I have noticed that things can get ugly in the world of competitions. I am not quite sure why I never felt this way before, but I am seeing a lot more of the sides of things that I don't particularly care for.
I remember when I first started, I was given this advice for backstage: "Keep your headphones in, just sit, listen to some music and chill. They can get catty".
I didn't take that advice, because I was too nervous, too anxious, too wound up. I ended up talking to many different women, some I have developed lasting friendships with.
I never really noticed it too much before, although there was always a "group" that would hang out together, and they would all stare at anyone they thought might be competition to them, but I never paid attention, they could be in their own "small" world as far as I was concerned.
I have always sought the friendship of fellow competitors even though we are competing against each other, it really doesn't matter, because everything depends on me. On how I look, how I have trained and dieted, how I present myself at the competition. Ultimately there will always be someone who places better than me. I have been in competitions where one gal placed ahead of me, and the next year I placed ahead of her. It's very fluid and all of our life's events will mold our look for that one day.
I think that we should all encourage each other, support each other and offer help where we can. Really, it's "us" against the rest of the world isn't it? And it's a lot easier when you have someone on your side to commiserate with.
Recently I saw a fellow competitor say something very negative about another competitor on Facebook. I was shocked, how could she do that?
I realized that I look at the competitions differently than she does. I look at it as competing against myself, to be better each time, to be better than I was before, to be better than ever. She looks at it to win, pure and simple, and at any cost.
I think their motivation for competing will tell all. I compete because I train. I train hard and I want a way to showcase all of my hard work and effort, someplace outside of the gym. Training is my passion.
Many people train only to compete, the training is not their love, but the result is. They don't enjoy training, would prefer to do other things, complain about it and the diet all the time and if they could compete without training, that's probably what they would do.
Of course, placing above someone else, and winning is fantastic, it makes all the hard work a bit easier to accept. But not placing does not mean I have failed. I was still the best I could be at that time. I still have the knowledge that I look absolutely stunning, ripped, healthy, fit and amazing and am very proud of it. I work hard everyday to maintain this, and no plastic trophy (or lack of) is really going to change anything about that.
If I had ever gone into a competition and hadn't prepped my very hardest, that may change the way I feel about it all, but I have never done that. My attitude has changed a bit about them all, I know that. I think I am more easy going, less stressed, less worried about it all, but that doesn't mean I am not busting my butt day in and day out still. I am just doing it without all the whining and complaining! I am still doing everything I should be to create the physique that I want, and hopefully, that the judges want too.
But my own interests are most important, that's why I decided to go into Physique. The Figure look was becoming softer, more feminine, less muscular. Although I do not want to look like a Bodybuilder, I also decided that I wanted more than the Figure competitor look, I wanted more muscle and to be leaner.
I do it for myself. I also do it for the interaction and wonderful people I meet. I have developed many friendships with women I have met at competitions, or because of competitions.
I love helping others reach their potential, or at least believe that they can. I want to surround myself with happy, successful, beautiful friends who are proud of their accomplishments. I don't want to be standing on an island, alone holding my plastic trophy.
It's all winding down, or winding up! I guess it all depends on how you look at it! I feel like I have gotten a second wind, I have a new found energy that had been lacking for several weeks. I am sure it's the strain of the diet, the two a day training, the constant wondering about how I am doing, how am I looking now? Am I getting too old for this? (NEVER!!) ha ha ha
It's 11 days till my competition, I am looking forward to some good, quality food. Once a day at the gym, and mostly, training just for the fun of it! Roy, if you are reading, I want to push the sled! Or use the battle ropes. Chains, oh we did that, and they were hard, but I will have more calories soon, I will have more energy. Hmmmm, the heavy bag is gone, maybe we should just spar?
I know going into it that I will meet many new faces, some I will connect with and continue the friendship, others I may only see again at another competition.
I know going out of it that I will be stronger, have more confidence, feel accomplishment and quite a bit of happiness. The feeling of sticking through something so demanding and strenuous, something that has a definite ending date, a final chapter, is difficult to describe.
And then, then the cooking and recipes shall begin!