|Muscle definition! Excuse the monstrous bruise.|
Before I go any further, I feel the need to give a little background, so let's rewind a bit. Last prep was an experience for me. I use no adjectives to describe "experience" because there are so many, and some contradict others. It was the first time I had fully committed to the grind that is competition prep, and I took every moment in stride. And now, in hindsight, I see that I was testing the waters for what I am and am not capable of during prep.
|Fridays are for wandering around Target contemplating|
I didn't entirely remove myself from my group(s) of friends, or so I thought. Nowadays, almost everything is technologically driven, so it's only fitting that most of my friends have created Facebook groups or messages so as to more easily communicate upcoming events, etc. Couple that with the fact that almost everything in Charlottesville costs money to attend, even if you are not partaking in the perks (food/alcohol) that come with the entrance fees. It was with hesitation that, after several mentions of different (costly) events, I posed the question of whether or not anyone would be upset if I temporarily left a particular group message until post-competition. With everyone's blessing, I hit the "Leave message" button. And it was easier--I didn't feel guilty for having to say no most of the time. I didn't yearn to just suck it up and pay $30 just to hang out with my friends. And most importantly, I got through prep.
Now I sit here questioning whether that was a wise choice. I never chose my lifestyle with the intention of isolating myself. I chose to compete (and then to compete two more times in the coming months) to prove something to myself. I go through training every DAMN day not because anyone is forcing me to, but because it's what's important to me, it's what I like to do, and I have fun doing it.
|I sweat and I smile. And then I sweat again.|
|Philip Ricardo Jr. putting me to shame|
I've said it before, and I'll say it again--Charlottesville is lacking in resources for fitness competitors. Several larger cities have it all, from competitor-oriented gyms to actual storefronts where you can buy your competition bikini off the rack, something unheard of to me. So it's not like I can walk into a gym and find all these like-minded girls to buddy up with during prep. Heck, I realized a few days ago that I go to a gym that's all-male. I kid you not. Aside from the occasional girl that comes in (usually "lifting" with her bodybuilding boyfriend), I'm the only thing with T&A walking through the doors of Total Performance. Don't get me wrong, I love my gym--it's super inviting, the guys are