WorkIt Series: My Introduction to the Stage


Fun Fact: The first time I wore a bikini in public was on a stage in front of hundreds of people.

My introduction to competing was at the recommendation of a trainer. After a boot camp class, she asked me had I ever considered doing a competition. At that time, I thought competitions were only for "Amazon-like" women, with giant, nerve-popping muscles, whose only job was to flex and flip on a stage. However, I learned while those women do exist, there were different competition categories ranging from bikini to bodybuilding. Unfortunately, as I was considering it as a potential hobby, I also got a severe knee injury. The injury put all thoughts of walking a stage on hold. 

Fast-forward a couple of years; I was getting back into working out after a long recovery when I met Malynda, a personal trainer and now long-time friend. When I mentioned the “crazy idea” of doing a bikini competition, she got super excited, encouraged me and offered to be my coach! I did not realize it at the time, but this new adventure was the beginning of my serious pursuit and passion for fitness and wellness.  

I loved the thought of having a goal that takes a lot of work, working toward it and then being able to achieve it. Because it was my first time, my only goal was to make it to the stage. As someone who is naturally athletic, but also curvy, prepping was tough! It was like having a second job that is always on your mind. Meal prep and working out twice a day become a way of life, but also an emotional rollercoaster. There were moments where I felt amazing, watching my body change before my eyes. There were also moments when I was down on myself, like when I did not perfectly prep, or was not having any fun. 

Have you ever broke down crying in the middle of the gym? Yeah, not cool. 

After six long months, I made it to the stage! That day I felt like part-fitness, part-pageant girl!  There's much more to this journey, so I invite you to stay tuned for the next post, “Flashing Lights,” where I'll share the feeling and fear of being on stage. !

#WorkIt is a three-part series about Shawnie’s journey to her first bikini competition.