I went into this current contest prep knowing that there are absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, ZERO SHORTCUTS. If I was going to go in it would have to be all the way, following the plan exactly and working very closely with my coach. If I didn't think I could work the plan precisely I couldn't make the journey. I knew it would mean starting my mornings at 4am Monday thru Friday for 14 weeks. No way getting around that one. I also knew it would mean 100% compliance to my nutrition plan. A year and a half later I'm in a much different place and able and desiring to make that level of commitment. I also put a restriction on my competing: it's a one shot deal. One show this year and done. That's it. No more.
Despite the fact that I've forgiven mySELF, jumping back into contest mode has brought out many people who have not. Many people still find the need to remind me that...I "failed." I've spent the last year and a half forgiving myself and seeing what was right in my "failure". I suppose there was a time in the not-so-distant past that I would have let these individuals get to me and make me feel badly. Not now. What anybody else thinks about me really isn't any of my concern. I am not here to prove anything to anyone...not even to myself. I already know I have what it takes - I've done it before. Now, it's a matter of..."Do I want it?" not "Can I do it?"
I used this quote in a blog post I wrote right after the 2010 Emerald Cup on the Craig Productions site:
"There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes even when you lose you win." ~Elie Wiesel
It was true then, on that day after the Emerald Cup that I wrote that blog and it is even more true today. Losing was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. We don't build character from success after success after success...it comes from failure and learning and growing from those failures and turning those failures into opportunities. I am ALL about opportunities, so I used this failure to my advantage in every way possible! I could write an entire blog about all the opportunities that came from my big "loss" but I will save that for another day and just leave you with the "big one"...I own a gym and am fortunate to have the most wonderful clients evER!
I don't look at my experiences in the spring of 2010 as a mistake. Everything that happened was actually so incredibly right. That doesn't mean it wasn't still painful to experience it, but it was absolutely necessary. And I'm definitely the type of person that has to learn some lessons the hard way.
So, for those of you who are waiting for me to fail, to lose once again...keep waiting. I may not take first place but what I can guarantee with 100% certainty is that I will look my personal best, I will have followed my plan exactly and I will be as prepared as I possibly can be.