Monday, September 22, 2014

First Week Back Complete... Here's to being Transparent...

I shared with you how wonderful my time away was. I didn't share the parts that weren't - the parts that made me sad, lost, angry. I actually debated quite a bit over whether or not to open this up... would my experience and subsequent decisions inspire or impede someone reading this? I still don't know the answer, but finally decided to stay true to myself - to the promises I made when I first began sharing my journey all those years ago - to stay honest and transparent. So here goes...

As you know, I'm prepping for a figure competition November 14/15. The week I spent away was not a week off. You saw the photos of all the clean eats I packed up to take with us, I had an entire duffel filled with nothing but workout clothes, shoes, and resistance bands. The plan was to eat according to my diet, with only one treat meal, and to workout - once in the morning, and again in the evening with the addition of cardio. I was prepared. I was ready. Bill was ready. We both knew it wouldn't be easy, but he accepted that this is how it is. I'd checked and the first hotel had a fitness center, the second had one but charged extra (weird), so I paid it. Again - I was ready.

We began the trip, as I mentioned, a little rough, lol. We arrived in Durango just in time to grab our tickets for the train the next morning, then went and checked in at the hotel. We took a quick tour of the fitness center (tiny, but enough to get it done), then headed out for dinner. By the time we got back to our room, it was 10pm. I changed, kissed the hubby, and was out. I did my workout, did my cardio, and looked up at the clock to see that it was now 11:30pm - and we had to be up early the next day (I had to be up 1 hour earlier than early so I could workout again) ... and I asked myself, "what the hell are you doing??"

This was our first vacation alone... ever. Ever. And instead of being together, my husband was upstairs alone watching tv while I was downstairs in the gym. I decided that I'd skip the morning workout, just makeup for it in my evening one, and that'd give me some extra time with the hubby.

The next day, we had fun... long day, for sure, and again got back in town around 6:30pm. Walking around until we found a place for dinner where we could both eat, then finally back at the hotel. As I reached into my gym bag, I asked myself again, "what the hell are you doing???"  Here I am, first vacation with the hubby, and I'm about to leave him alone - again.

After a violent internal debate, I chose to skip the gym and cuddle with my husband.

The next morning, we packed up, and headed from Durango to Pagosa Springs. Food wasn't an issue during travel since I was so well prepared, so he had his kind of munchies, lol, and I had my greek yogurt, seed bars, nuts, perky jerky, etc. Travel food was the easiest part of the trip, just fyi. We explored town, then went to check in. Unpacking in our room, I realized I didn't know where the fitness center was, and really, really needed to spend some time there.

Back to the registration we went, where I was told that there is NOT a fitness center ON the property. They have an arrangement with a gym in town. All my plans of sneaking off to workout while Bill slept went poof! Are you kidding me? "Calm down," Bill said, "Maybe it's not far, we'll check". So we walked. And walked. Across a footbridge, down a street, across a street, up a back alley, then down a dark street. Bill took my arm and said, "No way you're coming here alone. I'll bring you and pick you up."

And that's when I broke.

My goals are mine. The sacrifices made for my goals should be mine. I understand the wear and tear on the family of a competitor, but there are limits! Or should be. This was completely out of balance. And my sweet, loving, supportive husband was paying a price he shouldn't have to. So I put a stop to it. I chose to stop. I chose to remove my focus from my competition prep and place it on my husband and our brief and rare time alone together. I decided to give my time and energy to the long term - to what matters most - my husband.

I still ate my foods, but I also chose to relax there, too... I had fresh beef and elk, I enjoyed the amazing ginger chocolate cookies from Pagosa Bakery, I had amazing shrimp, lots of veggies, and even an ice cream cone. Yep. And I savored each and every bite. I owned each bite. I knew that there would be consequences for taking the week "off" from prep, but for me the right decision was the one I made. I was so far out of balance that it hurt. It's ok for it to hurt me, but not for it to hurt my husband - who fyi, never once complained, but wow, the relief on his face when I told him I was taking the rest of the time off was humbling - and a bit heartbreaking.

And so the consequences... Tuesday was my first workout back - and we did my stats. Ouch. So we're back to hitting it hard and long, and we'll see what happens. I've got about another week or so of building, then cutting time. I don't know if I'll make it to the November show. Normally, that'd be ok, and I'd just do the Spring shows, but Kayla will be on maternity leave during that time, and I'm not finishing this journey without her. By this point, it's ours, not just mine.

Therefore... I'm pushing. Hard. I'm sore, pulled a hamstring (lol - of course I did!), and struggling to get it all done. But I will, and I'll willingly do what it takes, knowing that this is the cost of the time I took. And it's ok. I know in my heart I made the right decision at the time, and though it results in more work now, I accept that. I own it.

So... there you have it. The transparent view of my time away and the results.


  1. Chelle - Thank you for posting your feelings on your current journey. I'm sure anyone could tell you just about anything regarding reasons to continue or not continue. What I'm hearing on here is that you're getting caught up in a whirlpool of emotions that are sending you all over the place on your feelings. If it is your true goal to do this next show, have you written out your reasons (all of them no matter how small or large) and have you stepped back enough to realize that while it is a good chunk of time you are devoting to this, it is but a drop of sand in the proverbial hourglass.

    Your hubby has accepted this as part of his life "right now" and you can dwell on feeling guilt for "putting him through that" as you have said before, or you can try to work on that aspect and just put your all into finishing strong (depending on your own reasons and if those work for you).

    On a lighter note- you could always invite him to join you in the experience and see how long he lasts - I guarantee he will get a renewed appreciation for your dedication.

    You didn't screw up on your vacation. The catch-all is that you are human, of course. You have worked so hard - if your reasons for finishing up are something you are satisfied with, then press on and just "Do IT". Think of future clients and how you'd feel in either scenario on how this will have played out. You can do it. Just keep swimming...........! ~Jen

    1. How do I put a whole bunch of emoticon Hearts in here??? ;-) Thank you, Jen!!! Your support and encouragement mean the world to me!

  2. Good for you for taking the time to enjoy your vacation and each others company. You have worked really hard and are continuing to work hard. The time you spent relaxing and rejuvenating are important to celebrate both yours and Bills recent achievements, and that is worth celebrating. Re-balanced, rejuvenated, and refreshed. You are not far off track at all, Bill will still support you and you will continue on your journey. Enjoy the time, the memories and move keep moving towards your goals.

  3. What the hell am I doing? I love that question. It brings things back into perspective. Life is precious and you know that. I wish I could say to cut yourself some slack, but when competing, there is no slack. Work hard, finish strong. I don't know you, but I'm very proud of you and the image in reality you portray in your blogs.