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Wednesday, September 04, 2013
There are only 24 hours in a day, but don’t tell Christina “Christy” Grisham. The former Lipscomb softball player works a regular job, spends an average of four hours a day in preparation for the Miss Tennessee pageant and is also working on designing her own line of clothes. Oh yes, she also does some babysitting on the side. Despite her busy schedule Christy managed to find the time to talk with lipscombsports.com.
Christina “Christy” Grisham has spent more of her life wearing softball cleats and double-knit uniforms than she has wearing high heels and evening gowns.
But things have changed in the past couple of years. After completing her time as a softball player at Lipscomb she hung up her uniform and decided to give beauty pageants a try. Two years ago she competed in the Miss Tennessee Intercontinental pageant and felt the need to compete again.
This year she is preparing for the Miss Tennessee USA pageant scheduled for Oct. 3-5 in Clarksville, Tenn. Grisham, who lives in Franklin, is Miss Leiper’s Fork.
“I grew up with my family being really involved with pageants, but I never was because I was always playing softball,” Grisham said. “My mother told me, `you only have until you are 27 to do this’.”
Her mother, Jamie, has always been involved with beauty pageants for all age groups in Texas. Her sister, Mandy, chose the pageant route rather than sports.
“Since my sister was a baby she was in pageants,” Grisham said. “She mother runs pageants. She started the Texas Angel Pageant this year for special needs people. It doesn’t matter how old they are, they can participate. I am planning to start one here in Tennessee.”
In order to prepare for the Miss Tennessee USA pageant Grisham puts in long hours as she tries to balance everything on her plate.
“I probably work four hours a day on getting ready for the pageant,” Grisham said. “I work out every morning and then come to work. At lunch I usually talk with somebody back home who might be able to help me.
“After work I either work with my interview coach or have another training session. I also work on how to walk since I grew up in cleats. It has been a little hard for me to walk in heels.”
Conditioning was one of her favorite parts of softball so the physical and mental demands of the workouts are not a problem for her. She has discovered that many contestants have been athletes at some point in their lives.
“You would be surprised how many athletes turn around and do this,” Grisham said. “It gives us an excuse to dress up.”
She has a page on the website “gofundme” where her supporters can contribute financially. She has a goal of $1,500 and is approximately half-way there.
Grisham majored in art and was attracted to graphic design work while at Lipscomb. She credits Cliff Tierney, one of her professors, for challenging her creativity.
“Cliff was my favorite teacher because he was really my introduction to art and during drawing class he always pushed me to "get out of my head",” Grisham said. “He always said if I could just get out of there (my head) I'd make something great.
“I always go back to that now when I'm working on projects for work - especially the last minute ones! He was always very positive and so funny to be around that it made class that much more fun. He was, and still probably is, the best!”
Got to be me
Grisham was a pitcher for the Lady Bisons from 2006-2010. She was hampered by injuries during her career. She points to pitching coach Lexi Myers Shrout (now softball coach at Lipscomb Academy) as an influence for her beyond the field.
“Lexi really pushed me to just be me on the mound,” Grisham said. “Those were my best pitching moments when I would think about that. Coach Myers (Shrout) telling me to just relax and be me is something that I will take in to everything I do in life.
“She joined Alaina Jacobson and me for a run her first year as a graduate assistant and after that run, and her building our trust in her, she was the coach I went to for everything. And I'm sure I can speak for Alaina as well.”
As a native of Texas Grisham grew up going to rodeos and every year in high school she was a “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” representative.
She is developing her own clothing line called “Rustic Rhinestones” which is targeted to rodeo fans. She is starting out with T-shirts and has plans to have a complete clothing line developed within the next five years.
“The T-shirts should be out later this fall,” Grisham said. “It is basically rodeo wear.
“I will have a traveling boutique. It is a long-term project but I would like to have a booth at all the rodeos in Tennessee, Kentucky and southern Indiana.”
Grisham is the creative coordinator at Precision Dynamics International in Franklin.
“We are a team here just like the softball team,” Grisham said. “As the creative coordinator I work with about eight project managers to make sure all of their deliverables are perfect for their client.\
“Without each other’s support our jobs don't function properly - just like on the softball field. Not to mention all of the goofy things that happen at our office. It kind of reminds me of our team back in the day. We were always doing something crazy.”