Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Having just completed my 8th contest in 12 months, to say that it has been an amazing year competitively is an understatement. I placed 2nd in Masters at the National Natural Physique Championships in Montreal - as I should have. Mentally I was not in it 100% and Maria deserved it hands down. She was ripped and still had the energy to do back handsprings and the splits in her routine. Amazing! Her level of leanness was inspiring. I saw things on her physique that I am going to shoot for for future contests.
The lessons learned, experience gained and memories made this past year would have otherwise taken at least half a decade. I was able to transition from powerlifting as a complete newbie to bodybuilding in March 2008 (Northern Kentucky NPC Championships hosted by Beverly International) and finish 1 year later as a finalist at Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding Championships - one stage with some of the best natural bodybuilders in the world. I was able to do that BECAUSE I ignored the "rules" of bodybuilding (i.e. - you should only compete in 1 or 2 contests a year if you want to stay healthy).
Every bodybuilder I have spoken to about my competitive year has not responded favourably. I have been called "nuts", "an obvious rookie" and have been warned of the dangers of competing so many times. I have been accused of being "burnt out" for competing an average of 1 contest overy 6 weeks.
I disagree, strongly! I do not feel burnt out at all. My hormone levels are optimal (just got them checked with my doctor a few weeks ago), blood pressure is stellar (according to my doctor), I did not blow up post contest like many do... I never did the entire year. And I can eat! I eat ample calories and nutrients post contest to faciliate growth. The week post contest provides provides a significant opportunity to replete, refuel, repair and grow. IF your contest prep has been an unhealthy one (too much cardio, too little calories and nutrients and negative energy) then the odds of your body rebelling and blowing up is much higher.
Prepare properly and naturally and compete for the right reasons, and you can remain healthy and you can compete often. Not only can you remain healthy, you can increase health. I am the most balanced I have ever been - physically, mentally, spiritually.
I am chosing to take a year before I complete NOT because of any burn out, but for my family, my clients, my friends. I also want to focus on my strength training again, my 1st love. I will do one or two powerlifting events this year and reset my focus on the national bench press record. My next bodybuilding competition will not be until Arnolds 2010.
Where you can find me next (supporting DE Athletes):
UFE Spring Bash
OPA Stratford Open
Details will also be released soon on upcoming seminars and workshops I will be hosting.
HAPPY GROW SEASON!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
This was from this morning, Wednesday March 4th, upon waking.
Cold (no warm up / pump up), end of sodium allowed in food, still carb depleting for another day and a half and not yet dried out.
Feeling pretty crappy this morning but that is to be expected. But feeling good about how my physique will shape up over the next 48 hours.
Some feedback and wonderful words from clients have reminded me why I do what I do, competitively.
"True meaning is only possible when you use your strengths to serve something bigger than yourself" (Seligman, from Laurence Shorter's book "The Optimist")
EMAIL FROM A DISTANCE CLIENT PREPARING FOR HER FIRST BODYBUILDING SHOW:
I know you are getting ready to leave, so you may not read this until you get back. But, I have the overwhelming desire to thank you. You have become so much more than a trainer to me......more like a life coach, mentor, guide......
I read, really read, all of your posts and it's amazing what paying a little attention to the true meaning can do. You are an amazing person and I am thankful every day that the Universe brought you into my life.
I can't believe the path I am on. One of such great personal and spiritual growth that sometimes I am taken aback with emotion. I am excited as to what the future will bring.....what you will teach me.....how I will absorb it and become a better person on this new journey I am on. While my entire world has shifted....become something different than I thought it would, I know in my heart that I am on the right path (although sometimes, just sometimes I wonder why). But, I want you to know that you have become a part of that...an important part and I am excited to continue learning under you.
I'm not going to wish you luck.....you don't need that. You will go in to the Arnold's the best shape and totally knock them out!!!! I'll be anxiously waiting to read about it.
Again, perfect timing! (no coincidence - thanks Universe).
This IS why I do what I do... I sometimes question if the time, effort, money, distance from "normal life stuff" and sometimes family is worth it. Messages like this from my clients remind me time and time again, YES it is! It is my calling, my passion, my purpose, my journey... NOT for the trophies but for the lessons I learn and those that I can bestow and extend to my clients in their own journeys.
So THANK YOU! Thank you for being able to articulate and extend your feelings and knowing when and how you are blessed.
This is exactly what I need to fill my heart and soul with... THIS will bring me a "win" regardless of how I place in this contest.
PRIVATE MESSAGE FROM A PRECISION NUTRITION LEAN EATING PARTICIPANT (Whom I Coach on-line):
I was just taking a small break from working on a project and started browsing your blog section on the PN forums and...
... I felt compelled to write you a small note of appreciation (and I am only a few threads in!). Some of the thing that I value and appreciate are your:
* willingness to share your knowledge
* open mindedness
* quest to learn new things
* sense of humor
* ability to motivate
* tough love without contempt
* and in spite of all these ridiculously super-woman qualities your unmistakable, raw, and real "human-ness"
I think everyone has a certain purpose in this particular life and I hope you sense that you have found yours. I don't know for sure but I'd be willing to bet that you are blissful in giving yourself over to this mission in life the way that you do.
I've never met you, have only corresponded with you via the LE program a few times, yet I feel infinitely connected and inspired by you. You have taught me that boundaries are a matter of perception which has helped me to push to some new highs. You have also showed me that no one answer exists in a vacuum - that we are all part of a bigger process, are unique in our consitution, yet connected in deeper ways than we realize.
So, thank you. I feel so very fortunate to have crossed paths with you and you have contributed to my personal growth and development.
Now go kick some ass at the Arnold Classic, ok??
We certainly are connected... we all are! But you are clearly more insightful and enriched than you may realize as one can only feel connectedness with those who are equally insightful. So all the things you praise me for, you likely share these traits and can bring them out further in yourself.
Your message is SO timely it is scary. My brain does all sorts of wandering up, down, side to side and all around when I am this focused competitively... this is why this high level of competition is so good for personal growth. But it challenges you in unpleasant ways sometimes but from that challenge comes the opportunities for growth.
I often feel torn between work (my passion), family (my heart) and competition (my soul and true self)... and often ask the Universe for answers... you have given me one of my messages and answers.
So thank you for being in tune.
Thank you for being open and caring enough to share your thoughts.
Thanks you for connecting so deeply.