Monday, July 14, 2014

The Heart of the Matter...

This weekend was full of challenges - from food to workouts to water intake to (ahem) intestinal travel complications. Each challenge was met, some with more grace than others. Most importantly, though, I spent a lot of time thinking about why I'm doing this and wondering if it's really worth it.

Let's begin with the challenges faced... I was 100% compliant. Things got modified but everything was done true to plan. I ate the food, I drank the water, I practiced posing, I did the workouts, I did the cardio. As you can see from the pic (yes, that's 4 coolers), I brought every last bite and sip with me, lol. There was no microwave in the room, so I ate a lot of cold fish & veggies, but I did it. And I am so, so, so very thankful for my tilapia burger recipe! The room and truck didn't even smell fishy while I was eating! YAY! FYI, I'll be sharing that recipe here tomorrow ;-)

The workouts... the first night I did my chest & shoulder workout. The hotel fitness center was perfectly equipped for that (plus had great mirrors for posing practice!). I gave it all I had, then moved on to my cardio. Back in the room, I ate then crashed.

You can't see it, but that's a steep hill, lol! 
Next day, I woke early and headed outside to run hill sprints. O.M.G.  I can't even remember the last time I've run outside (hello, asthma!), but I had a blast! Sprinting up the hill, walking fast back down, sprinting back up. I felt strong and powerful! (Until the next day when I woke with shin splints. Hmmph.) Anyway. I did my fasted cardio, then had breakfast and off we went to view apartments.

It was a long day, and it wasn't until 5:30 pm that I was able to get to my leg-day workout. The fitness center didn't have what I needed, so I'd purchased a day-pass to the 24-Hour fitness there across the street. It was a pit. And I mean a PIT. Half the equipment didn't work, all of the equipment was rusted and nasty looking. The heavy lifting area was a maintenance closet downstairs with so much equipment crammed in there it was a challenge to not bump into anything while doing my squats. Out of 4 stairmasters, 1 worked. Seriously, it was a pit. And it made it hard to get in the mental zone. It finally just became about survival and finishing... I had to just shut it off and do the reps, then the cardio. When I saw Bill's truck arrive (huge windows overlooking parking lot), and my time was up, I almost sprinted (ok, I crawled really fast, lol) to the truck! Get me out of here!!!!

That sucked. But I got it done. That night, Bill and I spent a lot of time talking about what I'm doing, and why. I was really struggling. Again, 100% compliant as I've always been during show prep, but struggling with it. I just felt defeated. I'd lost my drive. We compared my last journey to the stage with this one, what's the same, what's different. We talked about what I gained last time, what I'm looking to gain this time. He listened as I poured out my doubts and fears. And he held my hand as I cried and said, I just want it to be over. Not that I'm quitting, just that I want to skip to the part where it's all done.

And that sucks. That's not ok. That's not what this journey is about. That's not what I'm about.

The journey itself is the most important part! It's the challenges, the victories, the ups and downs, plodding along, sprinting ahead... it's about the experience itself, all of it, every moment. This journey had a beginning - and it has an end. But each step, bite, sip, and rep along the way matter. I needed to be reminded. I also needed to be reminded that I'm not proving anything - to anyone, this time around. I'm not beholden to anyone. The journey is mine, and mine alone.

This trip to the stage I already know I Am A Champion. And this trip to the stage I need to remember that. I will finish - that's a foregone conclusion. And I will finish to the best of my ability. Period. And I will be a better, stronger, more balanced and poised person than I was when I started. This time around, it's more mine... I finally realized... It's all on me. I have an amazing coach, but it's not her job to keep an eye on me... she gives me the plan, I follow it. I do the work. I eat the food. Whether anyone is watching me or not. I own this journey.

There are 168 hours in a week. I see Kayla for 3 of them. If I don't hit showtime ready to go, that's my fault. When I do hit it ready, that's to my credit.

I am the Champion who has to show up - every day, every hour. 

Dialing it all down to that one point wasn't overwhelming - in fact, it was liberating. I don't have to worry about letting anyone down, or failing, or any of the other gazillion things flitting in and out of my head. This is about me. This is about me showing up, every day, every hour. I don't owe anyone anything because I've earned this. And when I step out onto that stage - I'll be there because I earned it.

Throughout so much of my life, I've handed over the "credit" to others. Every accomplishment and victory I've achieved, I demurred and praised someone else for their "part" in it. This time is different. Do not get me wrong - the value of the team beside me is priceless and I am intensely grateful for their support and expertise. That said, what I'm doing every moment of every day, working toward my goal, is my triumph. Saying that, feeling that, isn't selfish - it's honest, and affirming, and freeing. With the weight of my prep fully on my shoulders, I feel unburdened. Because it's mine. The good, the bad, the ugly (because let's be honest, competition prep has got a lot of ugly, lol) - it's all me. I can finally accept that.

Does it make eating fish a hundred times a day easier? Nope. But I'll still eat the fish. And do the work. And finish the journey. Because it's mine.

And that, my friends, is the heart of the matter.


  1. This is beautiful. Raw and straight from the heart. Thank you for your honesty. When you are able to peel off the layers, and see that it's really all you, is when you find out who you really are. And you are a true champion, Chelle. I am so grateful to call you my friend. You have no idea how much you sharing your story helps me take another step in mine.

  2. just love you girlfriend!!!!!

  3. Wow! I just want to say thank you for sharing your journey. You can do this, and its so cool,that it really is ALL you!! Congratulations on your hard work and determination. I admire you.

  4. I really needed this...I am in the middle of my competition prep for my second trip to the stage and I have been really questioning why am I doing this...I needed to be reminded of why!