Aftermath & The Birth and Death of the Abbeys
I just got back from the gym and planned to only do 20 minutes of cardio but when I was done I was surprised that I wanted to lift. Why? After 5 months of intense training I thought I may want to take some time off. But I realized I love it. At least today I did. Some things are just that way and it’s hard to explain. It’s similar to my love for acting. I know some people wonder why I just don’t give up. I rarely get parts and it’s so hard to find the time to pursue anything with all the other life things. I don’t give up because I can’t. It will always be a part of my life in some small way because I love it for what it is. I don’t care if I ever “make it”. Sure it would be nice but I don’t do it with that goal in mind. I do it for the pure joy of make-believe, getting lost in the moment, the experience of connecting, and the thrill of creative discovery. I workout for reasons other than results. Had I ended up coming in last this weekend I realized I would still be at the gym this morning. It is just an amazing feeling to push through another minute of running when I feel like I might collapse. Or to push out another rep when my muscles are shaking and I think I can’t. It reminds me that I was created by and I am sustained by a Creator that is bigger and more powerful than anything I can imagine. My workouts are a time for me to get lost in my thoughts and discover more about God and who He created me to be. Sometimes I have meaningful discoveries other times I just simply enjoy being a person created in His image and the possibilities that come with that.
I did have a GREAT weekend. And it had everything to do with my friend and nothing or at least very little to do with the competition. We had so much fun on the drive down, admiring the hard work of the other competitors, hanging out at the hotel, waiting around at the competition, getting ready and, of course, eating afterwards. True friends are such a gift and I will do my best to never take those who are vulnerable enough to share who they really are with me and love me despite my flaws for granted.
The competition itself was interesting. The bodybuilders are amazing. I am so inspired by their hard work and discipline. Since this was a drug-tested all natural show there weren’t any (in my opinion) grotesquely large Hulk-ish chaps and lasses. Instead, the bodybuilders were more like a pumped up versions of Michelangelo’s David wearing velvet Speedos or bikinis. It was very cool and beautiful in an odd sort of way.
People are asking me if I plan on continue to compete. I’m undecided. Truth be told I feel a bit silly walking across stage in a bikini. Not to mention, there was A LOT of waiting around and a few rude girls. One girl hissed, “Me first, I walk first.” at me on stage as we walked to the middle for line up. I suppose it’s not much different than trying to get a nearby parking space on a rainy day aside from the fact I’m already feeling insecure wearing a bikini that would fit a child. I’ve never been totally comfortable with my body. In junior high I was the girl taking showers with my towel on so it was really hard for me to be backstage with lots of half naked women. Most people there seemed so comfortable with their bodies. I am not. Years after junior high, I am still really nervous to change in front of other people. I found myself going to the bathroom to change in the bathroom stalls. At one point, I had to leave the dressing room because I couldn’t hold back my tears. I grabbed my sunglasses and rushed out. This is what happens a lot when I’m sleep deprived. There was this one woman in particular who had these freakishly large botched breast implants. Never in my life had I seen anything like it (and I’m not that sheltered). It made me really sad. I wondered what had made her do that and felt so sorry for her. I was angry with our culture and the pressure it puts on women, so much so, that some women go out and mutilate their bodies such as she did in an attempt to reach some unnatural ideal. (Sigh)
I’m really thankful that I did this to LOSE because five months of preparation was a lot of work for 5 minutes on stage. At first I was a bit disappointed. I thought of of the hours I had spent in the gym and all the yummy food I had “deprived” myself. But then I also remembered something else I really believe (I think I blogged about it before) it’s the journey not the destination that really matters and this journey has been an incredible one. I have enjoyed, well maybe not always enjoyed, but have learned so much during this preparation. I love the intensity of knowing I’m going to compete adds to my workouts. I learned some life lessons that I (hope) plan to let spill over into other areas of my life such as: consistency not perfection will get results. I messed up on plenty of meals and missed workouts but I stayed consistent and always got back on track.
Speaking of pictures. I forgot to announce the birth of The Abbey’s. They were born at 5:30 am on November 15. Unfortunetly they didn’t survive and 16 hours later were drowned in salt and cheese at Miguel’s Mexican Cantina. But here a picture of their birth. RIP dear ones. Soon you will be resurrected.
Before I conclude this post, I want to thank my precious most wonderful best friend. Brenton, I love you more than I could ever express in words. You make every cell of my body feel like it has it’s own beating heart. I would have never been able to do this without your support and encouragement. Your patience inspiring. Your encouragement bewildering. Your love unwavering. It is an honor to be your wife and best friend. Thank you for believing in me and reminding me that it wasn’t in my best interest to eat half a jar of almond butter. Also a big thanks to my parents for sitting through a 4 hour show to watch me for 5 minutes. And to my in-laws for taking care of the boys this weekend.
To those of you who made it to the end of this looooong post and who have followed this journey. THANK YOU!!! All the emails and words of encouragement these past few months have meant so much to me. I’m really excited to keep learning and sharing about all things health related. I hope you continue to follow the blog as you strive to reach your own fitness goals. I really feel like if I can do this ANYONE can!!! Good luck!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!
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