I was in an odd frame of mind writing yesterday’s post, fighting with myself to remind myself why I compete, why I’ve been pushing into a new federation with WBFF, why I love it all enough to stick with it.
After a good night’s sleep and a few emails, I’ve come to the wearied conclusion that I’m simply done with it all.
As melodramatic and pained as that sounds, it’s really a relief.
This last 2.5 years of competing has taught me a ton about health, nutrition, exercise science… much, much more than I learned through my certifications with NASM and NCCPT. It’s taught me discipline, drive, and it’s taught me to care about what I put into my body.
Competing in bodybuilding has pushed my limits, and it’s taught me that I can surpass them. It’s taught me that my body is really capable of anything if I work hard enough, long enough, consistently enough.
Competing in bodybuilding has led me to some amazing friendships, relationships, opportunities as an athlete – widened horizons, new goals, new ways of moving and learning and growing. Competing has enlarged the world of fitness for me in some really, really cool ways.
At the same time, competing has taught me that people will do almost anything for fame, recognition, a leg up, perks, an incentive or an edge on someone else. It’s taught me that the bigger an industry gets, the more it grows in popularity, the more political it becomes. The more it’s about who you know, who they know, what you can pay, what shortcuts you’ll take.
Competing has bitterly introduced me to a darker side of humanity I didn’t run into as your average trainer in a gym. A world where people will backstab, gossip, and hurt. Where they will outright lie to preserve face. A world where jealousy, pettiness, anger, and selfish disdain for the feelings of others run rampant like weeds.
There are good things about this industry, and there are bad. Few people who stay in it long-term seem to keep their integrity, and the few who have are running against the odds, and I commend them.
In the past two years I’ve had several instances where I had to challenge what was “politically smart” on my part with my own sense of integrity, empathy, justice, and a strong desire to always stand up for those who won’t stand up for themselves. Every time, it’s gotten me “in trouble”, but every time, in a painful sense, it was worth it. Because I could never live with myself knowing I hadn’t spoken up.
“All that is necessary for evil men to triumph in this world… is for enough good men (and women) to do nothing.”
I refuse to do nothing, I will always do something. No matter the cost, I will always stand up for people who are being mistreated, misused, hurt, abandoned, or put down. And that’s something about myself that may have slowly edged me out of this industry.
I’ve accomplished a lot, in a short time, for a young mom. I placed 3rd and 2nd in my first two shows, qualifying for nationals, and I worked really hard for and with each coach I’ve had the privilege of learning from. I’ve learned something from each of them, both positive and negative. I’ve come a long way from a skinny-obsessed distance runner counting every calorie with no knowledge of balance or muscle development, and I’m proud to be a constantly developing trainer today. I’m grateful for all the industry has taught me, both hard lessons and happy triumphs.
At this time, I feel I’ve learned what I can without buying into politics and increasing hurt at the hands of people who will sacrifice their integrity for recognition or ego. It’s time to move on, and I’m learning to be okay with that.
I’ve been a distance runner, triathlete, yogi, trainer, bodybuilder, group ex instructor, spin-ner and more. I’m ready to move on. Making the next 11 weeks my carved-out time for cutting bodyfat and then working on maintaining, with balance, and building muscle, slowly and in a healthy way. At the same time, purposing to try new things, like more boxing classes and (GASP!) Crossfit, to stay rounded and challenge myself.
There are no dead-ends in life unless you make them dead-ends. There are only stepping stones into your future.
I am not giving up, I am moving on.
And I’m okay with that.