On Thursday I was anxious driving to Columbus, OH.
- To attend The Arnold Sports Festival.
- My confidence quivered.
- Would I be laughed out for attending?
I feel silly now.
- I met athletes from all walks.
- They embraced me as a person.
- And inspired me like crazy.
One of the first people we met was Sarah.
- A competitive figure athlete.
- She spooked James when she flexed her back muscles under his hand.
- It broke the ice.
I asked her for advice for my fitness journey.
- Consistency was the secret to her success.
- She also encouraged us to talk to lots of people at The Arnold.
- All of them started somewhere – so we did.
Betsy was a CrossFit competitor.
- She did 84 snatches in ten minutes.
- (Her barbell went from ground to overhead in one smooth move.)
- Did 30 snatches at 30 lbs.; 30 at 55 lbs. and 24 snatches with 75 pounds – WOW!
Later I connected with Betsy.
- Told her she was an inspiration.
- She told me she was 61 years old!!!
- And I have no excuses not to push as hard as she does.
In the Expo, I met some of the Biggest Loser competitors
- Colleen (yellow) – America’s sweetheart from Biggest Loser season six.
- Mark (red) – the at-home winner from BL10.
- Amanda (pink) – a finalist from BL8.
They have all kept the weight off and look fabulous.
- They were excited about my 75 pound loss.
- Gave me several tips to keep it going.
- One offered to stay in touch.
I got to meet Tosca Reno too!
- Tosca writes the wonderful Eat-Clean Diet books.
- Tosca can sound tough in her videos.
- And is a warm, loving person in real life.
Tosca was excited to hear about my weight loss so far.
- Talked about what we both experienced losing that much.
- Was happy to hear how supportive James is.
- (He was just as thrilled to meet her.)
James and I watched the IFFB International Figure championship.
- Mollie is a figure athlete so we wanted to understand it better.
- The woman had beautiful bodies.
- Cut and yet feminine.
It was exciting to see what the best figure athletes in the world look like.
- The next day we got to chat with Nicole Wilkens – the winner.
- (She’s the second from the left in the photo.)
- She was inspiring – and even said she knew Mollie!
The ultimate highlight of my experience was seeing Mario Lopez – only three feet away from me!
- He is my longtime crush – and as charming as he is handsome.
- James laughed at me and the bevy of women drooling like schoolgirls.
Overall, The Arnold Sports Festival was a wonderful experience for us.
- We both caught the bug of a bigger possibility for us physically.
- I am humbled by how accepting and supportive people were.
- They made us feel like part of the fitness community.
On the way home, James and I talked about what we were going to wear next year at The Arnold so we can show off our newly sculpted bodies…
Makes me think of chapter leaders…do your meetings change lives?