My Faithful Friend

Regardless of what stage in life you’re at or what kind of relationship you’re in, know that fitness will be there with you every step of the way

January 12, 2012
My Faithful Friend
My Faithful Friend
My Faithful Friend

Sometimes on the road of life, we hit bumps along the way of our ever-evolving journey. What do you do when you encounter obstacles? Who do you turn to? Maybe the answer isn't who, but what.

No matter what I've had to deal with, good, bad or otherwise, the one constant that has always been there for me is fitness. Fitness has allowed me to bring my family together, make new friends, get together with old ones and have a place of salvation when it felt like everything else around me was falling apart.

As a kid, I was a Tom Boy. The easiest way for me to feel like I fit in or like I was a part of something was through some sort of sports. I liked the sense of achievement from winning and the positive recognition that came along with the accolades.

In my early 20's, I was in an unhealthy relationship. For the most part, I had given up on myself. My self-esteem was low. And, my weight began to increase. I was so unhappy. Then one day, I made the conscious decision to save myself before I went any further into a depressive state. I got back into sports...kickboxing in fact. Going to class and fighting was an empowering escape for me. Not only did I become more fit, I started to feel a whole lot better about myself.

Fast forward a few years and many life experiences later. I decided to try online dating and signed up on a Fitness Personals site. It was there that I met the man I'm going to marry. Shortly after we connected, James took a chance and came to visit me during the 2007 Christmas holiday season. A week after we met, we got engaged! Then a month later, my Marine Corps fiancé got orders to be deployed overseas. I was heart broken. Originally, his deployment was supposed to be for 7 months. Two and a half years later, he finally came home.

This was an extremely challenging time for me. To distract myself from feeling so alone, I immersed myself into Figure competitions. Setting goals of getting on stage as well as prepping for photoshoots was something I could do that took my mind off my situation. Thankfully, he returned home safe and sound.

I was extremely blessed to realize a dream this past competition season. That dream was to have James in the audience at one of my shows. Not only was he in the crowd cheering as my loudest fan, he also invested his time and energy into transforming the physique I presented to the judges. It was such a gift to share a winning moment with him that day. And now, we work as a team to ensure future successes.

So, regardless of what stage in life you’re at or what kind of relationship you’re in, know that fitness will be there with you every step of the way. It gives you so much more than health. It provides you with wellness, the ability to set and achieve goals as well as develop a support system of like-minded people that turn into lifelong friends. Remember, the weights will always listen. They’ll let you take out your frustrations on them. The cardio machines are waiting to run with you and want you to let your thoughts flow easily and without judgement from outside distractions. Once you walk through the gym doors, it’s all about you. When you take care of your fitness, fitness will take care of you.

Yours in health, fitness and fun,

Karma Schopp
NPC Figure Athlete, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and Freelance Writer