Competing: Is it right for you?
I’ve been competitive all my life, I think innately we all are, just think about the entire conception process. Competing can teach you a lot about yourself (good and bad), provide you with an end goal, and can also teach you to win and/or lose graciously. Yet, if you plan on embarking down the competitive path make sure you are ready for what’s to come.
Prepare to Sacrifice (time, food, money and sometimes relationships)
I have competed in both physique and Powerlifting competitions and I can tell you IT IS NOT EASY! Nothing you plan on doing and doing well is going to be. I have 2 kids and a full-time job like most 30 something adults. Not one to take away from my kids’ time, I made it a point to get up at 4 a.m while they were still sleeping in order to get my cardio in. This also meant that I had to be in bed early, like a 5 year old, in order to have the energy to get up the next day. Your life becomes something that is scheduled, from meals, to work outs to spending quality time with friends and family.
With that being said, there will be some people in your life that will absolutely not understand your “obsession” and pull away from you. If you’re a woman in the sport there may be men in your life that are not fond of your new found love for muscle, or friends that pull away because you are no longer “fun.” Mentally you have to be secure enough in yourself to keep pursuing YOUR end goal and not lose focus. Remember:
It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.~Zig Ziglar
Check Your Motives
Are you competing for yourself, approval of a spouse or for the ill fated delusion of making money in said sport and retiring? People get into competing for various reasons, some have this idea that with a big win somehow the money tree will be planted in their back yard, magazine covers will follow thereafter and that announcer job at ESPN Sport is just on the horizon; the fact is THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN (at least not for 99.9% of us).
Unfortunately, if you choose to compete in a fringe sport you will not be able to quit your day job and work out all day. Most competitors spend half of their paychecks on food and hope for a sponsor to help with entry fees and plane fare. I’ve even seen some people with donation tabs on their websites to help with competition costs. So, not only is their personal cost but a monetary one as well!
So then what’s my Reward?
Ultimately, you choose to compete because it’s fun, you love it, you get satisfaction from seeing your goal come to fruition and because you like LOOKING GOOD and LIFTING HEAVY SHIT! If something comes from it, that is icing on the cake, but please don’t get disappointed when it doesn’t happen.
Competing has helped me build confidence and instill some really good values in my kids; they see everything you do and don’t do. The discipline and work ethic it takes transfers over to business and other facets of your life.
We all won that very first race….. thankfully for me that was just the beginning. What Path will you choose?