Browsing articles tagged with " perspectives"

Europa Texas on the Horizon

Aug 11, 2010   //   by Allison Ethier   //   Blog, MyCompetitionBlog  //  1 Comment

Seeing the Light - so warm, so nice
Ah, I can see the light - the light at the end of the tunnel. Some say it is the last 21 days that are the most tough, however, I disagree - it is the last 7-10 days.  Your body either is 'in' or else it is not quite in and you are hoping that you meet the deadline - the day of the show.  Most of the time I am ahead of the game anywhere from 1-3 weeks; this time I will be just in time.  Mike Davies told me 'you don't win a show 3 weeks out - and this time his words have stuck with me throughout my entire prep.

Today, right now, I am traveling to Dallas, TX.
I have never been there, and am pumped to be among some Southern folks.  Always warm and welcoming they are really great to be around.
This show is shaping up to be one tough competition. They all seem to be like that though.  Especially figure - there seems to be quite a few girls competing - perhaps it is due to the fact that it is the last show before the Olympia in order to qualify for that event.  I too, am keeping my fingers crossed, and hope to get a 'ticket to Vegas'.  Oh, and have you seen the fitness competitor list - I get heart palpitations, and nerves just looking at it.

You can see a full list of competitors at

Prep Perspectives
This summer I started my diet late.  My fault.  I was on vacation with the family near the beginning of July and well, it was hard.  Really hard.  I can diet in fall and winter and spring no issues, but summer for me is hard.  I love being in shape, but getting there (contest shape) is hard.  It is never a lot of weight that I need to lose - just around the 10lb mark, or if I am lucky less, but getting the momentum to do the work, and stay consistent at it is hard.

Again, I never realized how much time and energy I have put into what I do.  I never 'thought' about it before.  And now since I have embarked on being an awesome, knowledgeable personal trainer I see the demands it places on my family and myself as a person.  I never thought I kept myself from doing things just because I was preparing for a show - but now have realized that I do just that.  There are situations that I avoid as I just don't feel like socializing, or being around people.  When I am moody or cranky, because of the diet or perhaps that time of the month - I do isolate myself.  Perhaps it is a protective mechanism as I never want to seem disinterested in those around me, or seem preoccupied by my thoughts but when dieting and especially the last 2 weeks before a show, I am very internal as they say.  I am pensive - I am focussed.  I can understand why some relationships don't last in the industry as I can see it from the other person's perspective how hard that must be for them.  To feel isolated while living with someone else.  Their thoughts on their show and the other person almost feeling jealous not of a person but of a thing.

I am so lucky that my husband knew what I did years before we ever got married.  He knew what he was getting into.But what about other husbands - when their wives take up this sport (or girlfriends) and then things change.  It is hard.  Really hard.  As you are always trying to find the balance between giving your all to the activity you love, and giving to your family.  That is why I say the last 2 weeks (for me anyways) are the hardest - as I am the most focussed and thinking about the show basically all the time. Everthing I do for the next 2 weeks surrounds what is going to happen in 14 days - the show.

Have a I found a balance?  I thought I did but now I am finding it swing the other way.  What do I really want out of all of this?  I am questionning more and more my reasons for competing.  I think it is good to do that, but I am finding myself feeling the need for a break.  A long break.  I want to leave the sport (or take a break for a while) with good positive feelings rather than keep chasing something that I am not really sure of what the goal is anymore.  Why am I competing?

Again these thoughts have been running through my mind for a long time.

Dallas - this weekend.  I will be focussed.  I will have fun.  I will be very excited to see everyone, laugh, eat, and take lots of photos as I am not sure of my next move in the industry.

This weekend I will savor every moment.  It might be a while before I get an experience like this for a while.

"Moving on is a simple thing, but what it leaves behind, is hard"

Two Months in.

Jul 25, 2010   //   by Allison Ethier   //   Blog, Motivation  //  No Comments

Hi Everyone-

It has been a fabulous summer so far. The last year has been so trying and I think I have finally build a bridge and go 'over it'.  Meaning all the events of the previous year.
I took about 10 days for family vacation in the Maritimes.  Loved being home.  The weather was a complete 180 from the previous year - super sunny and hot while last year was dark and down pour rain the entire time.  This summer's weather has been nearly perfect and we are only half way through.

Personal Training
July has been a busier month than June for my personal training.  My personal training services @ the ProGym is going well, although it is slow right now. I am told that is normal for this time of year.  Summer, I am told,  sees many individuals take a 'break' from the gym for the summer.   I have had about 10 clients in person so far.  I am always excited to see them and cannot wait to train them.  I would like to be busier, and many friends have given great information.

