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To the Victor go the Spoils

By Wendolynn L. Allen



This is the month that our nation celebrates its independence and it is also the month that the editors of this magazine have chosen to celebrate the independence of women.  It wasn’t too long ago that women were viewed as the inferior party in humankind.  Men always took the front seat while women were left with second best, considered incapable, or, at least, not as capable, as men when it came to completing various tasks.  Fortunately, there have been a few female pioneers (too numerous to mention) who chose to be considered “renegades” of there time in order that we and our daughters could advance farther than ever imagined.  Whether it is in sports, homemaking, business ownership, corporate positioning, whatever the event, women can celebrate their independence today because of the few that paved the way.  I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to that few.


Last month, I just so happened to be looking through a recent issue of “Powerlifting USA” magazine (the premiere magazine on the sport of powerlifting) when I ran across my name.  I discovered that I was ranked No. 11 in the list of “The Top 20 Women Powerlifters in the United States in 2001”.  Jokingly, I began to show the list to friends.  Shortly thereafter, my mind was plagued with the title of this article, “To the victor go the spoils”, and I realized what I had done.  I am sure that we have all heard this before and I am sure we have all seen it proven true in our lives.  It is also a biblical promise that guarantees us the reward for our victory.  In considering my powerlifting accomplishment, it had been exactly 4 years and 11 months since I had competed in a powerlifting meet (forced to take three years off due to a plague of injuries).  Twenty-one months prior to this event, I had begun training as a bodybuilder in an attempt to regain my health and eventually return to the sport.  Within six weeks of completing, and faring very well, in a bodybuilding competition, it was a phenomenal effort to attempt to compete in a powerlifting meet (let alone win “Best Lifter”).  I simply wanted to see where I was so that I would have a measuring stick for myself as I outlined my long-term goals.  So, of course, it was a surprise (and rather funny) when I discovered, six months later, that I was 11th in the nation for my overall total.


I said all of this to reiterate, “To the victor go the spoils.”  When I decided that it was time for me to change my life’s course and walk in the victory that was part of my predetermined destiny the rewards began to overtake me and, when I was least expecting it, more rewards continued to come.  You too can experience this same overwhelming and unsuspected shower of rewards such as self-fulfillment, renewed self-confidence and inner strength, better health, national recognition, and much more when you determine to live your life on the level of victory.  The Creator of our life has already cut the cards in our favor.  We are all destined to succeed in our purpose in our life.  The key, however, is that we live our own life and not someone else’s.  Our purpose in life is as unique to each of us as the individuals that we are and, once we understand our mission, only we can determine to succeed at it our not.  That is our independence. 


We as women have finally reached a level in our society where no one can tell us how far we can go or what we can and cannot do.  We are victors.  We have accomplished much in recent years and much more is yet to come.  With these accomplishments come specific rewards as well as unspecified rewards that may surprise us months or even years down the road.  In any case, we can be grateful and celebrate our lives and our efforts and know that as we raise our families, especially our daughters, the horizons are unlimited.


“To the victor go the spoils,” but it is up to each individual to press in and collect all of the loot.