I'm competing as Mrs. Traverse Mountain in the Mrs. Utah America pageant.
How did I get to this point? Grab a blanket and snuggle up so I can tell you the whole story. Eh, well, I guess only bits and pieces of it.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
It was the year 2017 and I was at my office desk editing images. A woman walked by and she caught my eye. Of course the first thing I noticed was her hair, duh. It was thick, long, and blond. I was checking out how it was curled wondering what tool she used on it. My best guess is that it was a 1 1/4 curling iron in case you were wondering.
After I figured out all of her hair techniques I looked up and saw it; the crown.
It was Mrs. Utah.
I started to take shorter and shorter breaths until I realized I was almost hyperventilating. I started to rub my hands together and noticed they were clammy. Weird. What in the world was happening to me?
I watched her walk all the way down the hall and into the office that her meeting was in.
"HOLY CRAP!! THAT WAS MRS UTAH!"
Rachelle Rutherford, Mrs. Utah United States 2017, had a meeting with the director of the non-profit I worked for. She was going to be using our organizaion for her platform while competing at nationals.
My co-worker gave me a weird look and started laughing at me. Apparently I was visually smitten!
Guys, I was fan-girling HARD core. Like, bad.
I lingered around my co-workers desk who just happened to be right by the office where Rachelle was meeting hoping i would causally bump in to her on her way out and we'd become best friends or something. Ok, fine. Even just a quick intro. I didn't know!
I was just in awe. Guys, she had her crown on and everything!!
My lingering worked. I met her, shook her hand, and then shyly asked if I could try on her crown (after watching another co-worker try it on...duh...I'm not THAT brave.)
I never was much for princesses when I was younger. I wouldn't describe my childhood as magical in that sense. I had a gazillion dresses that my Mom crocheted for me but I really don't remember dress up or princesses as part of my younger years.
After trying on the crown and snapping a selfie with her I walked away and literally thought to myself "So THAT'S what it feels like for a little girl to meet Cinderella." I promise...that's what I thought.
Rewind to a couple years earlier. I had a bestie compete in a bikini competition. Note that when I say bestie I mean bestie like we met way back in Mr. Nelson's 7th grade Science class; that kind of bestie. I was really proud of the work she had done and how far she had come on this journey. The thought of it intrigued me so I decided that maybe I wanted to do a competition myself. A year later another 7th grade bestie did one and I thought for sure I was next.
This time I was able to be backstage and do her hair and makeup for this competition (well, kind of. Only 1/2 of her hair was done and I wasn't really done with her makeup when she took stage but thats a whole other story...sorry, Bec.) While we were backstage I looked around and knew this wasn't for me. I knew myself enough to know it would be really unhealthy to do this sort of extreme physical competition.
I had struggled with various eating disorders since the 8th grade and finally felt like I had a grasp on all of that kind of stuff. I knew a bikini competition would spiral me out of control.
I really was excited for that goal.
So then I got to thinking...
Is there a competition out there that would have to do more with my heart than my body but still had a physical aspect to it.
I didn't know.
Until I was scrolling the magical world of Facebook and saw an advertisement or a post of some sort about a pageant. It had it all. I have to walk on stage in heals and a swimming suit, and evening gown, interview about me and my platform (#Fly) and spread the word about it all at the same time!
What?! Thats perfect! "Maybe I'll do that" I thought.
And then I had my run in with the crowned Mrs. Utah and BAM! I just knew.
So there you have it. 4 years ago I decided I was going to do a pageant.
Something I've learned about myself is that once I set my mind to something it happens. I'm a committed person. Sometimes to a fault BUT I'm learning how to navigate that. Goals have been hugely important to me in my healing journey and it's where I see most of my growth.
The timing couldn't be more perfect. Earlier this year I got a giant shove from God that I needed to start up #Fly again. I've been working hard to get that going and it is perfect that I get to use it as my platform.
I am scared. I am terrified. I can't believe I am doing it. I signed up and FREAKED out inside. Its a huge commitment to even just compete in the competition but so far I am loving it! Not only that, my heart skips a beat when I think about how many women could be helped and how broad of an audience it could reach with the power of the crown!
Did you know there a multiple different companies who put on pageants? I'm not too familiar with all of them but the two I know of and have referenced here are the Mrs. Utah America and Mrs. Utah United states.
I knew I wanted to do the MRS. Utah America pageant but I wasn't married. And then when I WAS married I was pregnant. Right now I am married (to the hottest guy around) and am not growing a human inside of me (phew!) So it seemed like perfect timing.
When doing a pageant like this you get to choose what area you will represent. I had considered representing Utah County because of how big it was, and then considered representing Lehi again, because of its size. Ultimately I landed on Mrs. Traverse Mountain.
Traverse Mountain has been a soft landing spot and a safety circle for me and my children. Yes, its where a lot of my trauma occurred but in turn its where we healed, and flourished as well. Its growing rapidly and surrounded by businesses of all kinds. Its impressive, beautiful, and my home. It just made sense!
I had NO clue what I was getting into when I signed up. I don't want to say "I'm not a pageant girl" because I always said I wasn't a "runner" but I have ran a marathon and run multiple times a week now. It's just a world that I'm learning about and will need to figure out how to navigate as I go on. So if anyone knows how to walk in heals while wearing a swimming suit on stage in front of 1000 people PLEASE give me some pointers. Holy moly!
I'm diving in to pageant podcasts, youtube channels, Pinterest pins and the works.
I'm all in.
I've met some of the gals I'm competing against and they are powerful, beautiful, kind hearted souls and I can't wait for more interaction with them!