Wednesday, October 29, 2014

D.N.F. - Redefined

Did Not Finish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In racing Did Not Finish (DNF) denotes a participant who does not finish a given race, either because of a mechanical failure, injury, or involvement in an accident. The term is used in all forms of racing, including automotive racinghorse racingcycling, and track and distance running, among other types of racing. Athletes try very hard to avoid receiving a DNF, and many associate it with a negative stigma.

Redefined....

Did Not Fail

I will not be competing in the November show. Yes. I've reached the end of this journey. In reality, looking back, I never should have begun this second leg of show prep. My body didn't have adequate recovery time, my immune system was compromised, and my heart was broken. Still, I pushed on. And the more I pushed, the more I broke. You've all watched as I've struggled with this second prep, my ups and downs. I finally got my head on straight a couple weeks ago, but my body just wasn't cooperating... and that renewed clarity finally revealed a few things to me, the most important of which was that this journey was done. Unplug the machines. Call it. Put a tag on the toe. It's over. 

And I am so relieved.

Whatever I told myself, the truth was that I took this second journey to prove to the judges that I AM good enough. And the truth of that is that it couldn't matter less. I achieved what I set out to accomplish in that first journey. With Kayla as my guide, I made the trip to the stage in great health, strong, and in a good mental place. It was the right way. My nutrition was amazing, my training was incredible. I was ready. In fact, I was ready several weeks ahead of schedule. My posing was tight and top notch - natural, graceful, strong. (Eventually, I'll get my act together and share my practice posing videos).  As I went through prejudging, the jostling event aside, I felt so good! I felt like I had this! Top 3 without a doubt. Of course, I didn't realize my posing had slipped several levels, but still - my conditioning was arguably the best up there (with the exception of the gal who took first, then overall - she KILLED it!), and my body was where it was supposed to be. When it came time for the placing and awards, I was stunned to be ranked last. We all were. Kayla was furious! We earned better than that, and honestly, I got shafted, lol. But the greater tragedy was where I allowed it to take me. 

I let my bruised pride and broken heart deafen me to what my body was trying to say - time to rest.  I fought and struggled and crawled through this second leg of prep, much of the time hating it. Hating a process that I truly enjoy. Hating the food, the work, the time required to reveal the physique I love so much. I hated my beloved sport. After battling that down, I finally and deliberately turned back to the joy of the journey... And then I got sick. And stayed sick. My poor abused body finally had my attention, and this time I listened. 

I spent hours searching my heart, to make the right decision for the right reasons. And I'm at peace. Monday I talked with Kayla and told her my decision. She fully supports my choice. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. And when I came home and told Bill, the absolute and utter relief on his face confirmed my decision.  I've spent the last several days doing nothing but recovering, and though I'm still sick, my mind is free. 

So... I did not finish. But, I did not fail. I do not walk away a loser. I won. I took this broken body to places it shouldn't be able to go. I stood tall and proud of what I'd done. I gained more poise, grace, and courage. I became stronger. I became more flexible. I built a better body. And most importantly - I became more of who I am. The journey was a success. 

My competition stuff all packed up.
Will I open this box up again in the future? We'll see!
Will I compete again? With all my physical issues, training for a show has to be 100% healthy - solid nutrition, thoughtful and deliberate training, and joyful. Should I decide to compete again, I will return to that, to what Kayla and I did the first time around. And... it'll be one-off. One show a year, carefully scheduled so that my family is not "punished" by my training schedule and dietary limitations (which probably means spring - and then, hey, I'm all ready for bikini season, lol). 

My focus now is on my family, on being present in each and every moment. I'll continue to train and eat clean because that is my lifestyle. But I don't "have" to spend so many hours each and every day in the gym, or doing show-prep related tasks... now I can be a fully functioning member of my own family. Ha! And I can focus again on my business - on RecipeForFitness.com, this blog, the forum... I can be present again there, too. It's time to rediscover my own balance.

I truly cannot regret the journey(s). I've learned more about myself - and what's important to me, than ever before. I've reached new heights, survived new lows, I've experienced and grown. Nothing is wasted. And again, though I did not finish...

I.DID.NOT.FAIL.

