I have really done this contest prep alone. My friends haven't been involved. I've trained by myself. Of course, I've always had the undying support of my coach and friend, Dave. I don't do this for my friends. I don't do this for my family. I don't do this for any kind of recognition except the recognition that I get from MYSELF. What I know about myself:
I am disciplined: I did not miss a single training session or cardio session. I never once did any less than the prescribed time on cardio...more, but never less. I don't want to stand up there on stage and wonder..."Would I have placed better had I gone those last 8 minutes?" Wherever I place I will know, I gave this 100%, I gave this everything I had and I did not cut any corners.
I am determined: I don't give up. When it feels like the rest of my life is falling to pieces in front of my very eyes, this has taught me that I can set a goal and I can reach it.
I have come to the realization that I need to travel this road, this time...alone. I don't do this to receive any kind of gratification besides the gratification that comes from within. This is a victory that is all mine and I can see the lesson in walking this road alone. When I stand up there on stage tomorrow night, whether I am center stage with first place trophy in hand or if I didn't even crack the top 5, THIS is my victory and THIS experience will help me carry on and carry me through the tough months and challenges that lie ahead in my personal life.
I am claiming this victory, for MYSELF and holding onto every ounce of strength, will power, determination, discipline and drive that it has brought me.