Sam I Am… a Figure Competitor!
I’m a competitor in every sense of the word. Yet, when I allow others to interfere with my own beliefs I feel inadequate. Constantly comparing myself to others and their expectations of me, even when I feel like I’m not, is only going to pull me in the opposite direction of my goals. I AM a competitor and it’s time to embrace this and be one with MYSELF.
As of late I sure haven’t been feeling like a true competitor. I’ve been feeling like I’m trying my best to convince myself I am, to fit in, to know that I belong, etc. But it’s just felt like I’m not “there”. After 2 years at attempting to come in for these shows, and after 2 years of not fully succeeding (coming in the way I need to) I’ve felt a tad bit embarrassed as other competitors start making subtle comments that I’m cheating, and I get the vibe they don’t take me seriously anymore.
I’m not sure at this point if I can step in and say I mostly feel very proud of what I’ve accomplished and still am accomplishing, all the while I’m telling you I’ve been a little embarrassed by my stage readiness 2 years in a row, and how people are beginning to doubt me. Last year I received a lot of very positive comments and words of encouragement from other competitors. This year it hasn’t been the same.
Most other competitors are still positive and encouraging, yet there have been several that have definitely doubted my abilities, knowledge, and dedication. Although, no one has been downright ugly to me I suppose that makes me feel inadequate and responsible for not being stage ready each time, as I tend to want to blame it on my trainer at that time.
But truthfully, I am responsible. I let people stand in the way of what I knew would or wouldn’t work for me. I allowed someone else to lead me instead of leading myself when I knew something was “right” or “wrong”. I put all my faith in someone else and none in myself.
It’s not to say that these last 2 years were a waste. Actually, I walked away learning a ton from these last 2 years. Hell, I sort of think of them as practice rounds. In the end I still can imagine what it will be like. “End” being the moment I step on stage really ready for the first time (so really the beginning).
I think I’ve also been feeling less like a competitor because I gained quite a few lbs back so quickly. I went to dinner with my family a few weeks ago. Sitting next to us was the figure competitor in my class that won 1st. She didn’t look any different to me. I shrunk myself… hoping she wouldn’t recognize me. That just sucks. I know that. I’ve been embarrassed to show my face in the gym, or anywhere else someone might recognize me. That’s just not cool! I should be holding my head high!
These last few days though, I’m coming to see that none of this matters. What matters is only what I believe. I’ve been working on honing in on how I feel, while I minimize what others think. When I do this I can see that the last 2 years, although they didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, have propelled me forward faster than if I had succeeded in the last 2 years. Had I succeeded right off the bat I feel nothing would have been learned. It would have been more a case of going through the motions – not actual growth.
My first year competing I learned a lot about what goes into this sport – learning the basic diet rules, stage prep, etc. The second year I learned even more in terms of diet and training. Maybe not in the way I had hoped, but lessons nonetheless. But most importantly, I learned to trust myself over all others, even if I have paid good money to listen to them. I’m learning to the most important opinions are my own.
Could’a, should’a, would’a only gets you so far. Now is all that matters. And now I’m going to continue to grow in all aspects of my life. That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t matter who doubts me, as long as I don’t doubt myself. I’m beginning to finally see this….. FINALLY!
Because of that, in the gym this week I was able to really let go of the weight factor and enjoy my workouts -listening to the fact that I’m finally in “off-season”. Competitors have to take advantage of the off season just as much as the on-season. It’s part of the game. But for once I actually have an off-season. It’s hard to grasp as I’ve been ON for so long.
It’s surreal how this feels so empowering to me now. I have yet to experience this part of being a competitor. There’s a lot more to learn and accept in this road to being a figure competitor.
I’m still trying to put all this together and know what it means to be in off-season -what to expect as “normal” and how to manage this phase of my training. I’m beginning to smile again at the experiences coming my way. I’m beginning to let go a little more with the struggles that go on in my mind from time to time. I feel more at peace again. Priceless, right?
Today, because I’m beginning to let go of other’s expectations of me, I feel more like a figure competitor.