Competing in a figure completion has been a dream of mine for years. I can recall devouring issue after issue of Oxygen magazine in college, secretly wishing that my physique would match those of the cover models. But I never took the initiative to make the change, to pursue my dream.
And now I am. Yet, I still feel restless – unsettled. There have been a few days this week where I just wanted to scrap the whole plan. Why? Simply put – it’s hard. The workouts require more of me physically than anything I have ever done before… and part of me wants to quit. Then the results seem to be slow in coming. 2 weeks in and the scale has only budged 2 pounds. I know 2 pounds IS 2 pounds but I feel as though I should see more. I WANT to see more.
I am left feeling frustrated, wanting to quit and not wanting to quit all at the same time. This “quit or not to quit” argument had been playing on a continual loop in my head for several days, when a co-worker commented on the callous on my hands. I informed her that I had started training for a fitness competition and the weights were shredding my hands (note to self – start wearing gloves).
There was a look of awe and admiration on her face when she replied “Wow! You must be working hard. I admire you.”
Later that same afternoon, I slowly climbed the stairs to my office because my glutes and inner thigh muscles were screaming in protest. I contemplated scrapping my evening run. But decide that I could always stop and take walking breaks if the discomfort became too great. The first few minutes of that run were tough. My legs felt leaden and my gait was awkward. I kept running and soon I found my rhythm finishing the run a full minute faster than I had done on Monday.
Thinking about it during the post run stretch, I realized something. My body is being challenged – muscles that are underdeveloped are being forced to work, to tear, to breakdown so that they can grow stronger. It’s painful at first – just like the beginning of my run. However, if I keep going, it will become easier. And I will be stronger at the end of it all.
So I am not going to quit.
I am going to keep training.
I am going to keep pushing.
It won’t always be easy.
There will be days and workouts that just plain stink.
But when all of the sweat, tears, fatigue, pain, and mental challenge will be worth it when I take the stage to compete.
I am pushing publish on this post. So that the next time I feel like throwing in the towel (and my trainer assures me that day will come again), I can come back here and find the motivation to keep going.