It takes a village ...

So Miss High School America prelims were last night and WOW! Tons of great competition, lots of fabulous clothes, and lots of fun! TCM girl, Christian Louque had been in great spirits all day long. It's amazing to see the girls grow into such wonderful young ladies. Christy had her game face on yesterday but always treated everyone with such kindness .... elements of a true queen. All of the girls and moms have been very welcoming all week long and TCM definitely had a lovely week at this pageant.

Getting someone ready for competition starts way back from the day they decide they want to compete. I remember getting the Louque's a couple of years ago (wow time flies!) just a handful of weeks before their first national pageant .... ever. Referred to me by a friend, they showed up very novice but very eager to learn and excited. I basically had to run Christy through pageant boot camp and honestly, I was kind of in panic mode getting them so close to a national competition. I knew it would be a lot of taking the lead and hand-holding for this, their first experience with me and with a national pageant. I was happy to do it too - it's always easier for everyone if you just trust the team you have and push forward.

Fast forward to today, two years later. Christy earned her Miss LA Jr High School America title in July 2016. Nearly one full year later she finally got to come to nationals and vie for the title, prize package, and a life changing experience. She's worked hard all year long, and so has her family. It's a team effort. She may be the only one on stage competing but she represents all of us.

While here I had a thought which leads me to today's blog. It takes a village to basically accomplish great things. Sure you may sometimes feel like you conquered this all alone however behind the scenes people did in fact play small roles in your story to greatness. It's the same with pageant competition. You have to be the spark - decide you are going to do this! Then you add in the love and support of family & friends. You are not alone. Next add in your trainer, coach, fashion designer, hair and makeup people, travel buddy, shoulder to cry on, tan person, nail person, and talent specialist - everyone else for that matter! No one single person helped you alone achieve great things. The person who did your eyebrows was NOT the sole reason you won. The tanning person was not the sole reason you won. Not even is the hair & makeup person the sole reason you won. The reason you won was because YOU were awesome. YOU did your best with the tools your TEAM gave you. As a coach I bask in the glory of my girls, but even after a competition where we are victorious, when people come up to me and congratulate me, I always say the same thing: "It wasn't me! It was all her! I just snapped and zipped and provided lots of support!" Of course I'm over the moon that we took home a win, but I know that it took a village to get the girl to the crowning moment. It wasn't ME alone and it wasn't HER alone. What a beautiful thing - to not be alone but to be a part of a loving, supportive pageant family.

One of my biggest things I'm learning this year is to remember this very idea - to put my own ego aside and work cohesively with the extended parts of the team to help "our girl" be at the top of her game. I've more or less started noticing this when working with some vendors and there are times when things do not go as planned. Things do happen. We have to adapt or we have to make a game-changing move to make sure the girl gets what she needs to be at her best and feel her best. I remind myself that they too are on their own journey and they will learn their own lessons along their way. I've been coaching since 2009 and officially as The Crowning Moment for 2 years now and I'm just NOW having this realization. But now that I have, I approach prepping and strategies completely differently.

So here's to all the people who have helped you achieved greatness - thank you for being supportive; thank you for being honest but kind!; thank you for your opinion (even when not asked for! Ha!); thank you for being a sound-board; thank you for helping make important decisions; thank you for your love; and thank you for being a part of this journey.

Today we head into Miss High School America finals. Only the top 15 plus a people's choice will be selected from each of the three divisions. Those 48 will recompete in runway fashion & evening wear. Then a top five will be selected for each division. Those 15 will answer the same question about the BRAVE platform. From there, they will crown three brand new national title holders. Good luck Christian Louque! You've sparkled and shine so brightly all week long and I'm so proud of you. You don't even know how many times you have brought tears of joy to my eyes. No matter what happens tonight, you have proven yourself worthy of a national honor that one day WILL be yours! May not be today, may not be next year BUT it will happen because you have a special plan put in place for you by God.

As always - "Go get 'em tiger!"