Sometimes when clients send me their words to share along with their blog I get exactly what I am expecting…and then sometimes they open their hearts with a knife and let their full truth bleed onto the floor. I find nothing in the world more exquisite than true, raw honesty and vulnerability.
Vulnerability, to me, is the epitome of beauty. It is the un-doctored truth within someones heart that radiates from the inside out.
“Sometimes it is all you can do. Wait, endure, and keep shining. Knowing that eventually your light will reach where it is supposed to reach and shine for who it is supposed to shine for” ~Tyler Knott Gregson
When Lindsay first asked me to write a blog I very quickly said “yes of course!” thinking that I could tell my story of how I got in to bodybuilding and how the sport has changed me, and how much I’ve grown, not only in physical strength, but emotional and psychological strength as well. This is all true. But if I’m honest – which I make a very real effort to be everyday – that is not at all why I booked a session with Lindsay. I’ll get to that.
My love for bodybuilding is simple: I love being seen as strong. Being physically strong for me has become this incredible, empowering, outward manifestation of an inner strength I have always felt I possessed. I am the fighter in the ring that keeps getting up no matter the strength of the blow dealt. But I would be lying if I said there aren’t days when I want to lay down and stay there.
I contacted Lindsay on Valentine’s Day to book my session after what I thought was a TKO.
I hate admitting it – but our truth tends to live in those really uncomfortable places… I booked a session with Lindsay because I was completely, utterly, and inconsolably heartbroken. And I needed something to look forward to; something that celebrated me, my beauty, my strength, and my confidence – at a time when I felt I was lacking in all of those things.
The time between my booking and my shoot were transformative. I focused on my goals – both personally and professionally. And got myself prepared for my second season of bodybuilding competitions – because heartbreak aside, I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to be incredibly proud of the body I brought to both the shoot and my shows.
And when I look at all of this objectively, and stop being embarrassed about it – the truth is. This is precisely why I strength train. This body that I work so hard to build and sculpt, that Lindsay celebrated through her lens – is the exact manifestation of my inner strength that I have always wanted it to be.
And beyond that – this experience has shown me exactly where our strength as women lives – in our vulnerability. In our ability to love so deeply and completely that our heartbreak sends us reeling – but being strong enough to feel it. Actually feel it; not bury it, or push it aside – but look it in the face, let it break us apart, and then dig deep to pull ourselves out of it. Finding balance in these seemingly contrasting elements is truly what makes women so incredibly powerful.
And someday – I’ll be able to look at these photos with my future love and say: This is me – heartbroken yet hopeful, scared but brave, and hurting, but choosing to live life with an open heart and an unshakeable belief in myself, my strength, my beauty and my worth.”
Hair and Makeup by our Goddess of Glam Erin Marie Artistry