I am a recovering control freak. I used to like to control everything, so much so, that it made me completely out of control. I have learned that I cannot control three things in life: people, places or things. I can control myself, and my reactions to people, places and things, but that’s about it. At 35 years old, I’m fine with that. I like to use the phrase: “Wear life like a loose garment.” It fits my mindset about life these days.
So when my husband called me this week and told me that his ECU game that was supposed to be played this past Thursday was rescheduled for the date of my competition, I had to use all of the tools in my tool box before I “reacted.” I took some time to process the information. Now 16 weeks into training, the ONLY reason that I chose the show that I was training for was because my husband was off that weekend. The ONLY reason. I wanted HIM there. He was my partner in all of this. He has been by my side through all of my struggles and mini milestones. He was my rock. So when he called to tell me that he probably couldn’t be at that show, my heart dropped. I think his dropped even lower. He was incredibly disappointed.
The old “control freak” me probably would have built up some huge resentment of how my expectations let me down. My other favorite phrase is: “Expectations lead to resentment.” I’m sure you’ve had expectations before in some area of your life. Maybe this past weekend, you pictured the perfect family fall day picking pumpkins with your kids. They are all perfectly behaved. Your spouse is in a good mood. You take the perfect picture for social media. But, nothing goes as you “expected” in your head and you’re miffed. It’s okay. We all get like that. That’s called having an expectation. I operate much better when I have no expectations of anyone or anything. I didn’t picture my show date, with all of my friends in the crowd, me winning 1st place and having the perfect after party with all of my family and friends together. I didn’t picture anything going perfectly at all. I have done that in the past many times, and I was always let down because the way I saw it going in my head was always better than reality. So now, to the best of my ability, I try to just let things unfold naturally. I try not to focus on the future or the past and just enjoy the present. Most of the time I succeed. Sometimes I still get off track. I am not perfect. I digress…
As I processed this news that Justin gave me early last week, I didn’t focus my thoughts on the problem. I focused my thoughts on the solution. I wasn’t mad at Justin. It’s not his fault. I cannot control people, places or things, and neither can he. These were just our circumstances. I started to think of possible solutions. I realized that there was a show on October 29th, less than 3 weeks from the day I found out the news. Could I get ready for a show that was only 3 weeks away? I texted my coach frantically, and his response was that I COULD do it “but I really wouldn’t like the next 2 weeks.” I didn’t care. Hours of exercise, paired with much less food than I was used to, I was ready to go hard into the last 3 weeks and give it my all.
We agreed that I would crush the plan he laid out for me over the week, and Sunday (today) we would make our final decision together. Joe and I have the same goal: HARDWARE. My goal has always been not just to compete in a show, but to place in the top 5. That is Joe’s goal too. He wants every client that HE trains this year to place top 5 as well. So the pressure just got kicked up a notch (or 4 notches, since I was now preparing to compete 4 weeks earlier than my original target).
Here’s how my week went:
MORE training, LESS food. A lot less food. A lot less carbs. A LOT more calories burned during my workouts. Low energy. Grumpy spells. I told my husband that I was going to do my very best not to take out my hunger on him. I succeeded most of the time.
The result: Joe told me today that my hard work paid off, and I should be good to go in 2 weeks. The work isn’t over. I have a lot more posing to do. A LOT. I have a lot more training to do. I have to fight hard to the very end. But first I got a cheat meal to boost my sluggish metabolism from the week. Thank you Stoney River Legendary Steaks. I love you.
The new show that I am doing is specifically for Novice competitors. I have ONE chance to place in the top 5, not an opportunity to compete in three different categories. There is no Masters division, so I will be competing against a lot of twenty-somethings. I cannot control the outcome. I can only control my reaction to it.
So for the next two weeks, I’m going down under into the dark zone of training. If I look tired, I am. If I look hungry, I am. If I look nervous, I am. It’s all come down to this, and I am going to give 100% because when I leave that stage I am leaving with NO REGRETS.
Thank you for your support along this journey. Here is a link to the show I will be competing in if you wish to attend. Don’t worry, I won’t “expect” you to be there. I am always grateful for the kind words, the nods of encouragement and the positive feedback. It helps me keep going when things get tough. And right now they are tough. So thank you.
Wish me luck.