August 18, 2016

Why I Choose to Compete, and No it’s Not For Attention

So I’m doing another show. It is a hard but rewarding process. It will be my second show and I love it for so many reasons. I believe this time around might be a little easier because I know what to expect, but time will tell.

Competing is a sacrifice for sure. There are long hours in the gym that cannot be missed, serious preplanned meals, and of course going out to eat or missing a meal is a definite no no. It takes the support of my whole family for me to be able to do this process, and this time will be no different.

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It’s hard. It’s REALLY hard. The mental strength that it takes to compete on stage is extremely challenging. And being hungry, tired and still having to push through workouts at 100% effort, pushes the intensity of fitness to an entirely different level.

Bodybuilding and competing is a world that is hard for a lot of people to really understand. I was one of them before I became “hooked” on results and the challenge of it all.

This is a question I get asked a lot. “Why do you do it?” “Why do you want to put yourself through that again?”

Weight lifting is a big part of my life and I would call it a bit more than a hobby. I call it a passion. It is something I love to do, and I work very hard at it. Day-in and day-out. It’s kind of all day, everyday gig. 

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I take weight lifting very seriously. I would classify myself as a serious lifter. Experienced?…maybe not as much as others. I think after 5 years of serious lifting, I can earn the title of “experienced.” But I sure do work my hardest, and I always push myself to learn more, and do better.

So why do I do it? Well, let me ask you this.

Why do runners run races? Why do crossfit goers do competitions, or dancers give recitals?

It takes all their training and effort and makes it end at one big culminating event. That is exactly why weight lifters train for competitions. And it has nothing to do with attention, or being on stage in a bikini with gawking eyes. Well, at least for most of us.

Bodybuilding is a style of weight training that truly is all about the physical changes. That’s what makes it exciting. We train to change our shape, to build more here or there. It really is a never ending process of “better.” The truth is I work so hard to change and adjust my body shape. So I do get excited to see the differences during the competition phase.

Competing is not for everyone. And honestly it’s not for me all the time either. I love to have a balanced life of going out with family and friends and enjoying a good meal.

But when I decide to compete, it’s not about all that. It’s about putting my mental and physical toughness to the test, pushing my body to the max, and seeing all my hard work in the gym pay off. It’s not only about the physical changes, but also the pride in completing the challenge. It instills a sense of self pride that is worth every minute of struggle. Actually without the struggle the results wouldn’t be as rewarding.

So for those who don’t understand why people do this “competition thing.” Understand that what you gain from these things is more than a trophy. It’s a sense of accomplishment, a deep knowledge of  how to adjust your body, and a pride in seeing hard work pay off.

So maybe these competitions aren’t for you. But they are for me, and I am happy to be a part of this amazing community of female weight lifters.

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