Epic Weekend – Part 3: Triumphs and Tears

The day started with a beautiful sunrise over Phoenix. The day had come as our last full “official” day of Epic Weekend and it promised to be the best one. I knew this was going to be an exciting day so I could not wait to get out of bed!

First on the agenda for the day was a photoshoot with one of the best photography couples, Erica and Jon, along with Heidi Powell as our posing coach and Chris Powell making us Transform protein shakes! To say I was excited is an understatement.

After we did our hair, make-up and finished primping, it was on to breakfast and then the bus. We were all a little nervous. Some of my team had done the photoshoot at the previous Epic weekend, so they were helping to calm the nerves of us newbies. I could not wait for the shoot. In the past, I shied away from full body pictures. I would hide behind my kids or only take a selfie. If someone was taking full-body pics of a group, I would either stand in the very back or make an excuse to not be in the picture. But now, it was time to have professional photos showing all the hard work I had put in so far. On top of that, we each got about 10 minutes of one-on-one time with Heidi!

We arrived at the studio and put our names on the list. I was about half-way down, so I knew my time would be a little bit. After a few minutes, Heidi and Chris arrived. It was just as exciting as when they arrived at A Mountain for our hike. They bring amazing energy to the room. The studio is basically one large space. There is a mirror in one area with lights to touch up make-up and hair, there were a few sitting areas, but in one corner was the photo shoot area. All out in the open, so everyone would be able to see you getting your pictures done. A little intimidating for some, exciting for others.

As we started the shoot, I watched as Heidi worked with each person to get the best pose, smiles and pictures. I was just in awe watching her as her genuine, kind and compassion nature shined through. There were a few ladies that got pretty emotional and overwhelmed when it was their turn. Heidi was comforting and compassionate and in the end, these ladies shined in their photos.

As we watched, everyone was also cheering each other on. You could feel the love and support we truly have for each other. I made sure to get some self shots with my amazingly beautiful teammates.

As it came closer to my turn, however; I could feel the nerves setting in. When I was told I was next, I actually began to feel dizzy! My first thought was you CAN NOT faint in front of Heidi and make a scene!! So, after sitting down and taking a few deep breaths I could feel my heart rate begin to calm down.

It was finally my turn. The first part of the shoot was to walk. Heidi had shown others how to walk, but I felt so awkward and way out of my comfort zone. Heidi and Erica were just so amazing and encouraging! Their kinds words of affirmation helped to calm my nerves and feel confident in my pictures. At that moment, I felt beautiful. I had not felt that way in a very, very long time (if ever). After, I broke down crying as I was thanking Heidi. Again, how do you put into words how extremely grateful you are to her? Words could not even begin to describe what I felt in my heart. The final pictures are in the works, but here are just a few taken by my teammates.

Once I was done with my turn and could finally relax, it was time to do talk to the other amazing Powell, Chris. We had a small chat and I again thanked him for Transform and all that he has done for all those who have followed the program. (And again, I cried. Ha! Ha!)

After everyone was done with pictures, it was time to head back to the hotel to change as we had another workout ahead of us! This time we were headed to The Cell Gym where Bruce coaches. I knew it was going to be a killer workout, but what I didn’t realize was the mental game that was about to play out in my head.

We arrived at The Cell and I could not wait to see what all was in store for us. It is a large area full of cross-fit equipment all ready for us. But, of course, we had to start with burpees…again…7 minutes. So, we paired up again. Erin and I teamed up and got ready to tackle these again. I again volunteered to go first. I was determined in my head to beat my last number of 55 and should be easier since we were not on grass. Boy was I wrong.

As we began, I was going full out again. I was pushing myself, trying to do more full on than I did the last time, but about a minute into it the inner critic and comparison started setting in. There was a lady next to me who was also doing full out burpees and was going faster than I was. In my head I found myself comparing myself to her. I needed to go just as fast, just as hard and keep up with her. Comparing myself to her was hindering my performance. I felt myself getting defeated and I began to struggle more and more. When time was called I had done 55. The exact same as I had done the day before. I just sat on the ground and cried. I cried because I did not beat my last number, I cried because I knew I let comparison get the best of me, and I cried just because. Such an emotional rollercoaster and the day was barely half over and the workout had just begun!!

Now it was time for the full workout. It was 3 complete rotations at each station. Each station was 45 seconds of movement and 15 seconds of rest/move to the next station. The stations consisted of planks, over-head press with dumbbells, sit-ups/crunches, wall balls, ropes, step-ups, kettle ball and the row machine. Now, when you hear it, it does not sound super hard. You think, this is going to be easy! HA! HA! HA! This was probably the toughest workout I had ever done. Again, you had to be mentally ready and I did my best to focus only on my progress and not compare myself to the others around me. When we were done, there was a huge sense of accomplishment and a lot of sweat! Here is the amazing group of Champs after the workout.

Now, it was time for shower number two of the day as that evening was our closing dinner at Main Event. This event is a celebration of our hard work and an opportunity for us to tell our stories of transformation. What we didn’t know was that we would get the red carpet treatment as we arrived.

We began to unload the bus, and there waiting for us on the red carpet was Bruce! We felt like movie stars lined up on the red carpet for the paparazzi! It was such a fun way to make an entrance.

The evening was amazing, we started with dinner and a slide show of before and after pictures of everyone at Epic. It was amazing to see the transformations. Some had been on the program for almost a year or longer and some had just begun their journey. It was amazing to see all the lives that were touched by Chris, Heidi and all the coaches. Then we got to hear a quick speech from the Powells, but the night was about us. It was about sharing our stories and journeys.

One by one, people would get up with he microphone to speak. My teammates at my table encouraged me to speak. I really had not prepared or thought at all about what I would say. Honestly, I can’t even remember anymore exactly what I said. It was very emotional for me to share my story with a room full of people but at the same time liberating. I cried again, as I thanked Bruce and Chris and Heidi. Again, words could not begin to express my gratitude. I just hoped I had made some kind of sense and did not embarrass myself!

The evening was so amazing. I loved listening to how people had begun to change their life and the lives of those around them. It was so inspiring. It was also an honor to meet the other owners of Transform. It ended up being a long evening. Some folks ended up staying, bowling and playing other games at Main Event, but I knew what was coming tomorrow. The last day and our Champ Within 5K! It was a day I had been training for, so I it was off to bed.

Check back soon for the last post in this series, Epic Weekend – Part 4: 5K and Sad Good-Byes. Also, make sure to like, share and leave me comments! My goal is to reach 500 people this year with my posts!

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