Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jen Rankin

I'm a small town Texas girl through and through.  My childhood revolved around dirt roads, climbing trees, building forts and basically just being a tomboy.  I started playing softball when I was 5 years old and continued to stay athletic and active as I grew up.  In middle school and high school I participated in many sports including track, basketball, softball, cross-country and cheer-leading.  My senior year, I was a state-qualifier in the 100m hurdles and the runner-up in high jump.  This achievement led me to pursue track and field in college.  I came in doing 100 m hurdles and high jump, and then my coach introduced me to pole-vault and the heptathlon.  The hep is a 7b event competition that lasts 2 days and includes: 100M hurdles, high jump, long jump, javelin, shot put, 200M dash and the 800M run.  Practices were long and grueling, but I loved every minute of it because in the back of my mind I knew that not many people could put themselves through it! That made me feel set-apart and gave me motivation and confidence to keep going.  I was a NAIA national qualifier several times indoor and outdoor and still hold the record for pole vault.  
Always being athletic and active led me to purse the sport of bodybuilding after I graduated college.  It had always been a dream of mine and by the encouragement of a friend at the gym, I decided to give it a try.  I met with a female bodybuilder and figure competitor in Lubbock to have a consultation and give me feedback on whether or not I was ready to compete.  After our meeting I started my contest diet and 10 weeks later competed in my first NPC Figure competition, The 2008 West Texas Classic, and have been going strong ever since! To me, my competition history is a testament and a reminder to myself of the hard work and dedication I have endured.  Just like competing in track, bodybuilding gave me a "niche" and it continuously helps me to keep moving forward in life by setting goals and striving for more.  In my opinion, having a goal and a vision is the most important thing we can do for ourselves.  One bible verse I always refer to is Proverbs 29:18, "Without vision, the people perish."  Our visions and dreams help to give us hope for the future while at the same time, keep us grounded and feeling like we are not just going through life without a purpose.
Faith, Family, Life
I believe that to be truly happy, our lives must have balance.  The way I practice balance is by keeping God first, Family second, and everything else in life third.  
 " first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33
"He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God." Psalm 62:6-7
I am so blessed to have a family and so many wonderful friends that are so loving and supportive of me and everything I aspire to be. They have always been there to encourage me, guide me, love me and cheer me on-- no matter what.  I would be lost without them!

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