Something happened to me today at the gym… I was chatting with a girl who is a body builder, and in the middle of prepping for an upcoming show, and I was voicing my various opinions about competing. My first figure competition was a good experience, but I also felt a bit “out of place”, as if I didn’t fit in with the “barbie looking” girls there. So obsessed with hair, make up, nails and having that voluptuous figure (which I myself could more easily get by just going for a light jog twice a week and eating “healthy”, not lifting heavy ass weights almost daily and eating to ‘grow with a purpose like I do now). I suppose I’m more of a tomboy where I enjoy the process more than the “end result” – I like lifting heavy weights with the “big guys”, sweating and working to the max, to feel my body changing and to ‘suffer’ a bit in the process. I was talking to Jeannie, the body builder, and she has herself been ‘off season’ for a bit, gained some weight, but is now starting a new diet and getting ready to compete again in the spring. She was explaining how she is doing these shows for herself, to prove a point to herself, not to anybody else. She had such faith in herself, even though she’s got a lot of weight to lose she just snapped “Oh, I’ll do it, no doubt about it”. I admire her drive and also her years of experience in the industry and find myself really interested in anything she has to share. I guess you can say I felt really motivated just by being in her presence – love that experience!
I have been thinking of entering an NPC competition in April of next year, trying a new federation – just for fun – but haven’t completely made my mind up yet. I left with such mixed emotions in September, asking myself what I thought of it, did I really want this and what would I do going forward. Well, I think I have the answer now. I want to compete… for ME! Not to place #1, 2 or 3 or at all, but I feel I need a “show” or some sort of date to work towards so that I can mentally stay focused on one goal at a time. Not that I need to get motivated to work out – this is now something that I crave, and is just as much a part of my life as brushing my teeth and taking a shower. No, I want to use the shows as practice for my mental health – to feel that I can be on a stage and be outfitted in a bikini, feel good about myself and be proud of all the hard work I put in all year. It’s more a present to myself than a “nerve wrecking” experience – a reward and another experience I can add to my repertoire filed under “life changing moments”.
Working out and continuing to push myself in the weight room and beyond has also proven to help me outside the fitness world. I have long been pondering if I should apply again for the “Master of Wine” study, a really grueling study in the world of wine, much likened to a phD in wine and the highest level of education (along with the Master Sommelier title) one can achieve in this industry. Previously I always had doubts about my ability to write on the same level with other candidates, whose first language is English, or candidates with many more years of experience than I have. Now I realize all you have to possess is belief in yourself – as in fitness – and you will make it! Last spring I was out of shape and 30 lbs heavier, today I’m in great shape and can’t wait to get started on that trail or set of weights. Last year I felt defeated because I didn’t get in to the study I wanted to – but I also now realize I didn’t put enough effort in to it. You can’t take anything for granted – it will come back and hit you in the face. Once you become complacent, that is when real danger kicks in. So … I’m taking myself more seriously and have started to gain more belief in myself and all that I’m capable of doing.
Next year I expect to be a more muscular, more educated wine professional – watch out world!! 🙂