Saturday, October 23, 2010

Place of Pain


Posted by PicasaThis is my credenza at work. A co-worker bequeathed the DIVA sign to me, and I brought in many of my trophies, I just don't have that much room at home for all of them. There is also a very cute little sign in front of the DIVA plate that my last Director, Susan Hansen gave me. It says "Do it now for tomorrow it may be illegal". Sounds like a great boss huh?!

I was looking at these trophies thinking about them, and what I will do with them soon, as I cannot just keep them there forever. It also made me think about why I started competing, and I realized that I embarked on this journey out of pain.

My mother died at home of lung cancer on February 2, 2009 after a very long struggle and many years of chemotherapy. I met with my nutritionist, and changed my life forever on March 9, 2009.

I believe that the battle my mother fought with her children by her side caused me to re-think my life and prioritize everything. She taught me to never have regrets, never wish I had done something, never feel sorry that I missed out in life.

I think that many people who compete come from a place of pain. It may be an eating disorder, years of being overweight, or years of being underweight. Divorce, abuse, drug addiction, you name it.  It's a way of focusing all of your energy into something that requires an unlimited amount of time and energy, constant balance and is not usually self destructive unless you start getting into drugs, which many do unfortunately.

It  allows you to shine and realize that you are in power of yourself and the world around you, you are not a victim. The feeling of power is really amazing when you start getting very lean, overcoming the urge to eat garbage and you can see your body change every day. You can actually see changes in skin texture, water balance, hardness and softness in a matter of hours.
 
Competing is not easy, in fact, it may be one of the most difficult things I have ever done. It's not just a short event that you attend and is over, it is really a life long commitment to health, nutrition, training, and at many times, deprivation. It could almost be compared to a religion, you need to be that devoted to succeed.

Then after a competition, you have to be emotionally strong enough to handle the weight gain, when you get to a normal weight  but feel you are fat. I am a still struggling with that right now, it seems to be lasting longer than it has in the past.
 
I look at these trophies and think that I need to do something else with them, yet I am proud of my accomplishments, and they are all I have to show (other than a great body), so here they sit a little bit longer.

I enjoy it when people come in my office and they say "you're still competing!?", and I think they mean at my age, that's great I am still doing it. The funny thing is, I just started! It's only been a couple years! Then they say "wow, you must have been doing this for a long time" because they see so many trophies, but again, it's only been two seasons.

I am now facing another parent with cancer, my father. He seems so resigned to the fact that he will die sooner or later, which is true, but later would be better than sooner, and certainly anything would be better than cancer.

I realize he is the one gong through this, yet I wonder how I will handle it all this time, a second time around?

I guess I will soon see, I may launch myself into a more rigorous training program than ever.  I may do something very different and start lifting only three days a week, and do cardio the rest...I don't know what I will do, it is not a conscious decision I will be making, it's a decision out of pain and from the heart and soul. I won't really be in control at that point.

It is making me think again, think about my future, my life, what am I wasting time on? what am I missing out on? Am I doing the right thing? Am I hurting anyone? Am I being true to myself?

Time to think about all of it. I guess I can do that in the gym.
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