A little over a year ago I decided I wanted to commit to doing my first Figure show. I decided on the Memphis Dexter Classic in October and worked with my nutrition coach, David, almost the whole year to get ready for it. I began to train more like a bodybuilder, diet harder, take posing lessons and the whole works. The process was as it should have been: hard, long, exhausting and rewarding at the same time. It was my first one so I wasn’t expecting much and I just wanted to get my feet wet in the sport to see if it was something I really wanted. I ended up placing 5th, but had the circumstances been any different I know I would not have placed at all. I wasn’t as lean as I needed to be and I was lacking in muscle development in some important areas. I’ve learned a lot since then and I’ve realized some things about myself and about how we rush everything these days. We rush to the store before it closes, we rush to get to bed on time only to wake up early to rush to work or get the kids ready, we rush through our workout because we can’t wait to get home to gobble our food down as quickly as possible. I’ve learned that rushing often doesn’t give you the same satisfaction as taking your time. Had I not decided to rush into my first show, I would have known that I should have taken more like 2 years to invest my time into preparing to compete in Figure. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have to take the leap and just do it but you also have to be honest with yourself and realize where you stand and sometimes take a step back to take three forward.
Getting ready for a show to me is kind of like marriage– you obviously have to really commit to it to do well in it. Also, you need to be damn sure it’s what you want before you put yourself through it because it’s a lot of work and not everyone is cut out for it. You have to nurture it, make time for it, give it attention and realize that the little things matter. If you aren’t ready then you sure as heck shouldn’t rush into it, and if you do rush you will most likely realize later that you should’ve taken more time and would’ve done it differently.
I recently had a talk with both of my coaches about where I stand and what my next step will be in this sport and I feel really good about what’s to come. At the beginning of this year I figured competing in one show a year would be good because that’s plenty of off season time and if I’m going to say I compete in Figure then I need to at least do ONE A YEAR, right?? Well, not exactly. I thought long and hard about it, put my pride aside and came back down to reality land. I need more time to get to a good off season point before I should compete again. So instead of rushing to compete this year, I’m working towards making some decent gains and possibly competing next Spring. If I want it to be good and I want it to be worth it then I need to nurture it, make time for it, and give it all the attention- FOR A WHILE. In the fitness industry we get caught up in wanting everything now. If I try this diet pill today then I will be ripped and ready for the beach in 1 month or I don’t want to spend a whole year just trying to build muscle when I could be getting lean and competing in 16 weeks. I want to be muscular AND lean all the time! Well it ain’t gonna happen, at least not if you want it to last.
No matter what your goals are, really decide what you want and invest in it. Just like marriage. Don’t take the easiest and quickest route to get there, you will be much more satisfied with your hard work and know you did your best if you take your time.