Anyone that competes in the bodybuilding arena is bound to face some disappointment along the way. 2015 was a big year for me as I set my sights on the big prize: That IFBB ProCard.
I made some tough decisions regarding coaching changes, sacrificed time away from my family and friends, not to the mention invested quite a bit of money to get everything in line to make this the journey of all journeys to the top. I put on twenty pounds of muscle and get to a condition that I did not even think was possible for me so when I stepped on that stage I knew that I left everything out there for all to see. If you’ve read my articles, you know a little bit about my journey, but now I’m going to talk to you about what comes after the show is over and you walk away disappointed.
You’ve all heard me talk and I believe everything must be kept in perspective. Everything in my path had led me up to this last show It’s built and prepared me for this very moment and I believed I was ready. I was the biggest I’d ever been, the most conditioned I’d ever been and my head was in the best place it has ever been, but all of that goes out the window the moment I stepped out beneath those bright lights. All my demons came rushing back to me and I doubted that it was enough. When I stepped out there, I was not only battling for my physical place on that stage but also battling within to believe in myself.
Looking back now, I realize that my moment of doubt, that slight hesitation that may have broken my focus and confidence and cost me my goal. I’m still choking on that pill. I walked off stage knowing I’d have to go right back out and fight the same battle again, so I was able to wrangle my demons back in and go back out in the next category with the confidence and focus that I initially intended.
This walk off the stage was different. I felt proud because I knew that I came and did what I had intended to do, I felt lighter and excited that I may have just done it and everyone backstage seemed to think the same thing as they all congratulated me on becoming a pro tonight. So when I left the venue to go back to the hotel and enjoy a relaxing and restful afternoon I thought I would end the night with the title IFBB Pro.
As I return to the venue and get the update on all of the placings in the categories before me, it was like I had been punched in the gut and all the wind had been ripped from my sails because it became very apparent that I again had come just short of my goal. When my two categories were called it was the confirmation of my worst fears placing 3rd in the first category that my inner demons caused me to botch royally and 2nd in the category that was my main focus, the one I totally rocked. I do not take anything away from the competitors that won as that was their time and I am honored to have shared a stage with them; however, 2nd was not what I came here to do.
I did not invest so much to come so very close and not close the deal.
So, I sucked it up on stage and backstage being the gracious athlete but inside I was pitching a child’s fit, because here I am again failing and that is when the darkness started creeping its way back in. All the negative thoughts that I worked so hard to beat back came to the forefront, “You’re not meant to do this”, “You’ll never be good enough, why do you even keep trying” to list a couple. It was extremely difficult because I placed higher than I ever had and everyone kept congratulating me, but 2nd place is still losing.
I’m not sure what pulled me out of it and at what point I took ownership of my journey back, but it happened. I gained some perspective and realized what I could have done better and also appreciate the accomplishments of the journey. It took some time but once I got there I cast off the bitterness of the loss and found some win in the mix. And most importantly, I gained hope back. I am excited about my journey again and hopeful that I will continue to do better. And so I am back at it full steam ahead with a fresh perspective and a specific goal in sight.
I learned a lot in this past year’s journey both about myself, my body and my mind and find myself in a better place than where I started. Don’t get me wrong, that IFBB ProCard is the goal and is the reason why I continue, but I’m proud to say that I can now see the other things I’ve gained and still have to gain on this crazy driven path I call my life.
If you have any stories of disappointment and/or perseverance I’d love to hear from you and share your story as well, so please reach out to me.