By Sharon Bondurant

Fitness training was my midlife opportunity. I call it that because unlike the mental space a typical midlife crisis comes from, my life and my business were good when I decided to up my personal fitness training regime and enter a bikini competition at the age of 41.

Things were great, but something important was missing—the excitement of a challenge. So one morning I started to wonder what I could I do to put a little excitement back into my life. In the interest of being focused on my goals, I had said no to many things in the past but now I was ready for a yes. I was ready to get outside of my comfort zone.

That morning when I went to the gym, my trainer asked, “Have you ever thought of doing a fitness competition?”

“Yes, I’ve thought about it plenty of times,” I answered, “but I never thought it was for me,” the conversation started.

I could never be as disciplined as the girls who were training for competitions at the gym. Plus I did not want to go on stage… or compete for that matter. But my trainer asked the right question at the right time and after some thought, I said yes, because I knew this was the challenge I wanted.

When I first started

My only goal for the four-month prior to my first competition was to not quit.

I thought, “I’m just going to finish it, and go through it, and see what happens.”

So it started like that.

And that’s when the little voice in my head chimed in with an army of negative thoughts like, “You can’t do that,” “You’re too old,” You’re too busy,” “It’s going to take you away from your family,” and the big fear that I think we all have, which is,

“People are going to laugh at you.”

These thoughts would fire off inside my head constantly. So once an hour or so, I’d have to stop and tell myself, ”No, I’m doing this. I’m just going to do my workout.”

And I had to talk myself through it like that for four months. It was the first time in my life that I recognized how negative my thinking really was and when I took the time to change it, I started to realize the potential of what I could accomplish in all areas of my life.

For the first time, I knew that even though I was happy, that a little negative voice in my head said, “This is it. This is all you can do.”

And so I learned how to replace that thought with better ones.

Looking back, this little change had a tremendous ripple effect and it marked the start of many transformations to follow. There’s so much to share here, that I’m breaking it into several digestible blog-friendly pieces. And it’s super juicy, so I don’t want you to miss any important details, like specifically how I increased my business by 500 percent (it’s not what you think) and how this journey affects me and my company’s staff to this day (also a surprise). My story is not only inspiring, it’s filled with extremely useful business and life-transforming goodies that you likely haven’t read before… so stay tuned!

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