From time to time, a certain group of people come up to me and take me aside and ask for advice – first time competitors. Yes,I know the excitement and doubts and pressures of being in that place. Or so I think I do. So my advice for people going into a competition for the first time is simple, “Focus On the process of getting there. Try to remember this journey is largely for yourself (even if you’re motivated by proving something to others). And, yes, accept you may not win your first show or even place.”
Remember, training is mostly an inside job – inside your head and heart and spirit. So, yes, step out of your comfort zone and embrace the journey. Take Pride in your accomplishments along the way, big or small. Embrace the changes your body makes week by week or day by day, and never take for granted what your body can do (but again, it starts on the inside).
Try to remember to thank all the people who help you along the way, or even apologize to those people you weren’t the most pleasant to on your most challenging days (you know, diet brain or diet moodiness can make us a bit edgy sometimes).
Hey, also accept that a decent number of people may think you’re crazy for carrying tilapia in your purse and waking up at the crack of dawn for your first cardio session of the day. Guess what, you are crazy! But it’s a great crazy. It’s OK. Embrace it!
People take all types of journeys in this life. I don’t “get” all people and what they do or why they do it. So, sure, it may help you to realize some people close to you (or far) may not understand your journey, but it is your journey. It’s no one else’s, and it is up to you to stay true to your path. And we share our journeys with others just by staying true to the effort.
Here is a quick check-list I like to recommend to any competitor:
1. Become a planner. Plan your meals,workouts, and contest day. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
2. Laugh at yourself. One minute you are on top of the world and the next you are crying. Again, it’s an inside job. This is just as much an emotional journey as it is physical.
3. Present the Physique. Practice your posing. You only get 30 seconds to present 12 weeks of hard work. Practice Posing, then practice posing again. Make sure to practice the poses that work best for your body type. Perfect Practice makes Perfect Posing! So no cutting corners…
4. Need a Hug? Have a support team. You can’t go through this journey alone. Family, friends,co-workers and your trainer will serve as your biggest fans. Lean on them. You’d be surprised, in many cases they want you to and you are inspiring them every step of the way. Of course, return the favor to them in regards to their journeys, too.
5. Have fun! Sometime as athletes we get too serious. You are blessed to be able to take this journey. Relish and enjoy every second of it. Have fun!
Now go ROCK THAT STAGE! Fit-Nez