Competing also makes you accountable to yourself. It forces you to train and eat right. I personally eat Zone/Paleo and train 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day. There are days, as some of you know from Facebook, where all I want is a bunch of whiskey and cake. I don’t indulge if I have a competition coming up because it will and does effect my performance. I feel sluggish. My stomach hurts. I get tired faster.
It has taken me a long time to change my outlook on food. Don’t get me wrong, I sure do eat dessert and still indulge in alcohol but it’s not a reward for training. I now view food as fuel. I’m more observant and particular about what I put into the machine that is me! Everyone has bad food days but it’s the getting back to it that matters. I ask myself, “Is that piece of cake, that will taste good for five minutes (if that), worth the terrible performance and the adjustments my body will have to make to process the food?”
In addition to food, training is also important. I train regularly so that I will do well in my competitions. I can see the results and gains when I go on a regular basis. It has taken time to know when I need to rest and when I need to push harder. We are very lucky to have great coaches at Crossfit St. Charles who can tell us what to do. All you have to do is ask!
Lastly, competing is FUN! I was SO nervous at my first competition! I was lucky because I competed with a friend. I highly recommend competing with friends! We went to Bloomington, IL. I thought, “Well, if I totally bomb, at least no one will know who I am!” It didn’t’ even matter! The Crossfit, Strongman and Olympic lifting communities are so encouraging and welcoming!! You will never have as much encouragement as when you are at a competition. If you are the last one, you can be sure to expect to have all the other athletes cheering you on until you finish or the time runs out.
Your adrenaline is pumping. You are pushing yourself to your limits and beyond. You are lifting and moving ALL the weight. I found out I can front squat at least 185lbs at my last competition! I can wall walk! I have a competition on Saturday. Imagine what I’ll find out about myself this weekend!
I always say you should put yourself out there. It will be scary at first but it’ll be an adventure. I’m addicted to the push, to the gains and to my growth as an athlete. In the past fourteen months I’ve gone down 10 dresses sizes, can lift more than I weigh, and I continue to improve! We are all athletes. The biggest thing is wrapping your brain around that fact! Pick a competition that you can do but will challenge you. Pick something that works with your training schedule. Always talk to your coaches. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Do it for you. Keep that mentality and you’ll get there.
Competition is an attitude. It’s physical but it’s more mental. You can make excuses or you can be accountable to yourself. Train with a purpose. Train against yourself. Believe me, you sign up and compete in your first competition and that mental confidence of just getting through it will make you an even better athlete and person.
Think, “I’m amazing!” You should tell yourself that every day! It’s a big deal to just show up to the gym. It was lots of hard work, good days and bad days to get where I am. I work at it every day. There are no such things as setbacks. There are only days where I gave it my all and that was my best for that day. I’ve paid for the bad food weeks and the missed work outs but I just keep coming back. That’s the most important part: the going back. Never give up! Find the fight in you and let it out! Take the next step, happy competing and feel free to ask me any questions. Remember, it’s just exercise. J
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