I had the BEST WEEKEND EVER! I got the chance to travel to sunny California for a 3 day event that was part motivational, part dance party and part networking. It was awesome. Most people in attendance were coaches and entrepreneurs so this was right up my alley. There were ladies from all walks of life; some were healers, others were life coaches, some were just starting out while others had been crushing it for years. Our big goal was to hug every person in the room at least once by the end of the three days, and I must say that introducing yourself to someone with a hug is way better than a handshake. Apart from the hugging, dancing and awesome guest speakers, I also got to sit in a drum circle, that was also super awesome. It sounds a bit new-agey/hippie and maybe it was, but I loved it. If I could hug instead of shake hands and sit in a drum circle more often, I totally would.
This was the first time I had ever traveled by myself (FYI, I’m 31 so this was long overdo) and it was my first trip to California. Not only did I attend this event, but I also got to cross another item off of my bucket-list…
No doubt you’ve heard the term when in Rome, well when in Venice Beach, train at the Mecca of Bodybuilding: Gold’s Gym Venice Beach. Seriously, that’s their slogan: The Mecca of Bodybuilding.
Training at this gym was a total dream come true. Since I became serious about competing I knew that one day I would have to make my pilgrimage to this place. I can say with total honesty that it was everything I thought it would be and more. As I walked in the doors I so wanted to jump up with joy, but I kept it all on the inside, or at least I tried to. It was one of those surreal experiences like when you see a celebrity in real life. I tried to be a little inconspicuous when snapping pictures with my phone, and thankfully I was able to get a few good shots in without being too invasive of my fellow athletes. I got to see the Wall of Champions and workout in a gym where every Olympia Champion has trained at, at one point in their career. As I picked up the weights and started my workout, I couldn’t help but wonder what other bodybuilder has used these same weights before me and stood in the same spot that I was now standing in. Clearly, I was star struck by this gym. My timing could not have been better as I was visiting the same weekend as the Arnold Classic in Columbus. I say this because all of the pro-athletes and fitness models were out of town, otherwise I would not have been able to keep it cool and have a good workout. If I would have seen anyone famous, I would have total freaked out (hopefully on the inside), and spend my entire time their trying to take a picture of them without their noticing.
What was super interesting about this place was that the athletes are massive, like a whole other level of bodybuilders, and keep in mind that these were amateur level people like me. Now I compete and train alongside bodybuilders and powerlifters all the time, but these guys were an entirely other caliber of athlete. It was really something else. I thought that I was a great condition and that the other athletes in my league were too, but compared to these guys at Gold’s, we’d all look pretty puny and out of shape. Oddly enough this wasn’t at all intimidating to me, if anything is was motivating to see what’s possible and what I can do to continue moving forward with time. I was amazed by their size and definition and I was also inspired by it. The time I spent in this historical gym helped remind me of how much I love bodybuilding, what it brings into my life and how great it makes me feel.
So that was it. Three glorious days where I got to walk around in the sunshine wearing my fancy leggings and sandals, eating really good food (vegan options are a plenty here!), while experiencing two big life goals. Sometimes a break from the ordinary is just what you need to recharge, get your mind right and start making things happen again.