(This is an article I just submitted to Fitness and Physique Magazine!)

After umpteen shows in my early 40’s, I decided, at age 48, to strap on my 4 inch heels for another season of Figure Competitions this past summer at the Yankee Classic in Newburyport, MA, a beautiful town that I am fortunate enough to call home.

The show was well-run by Jason and Justin Napolitano and turned out to be a great time for all. My company Gold Siena, Inc. was a show sponsor so it was even more exciting for me having many of my company Reps work my table and experiencing the world of Body Building and Figure Competing first hand. They were in awe! They all expressed new-found appreciation for how hard we work and how warm and friendly we all were. Having them there, witnessing the thrill of my success as a won 1st place in the 45+ division and 3rd in the Open class, was priceless. It was truly a great day.

My success, however, was tempered by one glaring omission and that was the absence of my trainer and dear friend Mike Champagne, who was unfortunately not able to make the show as he was fighting esophageal cancer. Sadly, Mike passed away in November, 2011 after a long and brave battle with a disease that took the strongest and most courageous man I know.

So, I write this article in celebration of all of you out there in the fitness world that continue to fight the good fight. We drag ourselves to the gym, eat cleanly, answer inordinate amounts of questions on diet, exercise regimens, and motivational tips, and we trudge on, moving the weight because it centers us, and gives our life purpose and meaning.

And most importantly, I celebrate all of you for serving as a role model for all the people that we affect on our own fitness journey. How we throw ourselves out there, and bring all the people that love us along for the ride. Because the bottom line is this: if you can affect one person, like Mike Champagne, my trainer and friend affected me, then every rep, every chicken breast we choke down, every injury we nurse back to health, makes it all worthwhile!

Stay Strong, and most importantly stay at it!

Katie McKay

Motivational Speaker, Author, Athlete, Entrepreneur

Follow me on my blog! www.livingaprosperouflife.com