It’s Possible

It’s possible.

Whatever your goal is, it’s possible.

Let me tell you a little bit more about my own personal journey going from a simple “fan in the stands” to an IFBB Pro Figure competitor.

If we go way back, my first loves were softball and dance beginning at the age of 4. Soon after I started gymnastics, cheerleading, cross country and track and field. I played sports all throughout high school and college and excelled because of my physical abilities.

But despite being talented at the sports I competed in, there wasn’t that one thing that truly resonated with me yet. I didn’t have something to give my life that extra edge.

That was until I found myself sitting in the stands of my first bodybuilding competition.

Then I knew…

I knew that one day I wanted to step on that stage and have a physique like the women I saw competing.

So I started a journey and never looked back.

My mind, body, and soul changed when I began making strides towards becoming a professional Figure competitor. I changed my eating habits, I pushed my body to see what it was capable of and devoted my entire life to one of health and fitness.

I got hooked.

Soon after I began all of this I competed in my first Figure competition in May of 2008 taking the 2nd and 3rd place trophies granting me the opportunity to compete for my professional status.

It was time to take things up a notch.

The old ways of doing things would not get me to where I needed to be to earn my professional status.

So i immersed myself deeper into the world of female bodybuilding and started another journey to achieve another dream.

I invested thousands of hours of my time and energy into not only becoming a more fit athlete on stage, but mentally whole and mentally fit woman as well.

Then in July of 2015 I stepped onto the stage and made a dream come true.

I earned my Pro Card.

So what’s next? A new path to step onto the biggest bodybuilding stage in the world that is held in Las Vegas, Nevada every single year – The Olympia.

So I’m here to tell you again, whatever your dreams and goals are, they are possible. I’m here to help you live a lifestyle that’s not only dedicated to health and fitness, but one that is dedicated to seeing your full potential. I am certain that together we can see your dreams become a reality.

Time to transform your life.

-Michelle Brown, (650) 333-8227

Visualizing What’s Next 

    
Here I am at SFO heading out to see the Olympia for the first time. 

So many reasons for this trip. I’ve always wanted to check it out of course. The specific reasons though are much deeper than that. 

I want to see the stage for myself. The stage I am working toward earning the right to walk across. This competition for those of you that don’t know is not like most. You are invited to this show. You can’t just sign up. It’s the top of the top of shows for my sport for bodybuilding. Just to be in the stage here you are elite. Now that I have reached the Pro level. I need to either win a Pro show or gain enough points in multiple shows to win a lottery type spot for those with the most points before next years show. Not an easy task in either end. My thought is that It’s Possible. 

The second reason I’m going is to do a photo shoot with an amazing photographer Kai York. For me this will be different as I am doing this shoot off season. Meaning I’m not in stage shape as many if my shoots are done. This means that I am not at my optimal body shape for show. I of course am still lean and fit, but just a different, softer look. While I think it’s important to show this side of me. It does play games with my head. I’ve spoken about this before how body dismorohia comes to play. While I am real about it. It does come into play. 

Yet another reason is its my birthday. I get to celebrate in Vegas and be amongst my peers and idols. 

As I sit here at the airport I wonder what adventures will be had on this trip. All I know is its going to e a great experience and I can’t wait to see all my friends. 

Good luck to all who are competing this weekend. 

– Michelle Brown

Possibility & Potential

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While I have not been writing.  I have been in a very specific place.  I’ve been diving inward again to redefine what I am doing and what I am looking for.  I know one thing is for sure.

I stand for possibility.

What does that mean?  Well to me that means that I believe in possibilty.  I believe that anything is possible.

Les Brown’s quote from his speech’ “It’s Possible”

Before April 8th 1954 [It seems it was 6th of May], the common belief, the universal belief, (because it had been tried, again and again and again and again, and people had failed), the belief was that man was physically not capable of breaking the 4 minute barrier, that he could not run a mile in less than 4 minutes. That was the belief. On the planet. It had never been done…

But here’s what happened, ladies and gentlemen: Roger Bannister came along. And he broke the 4 minute barrier. Now here’s what’s significant about that. Since that time, up to this day, over 20.000 people have done it, including high-school kids! What changed?
Here’s what happened when they got on the track: they knew it had been done! And because they knew it had been done, there was a new belief about this barrier, about this goal that was “unreachable”. And those 20.000 people got in the race believing, knowing in their hart that someone had done it, that IT’S POSSIBLE, that they could do it.

This is exactly what I am talking about.  So by doing things that people believe to be impossible I am changing the thought to a possibility.  Not by preaching it, not by putting a book together on how to do it, but by actually doing it.  Leading by example.