I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to be busy, and be great right away.  I have to stop doing this.  I am new, the whole experience is new and I cannot expect to have a filled schedule in less than 8 weeks.  I would never have done that with teaching - teaching was all about survival of the day.   It has not even been a month in total that I have been at the gym.  I have been travelling a lot, have been away for vacation with the family - so having clients depends more on me - I need to be at the gym to mingle and meet clients.  I am told everything will pick up by the end of August.  It is really empty during the day at the gym so I think this would be a good time to be branching out - to online training.

Online Training
I have a few online clients right now so much of my time is spend setting that up.  I am almost ready to go live on my website.  Eventually I would like to have both running solid, but somehow I am liking the idea of working from home.  My web guy - - redid my entire site and if you like what you see.... - his name is Paul and he is super reasonable and always responds back to your emails.  Quick, reliable, and good.

Realizations of Competition
I am also preparing for the Europa Texas show August 13th, 14th of next month.  I am finding it challenging to prepare for this show.  I am realizing many things that I have never paid attention to before.  Like my diet for instance, I never realized how little food I do eat to get ready for the show.  It is less than maintenance level calories for off season, but I guess I was just so busy that I ate and went about my day.  Perhaps it is because I feel more present in my life, and can take the time to eat my food, and pay attention to it.

Another thing is the routine - which I love performing but somehow do not like practicing it.  I can totally understand why girls do bikini or figure - the routine is HARD.  I never knew how hard until now.  Although I am still conditioned and not completely out of shape being in perfect routine performing cardio shape is tough.  I will be working through that, and am almost there to be able to run through it 3X full out.  But again, I never noticed that before.

Then there is the time we spend onstage.   I watched a full show online and it was around 8-10 mins in total that you get to spend onstage. Luckily with fitness we have 2 rounds, but with the elimination of the one piece for figure (which is still a good thing) the amount of work that you do to get onstage begs me to ask the question - is it really all worth it?  Fitness still has 2 rounds which allows us now to have the most time on stage - actually no - we are not equal to the bodybuilders.  They have group comparsions and individual posing.    But if you just look at fitness, figure or bikini of the 3 yes we have the most time onstage.  However, if you are only getting one call out - that is about 2 mins of facetime for 8-12 weeks of contest prep.  I know there is more time outside of that as you don't discount all the prep work you did before that, but if we only look at the 12 weeks before the show, it works out to be (12 weeks x 7day/week x 24hours/day x 60mins/hour) = 120 960 minutes of prep work before a show.   Even if we take out the 24 hours in a day, and put in 2 hours a day of prep (on average over the whole prep and this is being conservative) that is (12 x 7 x 2 x 60) = 10 080 minutes of work for the prep divided by 2 mins for a call out and that is:
5040 mins of work for every 1 mins on stage.

Or in terms of hours that is: 84 hours of work to every 1 min onstage
I am sure you can appreciate the point I am trying to make.

Training me, Training others
I am not sure how girls who compete full time and train others continue to have motivation for themselves.   Giving my motivation to others can be much more rewarding - but having enough for me and then for others is really tough.  I would rather see someone else compete than spend all that energy on me.  I wonder what this is saying about me at this point in my life?  Time to take a break maybe?  Not sure.  I always find I experience these feelings before a show and then when I am at the show things change again - I always am more motivated at the show and cannot wait to do another.  Being around people who are just like me is very inspirational.

August Schedule
So for August I have the Europa show, then I will be off to the Canadian Fitness, Figure and Bikini Nationals in Mississauga at the end of the month.  I will be doing spray tanning at the event.  Sign up today if you are going and I would love to take care of you.
Sign up today!  Visit my facebook page to see images of my work.

For now I will spend the last 3 weeks prepping for the show, and trying add new clients for my business.  I am so excited to get up each and every day.  I am really enjoying life right now.
Everyone asks - "Will you go back to teaching?"  I am not sure. But I will leave you with this -

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. - Maria Robinson

One month in

Jun 26, 2010   //   by Allison Ethier   //   Blog, Motivation  //  1 Comment

Hi Everyone-

I am sitting here at the Tampa International airport about to board my flight back home and I thought I would take a moment to let you know how things have been going.

I have had a few clients so far this month. One is a long term client that has signed up for a few months. I am very excited to see their changes over the next few weeks. I do have some clients who sign on for a week, and then take a week break with me. I have been told that this is not normal - however, what really is normal when it comes to personal training? Sure I would love the client to have me with them all the time to make sure they are progressing, working hard enough, but then again it is all about what the client wants. I am willing to show them as much as I can in that small time frame we are together, and then let them see if they are able to work on their own, and usually they do come back for some more. My philosophy is to teach independence. I would do the same thing with my students; preparation for the next level. Giving them information and hopefully they are able to assimilate this information into something that is workable for them.

