Sunday, April 1, 2012
Jason's Blog: Genie Sammons = Inspiration
I wanted to write something a few days ago, but just couldn't come up with anything to write about. I had some ideas, but didn't know where to begin. But then yesterday I realized, the right topic was actually just waiting to develop. Had I written a few days ago, the topic that needed to be written about would not have been available. The topic is Genie Sammons.
Let's go back to my first introduction to Genie. About two years ago someone I had interviewed suggested Genie to me. The person who suggested her told me several great things about her. So I looked at Genie's pictures and sent her a friend request on Facebook. I was really impressed by her pictures. I saw someone who had that "it" quality. Someone who not only brought a good package to the stage, but had a stage presence. To me their are two kinds of stage presences. The kind you can learn, learn how to pose, smile, and all the things that go along with it. To me, that is something you can teach. Then there is one that I feel can't be taught. You either have it or you don't. The kind of stage presence where you just look like you belong. Nothing is forced or faked. The kind where you are on stage and you just shine. Were you command attention just being you. Genie had that.
I interviewed Genie and quickly considered her a friend. This was when I was just starting my own training, when I was still close to 300 pounds. She would always say encouraging things and soon we exchanged numbers because she was willing to give me advice and opinions. That's when I learned I wasn't friends with or admiring Genie Sammons the figure competitor. I was friends with Genie Sammons the person. The person who even was willing to have me drive to train with her some weekend (which I still would love to do).
Over time we talked sometimes and then would go long periods without talking, which happens when you are busy. But at some point, for a reason, I won't say because its not my place, Genie had to take time off the stage. We talked, probably only half serious, about when I can compete, us doing mixed pairs in bodybuilding because it would be an inspirational thing after what we each would have to overcome. That would have been an honor to share a stage with her.
With my blog and fan page, I get many people asking me if they can do this or they can do that. Not Genie. No, all Genie has ever done is suggest I interview someone she knows, to get THEIR name out there more. In two years I have learned she is one of the most kind hearted people I know.
Days ago I learned Genie was competing in the NPC Natural Ohio. It killed me. That show is in my home town, at my old high school. But I was unable to go due to prior commitments. Had I known earlier, I would have been there. I would have loved to see Genie on stage, not matter where she placed, and would have loved even more to finally meet her face to face.
How did Genie do? She won her class. When I heard that, I was sitting in my bed room, and a smile came across my face. I was so happy for her. Then after the smile was gone, the text I sent to tell her congratulations was sent, I did some thinking. I realized what Genie overcame to get on that stage, and she WON. I have often said that when I compete I don't care about winning. It's not about that. But Genie winning and overcoming made me think "Maybe I can do that. Maybe I can be the guy who overcomes and wins". So Monday morning when I am in the gym training legs, I am going to train harder than ever, work harder than ever, and be more determined than ever. Because Genie Sammons showed it can be done.
I have a bed room wall full of dozens of signed photos from people in the fitness industry. It was always my motivation on the days my leg was really hurting. My motivation to get my ass out of bed and train. Most of them are coming down. Because I am my own motivation now. I can now make myself do this. What I see in the mirror and what I want to see in the mirror motivates me. They will be saved in a scrap book that I will treasure. But there is a difference between motivation and inspiration. A select few I plan to keep on my wall. The people who INSPIRE me. Genie Sammons signed picture will always be on my wall.