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At age 44 I have just turned into a Professional Athlete.  Not a common thing to hear.  While of course I had support.  I also had nay sayers.  When is enough, enough Michelle?  You keep competing and not winning.  Isn’t it breaking you down.  You can only get defeated so many times.  Things like that were said to me on a semi frequent basis (by people who were close to me) Shocked me.  Why?  Because many people talk all day long how they have been defeated.  Defeated in life, at work, at home, at school, and anything you can think of.  Yet, they don’t stop what they are doing.  They keep trudging through without making any changes.  I hear it all the time.  My job is so stressful.  I am so behind in what I need to do.  I can’t make it to anything on time.  Ok so if these are your issues…what are you doing to change them?  These are all changeable. Can you make your work environment better by changing your thoughts about it?  Can you create a reason to want to improve your performance at work?  Even if its just to feel better?  It does not have to remain the same.  It’s possible to make a change.   Change your mind about the situation and you can create a different view on what is going on.

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Creating change….how do you do that?  Well, it takes time digging in and figuring out what the real root of the problem is.  I’ve had a variety of jobs that were not very fun and actually could be quite frustrating and defeating.  Telephone sales.  Yep, I use to be a telemarketer.  I would get hung up on all the time.  It was getting me down.  So I changed my thought on it.  I created my own little game.  I would have a scratch pad next to me at work that had a few columns.  Hang ups, yelled at, and stupid excuses.  So I’d start dialing away…and every time one of those happened I would make a tick mark.  The game was lets see how many hang ups I could get today.  Silly right?  But if gave me a different goal.  So sure I was wanting to get someone I could sell to…and when I did it was great and was able to close really well.  Just the many, many, many other calls were what was dragging me down.  So as I was getting tons of hang ups…me being me…talking to myself in my little cubicle.  Ha, got another one I’d say.  Then laugh.  Woohoo really getting them today.  Then my coworkers would ask because they weren’t seeing put sales on the board, what was I so excited about.  I explained it to them.  Of course they thought I was nuts.  So one day I brought in a little treat.  This treat was for the person with the most hang ups at the end of the day. Well that got them interesting.  So by the end of the day the atmosphere was much lighter at the office and people would shout out a number all of a sudden…I’ve got 66 already.  I’ve got you beat buddy, I’ve got 78.  So of course we were all wanting the sales to come through because we got bonused on that, but this made the other dreaded calls a little bit more fun to deal with.

That all being said.  Everything is what you make of it.  So there is a possibility that you can change whatever your situation is.  Nothing is impossible.  My dreams are big.  I mean really big.  Who knows if I’ll actually be able to accomplish them all.  I do know it is possible though.

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I am here to guide you to the belief that what you want is possible.  I will do all I can to make things happen to create awareness in others.  If you think it is impossible then it is.  Change your mind and your body will follow.

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It’s a leap of faith sometimes.  It’s not easy.  I struggle with this daily.  It’s a fight within that we all must battle to continue moving forward.  I am not interested in staying in the same place.  I won my Pro card and I am honored.  I want more.  My dream of helping others is much bigger than this achievement.  This was a step to help me gain some credibility to work toward my next tasks to create these dreams I have.  I am here to help others.  My purpose is solid and I know I can be there to help others reach their dreams.  Day by day, minute by minute.  Create the idea of possibility in your mind.

The Callings

This is amazing. I have gone through this time and time again. I am also working to break through these walls and come out on the other side.

The Better Man Project ™

Image (2) 07260920view20from20dugout-1024x683.jpg for post 10793“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say…

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Creating | Developing | Changing

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What an incredible week I’ve had.  There have been many developments both physically and mentally.  I am grateful for all that I have going on and the support system that I have on my side.  Sometimes its amazing how just a simple conversation with another person can completely change you.

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When someone who you care about shares a life changing experience with you that resonates so deep with you that the ripple effect of their change hits you like a tsunami.  Wow!  This happened just the other day.  Basically it comes down to being able to feel others feelings.  I’ve always been very empathetic.   I’ve always wondered why sometimes when I’m having a great day and feeling really good that all of a sudden a whole different set of feelings come over me for no known reason.  Now I have realized that I was been up on others feelings and letting them affect me.  While I think it is an amazing gift to have  I really have to learn how to separate what belongs to me and what I have picked up from others.  This is an amazing realization though as I had never figured out how sometimes this cloud of feelings would strike me out of nowhere.  Now I know!

