We all self critique, some more than others. Some of us are very hard on ourselves, and others, well they just don't get too worked up about anything.
In the month or so following a competition, I scrutinize everything. Every little body part, every lump and bump. I worry it's all just falling apart at times.
Then some days I look in the mirror and think "damn I still look awesome for a 50 year old. In fact, for a woman half that age!"
These are pictures of me now, three weeks after my competition. I went from 118 to 128 (you always blow up a bit due to the carbs, sodium and basic mess your body is in), down to 124 and now I am at 125.
Tuesday I was out on campus and had run my stairs and jumped rope, I was wearing my typical clothing, same as here but a tank top over it. When I was done I ran to the Nutrition and Food Science building to pick up my CSA delivery and as I walked back, iPod still blasting in my ears, a student tried to talk to me. He said something to me and I couldn't hear, I pulled my ear bud out and asked him "what?". He said it again "You are extremely fit!"
He walked off quickly, no intention of talking more, he just wanted to say that. I felt good. Here was a kid, maybe 22 years old telling someone who is as old (no, older) than his mom that she is "fit".
At the gym on Thursday I was in the back room, where the bench press's are located. There were two guys who always train together there. They are young, maybe 30 if anything, and I know one is a surgeon. I have noticed as he is extremely attractive so I kind of paid attention to him. I was training back and in the squat rack doing bent over barbell rows. I could tell he tweaked his back but didn't want to say anything, he is hurting. As he stretches out, and tries to alleviate the pain, I take my ear buds out and walk over.
"You tweaked your back, didn't you?"
"Yeah, how did you know?"
"I can tell by the way you are moving. I didn't want you to feel bad so I wanted to tell you that a few months ago when you two were in here, I broke a rib training."
They looked a little shocked and asked what I was doing at the time. I showed them and they asked if I stopped. I explained , no, I just do it a bit differently now and they laughed.
Then his buddy said that he (the surgeon) was an old man, that's why he was struggling.
"Old!?" I said. "I am 50! He isn't old!"
The surgeon looks at me, from the bench press where he is sitting and says "We are talking body age here. And speaking of body age, aren't you supposed to have a guardian to be in here?"
Tall, dark, handsome, young....and he knows a good pick up line! Just the male I have always been attracted to! Don't worry, David knows I have always been attracted to dark skinned men, It's a running joke, he picks out my eye candy for me sometimes....
The three of us laughed and chatted a while, we had fun doing what we enjoy.
Interactions like these are really necessary to help me ease back into life as a normal person. I am sure that those who don't compete cannot understand, cannot empathize. But luckily, I meet and talk with people like this all the time, it helps me to get back on track. It's also one of the things that keeps me going back to the gym day after day!