Kelsey Lensman chatted with #Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about Mission48, and empowering women.
She pursuing Mission48, where she will complete 48 fitness competitions in 48 states in 48 days to raise money for ROX, Ruling Our Experiences, a 501c(3) that develops confident girls who control their own relationships, experiences, decisions, and futures. Her goal is to inspire women to do hard things, push their limits and build true self-confidence.
What inspired you to compete in Mission48?
Years ago, I watched Iron Cowboy complete 50 Ironmans in 50 States in 50 Days and it inspired me to see him push his limits in ways that seemed impossible. It got me thinking, “What if I do 48 different competitions in 48 states to inspire other women to push their limits together with me?” I quickly shut that idea down because I had no clue where to even start.
As much as I wanted to keep doing what was comfortable, I couldn’t shake the feeling like I was meant to do something I was really scared to do. One night last September I sat down on my bed, wrote a prayer and asked God for a sign. A real sign. Something I couldn’t ignore or couldn’t consider coincidence.
The next morning, mid-back squat, I’m listening to a random podcast with Ed Mylett and Colin O’Brady. He shared about his solo-mission through Antarctica to raise money for charity. He said something that struck me to my core and changed my life from that point on:
“So many people are living in the 5-6s where everything is good and comfortable, but not great. They’re never getting to 9s and 10s because they’re too afraid to ever be at a 1. They just rinse and repeat 5s and 6s their own life.”
So, there I am, mid-back squat and I said to myself: “I’m doing it!”
I see women every day who struggle with confidence the same way I struggled. I can’t stand by anymore and hope someone else steps up to tell women the truth about confidence. Confidence isn’t built in a comfort zone; confidence is built by doing hard things. Confidence isn’t given, it’s built & is available to every single one of us.
What inspires you each day as an athlete/competitor and entrepreneur?
The old version of me inspires me because she had no clue that she could do the things she’s doing today. Because of that, I know there’s thousands, if not millions, of women who are living just like I was without knowing what they’re actually capable of physically or mentally. Those girls and women that are meant for greatness, but have no clue of their own strength or potential are what inspires me every single day to build the business we are building and compete as an athlete to show them if I can do it, so can you.
How does it feel to be an athlete and entrepreneur in the digital age? (now with streaming and technology being so prevalent)
It is a whole different world out there compared to 10 years ago. The digital world can be great because you can connect with people all around the country, but can also be a trap, especially for women and young girls seeing these edited pictures and photoshopped bodies that they strive to have in the fitness world. It’s insanely important to me to be a force for good by using my influence to empower young girls and women of all ages in their own strength through how I interact on social media. I want to show women and girls it’s cool to be strong, show a great work ethic, and go after the dreams you have placed in your heart.
What do your plans for the future include?
My future plans include competing in Mission48 where I’ll compete in 48 different fitness competitions in 48 states in 48 days to inspire girls and women to step out of their comfort zone and show themselves they are stronger than they think by building true self-confidence. It’s an amazing charity!
After Mission48 my goal is to continue to build EmpowHER Fitness into being the brand for empowering women and young girls in their fitness and nutrition. Our mission is to build strong women through our events, coaching, and courses all around the world. We want to educate and equip our clients through our 1-on-1 coaching in nutrition, courses teaching women how to train, and events that challenge women of all ages and skill levels to show themselves they are stronger than they think. We have a goal of getting our events in all 50 states and growing our community throughout the country.
I also will go on a speaking tour after Mission48 in schools and companies to share stories from Mission48 and inspire those to go after their own dreams.
What are some of your proudest professional moments?
Some of my proudest professional moments are the “small” moments like one of my clients telling me that her life has completely changed after working with me. Those “small” moments are massive moments to me because if we can change one life for the better, that ripple effect will go to so many.
Also, a moment that stands out to me is one of our EmpowHER Fitness competitors came up to me after the event saying that by competing at our event it completely changed how she saw herself. She said, “If I could lift that weight which I didn’t think I could lift, what else am I limiting myself from?” This has led her to starting a business and going after areas in her life that she didn’t think she ever could.
My personal ones would be being a bodybuilding, powerlifting, olympic lifting, and OCR course competitor. I always love to push my limits to lead by example first.
What does the word success mean to you? (My favorite question)
Success is getting to the end of your life knowing that you played all out and had an effect on people for the better.
I have a theory called my Rocking Chair Theory, where I envision myself 95 years old on my rocking chair looking back on my life. Success for me is getting to the end of my life and being proud of how I lived it. It’s being proud of how I went for it and not letting fear hold me back. It’s being proud of the people I’ve impacted through my day to day interactions. My biggest fear is sitting there in my rocking chair thinking, “What if?” What if I didn’t let fear hold me back? What if I didn’t let doubt hold me back?
True success is not about a number in my bank account, a body, or anything else outside of myself. It’s being true to who I am and truly LIVING my life for the better. It’s becoming all that God created me to be.
What would you like to say to your fans and supporters that have been with you on your journey?
Every single one of you is a part of this. This is not just me doing Mission48. It’s you stepping out of your comfort zone and inspiring those around you through how you live your life. To those that support me, thank you isn’t enough to express my gratitude to you. Every text, comment, mention, and reshare means more to me than you can even know. Because of YOU is why I do what I do and for that I’m forever grateful.