Life is so much more enjoyable when you can just be.  Be who you are.  I know what I do comes from my heart with good intentions. What others do with that is not my responsibility.  One of the things I am constantly working on though is giving myself credit/acknowledgement for what I have done and achieved.  Someone told me just the other day…Michelle you just turned Pro.  That is a huge accomplishment that only a small percentage in this whole world have done.  I guess hearing that from someone else put it in a different perspective because I am of course aware of this, but not really aware of it within myself.  How do I explain this?  I am an achiever.  I strive toward goals.  I reach goals.  I make more goals…on an on.  The dreams do not end.  There is no stop point for dreaming and for striving to reach those dreams.  I have to work on being more present at times.

-Michelle Brown

Dreams Do Come True

I know its been weeks since I’ve posted.  I’ve started to write and then got distracted numerous times.  But…

Yes!  I did it!  I am now an IFBB Figure Pro.  What does that mean?  Well, I achieved my goal and that means that I am now a professional athlete.  Its amazing and almost unreal.  It was more than a 3 year journey that got me here with this last year being the most pivotal of all.  I went out in 3 categories and did well in them all.

Masters Figure 40+ C – 1st Place – Pro Card

Masters Figure 35+ C- 2nd Place – missed 1st by 2 points

Open Figure D (all ages) – 5th Place – missed 4th by 2 points

It was an amazing couple of days.

There is so much to say but so hard to describe all that has gone on and the feelings and thoughts that go along with that. As I have said to some friends, “Everything is the same, but at the same time totally different.”  My friends reaction is always a confused look.  The statement is true though.  The world around me, my work life, day to day life has not changed at all.  What has changed is my thoughts of who I am in the world.  Don’t get me wrong I do not have any feeling of entitlement or thoughts that I am now some celebrity or something.  I just have a feeling of accomplishment.  I am proud that I set this huge goal and put in the effort to make it happen.  So I feel differently  about who I am in all that I do.  It’s a good feeling that has nothing to do with others opinions.  That is part of the reason I set this goal in the first place.  No one can do it for you….its all you.  Of course that’s not to say that I didn’t have a ton of guidance, help, and support.  I was fortunate to have amazing people be at my side.  In the end though I did the work.  I ate the food.  I did the training.  I stayed strong through the loses and push toward the goal mentally and physically.

My Coach – Mouss El Bakkouchi

More later but wanted to finally get something out there.  It’s been far to long.

It’s My DAY!

I am overflowing with energy and thrilled with how I look.  There are so many good vibes running through me this morning.  Some from my own thoughts and many from friends, family, and other supporters.  Wow.  It’s amazing.  It touches my heart to see that my journey matters to so many others.  I am so grateful for your well wishes, thoughts, prayers, and good vibes.  It honestly means much more to me than I can express through words.

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My journey has been a huge success.  I have the body that I had envisioned and the mindset that I was hoping to achieve.  My eyes are welled up as I write this. This journey has not been just a gym workout and diet program.  This is my heart and soul spilled into my daily routine.  This is my new self awareness that I have been opening up to. It’s all here today.  I am present.  I am here in this very moment to enjoy it.  I will have fun and shine on that stage.  I am walking out there proud.  I feel whole.  When your mind is in the right place the body follows.  I can stand behind this statement now.  Because that was one of the major changes in this prep for this show.

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Today sometime around 4pm EST I’ll be on stage 3 categories.  Masters 40, and 35, and then the Open.  I can’t wait.  The process is always so interesting.  It is never the same as I am always developing and have a different physique each time I go on stage.  I’ve been so elated with my coach Mouss El Bakkouchi with Team Megatron. He has not only created my program.  He has been a mentor, a supporter, and above all become a close friend which I like to call family now.  Even his wife is very involved and supportive of me.  It’s been nothing short of spectacular.  What’s so funny is while it is spectacular he keeps things very basic.  Like me he believes that hard work pays off.  My work ethic is really where it is at for me.  I work hard.  I am not genetically blessed with crazy muscle.  I was a stick figure of a girl…athletic…but tiny.  Literally I graduated high school at 90lbs…all skin and bones.  lol  I started training and lifting when I was 37 competing in my first couple of shows then dropped out for a few years and came back to it in July 2012 and now at 44 the last 3 years I have worked like a beast to get where I am.  I only wish it was a faster transition but muscle takes time to grow.  Especially when you don’t want to do what I’ll call advanced supplementation.  Its the things you do daily that make results happen.

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Today I will walk with intention knowing that I already am where I want to be.  I am a Pro inside and out.  I say this with no intention of being arrogant at all.  I am confident in who I am and no one can change that.  Everyone on that stage tonight worked hard.  Some of them will walk away Pro’s and others will not.  It’s the game of opinions.  Mine isn’t a game….its destiny.  Excited, thrilled and ready to hit it tonight.

