Someone once said this to me.  And funny enough, I took it as a compliment.  Partly because I know they were kidding and teasing me.  More so though because.. well it was true.  I loved dancing, singing, performing.  Anything to get me on stage, I loved it!  Even if I was just a background singer, holding a single tune, while the lead singer belted out her solo, I loved the thrill and excitement of being on stage, lights bright in your face and the audience clapping with excitement at the end of your performance.  Even if that clap wasn’t solely for me, it feels gosh darn good to be clapped for!!
Let’s take a few steps back.  In grade school and high school I would try out for everything. I think maybe once or twice I got a lead role.  The rest of the time, I was the understudy, the back up singer or part of the large chorus.  I tried out for EVERYTHING, and when I say everything, I mean it.  I would wait after school for my chance to sing a song (potentially not fully in tune) or perform a dance routine (potentially messing up on a few counts of 8) and then eagerly check the “Final List” of cast members on the day it was posted.   It’s fair to say I am by no means naturally talented.  I can’t sing really high or low.  I can hold a tune but, my voice could be the dull sound in a group harmony, and I am okay with that.  I loved to dance.  I danced over 20 hours a week as a kid.  But I never got that elusive solo at the year end performance.  I just attended every class, worked my butt off, but remained “average”.  I wasn’t genetically gifted, but I didn’t want to hear that.  Because I loved to perform, it was my passion… it was ME, and I always gave MY BEST!
Jump forward a few years and here I am again, at 27, full time job, mommy to one with an amazing husband, and that “itch” (or whatever you call it) to be on stage is still in me.  The next best thing in my mind, is to compete in a figure competition.  I love to be in the gym, love the challenge and as we all know now.. I love to be on stage!
I feel its quite the comparison to when I was teen trying to perform in every musical.  When it comes to figure competitions,  I am again, by NO MEANS genetically gifted.  I have a round full butt, long lanky arms and a small waist with no upper body muscle at all.  I have thick calves and ankles and I gain weight just looking at cookies.  What was I thinking?!
For the 9 months of training after my son was born, all that was going through my mind, was ‘getting on stage’.  It wasn’t who else would be on stage.  Who would win.  Who the Judges would like the best. NO.  It was me being back under the bright lights, having a moment to shine during my quarter turns or while walking across the stage, and the sound that the audience would create as all the girls took their final bow.  That is what drove me. 
It kept me from snacking at 3am, and pushed me to do cardio at 4am.  I didn’t have to be the best on stage, but I was sure going to bring MY BEST!  During my first two shows I felt like I was back in my highschool days.  Walked across the stage and the roar of the audience got my heart racing, similar to after our dance team did a killer routine at a Football game.  I was excited.  I was driven.  Those quarter turns were about me.   My bow, was my time again to embrace that feeling of being on stage.  And just as when I was in highschool.  I may have not been top 3, but I was up there, I loved being up there, and that was all that mattered to me.

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