It was the last few minutes of the pageant, names were being called from the top 10, announcing 4th runner up…3rd runner up…I’m nearly on the verge of hyperventilating, in disbelief that my name hadn’t been called yet. Then it happened, the moment that is now a blur. “And the new Miss Kansas 2013 is……contestant number 12! Theresa Vail!!”
This is the moment that my life will have changed forever.
Many of you that have been following me and the news know everything there is to know about my surface. So for this post, I would really like to share my experiences and thoughts on the actual pageant week.
Before I met all the women that I competed against, I held many preconceived notions about the types of girls that do this sort of thing. I was told to watch my back, lock up my clothes and heels, and not to trust anyone. Boy, was I blown away by the truth.
The 24 women that I had the pleasure of competing with are the most selfless and sweet women that I have had the honor of getting to know. I went there with my guard up, and left with my vulnerabilities in the air. I would not have won without the support of my fellow contestants.
For the same reason I love the military, I love the pageant system. It is a sisterhood, an unbreakable bond. Every assumption I held against these women were abolished the minute I got to know each and every single one of them. I am ashamed to say I held these judgements to begin with.
I spent a week with these women, and I have already made life-long friends. I connect with each of them in different ways, each having their own unique and special characteristics.
There was not one moment that I felt like I was being judged. It touched my heart when they came to me for advice, when my roommate and I had late-
night heart-to-heart talks, when all the girls tried helping me on my less than desirable dance moves. They accepted me for my flaws and imperfections.
If like me, you hold/held judgements against pageant girls, I ask that you reserve those judgements until after you meet one. They will change your life forever.
To the Miss Kansas Class of 2013, I thank you and I love you.
Remember that you can go to my “SHOP” link and purchase a custom Miss Outdoor Girl t-shirt. ALL proceeds go towards supporting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the national platform for Miss America.
-Your Miss Outdoor Girl…
What is Memorial Day? I know many of you believe it’s that weekend you get to spend at the lake drinking beer. Or the weekend you get to hang out with friends and family, partying it up. But those are merely the activities you partake in to celebrate what this Holiday is all about. Memorial Day is a day to remember our fallen soldiers; those that fought and died for our freedom and rights. We do not celebrate their death, but we rejoice in the legacy they left behind. While you’re out there on the lake, or celebrating at the bars, remember that you’re able to do those things because selfless men and women fought for you and your families.
I have served my state and my Country for 6 years. I may not be on the front lines of war but I wear my uniform with unmistakable pride. I yearn for the day that I get to deploy and serve my Country to the fullest potential. I may not like where the government is headed, I may not agree with the presidency. But I don’t serve either of those. I serve YOU and the United States of America. Have a safe and blessed Memorial Day. Thank a soldier for their service!
And now to tell you about my journey throughout the past 5 months. In such a short amount of time I have changed dramatically. Not just physically, but in my way of thinking. If there is one thing that competing has taught me, it’s that you need to be unapologetically yourself and not let others dictate how you feel. I will be the first to admit that I cared about what others thought of me. I let their words get to me and it brought me down. I started second-guessing myself, asking myself if this is really what I wanted to do. I hit a low point…and then I grew up.
After tirelessly worrying about what other girls were thinking about me, I realized that I am the best version of me possible. I am a compassionate person, a selfless person and an all-around kind-hearted girl. There will always be people who don’t like you because they don’t know you, and people who don’t know you because they don’t like you. And there is nothing you can do about it except put your big girl panties on and keep moving. I AM unapologetically ME.
So as for the physical improvement, I have managed to gain 10 pounds of muscle in 5 months. WOW! I have always been naturally slender so to see muscle on my body was a huge achievement for me. Now, many will tell you that physical fitness is not important to winning a pageant. While this may hold some truth, I am not going to undermine the value of a fit body. How can you be a role-model if you don’t live a healthy lifestyle? If you’re binge-eating because you can or getting drunk on weekends?
In 2 weeks, win or lose, I will know that I put every ounce of discipline I had into it. Just from that, I will walk away knowing I am a winner. I still have a long way to go in terms of fitness and building muscle, but I am surely on the right path.
If you guys have any questions or comments, please don’t be afraid to ask! I will update you all in 2 weeks after the results of Miss Kansas! Have a beer for me!
-Your Miss Outdoor Girl…