Goodbye Oregon

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As I get ready to leave Oregon tomorrow and drive back home I find my mind wondering.  The above statement is so true.  Voices…the critic – the negative, over critical, guilt creator who wants to stir up fear and doubt.  Then your Inner Wisdom or Higher Self Voice – the truth, reality, from the heart that grounds you and brings you back to center.

Like everyone we bounce back and forth between these two voices then come up with thoughts about all sorts of things.  What else could I have done the critic has me thinking, but then the Inner wisdom says, you put in 110% into the workouts, diet, and took the extra step of coming up to Oregon.   It’s amazing how we want to listen to the critic more than we want to hear the real truth of how we feel from within.

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Here is what I know for sure.  I work hard.  I’ve been working hard.  This has been a build up over the last 3 years with an increased effort this past year under my coach Mouss.  I stuck to my diet.  I didn’t just do my workouts.  I scorched them.  I was on plan the entire time.  I trust my coach and since I am an achiever…I did all that he asked.  No questions about it.  I got my plan and worked that plan.  It all came from my heart.  I pushed myself.  I love what I do and how it makes me feel.  I know I look thousands of times better than when I was last on stage.  I am the best me that I have ever been.  How can you ask for more than that?  You can’t.  So I am going to go to the show…walk on that stage with pride, confidence, and knowing that I am one they can not knock down.  Whatever happens with the opinions of the judges my opinion is the one that counts.

I’ve had an incredible journey here in Oregon and plan on returning.  Not sure when, but I know that I have family here now and they will be missed.  As much as I want to get home.  I am really going to miss the community here that I have already built up.

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My journey is know where close to being over.  Now its on to finish final touches at home then off to NJ, but it doesn’t stop there.  There is much more to this journey than just this upcoming show.  This is just step one of my dream.

Own Who You Are

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What does that really mean?  To me that means own your thoughts, own your actions, be you and own it.  Trying doesn’t cut it.  I hear that phrase all of the time.  I’ve used that phrase.  What does that say?  It says maybe.  Maybe is not committing to it.  Maybe says I don’t want it that much.  There is I will or I won’t.  It all depends on how much your want it.  I will.  That is an action statement.  That says I am doing it.  I am owning what I want and taking action to make it happen.  I won’t…well that one is obvious.

No matter what your dream is…you can make it happen.  It’s possible.  Mind, body, and soul.  Take action to make it happen. Everyday.  It’s all the small steps that we take daily that makes a difference.  I believe.  It’s not over until I win.  You can live your dream.

People are busy.  I get it.  I am as well.  We all create time for what really matters.  When I was diagnosed with cancer I was busy.  Do you think I put that on the back burner because I was busy?  Hell no.  Of course not.  Why because this could have been a life or death situation.  So yes I dropped everything and took care of that right then and there.  There was no waiting or contemplating on what should be done.  Your health is important.  Do you know that if you are taking care of your body and your mind that you will be in a much better place to make your dreams happen?  You will feel better, look better, and have more energy to handle your job, your family, and your dreams.  It’s a choice.

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I’ve been asked over and over how do you do it?  How do you handle the disappointment of not  winning a competition?  There are so many ways I can describe this.  Most of which many people don’t really understand.  It’s not about winning.  It’s about the journey to make it happen.  While I may have not always won from the judges panel.  I have won each and every time I’ve stepped on stage.  Each time I walk on that stage I have improved by a huge amount.  Each time I go on stage I have brought my best me that I can.  I win every time I go on stage.  I am a winner.  I don’t just step on stage with a slight bit of change.  I blow them away with many changes.  My journey is not only developing my body to the best it can be at any given moment, but to also develop my mind.  Creating a light within that no one can take away.

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My dreams are made in my everyday work.  Every step, every rep, every bite of food, and every thought.  Here is a different way of looking at it.  What motivates you?  Taking care of your family?  Money?  So look at it like this…

Let say that all that I do for contest prep was money motivated.  Would that make it happen for you?

If every step you walked was $1, then if you ran $5 per step, $8 for every set you lifted in the gym, then if you ate what you were suppose to $10 per meal.  Would you do that every day? Maybe making your walk/run longer as you saw the money adding up? Would you be there every day?  Shoot I think some may go double days if this was the case.

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I see it a bit like that…but money is not what I want.  I want to be the best that I can be.  Every step I take in the gym is a step closer to my goal.  Every time I do cardio I am getting leaner for my day on stage. Sometimes my body and mind don’t agree.  One wants to do the work and the other says…ahhhh lets rest.  The dream remains though.  If you want the dream and are OWNING who you ARE….then you get up and get moving.  Taking the action it takes to make it happen.

