What Will You Remember?
I'm on the plane to the IFBB Pittsburgh Pro right now and am reading a very heartfelt article in Spirit Magazine that is an excerpt from the book, Tell My Sons... By Lt. Col. Mark W. Weber. The book is about a highly decorated soldier and father who, during his routine medical screening, discovered he had stage IV cancer and was about to die. He began writing letters to his three young sons, giving them lessons he wouldn't be around for to teach them. The letters became a book about courage, honest failure, choosing the challenging paths over easy ones and living a purposeful life. Basically, teaching his innocent sons that life won't always go the way we planned but to still fight a good fight.
The article was only an excerpt, but I will definitely be making the book my next read. It's funny how you find the things you need when you need them...if you keep your mind and heart open.
The whole excerpt was wonderful to read, but one part stood out a lot as I'm traveling today to compete on stage for the second time as an IFBB Figure Pro in one of the biggest pro shows of the year.
He tells a story about his own dad - and how he was a race car driver and what it was like growing up in the pit. One day, his father lost a race and his beloved race car was "claimed" by the winner and stolen forever. Most people would quit when their most prized possession and reason for their success was stolen from them. But his father spent a week with a garbage car he was left with - painting it., fixing it and making it his. It was nothing like the car he had stolen from him, but he did his best and took it out to race the next weekend. He won that race, even beating the man that stole his car. The message was loud and clear: The car is important, but it is determination, attitude and a team that wins the race.
In my case this weekend, that is exactly what I needed to realize. Of course, in this sport out physiques are important, but it is determination, attitude and who you keep by your side that matters most. In 10 years....shit, in 3 years...no one is going to remember who won the show this Saturday. And when I'm done competing and have my family all around me - I, too, won't remember a lot about this weekend. But, what I will remember is my determination, my journey and all the people I had with me along the way.
I am so fortunate to have a loving and supportive husband who cheers me on through all of this, a team of rockstars and an amazing coach that cares about my life, health and goals in Team AFD, a team and family in Bodybuilding.com, a company like NLA for Her that supports all of my fitness endeavors, friends that root for me and meet me for coffee over and over again because I can't eat out at restaurants or go out for cocktails and a loving family that thinks I'm a superhero. Not to mention all of my extended fitness families (FAST NV, American Iron, Orange Theory, Pete Rezac, ProTan and many, many more).
These are the people, places and things that will stay fresh in my mind while my life and physique grow and change. Your journey is yours and should be a beautiful one. Life is incredibly short and delicate so love back 20x over the people who show you love and take advantage of every opportunity.
Now let's get this figure show on the show on the road!
Jessie Hilgenberg, IFBB Figure Pro
Team NLA For Her Athlete
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