Thanks to my director John and StandOut Productions, I was lucky enough to spend last weekend with Miss USA 2005, Chelsea Cooley, and, fitness guru, A.T. Dunn. I was expecting a weekend full of camping and bonding with my class of 2012 sisters, however, I was surprised by the knowledge and motivation I would leave Lynchburg, Virginia with. The first night, all the girls had a blast at a roller derby competition. Aside from leaving with a couple good war wounds, we also left realizing the importance of giving it your all, even if you can not skate (like me). On the journey to Miss USA, there may be times when other girls seem better, faster, or stronger than you, but that does not mean you should sit on the sidelines. You only have one shot at the crown and one chance to give it your all. I firmly believe that this reigns true on all aspects of life. So get up and go for it.. even if you fall on your butt :)
The next morning we were woken up bright and early by Chelsea and A.T. to depart for Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre for snowboarding, skiing, and tubing. This activity was one of my favorites of the weekend because I love being active outdoors, especially snowboarding! Liberty Mountain Snowflex was a really cool establishment. The "snow" was made out of multiple layers of synthetic material, almost like soft carpet, so you can snowboard year-round. Olympic medalists actually practice here!
After hitting the slopes, we returned back to camp for some more outdoor fun! One of the things Chelsea and A.T. could not stress enough was losing focus. Therefore, we were each challenged to climb a 40ft pole and jump off catching a trapeze bar. I will admit, I was petrified. However, I took a deep breath, focused on the challenge at hand, and listened to A.T. as he guided me to the top. Regardless of how nervous I was, I never lost sight of my goal and I will apply this to my preparation for Miss USA.
I cannot give enough thanks to Chelsea Cooley, A.T. Dunn, John Vannatta, and everyone else who made this weekend possible. What I took home from the retreat is more than just new friends, experiences, and memories, but determination to do my very best each and every day until Miss USA, and even after. In the words of Oprah, "Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”