CISSN Exam/ISSN Conference

This past weekend, I was in Tampa, FLA for the International Society of Sport Nutrition’s (ISSN) annual conference and of course I was writing their Certification in Sport Nutrition (CISSN). This information is very athlete specific - endurance, or anaerobic/strength/power athlete. The application to fitness, figure and bikini gals is very limited. However, it is information. Information I feel I need, and perspectives that can only add to my understanding of my role as personal trainer, and ultimately fitness, figure, and bikini coach. Plus I get to hang with some super smart people for the weekend, and see what is up and coming in supplements.

Like Vitamin D for example. I saw a wonderful presentation by Rikki Keen out of Alaska about Vitamin D and how it is recommended for anyone who lives north of Altanta, GA they should be supplementing. 2000mg is the recommendation, but she herself supplements with 5000mg. There were some presentations that I was really impressed with; impressed that I had the knowledge to understand what was being said. The language was clearly very scientific but seemingly I understood all of it, and was able to follow along. I am sure reading the ISSN textbook has helped tremendously in refreshing my memory to some of these concepts, including the use of a very good dictionary.

Speaking of the ISSN exam - I think things went well. There were questions (of course) that I was not sure of and others that I was absolutely sure of. I will have to wait up to a month to see what my results are and I am very hopeful that things will work themselves out. I tried to remember questions that I had difficulty with in order to go and look up the answers, but after 3 hours of intense focus, and 200 multiple choice questions, I was pretty spent. I am sure questions will come to be as time passes, but yes, it was a difficult test, and yes, you do need to have a strong science background to be able to handle the concepts.

What is next for me? A few items.

Europa Texas - I will be training and dieting all summer for the August Europa Texas show. It will be the last chance to see if I can qualify for the Olympia. It is the last chance for any fitness competitor to qualify for the Olympia. I would love to be able to attend the show in my rookie year. Am I ready? Well, that is all up to the judges. I am on the smaller side (even Oxygen said so recently) but my routine I feel is on par with what is being presented on stage today.

Dieting - well I am actually looking forward to it. I have always found dieting in the winter easier, but this summer I want to be in better condition. I am not content with my shape right now, and losing a few will make everything (including me) feel better. Being in the gym on a daily basis also helps as this is now my job, and I am my own advertising.

Eating well can be seen as something as overwhelming but over the years I have found the right formula to make sure I am always prepared with my food. Like cooking in bulk, or preparing in advance if I know I am going to be away from the house for the day. I always bring my food with me. Always. You just never know when you will get stuck somewhere or might be at someone's house, and well - it is time to eat.

There are times when I want to go out to eat, or have a beer with friends, but it is few and far between. Many, many times I am extremely disappointed with the food I receive at restaurants, and think to myself, ‘why did even I even bother?’. I am always more satisfied with my food at home, and feel much better afterward.

I say this as I just traveled with all my food to this conference, and it really was not that hard. You never have to wait for your food, you always feel satisfied, never that heavy feeling you would get after a big meal, and it is good food. Sure you can get good food at restaurant, but if you are not familiar with what is being offered in terms of restaurants, or the kinds of foods they serve in that area (fresh, frozen, or fried) would it not just be a safer bet to travel with your food?

I rarely go out to eat in my town, and if I do plan to go out to a restaurant ever again it needs to be a very high end restaurant; one that offers the best food in the city. If I can cook it at home for fewer calories, and equal taste, I just don’t see the fun in going out to eat. BBQs and suppers with friends takes care of the social part, and I anytime I do eat out in a restaurant you know what I get? Salad. That is it, just salad. To me salad is a treat, and a ‘cheat’. I love to have a huge salad, with lots of toppings, and dressing, and some bread. Pretty boring eh? I guess my tastes have changed over the years, and I just find it easier to eat the same things most of the time. This was not a change that happened overnight.

Gym - Back to the gym on Monday, and with that I am going to make a push for more business. I have not advertised at all, and will do so when I get home. Unfortunately, I will be going on vacation in July so that might slow things for July. I will be visiting the Maritimes again this summer, and will start advertising down there. Plus I do want to hold some camps in the early fall. I really want to train fitness, figure and bikini competitors and show that your prep does not have to be THAT difficult. It is a process, one that you must be patient with, and realize that changes don't happen overnight.

I do have a post that I have worked on and am considering posting it; however, I do want to see how the summer goes with PT and how busy I am.


Have a great week,