Sunday, 2 June 2013

This is a post about the word "enough"

You'd probably expect this post to be about the Toronto Pro Supershow (which I attended/covered for Muscle Insider), and how it was probably one of the Top 3 weekends of my life up to this point. Or about how the athletes were incredibly motivational to watch on stage and meet in real life. Or about how I bought a tank top that says: "Suns Out, Guns Out", and I refuse to wear anything else from now on.

Well, in a perfect world I would write about those things. But if you've been reading this blog for ANY amount of time, you know I always do what you're least expecting. So instead, we're going to talk about how inspiration can come from the most random instances or occurrences, how life's sense of timing is never a coincidence, and how the word "enough" keeps me from getting on stage time after time, and utterly sucks to have in your vocabulary.

This weekend I ran into a ton of people that I rarely get to see, and usually it's only at these kinds of big events, which happen a couple of times a year. One such person is an old friend of mine. The times we've hung out, he's never been afraid to tell me what he really thinks. One of those "No-holds-barred", "Call 'em like you see 'em" types, whose honesty I have always appreciated, especially as it relates to my career, competitive plans, and physique. Prior to yesterday, we hadn't seen each other in about a year and a half, so obviously one of his first questions was about my plan to compete this year. He asked if I was going into figure. I stared at him, and burst out laughing. Then he started laughing, too. We both know I'll never get into clear heels and T-walk myself across a stage like an elegant, poised lady (Picture Sandra Bullock in a pink dress falling on her face after being put in heels in Miss Congeniality - you feel me?). He told me I was built for the figure category. I explained "While that may be, I can't bring myself to do it. I'm too keen on extreme conditioning and muscle mass." He proceeded to tell me I'd never be big enough, and thus, never hold my own against other female bodybuilders.

Edit: For the record, I wasn't offended! Not even close to taking it personally. Serious face. I know he's correct, and I'll admit it to anyone. I hate carrying extra size (after getting up to 180lbs last off-season, I refuse to weigh more than 155-157 again), and it's going to be my downfall...

He THEN said, "You also won't be conditioned enough. You never take that extra step. You go far ENOUGH to stay lean and in fantastic shape, but your body doesn't change. You push hard ENOUGH, you diet hard ENOUGH, and you do ENOUGH cardio, but only ENOUGH to keep yourself happy - not enough to take the extra step for the conditioning you want. You let life get in the way, you let things distract you, and that's OK with you. You diet until it gets hard, you do cardio until you get bored, and you never push past that point." Now, he didn't say all of this at once (I did manage to get some words in edgewise), and he didn't say ANY of it to hurt me. He said it because he wants me to see me do well. The reason I'm blogging about this experience, as unfortunate as it sounds to admit 'out loud', is because it's true. My friend hit the nail on the head with me. And it sucks BIG TIME to know/hear 8 weeks out from a show.

Here's where timing makes things fortuitous: I sat down for a heart-to-heart with a professional competitor who only recently began to hit her stride in the industry. Only recently has she really started gaining a ton of momentum, and just kicking ass at shows. I asked her what changed, what her secret was, and she said, "I got my mind right. I started liking what I was doing." She explained that she'd been going through the motions for 6 years, but recently she found a renewed passion, incentive, raison d'etre, if you will. The funny/ironic part was that she told me she thought it was cool and admirable that I figured out at such a young age what I wanted, put my heart and soul into it, and that I was still determined to do it (I explained the part about loving female bodybuilding despite it not REALLY being the ideal category for me). So there was the dichotomy: On the one hand, I am passionate, obsessive (in a good way), train and cardio my heart out, and love the sport with my entire being; but on the other hand, I don't go through the motions. I don't cross all my T's, dot all my I's, or follow my coach's plan down to the gram. Total robot-mode doesn't exist. But I have heart. Cool. A whole lot of good that's doing me... *sarcastic face*

Essentially, this post is an epic vent about how life is confusing and frustrating when you know in your heart what you want, but you can't make your head or body do what they're supposed to do. You can't turn off that feeling that it's OK to just be 'good ENOUGH ' on stage... To just want to coast through your prep in order to avoid the hunger/2-a-days/HIIT... To be comfortable ENOUGH with your body that the impetus for change never really comes, or drives you to be better or push harder.

Being ENOUGH sucks. Don't settle for enough, ever.

"The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.

Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. Most people
who go there think, "Wait... no one else is here... why am I doing this?" and
leave, never to return.

That's why the extra mile is such a lonely place.

That's also why the extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.
Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do--especially if
other people aren't doing that one thing. Sure, it's hard.
But that's what will make you different.

And over time, that's what will make you incredibly successful."
-Jeff Haden


Potentially 8 weeks out as of yesterday, but these are from last week... merp.

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