Victoria’s Strongest Woman Reporting

Well…… Quite a lot has been happening in the life of Strongmanda since I last checked in. I barely even know where to start; the Firey’s, Australia’s Strongest Woman and Vics Strongest Woman. I had promised my sister one article per month. Turns out I lied. So now I have to cram!! Lucky for me she’s also living her best life, gallivanting all over the world and is in the same boat as me Haha!

Since August this year my life has been one big, epic, challenging adventure, living more days than not outside my comfort zone. This is sometimes very trying and scary but it’s where all the real magic happens. I started (and have now almost finished) recruits to become a career firefighter, which is a complete other story on its own. But I’ve definitely discovered my purpose and cannot wait to get out on station in December.

I tend to set the bar pretty high for myself so when I was lucky enough to receive an invite, I took on the challenge and committed to competing at Australia’s Strongest Woman. Not only was I going to compete, but I challenged myself to try and add 8kg+ of useful mass whilst remaining fit enough for recruits. I thought I’d  ‘committed’ to bulking before, but I’ve since realised, it was never in entirety. It was not only trying physically, eating over 4000 calories a day sounds fun but believe me, it’s really hard work and I love to eat!  The biggest challenge came from the mental aspect. Both from trying to manage lethargy and fitness levels for academy and having dealt with disordered eating when I was younger,  the commitment to being ok with getting bigger and a bit fluffy and feeling ok and positive about it was scary but was a huge win.

I committed to eating like I never had before and it paid off, I went into comp feeling stronger than ever and was lucky enough in a stacked field of the country’s strongest women, to walk away with 3rd place. It was 2 gruelling days of my heaviest ever comp set amidst the busyness of The Royal Melbourne Show with so many positives and even more lessons to take away.

With a super quick turnaround I was to take on Victoria’s best in Vics Strongest Woman, I had 5 weeks to lose 7kg to compete in my regular middleweight category. It’s not something I would normally do but this comp meant a lot to me personally and was something I needed to do. I did a little water load to get the last few kilos down and just scraped in to make weight.

It was an awesome comp, set outside on a beautiful day and I was hungry to win this title. The first two events went really well, second two left a lot to be desired and I was walking into the final event not feeling proud of myself even though I was sitting in first. I didn’t care how few reps on the stone I needed to win, I had to give it my all so I could walk away proud of my efforts.

Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment.
Full effort is full victory.

-Mahatma Gandhi-

I got mega hyped! I drew on my friends energy, the crowds energy, my frustrations with my performance and went Maddog Manda as it was labelled haha.  I walked away not only Victoria’s Strongest Woman, but also very proud of my efforts. This was by no means my biggest or heaviest comp, but it meant the most to me on a personal level. I have had a couple of big setbacks around this time of the year for a couple of years in a row and this achievement meant so much more than the win. It’s been a huge and intense 5 months and it showed me I CAN. It showed me that all the effort, patience, blood, sweat and many, many tears was and always will be worthwhile.

It also taught me to trust in the process and to surround myself with people who want to see me succeed more than I do. I have that in spades and I am bloody lucky and forever grateful. Especially to my Coach and friend, Rahn Deuis, who without his support and belief, I wouldn’t have made it to either of these comps and I also wouldn’t have made it through academy anywhere near as well as I have. You sir, are the real MVP! #teamdeuisbag

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