Body builder overcomes hurdles to win award at national event
Lori Vick, a Mineola native, is conquering life, brokenness, autoimmune symptoms and more through fitness. In August, at 51 years old, she went to National Bodybuilding Competition in Pittsburgh and brought home second place in Women’s Physique.
Her vision since day one of training for competition in 2014 has been to get a pro card in the sport of bodybuilding, but this wasn’t the time she says. Placing second has only confirmed to her once again that she is on the right path. Her vision for the future is bigger and she has much more work to do.
“When it is time, I will go back and take first and the pro card at Nationals. I’m going to believe for it. I’ll be patient and wait because I know it’s waiting for me. The only way to receive it is to do the preparations,” says Vick.
Preparing for competitions may appear to be all about achieving a look, but it goes much deeper. The 18-20 hour days of waking up at 3:30 a.m., the five to six clean and healthy meals a day, and the posing classes are only part of it. To get to the stage moment, she has to overcome stage fright, believe in herself, be brave and bold, and move forward even when it doesn’t feel good.
“I looked like I was going to be judged in a shiny suit on physique by people I didn’t know, but that’s not what it was for me,” says Vick.
She has to empty herself out completely to be ready to receive the gifts that are higher than herself. While training, she has to overcome self, push beyond her limitations, and put her body in positions and conditions that are beyond the human condition. In those times, she realizes that God is so much bigger than she.
“I get to experience supernatural power in this small, fallible and fragile human body. I’m addicted to allowing God to show off in my life. That’s why I do all of it.”
From the first time she ran a 5K at the tender age of 9, Lori Vick has felt awakened and called into the service of transformation, but she hasn’t always been focused.
“I didn’t always do it right and I wasn’t always healthy. I was broken a lot of the time. To know what wholeness looks like, I needed that brokenness,” says Vick, as she talks about never fitting in. She says she knows now that she was created to be different, but it was painful.
In her early years, between her late teens and early 40s, it was all about the scale and fitting in a certain pant size. No matter what she looked like, she was still never satisfied. When she’d achieve her weight goal, she still felt empty. As a fitness trainer at the time, she knew being only focused on the scale was no way to guide other people.
She felt God grooming her to make fitness a ministry and an outreach.
For God to trust her with reaching others, she had go through a season of mind and body conditioning. She began a journey of self-discovery and spiritual building up combined with physical training.
For Vick, conditioning is not about how far she can run or how long she can work out, but that is where it’s born. It’s about time alone with her Creator and connecting with the earth. It’s about standing strong when the tragedies and unexpected events of life come, and not having the option to escape. When it would be easier to give up, conditioning gets her back up.
“Our bodies were designed to be conditioned. We need to be ready and strong, or at least get back up when it’s time to. We need to be there when someone else needs us. If we are weak, we can’t help anyone else,” says Vick when talking about what’s important in her life.
From 2010 to 2014, Lori Vick ran seven 26.2-mile marathons. Running gave her a plan during times of difficulty and pain after the sudden death of her brother-in-law and her daughter’s best friend. It gave her a chance to hit the reset button every day.
As an athlete, the next natural step for her was bodybuilding competitions. She needed a broader perspective to be able to help more people as a fitness coach. In 2014, she began training for the next rung on her ladder.
Her first bodybuilding competition was on the local level in July 2015. She took first place in Masters Figure and first place in Novice. At the time, she didn’t feel like celebrating. She says she felt exposed. She had been on a private journey between she and God, and getting first was only a sign that she was on the right path.
Now, at this place in her journey, she feels strong and capable. She’s still showing up for herself every day at the gym. Every vision she’s had, she’s worked on there and made it come true. That’s where she’s learned to depend on herself and fight for her goals. It isn’t always easy, but she’s never been disappointed with her effort.
“In the gym, you show up for this things you may not want to do all the time. Overcoming again and again is the beginning,” she says.
Lori Vick struggles with autoimmune symptoms and sometimes they overwhelm her, but she refuses to focus on her limitations. She eats a correct diet to manage her symptoms and insists on planning her life around her goals.
“When I’m down, I’m down, but when I get back up, I get my dignity back. I may be down in the bed, undignified, succumbing to the symptoms of humanity, but I won’t stay down,” an empowered Vick declares.
Her desire is to help others take their dignity back too. Through nutrition and real tools, she helps people change their lives so they can depend on themselves again. The lessons she has learned are reproducible, and she’s ready to share them with anyone who is ready for a change. Lori Vick is excited about every opportunity coming her way. Follow her on the journey of maintaining balance, fitness and competition, and sharing her God-given gifts at www.facebook.com/lorivick333 and www.instagram.com/lorivick333.