Thick clouds over mountains and fields along Cades Cove Loop Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park; orange hues begin to tinge Appalachian meadow.

Adaptation & Acceptance

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Over the past few days I noticed something new.  Today I was driving around Portland after my posing class with no true agenda or place to go.  Cruising along with the windows down and no radio on. (another change that has happened…more silence) Then it hit me.  Here I am in Oregon.  I have not been here before and really don’t know where I am, but at the same time I feel extremely comfortable.  This is new.  Typically if I was on a trip where I was on my own I would be a bit nervous or feel as if I needed to ask a lot of questions of where I should go or what I should do.  Not this time.  I of course am not alone all of the time.  My coach Mouss and his wife, Claire are amazing. I’ll have to come back to a story about that later.

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This amazing journey has been a time of true growth. My main purpose for my trip was to prepare myself for my next show to complete creating my Pro physique.  Part of that journey is mind set.  Actually that is probably more of the journey than creating the physical portion of it.  Without your thoughts coming from a healthy space then the outcome can only be so good.  While I know I am a good person and that I will always be a giving, loving, caring person, that doesn’t mean that I was in full belief of my capabilities.  I am hard on myself.  That is partially good as it keeps me in the space of continuing to improve, but it can lead to the negative side by thinking you haven’t done enough or that you are not ready.  This past couple of months I have really been diving in on the mental side of things.  Asking questions of myself of why I feel a certain way or what causes those doubts or thoughts to happen?  Was it a trigger from another person?  Did a mood pop up out of nowhere?  Then go further to see if I can look at it from a different perspective.  Am I comparing myself to others?  Why am I doing this?  All this of course I’ve been working on with my Life Coach.  As well as good advice from my Contest Prep Coach.

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Acceptance is a funny thing.  You think you accept yourself fully until you realize that’s not quite the case.  The comparison thing is really where self acceptance comes in.  Of course my sport is mostly about how your body looks, so you tend to look at others and size yourself up.  Well, that’s not all its about.  While one person may have the physique of a goddess they may not know how to pose or they could have terrible stage presence.  Plus all that matters is where I am at and how I look.  Am I better than I’ve looked before?  Have I put everything possible into what I am doing?  Also remembering to take the time to take in valid compliments and assessments. Such as; in my group posing classes there were a couple of Figure Pro’s.  They asked me if I was doing the same show as them…because they thought I was a Pro.  That is HUGE.  That is not BS.  Then when a Head NPC Judge tells you that you have an amazing physique…LISTEN to that and HEAR it.  These things are easy to hear and of course feel good, but do you believe this yourself?  Do you listen to this?  Because I am so hard on myself in the past I would just hear it say thank you and not take it in.  These days I am much more aware.  These kind of people are not handing out compliments to just anyone.  Take note..hear it…and put that in your confidence bank.

The mind, body, and soul are integral in being truly at peace and happy.

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Getting back to how my stay with my coach as been.  I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to stay with Mouss, Claire, and their Weimaraner Joyce.  I already knew that my coach was an amazing guy and really cared about my program and me as a person, but I didn’t know just how incredible he and is wife were.  They welcomed me with open arms and let their home be mine to share.  Not only are they wonderful hosts, but they are two of the most genuine and generous people I have ever met.  Their relationship inspires me.  I will never forget when Mouss told me one night that I am family.  Not considered family…I am family.  That really touched my heart and I felt very loved.

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We’ve had many discussions about having heart in our sport and in life.  I am so inspired by him and all the obstacles he has gone through in his life.  He comes from the heart in all he does.  He is not a coach for everyone.  His style is blunt and very strict.   This is exactly what I wanted.  He also believes that this is a true lifestyle.  While he is strict he also likes to gradually lean you out.  So I am not doing 2 + hours of cardio per day.  I am now just under 2 weeks out and am doing 20 minutes fasted cardio and then 20 minutes after my workout.  I am not dragging my heels hating life.  Sure I’m a bit tired but fully functional and loving it.  So when I go to do my 20 min of cardio.  I go at it hard.  Even after leg day.  I know the alternative and I make every step count.

I am so proud to work with him and really work hard to show him that I respect him and what he does.  Of course I want this for me, but I also want to win for him.  Working with him has changed my life in many ways. His wife is also amazing in her level of support for both his work and for my progress.  Always interested in what exact workout I did and how I’m looking.  She is pregnant with twins and due soon.  She is another go getter and is still working in the yard and making things happen everyday. My time here with them has been priceless.  Gaining true friendships and developing a family type relationship has filled my heart with joy.  I am a very lucky girl.

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