When to Move On… When it’s Not Giving Up.

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.

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2 thoughts on “When to Move On… When it’s Not Giving Up.

  1. jamie says:

    This was a very touching blog. I am very glad I read this. I’m a little ticked off right this second as I was just about done writing an amazing response to this article and then somehow backed out of the page through some unknown combination of keys and lost it all… oh well, Ill try to paraphrase.

    Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. Far too often members of this society are so busy chasing that power that they loose their humanity. “Rare is the person who clings to power.” That’s going to be my next tattoo, my last one is the word “Compassion” that is on my forearm. I am not a religious man, but I think back to a saying by Jesus, what glory is it for a man to gain the world, but loose his soul? This is precisely what we see in this sick society we live in, and from the sounds of it, what you have come to an epiphany about. As so wonderfully stated in your blog when you write:
    “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.” THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE PEOPLE LIKE THIS IN THE WORLD…..PEOPLE LIKE YOU! If you would have said this when we worked together I would have asked you to marry me on the spot! This is exactly what I want my life is about, and why I was always telling others to stand up for themselves. That quote you posted is so very true, “All that is necessary for evil men to triumph in this world… is for enough good men (and women) to do nothing” I like how you added women in that.

    Your son is very fortunate to have a mother like you. Good for you Jenny. Don’t let anyone tear you down, Always stand up for what is right, even if you stand alone.

    This world is shaped by social constructions and it makes it very difficult for us to see the truth of reality, you are not quitting, you are evolving. Don’t listen to those manipulators who are jealous that you are finding out who you are and understanding what it is like to truly love yourself, not in the egotistical, narcissistic way but rather in the true meaning of love …. I will leave you with this quote from a song by my FAVORITE artist The Avett Brothers; “…my dreams are lies, that I have tried to ignore…”

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