Gorilla Jack Clothing
Chelsea Shand

Iron Will Award Candidate:
Chelsea Shand


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Chelsea's Submission:

When I was given the opportunity to share my own success story for the Gorilla Jack Iron Will award not only did I see it as an opportunity to be recognized for my years of dedication and perseverance, but also a chance to motivate and help others see that turning your life around is 100% possible! I wasn't always so motivated to push myself and others, hit the gym or eat healthy. I actually weighed 240 pounds at my heaviest. I was always into sports growing up but didn't have the best eating habits and my optimal health wasn't always priority. When I was in High School I broke my ankle and had difficulties with it for years, so I stopped playing most of my sports. I had a gym membership, but didn't use it too often - It was more of a space keeper in my wallet than anything. Once I started working out, training became my outlet and soon turned into pure passion. Over time I dropped the weight and fell down to about 125 pounds.

I had a handful of "training buddies" that were getting ready for MABBA Provincials and decided that it was something I wanted to do. It was the tough love of a friend that was competing that actually sparked me to really get into gear and take my training to the next level. At my weight I didn't have too much muscle, and apparently looked like a "deflated bodybuilder". He had told me "you'll never compete, you have too much muscle to put on".

The decision to set my goal for competition wasn't about proving someone else wrong - that was just the icing on the cake. It was to show myself that I could set the bar (unbelievably) high and actually push myself out of my comfort zone to achieve something that few people do.

Since then, I have competed in two shows - Bikini Tall in Novice 2010 and the Flex Bikini Model Search during the 2010 Olympia in Las Vegas (on a fractured foot!). It hasn't been an easy battle to get to where I am today. While preparing for my third show I have been busier than ever juggling work, school, and then recovering from a car accident just weeks out from the show but I can honestly say that every moment has been inspiring and more than worth it.

Competing has showed me how disciplined, motivated, and strong I can be in life, not just in the gym. I have met some of my greatest, most supportive friends while participating in this sport and am thankful every step of the way for each and every person in my life that has been there along the way. Hearing that I have actually inspired others always gives me chills. I never once would have thought that I could help someone else reach their goals, and now look to continue inspiring others in any way I can.

I have learned to toss my old, unhealthy insecurities aside. Stepping on stage has been the greatest adrenaline rush I have ever experienced and I know each and every time that I deserve to be up there. Every show teaches me more about myself. I have overcome my greatest personal boundaries and will continue to push the bar higher and higher.


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