Monday, May 19, 2014

Competition Prep - Tweaks and Twists

Last week got a little wonky. Truth be told, so did the weekend. Kayla and I were supposed to do measurements and weigh-in on Friday, but had to reschedule to tomorrow. After another trip to the gym that day, for workout, cardio and ahhhhhh, sauna, I looked forward to my rest day. Which did not go, at all, as planned.

Bill, Shiloh and I headed out to Surprise to see a Natural Bodybuilding show. A good thing to know before we headed to the middle of no-freaking-where was that entry was cash at the door. Back out we dashed to find an ATM, then returned to settle into seats to watch the already begun pre-judging. My strategy was simple... see what my competition was looking like, what the judges thought of that look, and take notes on the Figure T-walks and music being used.  Well...

I have many, many thoughts and opinions on the show itself, the organization of it, the competitors (and their relationships to the promoter), but I'll just skip that, shall I? ;-)  My biggest disappointments were two.  First... with the exception of two amazing athletes, the rest of the Figure line up didn't seem to be stage-ready. My thoughts on this are consistent across the categories... bikini, fitness, fitness model, figure. From a business viewpoint, I cannot fathom a coach who would put a client on a stage when they are clearly not prepared. Some of the athletes (and I'm not discussing only one category, but across the board) were easily 6 months to a year from being ready to cut for stage. From a personal viewpoint, were it me, I would cringe when I saw the photos from the show. Again, personally, I would be mortified. I am not saying that these women haven't made amazing transformations, that they didn't work hard - what I am saying is that they were not stage - not competition ready.

As the politics of the event flowed, it became clear that the readiness of the athlete was not the driving purpose of the show... it was filling the stage. After, the event was boasting about the "huge" numbers of athletes who competed. I find this heartbreaking. Yes, reaching the stage, walking it, posing... these are all victories and triumphs in and of themselves, but competing, by nature, means bringing a "package" (body) that fits the parameters of the competition. You wouldn't throw a 5 year old into a track event with adult Olympic athletes, right? That 5 year old can compete with those athletes when he/she is ready - when he/she is comparable to the competition.

I understand that this is just my opinion, but, well, there it is. I will not step on stage unless my coach deems me ready. My journey to the stage will be complete when I am comparable to the competition. That means hard work, diet, and commitment - for as long as it takes. This is about more than a glittery suit, sparkly shoes and spray tan. This is about respect - respect to my coach, myself, my fellow athletes, my chosen sport, and the federation that is hosting the competition.

I also understand that not every figure competitor looks the same. It's a beautiful diversity, as it should be. But every athlete should portray the hard work to achieve the look.

Anyway, moving on... my second disappointment was that there were no T-walks for figure. :-(   I know that OCB and ANBC both do the T-walk to music of the athlete's choice. From what I can find, it looks like NPC doesn't do this, and obviously, neither does the federation of the show I saw this weekend. There's an NPC show in July that I'm hoping to attend - I've had very little exposure to them, and I know their posing guidelines are different.

So... the experience was a general bummer. And... I was unprepared! Crap! No cooler. Food was a big challenge for me on Saturday, though I did hit my water intake. And Sunday was just a tough day... I was supposed to do legs and cardio, but our oldest daughter was having her 22nd birthday party at our place... grocery shopping was done on the way home from Saturday's show, and all Sunday morning was food prep (party started at 2). I cannot begin to tell you the tense, sick feeling I had trying to figure out how to squeeze out time for my training. I finally took a deep breath and realized that I had to flex. I planned to hit my scheduled leg & ab workout Monday morning, then go back in the late afternoon for back/biceps/shoulders & cardio. Not an easy day, but I have to do what I have to do.

That settled, I relaxed and enjoyed the party. Until it became clear that no one wanted to go home. Lol. Generally that's a sign of a great party, right? And it was, everyone had a great time. I finally abandoned the party and crashed at 10:45, with an ocean-wave soundtrack playing in my iPod (those partiers were NOISY). Needless to say I was not excited to greet the morning at 6am today... in fact, everyone just kind of steered clear until I got my coffee in hand. ;-) I got some work done, kids off to school and work, then I had physical therapy at 8am, and hit the gym for legs. And here's where today went sideways...

Both, let me repeat, BOTH my iPods were dead. And I couldn't get internet on my phone to run Pandora. BOOOOO. But, I did my workout. My devices are now charged up, and I'm heading back shortly to finish up my training for the day. And sit in the Sauna. That's my light at the end of the tunnel, haha.

In other news... my competition diet has changed. Wow, has it changed. While I still need to hit at least 1800 calories a day, my carbs are now reduced to 80 grams (I was at 125), and fat reduced to 25% of my caloric intake. After several hours of meal plan tweaking, I think I got it. My carbs will reduce again each week until we hit the next sweet spot. The tweaking diet isn't really an issue for me... it's the twist - no dairy, no wheat/gluten, no corn, no chicken, shrimp, scallops, cabbage, mustard... there's the challenge.

As I type this, I've got a turkey breast roasting in the oven, a London Broil (top sirloin steak) defrosting, and a bag of Swai defrosting. I need to pick up some ground turkey breast and a few odds and ends, but I think I've got a handle of my food this week. Thursday is Bethany's graduation ceremony, so I'll be taking my cooler (lesson learned), then the big party is Saturday. I'm so excited to see family!!!  Saturday is my rest day, so it'll already be more relaxed than yesterday's party for me. ;-)

So... there's all my odds and ends, tweaks and twists. It's a bright new week, and I'm putting all of the crazy behind me and focusing on doing everything I can, every day, to reach my goals.