Closing the Competitive Season
With the 2013 NPC Nationals coming to a close, that marks the end of the "season" for many. I believe that this was the largest NPC Nationals to date with 1400 competitors, if I am not mistaken. Although I achieved Pro status at the USA's, I hold Nationals near and dear to my heart. I was my fourth time ever stepping on stage, and I learned so much; it actually took me, as an athlete, to a whole other level. I got my hiney handed to me in third or fourth callout, and I knew I had to get to work. I was competing in Figure and the fact of the matter was that I was too big for that division. I was trying to squeeze into a Size 2, per say, and there is no way that even at my show weight I am a size two.....have you seen my wheels? I literally came home to Baltimore and got to work. Rather than treating my downtime as an "offseason", I knew it was my time to make improvements. I trained the hardest I had ever trained in my life, and it was so much fun!! I embraced my strength and structure; it felt good; freeing. I decided the following season to compete in Women's Physique and won my first show, then off to Team Universe for a sixth place finish and USA's for a Pro card (I actually got second at USA's but I will take second to Michelle Trapp, because the girl is just plain awesome!). My career as a Pro has been full of hard work. I still don't have the experience and training under my belt to hang with the "big dogs", but that work ethic that I applied after the 2011 Nationals stays with me, and I actually prefer my improvement season to contest prep because I embrace my inner beast. My Facebook newsfeed has been flooded with people just competing at Nationals, and you have the "OH MY GOD! I AM AN IFBB PRO" status, and then the "No placing for me this time" or "I got third callouts" status scattered around also. I know what its like. The people at work who admire your drive and determination are texting you asking if you "won" and you are humbled responding that you "didn't but you got middle of the third callout". They have no idea what that means, in their eyes, you "lost". No you didn't. It is hard work to get on stage. Not only are you prepping for what seems like forever, forgoing social events so that you avoid biting someone's arm off, and you basically are naked in front of a lot of people showing off your goodies, but you followed through. You weren't one of those people who gives up two weeks before a show, because they let fear and doubt take them over; you didn't give up because you couldn't take not drinking; you fulfilled your goal and most likely are conjuring up some new ones, as we speak. Yes, no one trains for second place, and we all want to "win", but sometimes you have to stop and give yourself a pat on the back for what you have accomplished. Not many people can do what we competitors do, and we are all winners the minute we step on that stage....but, hey, who doesn't like to take home the hardware?