For many, many years I spent my days plotting and scheming my next steps. I had a vision of where I wanted to go, but there came a time when I realized that what I was continuing to go after was no longer meant for me in the current seasons of my life, so I had to put that dream on pause.
But it didn’t come without going for another dream. Last weekend I attended and competed in my first National-level Bodybuilding competition in the Figure division. I had competed for two seasons at the local level in the Indianapolis area and this past June I had made improvements in my placings and in my physique. Mission accomplished!
A few months later, I was shopping for another show to do to round out the 2014 competition season and a friend and fellow competitor challenged me to try the National level.
I didn’t think I was quite ready for that level yet, but I would consider it. Her reasoning was that when she first attended Nationals, she had prepared for an entire YEAR for an event she had never attended. So when she showed up to compete, the whole event just blew her away. In hindsight, she wishes she would have had a better understanding on the front end of where she was going before she actually spent that much time preparing for it. She reports that her entire preparation would have looked very different had she started with a realistic picture of her end goal. More like, why not have a clear vision of where you’re trying to go before your ship actually sets sail!
So, she challenged me to give this level a whirl. And I did!
I tripped out to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for four days and got to dive in head first to competing at that level. I saw gals and guys from all over North America and I was in awe at the collection of hardworking people who gathered to compete. Being a newby in the sport and one whose competition friends call her “Baby”, this was a really big deal for me. Several times I questioned my ability and often wondered, “Do I really belong here?”
But as I stood backstage preparing for my division to go on stage, my entire 28 months of combined training and contest prep flashed before my eyes. As I focused on my nutrient timing and pre-stage exercises with my resistance bands, I knew my mindset and my potential and I said to myself with a smile, “Yes. Yes I do belong!”
After competing and enjoying every moment, I came out with a pretty low place in the line-up, but the experience was one of great impact. After the show, my Dad wrote me to inquire about the weekend and when I filled him in, his response was, “Well, it sounds like it was a profitable trip!”
Absolutely! I got out of my comfort zone, I met new people, made improvements in my posing and physique, got feedback on my presentation, saw what I’m up against for future competitions, and was able to have a clear vision of where I plan to sail my fitness ship.
How can you get where you’re trying to go if you don’t have a big-picture vision moving you forward? It is true that if you aim for nothing you will hit it. Had I stayed home and psyched myself out, I would not know my true potential. I went. I learned. Now I’m planning and activating in many areas of my life for 2015, full steam ahead.
I challenge you to do the same in your areas of interest: finances, wellness, hobbies, career, relationships, and/or education. There truly are NO boundaries of what you’re capable of achieving. Your boundaries are only in your head.