First Blog Post - Letting Go Of The Chatter
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
I’ve always danced to the beat of my own drum. I never cared about being in the popular crowd and I certainly never cared about conforming to what I was “supposed to do” in life. I’m sure you can relate: The pressure of looking a certain way, acting a certain way, making a certain amount of money, having the expensive car, constantly being judged; sometimes you want to just not care. How many times have you thought about selling everything and starting somewhere new where no-one knows you? I’ve thought about it too. Sometimes the pressure of things we allow to penetrate our “walls of giving a shit” becomes too much and we want a redo.
It sounds so great in our mind to think we can just up and leave. It feels ohhhh so good when we are frustrated and angry too. In reality very few of us actually follow through. Why? For me it’s because I want to have it all. I don’t want to throw everything I’ve built in my life away just to have a tantrum moment somewhere. I believe I can have what I’ve built and continue to grow new parts of me while taking a few leaps of faith. For Vassilios, my love,….well…..he has much thicker “walls of not giving a shit” and sometimes I wonder what planet he came from. I admire his strength and perseverance after leaving his lifelong dream as a signed artist in a popular rock band charting on radio waves to come home to me for good and start a new life inseparable together. His influence has pushed me to own the parts of ME I have kept private living two separate lives (details coming in future blog posts). I am no longer simply envisioning traveling the country hosting posing workshops; I’m doing it... (**details on this first traveling workshop on March 17th are at the end of the blog). With Vassilios’ support and help (he designed this Learn To Pose™ website!!), I’m grabbing the reins and doing something I love to do regardless of the “chatter” I’m sure many of you are hearing when you tell someone you are going compete in a physique based competition. This letting go of the “chatter” and embracing ME has brought me full circle since this thought process is what brought me to bodybuilding almost 20 years ago in the first place…
I’ll never forget the day I saw my first bodybuilding show. It was the first time I ever smelled a combination of competition tan and pam spray. Back then there weren’t the figure, bikini, or physique options…....so if you couldn't do a fitness routine, your only other option was bodybuilding; and either you were natural or you weren’t (and there was nothing more annoying than going up against someone “enhanced” in a natural show). You were responsible for bringing a mixed tape with your bodybuilding routine music, there was zero bling on the competition suits, no spray tanning options, no real market for custom suit design, and certainly no posing coaches.
Competition diet involved bland chicken, egg whites, no condiments, and olive oil. Competition training meant double sessions of cardio, heavy lifting, and no personal life. It was perfect. I loved everything about it: the difficulty, the challenge, and in my mind I was my own human science experiment. At that first show I watched my friend Shelley at 48 years young do a bodybuilding posing routine to “She’s a Brick…(*pause* and wait for it with me)……HOUSE….” on stage and knew in that moment THIS is where I belonged. But I was only 20. College graduate with a full time job (I finished college in 3 years), going to school nights for my masters degree, but still too young to go to happy hour with colleagues. And competing as a woman bodybuilder…..oh geeze….now that was SO not normal. I learned quickly that if I was going to do what made me, ME…I was going to have to build my “walls of not giving a shit."
There was plenty of chatter around me as I dove in and prepared for my first few competitions and beyond. What I ate all of a sudden became everyone’s concern. I felt like I was an alien of sort and can still hear many people around me ask why I would want to “put myself through this.” I purposely kept this part of me to myself and accepted that a part of me was alone in my new sport. I figured it was me against me anyways…so whatever. Over the years I built my “walls of not giving a shit” and continued to compete and experienced many ups and downs in the process. I loved trying new shows and new federations and the transformation of my body from “normal” to stage ready never got old. Early on there were no “teams” to direct me to only compete in one federation over another and if I wanted to change federations and try a new one there wasn’t all this drama about it. I’m proud to have won titles in all federations and even pro status in three of them. I loved the options available and quickly realized from experience that many federations and divisions had a certain “look” about them.
I learned what made them all tick and where I did and didn’t fit best. I lived and breathed
the sport. Along the way I lost friends when things became more clique-like and I did what I wanted to do rather than what I was “supposed to do.” I have also been invited to judge many shows and I take pride in this because I will always see every physique with a true bodybuilder’s eye. Although competing for me has taken a back seat over the past couple years for personal reasons (revealed in upcoming blogs), I have been busy transforming others who come to me wanting to let go of the “chatter” around them and do something awesome for themselves. Be a star for the day. Break out of comfort zones and live their dreams no matter what division or federation. I love being that REAL resource. That coach that sees that “something” in you and helps you bring it to life. And ultimately….that friend that guides you to embrace that part of you that dances to the beat of your own drum.
**Announcing my first traveling posing workshop on March 17, 2018 in Southbury, CT! I'm teaching the different posing styles of each of the federations (NPC, INBF, WBFF, FAP, OCB, etc) along with the stage performance requirements for all the divisions of physique competitions including bikini, figure, bodybuilding, physique, and specialty divisions such as Model, Fitness Model, and Fit Body. This is a great workshop for people that live in the New England area and would like some direction on all the different options available and what one(s) are a good fit...1 on 1 honest assessments will be provided in addition to group posing instruction, live performances, prizes, and more. More details and tickets are on the workshop link on the top of this page.
New tour dates and locations coming soon!
Meanwhile, find me on the 'Gram www.instagram.com/michelewelcome