Journey Back To Strength 13

Turning My Life Around

Journey Back To Strength - Turning My Life Around
There is not much earth shattering relevance to the number 13, but it happens to be my favorite number lately. A few major life events took place on the 13th day of a number of months and positive things come to mind when I think of that number. So, I guess it is fitting that today while writing my 13th blog for FitnessRx For Women that the official list of the IFBB Figure competitors being invited to compete in the 2014 Figure International just came out. So, great news comes in my 13th blog!

Journey Back To Strength - Turning My Life AroundI am not sure if it’s from being dead tired, over-trained and in disbelief or just from sheer joy alone, but the tears flowed down my face for quite a while. It’s the kind of tears that can come from knowing you get a second chance—from the darkest place in my existence to the brightest place in my life. Knowing both created that kind of emotion.

Why Does It Matter So Much?

All of us are unique in that we possess unique talents, skills, passions and dreams. My dream was to find one sliver of hope left in my heart. For months, I had no hope—I couldn’t find it. In all honestly, last year was the single most devastating year of my life. But here’s the good part: every single thing that was, no longer is. I have changed more in this past month than many do in a lifetime through the relentless mental, spiritual and physical work. The choice to fight is working, and my life will never be the same again. I have a knowing that next year will be the best year of my life.

It’s Just My Experience…

The people that have the least often are the ones that appreciate things the most. I happen to be one of those people. Making some solid moves towards self-improvement is creating a life that is becoming more beautiful each day. A beautiful life certainly didn’t come knocking on my door. It came from within—discovering what it is exactly that will make you stand up one more time and keep going. It’s deeply personal and unique to each person. But, you must sit with yourself and ask yourself the tough questions, the ones you may not be ready to hear the answer to, accept it and then do something about it. And still continue to search some more.

Speaking for myself, I am now able to see, feel and experience newly found hope and joy. Gratitude can be found when you finally find a way OUT of a dingy, seemingly endless black emotional tunnel with no end in sight. If you are in that place currently, as I was, I found a way out through action on a daily basis: reading, prayer, seeking spiritual guidance, giving meditation a try (even if for only 15 minutes a day) and making new and fulfilling friendships. I didn’t want to be where I was, so I made daily decisions to do something differently so that I could feel something differently!

The culmination of those actions is finally turning my entire life around.

Oh and, yes, the 2014 Figure International INVITE kind of was a topper!!!

Journey Back To Strength - Turning My Life Around


Here is a picture taken from my bedroom window. No, I don’t have many things or a fancy place…or even furniture yet! But, I do get to look at this tree. I have been thinking of a view like this for a long time, and I finally have a little piece of happiness outside my window. I just had to look and see it.

Outside My Window…

Journey Back To Strength - Turning My Life Around

As you can read by the tone of my current blog, this isn’t an ordinary run-of-the-mill, what I eat for breakfast blog. Not this one. There will be those for sure, but when your entire life changes, and I mean dramatically, I want to share it with you. You saw me in that cast. I was sad and hopeless. You know very little of just how dark those days were for me. No one will ever know, but I do. If you are one of the people who have followed my “Journey Back To Strength” and have found yourself in those dark places, I am sharing with you the possibility of change. I am not even close to where I want to be, but it’s a world of difference if you just don’t give up. Search for it, find it and never give up on yourself…no matter what. That is a motto I chose to live by.

So What Can YOU Do Today To Change Your Current Situation?

To put that into practice right here, right now, what is one thing you can do to make a positive difference in your life? Just one. Plan your meals? Make it to the gym? Look up one of those wacky audio downloadable meditations I was referring to earlier? lol Seek out others who have what you want and ask them how they got where they are, perhaps? I am not sure, but even if you attempt only one thing today, it can make a difference.

Why Am I Sharing This With You?

The first reason is because this has been my personal experience, and that is all that I can share. And, the second reason is that maybe just one thing I have said could possibly work for you as well. It’s because I care. I know what it feel like to be in places that no one likes to talk about at dinner parties. What is the point of being in a position to reach thousands of people through my words unless I have some part of myself to give? That gives me purpose, and I draw strength from knowing I want to help in some capacity. Think about it…if I can do this then so can you!

Let’s Talk About Legs!

Yesterday, I had a killer leg workout. I had planned to train alone, but last minute, I ended up working out with my new friend Katie ;). She really helped push me through some cool new leg exercises. Coincidentally, her roommate Jess is a massage therapist (healer to me!) who works on many very high caliber athletes. Next thing I know, she invited me over to get some work done. I was so thrilled! Another great occurrence.

Journey Back To Strength - Turning My Life AroundAnyway, she explained that after surgery and lying in bed for months toxins build up and then listed the exact symptoms I had been experiencing. So she proceeded to give me a deep tissue stretching of each muscle’s fascia from the origin to the insertion points on my lower torso. This aided in flushing the tissue.

Journey Back To Strength - Turning My Life AroundShe blended Swedish techniques mixed with assisted stretching & deep acupressure help to relieve lactic acid within muscle bellies. She told me that with regular massage, my circulation will be greatly improved, which will result in the ability to get blood to the muscle for growth and repair. Where has she been all of these years? So as I transform, I now have her to help me stay balanced through the entire journey. Thank you God for putting her in my life! The best part was that I didn’t even plan this, it just happened. I feel more relaxed now than I can remember.

Want To Get Some Serious Work Done? I Have To Recommend Her!

If you are in the West Palm Beach or Broward County area in Florida and are looking for a professional who works on top athletes, you may reach out to Jessilver Fox on Facebook.

That’s it for me for this week…I have to hit the gym!

Ava Cowan is an IFBB Figure Professional, a CPTS® and full time online coach and consultant for women of all fitness levels.

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