Thank you for being here with me, each step. Your encouragement and support are so precious to me, and I deeply appreciate you all. I hope you'll stay with me as I step up to the present, and look to the future. I've got a lot in store for you, and I think you'll really like it :-) 


18 comments:

  1. YOU. ROCK. Thank you for sharing with such honesty. You're awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  2. you totally rock!!!!Ive been meaning to comment a few posts ago!LOVE your redefinition of DNF! I totally *get* this post, as I have been there...its always a hard decision to back down from a show you have committed to. Ive only been there twice, and both times I have never regretted it. you just *know* when your body has had enough and it is way better to recognize it before the show, than realize it during and afterwards (yup,been down that road too!) Bottom line is that there will ALWAYS be shows, just waiting for when you ready again. you hit the nail on the head when you said that you have learned so much on this journey!!!!! you did not fail!!! take care of your health first, and then once you feel ready for prep again, hit it hard and make your next show your best ever....
    thank you so much for your honesty and level of transparency during your journey to the stage!!!!!!
    now get to feeling better and go enjoy some white carbs and some much needed family time!!!!!!!
    sending big hugs your way!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Melissa! Your words mean more to me than I can say! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! <3

      Delete
  3. I've been where you are. I know how you feel right now. It's a lot of mixed emotions, but to come to that decision after so much hard work, you have to know it was the right one. Congrats to you for making the right call.

    Feel better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Caren! It was indeed the right one and I'm at peace - and finally starting to feel rested! :-)

      Delete
  4. Hell, NO!….You did not fail! You're walking away with a rockin' body and a clearer sense of where you want to be and what's most important to you. I'm sure your family is ecstatic as are those of us who follow your site! We can selfishly steal your time again!! Congratulations!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Way to go Chelle! You are making this decision knowing where you are and how you will deal with it - that is the best place to make it from. Not allowing guilt to creep in and let that define you, shows the progress you have made in YOUR journey. Remember, as everyone says, it's a journey that is YOURS alone. Yes, others partake in it, but in the end, it's all an emotional/physical balance that ends up defining who you are as a person. Making the right decision for you, can never be looked down on. I was watching a documentary not long ago on people who make it their life dream to climb Everest. They train forever and dedicate their lives to that goal, only to find that they have to stop short of the top because their bodies just have an adverse reaction to the lack of oxygen. You came into this fully knowing your limitations and you surpassed them anyway. No show judge could look at what you've done and say.....'ummm, no.....she doesn't have THE look we want." You totally performed. If you go for it later....up to you....if you don't.....also up to you.

    Have FUN over the holiday season and ENJOY life again. You can still eat well and do workouts that will keep you in great shape!! "Hakuna Masquata" - Means have great squats! (I saw that somewhere online months ago - had to laugh as it is sooo appropriate!


    ~Jen :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha! Indeed, Hakuna Masquata! ;-) Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, Jen!!!! <3

      Delete
  6. I read your blog and actually emailed you in the past regarding a question (which you answered promptly, thanks!). You are a strong and amazing woman and I drew great strength for myself with your admission in this blog. Be well and continue to inspire us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!!!! Your words both encourage and humble me. I'm grateful! <3

      Delete
  7. Appreciated your candid and honest post.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so glad you've received so much positive support for your decision. It's difficult for someone to "get" it that hasn't competed so it's great to see that even those that don't compete are supporting you. I am also a competitor and, like you, have an amazingly supportive family. I understand how difficult the prep process is for those that love us and how relieved they really are when it's done. I get asked almost daily when I'm going to do it again. People think it's easy because you've done it before, or because you train and eat well anyway so you may as well just do it, right? ;) They are unable to grasp what it really entails. Kudos to you for making a decision that supports your overall health - physically, mentally and emotionally. Wishing you all the best and hoping you feel better soon. Stacie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stacie!!! I deeply appreciate your support and understanding!! <3

      Delete
  9. I'm just catching up now and am sorry to hear this news. I remember training and running my second Maraton at age 50. I pushed myself so hard during training that in Marathon day I woke up sicker than a dog. I ran it anyway and then was sick for days. I am now 52 and rarely run. It took the wind out of my sails. What I love about you is your candid openness. The ease and difficulty in which it all played out, the ups and the downs. The bottom line is that you have a family, you have a life and you have shaped a 44 year old body with health issues into a machine. I am so proud of you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Helen! I appreciate your words and support so much! ♡

      Delete