Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Big Day

I'm now officially Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011!

Here's how my day went:

5:00 AM-woke up
8:00 AM-washed my hair and got dressed
9:00 AM-massage therapy
10:15 AM-got into my wheelchair
10:30 AM-blowdried and styled hair
11:15 AM-ate lunch
12:15 PM-got back into bed to rest and do range of motion
1:00 PM-got back into my wheelchair
1:15 PM-put my final outfit on
1:30 PM-professional makeup artist came
2:15 PM-finish makeup session
3:15 PM-left my house
4:00 PM-arrived at Running Aces Harness Park
5:05 PM-private interview with judges
5:20 PM-finish interview
5:30 PM-ate dinner
6:00 PM-doors opened
6:15 PM-gave two-minute speech to the audience
6:35 PM-comedian
6:50 PM-live local band Machine 22
7:15 PM-first runner-up announced
7:20 PM-winner announced (that's me!)
7:21 PM-billion photos taken and socializing
8:15 PM-leave
9:00 PM-arrive home
9:20 PM-get back into bed
10:00 PM-remove makeup
11:00 PM-fall asleep

As you can see I had an extremely busy day. It was also out of my routine. I usually get up in my wheelchair between 9 and 10 AM and get back into bed around 5 PM. That day I had to get back into bed for 45 min. in the middle of the day to stretch because of the long night ahead of me.

The professional makeup artist who came was a friend of my therapist, Nicole. I don't wear makeup very much but I think she did a great job. It took about 45 min. to do but she made it look really natural. I'll definitely have to get my makeup done again soon.

It took about 45 min. for us to get the place. My 15 min. question and answer with the judges was supposed to start at 4:30 PM, but one of the judges (Mrs. Minnesota) was a half an hour late. I didn't end up doing it until a little after five. Then I had just under an hour to cath and eat dinner. Right when I got into position at the table they started announcing so I cut it pretty close.

I was the first one to give my two-minute speech to the audience. Four people followed me and then it was time for the judges deliberate. The interview was 70% and the speech was 30%. While the judges talked amongst themselves, there was a comedian and a band to keep us entertained. After that they announced the first runner-up and in the winner.

I was so excited to hear my name being called. When I went up there tons of people swarmed in front of me with their cameras. By the end of the night I couldn't see straight from all the flashes. Mrs. Minnesota put a sash around me and then crowned me. After the initial shock and congratulations, I mingled a little bit with everyone who was there while being photographed.

I had a long drive home and even though I usually fall asleep when riding in vehicles, I couldn't because I was so anxious and excited. When I finally got home all I wanted to do was get back into bed to relieve my back pain. At that point, the neighbors and my aunt Sandy came in my room to congratulate me. Once I laid down I did range of motion because I was extremely tight and my spasticity was high due to the day. I was exhausted and delirious also.

I had a lot of fun though and am happy. I'm grateful for this opportunity to educate people and be an advocate for others with disabilities. Now I'm going to be very busy for the next year doing appearances and speaking all over. Also, I get to go to nationals in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Ms. wheelchair America contest is the first week in August. This will be my first time on a plane since my accident. I'm excited to take a trip but a little nervous because I don't know how it will go. They said they wouldn't affect me if they could get me on a plane so I trust them completely.

Below are some photos of the event.

The band
One of my fan tables with my friends and dad

Me and the judges

 If you want to view the professional photos that were taken you can click here.



Ruth said...

Congratulations! From reading your blog I can tell you will be a wonderful representative and role model.


TeeO said...

Wow - Crazybusy day!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

I had a pickle at some of the professional photos, random huh?

You looked beautiful, I love your shirt.


FridaWrites said...

The blue color suits you and you look really beautiful--congratulations!

sd said...


Michael said...

Congratulations Jenni! Good luck at the Nationals!

Jeannee said...


Jenni, I am going through a really hard time right now ... but your beauty, your life, how you navigate the world in spite of your disability... all this gives me fresh hope, just when I need it the most!

Jeff said...

So proud of you Jenni!! You are such an inspiration and example of grace and courage.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! Wow! That's really neat! You'll do a great job. The people of Minnesota are lucky to have you as their representative. You'll do an outstanding job!!

Kaylyn Marie said...


I stumbled across this on accident, and am SO glad I did. I am so proud of you! You are doing such wonderful things in the community and really living life to the absolute fullest- you go girl! I remember playing softball with you and you were always the girl the other team was afraid to go up against - such a strong athlete- and such an amazing person. I love reading about all of your accomplishments- keep up the great work!! :)