It has been one fabulous summer. (And this includes the weather – probably the best yet)
Many highs, a few stressful moments, but now I am back home ready for the rest of the IFBB professional competitive season.
After the Toronto Pro – my 5th show of the year – I felt pretty burnt out. Burnt out on training, on dieting, and towing the line. The regime of timed nutrition, and planning all my meals had taken a toll on my motivation. I continued to be careful for another 4 weeks post Toronto as I did a photo shoot for the upcoming APQ calendar. Set to release at the end of September/early October. The Pre-sale is on now. (shameless plug)
July was just around the corner, which meant only two weeks off. My next show, - the Valenti Cup was/is scheduled for Sept 7th, which did not leave me much downtime before I was back in prep mode.
My training had become uninspiring, so I branched out and tried yoga, and a few Cross Fit classes.
Hot yoga was amazing. Initially, I was not sure I would enjoy it as the duration of the class was long. Seventy-five minutes of yoga? What will I think about? Most of my training sessions are less than one hour, so 75 minutes was a stretch.
I was pleasantly surprised. It was much harder than I thought. Stretching and holding static positions while breathing is quite a task. I noticed that many individuals couldn’t raise their arms over their heads. I think that was the trainer in me coming out. However, I learned not to think and just relax. Luckily I love heat, sweated, and did not mind others around me sweating. After the class I felt about 5lbs lighter, airy, and like I left a bit of baggage in that hot room.
Next up was a family vacation back to the Maritimes. I knew that I was going to take this time off to do other activities, and other modes of exercise.
Cross Fit seemed like a good idea. I had seen it recently on TV – the Reebok Cross Fit Games, and was intrigued by the intensity. Eventually, I would like to try it as sport, so went to Moncton CrossFit (behind my old high school – Harrison Trimble).
I was excited to be training for performance again.
I did not go to the ‘beginner’s class’. I showed up and hoped to survive the training. It was intense even for an experienced trainee like myself.
First up was a ‘Fran’ – I don’t remember exactly my time – but it was between 5-6minutes. I used only 65 lbs for the squat and press. But it was fun to be working in a group, pushing myself, and getting really sweaty.
The next class I did a Nicole. Seventy-eight pull-ups later (with band assist - it was my first time so give me a bit of a break ;), and 6 runs of 400m in 20 minutes.
The two other classes I was not sore. Tired but not sore. However, this third class really made up for it. It was an EMOTH – 2 power cleans, and then as many double unders you can do for the rest of the minute for a total of 12 minutes.
I think I went too hard. I love a challenge, but my biggest challenge for this one was that I never skip regularly let alone double unders. I could not walk for about 5 days, as my calves were on fire and cramped. Stretching did not help.
I have experienced this type of extreme soreness only two times before in my life. Both were in my quads - one time after cheerleading camp (lots of jumping for partner stunts), and the other after a Mike Davies weekend boot camp. This time it was the same soreness but not in my legs, just my calves.
Lesson learned. Should not go full out on moves I don’t do often. (others would probably say – just don’t do cross fit….but I digress)
After my vacation I was SUPPOSED to be back on my diet as I would be traveling 2-3x in August, and anyone knows who has tried to pre for a show while on the road can throw a huge wrench in progress.
I managed to get my new routine’s music done in 2 days, and in another 2 days put together the routine I will be performing at the Valenti Cup on the 7th of September.
During the month of August, I was travelled, and tried to get all my workouts in. I had a family issue to deal with, and the stress of it all put me behind schedule for the show. Perhaps it was also the fact that I have been dieting since last November, and probably should take the rest of the season off. This would be the logical and sane choice. However, I am logical but not very sane. I believe all successful people have a little psycho in them. The main reason is this - I am this close to qualifying for the Olympia. With only 4 weeks to the Valenti Cup and then another 3 to the Olympia and me sitting in that 5th qualifying spot – how could I not go for it?
So I had to suck it up and move forward. Things were tough this time around. I dieted for shows in as little as 36 days, however, this time due to my personal issues, and the long season it has been a tough go around. Finally, I arrived home, things started to progress as they should have weeks ago.
You really never know how stressed you are until the stress is gone.
Four weeks ago, I really wanted to throw the towel in on everything. I wanted to give up. But I did not. I took it one day at a time. I focused on other things that were amazingly positive in my life – great family, fun kid, amazing friends, and moved forward.
I realized how grateful I am that I can do this year after year, show after show. No one does this to me but me. I cannot be cranky or forget about my husband even when I am prepping. How would he support me if I did that? My son, who I adore, is the light of my life, my best work, and he needs me as well. Sure there might be a social situation meals that I would love to be apart of, or the random glass of wine – but my life is great regardless of the food & drink. The trade off is the amazing experiences I get to have by attending fitness shows – the Arnold, the travel, being among the top 25 girls professional fitness gals who compete on a regular basis, and the performance. I have amazing sponsors – Slimquick Razor who has supported me for the last 8 years, and Tamee Marie my suit sponsor for 2011, and now 2012. I could not let them down as well.
(Side note: I never have to compete – I compete because I want to)
Today, I did my routine, and it felt amazing. Movement is my drug. I love to feel the energy of the audience when they watch my performance, and get a rush every time. This is the drug that I am chasing, the adrenaline not found anywhere else in my life.
If and when it all comes to an end I will miss it.
I am sure I could find something else to fill the void once competing is over, however, right now I enjoy where I am.
So here I am a week away from the Valenti Cup and am I ready – the routine is ready. I can bust it out with energy to spare. Good sign. Body is on its way. I am where I want to be, but my best needs to be more than my best if I am going to get to the Olympia.
In a week, I will know (and so will you) if I have made it the Olympia or not.
Fingers crossed. Wish on every 11:11 that you see.