Fitness and bodybuilding competitions are an amazing aspect of the ‘fitness lifestyle’.. in most cases.
They are a great way to make new friends and meet people with the same level of interest (or insanity to actually compete :p), especially in this relatively small niche of competing, every positive like minded friend is something special to have and another means of support which is something you undoubtedly need and rely on in this genre of athleticism.
They are also a great way for you to learn all about yourself, not so much on the competition day itself, but more so throughout the 3 – 4 months beforehand when you have to prepare for the actual event.
You get to exercise more than just your body, you exercise aspects of your consciousness such as your mental capacity, your discipline and mental endurance.
That process is something which you may hate at the time, especially if its your first show, as it really tests every possible boundary and every aspect of your will and discipline. There is very little else, that is self inflicted, which can truly test your will to keep going and to stick with something quite repetitive every single day.
It sounds harsh but this is not just losing a bit of fat to get in shape, this is going beyond that, this is becoming absolutely shredded to the point that most people say its too much,
that they make funny faces because they think you are crazy. And you may just be a little crazy but that’s OK.
So yes this requires a whole other level of dedication. Something which you can proud of. It is this process of self growth which is so important and which is emphasised here because many people are in it just for that final day of the event where they can show their hard work off, for those few minutes on stage which will fly by in the blink of an eye.
Herein lies the problem. So many people get so hung up on their placing in these shows that they forget to enjoy the process, to learn from the process, and most importantly to learn about themselves and see the remarkable achievement of changing their bodies for the better and making it to the competition itself. They merely want to get through each day as fast as possible until that one moment where they may not even place.
Stop worrying so much about where you will place in a competition and focus on your journey. You love training, so enjoy the training, and push as hard as you can. Enjoy the diet, as strange as it may seem you may start to enjoy the regularity and simplicity of the diet, granted you may only realise this after the show when you have eaten lots of junk, so much so that you crave your ‘clean’ diet, but make a conscious effort to want to enjoy each day leading up to the event.
Realise that probably the most important aspect is the mental one, and that you will be a much stronger and wiser person after all of this.
What you must understand is that these sort of shows are so subjective, yes there are professional judges, but just looking at all the different federations and their differing criteria for the same categories, more so for the ladies, it is incredibly difficult to please all these people.
So don’t fall into depression when you didn’t land in the top 5 or top ten of show, you aren’t defined by some placing.
What many people fail to see is the competition you should have with yourself. You should be aiming to be the best version of you and bettering that every single day. When you stand on that stage, if you can say that you have improved from what you were previously in a previous competition for example, then you have already done an amazing job. You need to run your own race and focus on your improvements and what you have achieved while still keeping your eye on your goals.
Nowadays though, the level of athletes in these shows is so phenomenal that all the contestants in the top 10 or top few seem to look amazing. If we were to show someone, with no background in these shows, the top 10 these days, I’m pretty sure that they would be flabbergasted to think that one of these people will walk away with 10th place; their thinking that they all should be 1st.
So that’s just to show that even though your placing may not be that great, in most cases it has very little reflection on your physique.
Don’t end up judging yourself and thinking that your physique is terrible and is not worthy in comparison to the other athletes since you didn’t place well.
As long as you are not where you used to be and you have moved forward and progressed, then you are most certainly worthy and a source of inspiration.
Yes you may want to get your pro card and want to get to the top and inspire and motivate millions of people, but remember everything will happen in good time, just keep at it and keep putting in the work and it all will come.
With the advent use of social media it so much easier to reach people and provide them with a source of motivation, tips and advice, and thus there are so many people who have never even competed but have built such amazing bodies, and manage to inspire many people without having the stress of pleasing so many people and judges. Just doing what they enjoy. Makes you wander a bit.
So if you want to motivate and inspire people, just do what you love doing, what you enjoy and provide help and tips to anyone in need and use social media to deliver a positive message.
Do not go there only seeking attention and trying so hard to get that attention and approval. If you love to compete, then by all means go for it, compete as many times as you want;
those few minutes on stage are in fact amazing and deliver a very unique and wonderful feeling which you will cherish forever, just make sure you learn to love all the different aspects of it.
Just be you and do what you love and the greatness will shine through.