel the body with the right nutrition. Nothing bad was going in. And she needed to Rest as much as possible. There had been stints in the past few months where she would need to miss a number of weeks of teaching and working and just stay home and rest. Her immune system has always been weak since the inception of her disease. So any little flu that others would shake off, she felt the full brunt of it. Bed Ridden and sick for days and then a slow recovery to get back to “Her Normal” and then Repeat. That’s how it has always been for her. Down and slightly Up and then Down again.
But the main thing keeping her body strong and her mind strong was BODYPUMP. She loved teaching it and she was great at teaching it. Within a few month of teaching she started having a large following and people were starting to realise, that if you did Kelly’s class, you know you got a workout and were kept accountable all the way. And she made sure that she did everything at a higher level then anybody else, to not only push them but to push herself to new levels. It really made her who she is today. Strong inside and Out. Bodypump saved her Life and gave her new Life. Something to strive for and something to keep the mind from thinking about the bad things.
Leaving 2009 and entering 2010, something happened. Something that really moulded her and let her become free again. She was starting to meet a lot of different individuals in the Fitness World. And at that time, at Re-Creation there were some extraordinary trainers and fitness brains. She was picking them all and working with them. Two particular people spring to mind. Kelly really looked up to Warren Clampit, he was the reigning MR Olympia Natural Bodybuilder and he was regularly coming into Re-Creation. And the other was Dave Caruana. A PT who had more knowledge about Bodybuilding and training, then anybody we had met in the past. Between the 2 of them and myself, we convinced Kelly to do a bodybuilding comp. All Natural, and just take a chance at something. With a little tweaking and training she could get ready. The Miss Melbourne Titles were around 3 months away. And once Kelly gets something planted in her head, that is it. Full effort. Full devotion. And Nothing can Stop her mentality.
So for the next week weeks she would train, eat and sleep like a bodybuilder. Her biggest idol in her life had always been Arnold Schwarzenegger. So she bought his encyclopedia. Read it back to front and became a total MACHINE.
The training was the enjoyable part. She still kept up her BodyPump classes. But added hours of strenuous training sessions with myself and Dave. Working out with a new goal and obsession, made her forget to an extent how bad her illness is. Even though she woke up with it daily, she learned to push it aside and focus and work.
Saying that training was enjoyable, is one thing, the meal prep and diet were another thing, Times were much simpler back then. The goal was and is still the same. Strip Body Fat and Keep or Retain on to as much muscle as possible. But Today's guys have so much more information and nutritional help. Back then it was pretty much boiled Chicken. Ice Berg Lettuce Leafs and maybe a little broccoli and brown rice. Breakfast Lunch and Dinner. And a few protein shakes.
Kelly was killing it. And with around a month to go was close to being ready for stage. So the it was work harder and eat less the closer to the show. Kelly has always said it was the hardest thing that she had ever done. The last 2 weeks her carbs were pretty much cut down to zero. I could see her turn into a zombie. The brain needs carbs for fuel, and once you deprive it over an extended amount of time, you just cant think, you cant talk and you pushing on reserves the body doesn’t have.
And saying all that. She is always minutes away from getting sick. And that’s what happened. With under 2 weeks she got extremely sick. A cold or Flu that really sat her down. One, Two days and then three and Four. Still not getting better. She still kept training as much as she could. Once you get close to comp time, it becomes all about getting that cardio in and leaning up as much as possible. We had to take her Local GP. A GP she knew very well. And she knew that when Kelly got like this she needed Penicillin Shots. Everyday for the next 10 days I took her in to get that SHOT. That’s how sick she was. She would go in there all rugged up, so her GP didn’t know that she was competing. Not for the reason it was doing her any harm, but because people don’t understand what it meant to her, to achieve this and get on that stage. And not to quit. Her illness had taken so much away from her and it was trying to take this away as well. And she was determined to not let the illness win. She needed this win.
There have been times over the last 15 years that she has been really, really sick. And this was one of her worst. And by the time it she received her last Shot, it was only 4 days from comp. It was like get there or die. That’s how much it took for her to get on that stage. The whole time all she did was keep eating like she needed to, and train at home. She didn’t work for those last 2 weeks.
By the time the event came. Kelly was ready. She was so deprived, but she looked amazing. She entered the Figure Competition for Novice competitors. Most girls who enter a comp usually start with Bikini and slowly build there way to Figure. But not Kell. She goes straight for the top. The amazing thing was that over the time of her preparation, the vibe around Re-Creation was building. There really hadn’t been anybody that had competed from that club before. There were a few main gyms were all the competitors came from. The main one was Doherty’s Gym. They had a few gyms and there own Tony, pretty much started bodybuilding in this state. 90% of the competitors trained there, the judges all trained there and everybody knew everybody. No one from a small gym or an outside gym ever won a competition. But this made it even easier. Less pressure.
However saying that.A little gym from Caroline Springs bought over 50+ tickets all to go and see Kelly compete. The owners, Darren and Rob were proud as. We had hooked up the a Fitness guru from the other side of town, Tony Haranas. He was in his 50's and absolute machine. Still competing and winning comps. He controlled what Kelly ate and when leading into the comp. And he knew he had something special. She is and was at that time an absolute animal and machine.
When it came for comp time and prep, she was in the back with Tony. These comps always run late. He started warming her up. And by this time she wasn’t allowed any water, 1 cup in the last 24 hours. He warmed her up with bands and dumbbells for over 2 hours in the back. She was almost dead. But her veins had popped and she was dry. Exactly what was needed.
She jumped on that stage, not knowing how to correctly pose, and competing against girls who had done this times and times before. It was a Novice field she entered. But there were so many categories that night.
Kell blew them apart. She stood on there looking like a carved goddess statue. Absolutely perfect. Even if the judges, knew or had their own competitors, they had no choice. She received the nod and won her first title. Ms Melbourne Novice. It was amazing and so many experienced it in the crowd, and we all felt a part of it. It was special.
But it wasn’t over. Now that she won that, she was entered into the main draw with all the other female winners. Winners that were pro’s. Doing this forever. So she went back stage. Another hour had passed. Working out the whole time. By the end all she could do was cry and still kept on lifting. Still only small sips of water. It was the most painful thing she had ever done.
But the time came and she jumped on stage with all the other competitors. All experienced girls. All with unbelievable physiques. But seeing her on that stage was like looking up their yesterday. She blew them away. Nobody stood a chance.
She became MS MELBOURNE CHAMPION in her first comp and the place went wild, there were over a thousand people in that venue that night, and everybody knew Kelly was the best. It was an unbelievable part in her journey and has forged who she is and who we are today.
We only shared our illness journey late last year with everybody. Nobody back then, besides close friends knew what she was up against and what it took to win. It took absolutely everything to win that day.
Her Inner strength kept her pushing forward.
Her Mental Strength kept her focused and didn’t allow her to quit. Everyday she wanted to quit. But she never quit. That is what it takes. You have to be prepared to die for something you believe in. And she could have easily died. But she finished her dream. Gave it everything. Even if she didn’t win. Just getting on that stage was the biggest win of her life.
The lesson that she learned from that time of her life was, no matter what life throws at you, you have two options.
Let, QUITTING define you.
Let, Being an Absolute Machine Define you.
We all know what defines Kelly…