2017 Prep Update: Reflections Before Moving Forward (Video Included)

“So how did you do?”

How do I explain how this was my favorite “last place” of all?  How does that make any sense when validation is supposed to be about a scorecard?  Four shows now and four last place finishes, but my truth now is…


It’s been 11 days and when I think of my time on stage, I’m overwhelmed with JOY.   I felt a little like this after my first show in 2012 because that one was truly a celebration.  I didn’t feel much of anything except a little frustration after my 2013 show.  And, as many of you know, the 2015 show was a kick in the gut.  Every insecurity I had about participating in this sport was validated that day.  To come back from that, I spent two years doing intense introspection that led to some inspired changes in my teaching practice.  Had I not had that humiliating experience, I doubt I’d ever understand how a fixed mindset can poison everything we attempt to do.  That experience helped me understand how some of my students feel – hopeless to break through and change anything.  Lost track of the number of books I absorbed.  I even took an online class on mindset in mathematics and could relate everything I learned back to my personal experience as a new, 50-something, athlete.

So how did I do?

Wonderfully!  I did wonderfully.  Almost every goal I set for myself was achieved.  What I’m most proud of is how I improved with posing and how I choreographed my own routine, kept it private until stage – and it didn’t suck!  There is still much left to do.  That’s exciting because I’ve proven to myself that I CAN improve.  After that 2015 experience, I fought a hard battle against the “what’s the point” bullshit-on-a-stick I was handed.

I can’t imagine that winning something will ever feel better than this feels.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.  Don’t misunderstand – I’m not “making lemonade from lemons” here.  A couple weeks before the show, my mindset switched from thinking of this as a competition to thinking of it as a performance.  I met every performance goal I set for myself.  I worked hard on it and I saw it in the pictures and videos.  I didn’t lose my composure or crack under pressure.  It’s very possible that I will always be moved into the last position after the symmetry round because my symmetry sucks a little bit – so be it.  Judges do what judges are supposed to do.  But I really don’t care anymore.  I’m up there DOING BODYBUILDING!  So much joy in that!!  I will set my goals and I will give the people who paid to watch bodybuilders the best bodybuilding performance I can muster up on that day.

I understand that being an underdog and winning would make for a great story, but I don’t think that’s my part to play.  Because I put in the work and participate in this sport publicly, someone somewhere borrows courage from me (which I’ve borrowed from others) to deal with their own health issues.  I never set out to be a social media fitness person and I’ve actually become more of an introvert in real life since all of this attention has landed on me.  I go to the gym, I do my work.  I go to work, I do my work.  But every so often, I suit-up and step-up to a mark taped on a stage and do a bodybuilder performance.  I don’t know why it fills me with joy – it just does and I’m grateful!

I made this video to celebrate the experience.  It took a little time because I really don’t know what I’m doing with this sort of thing, but I am learning as I go along – as is true for most everything I am doing these days.  If you followed the events of the day on Facebook as Michelle and I were posting, you’ll recognize most of what’s in here.

Thank you!!!!!!!



Filed under Competing

13 responses to “2017 Prep Update: Reflections Before Moving Forward (Video Included)

  1. Kristi

    Congratulations! You look fantastic. What a great way to showcase all of your hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love love love the video, and especially your “favorite moment.” And your mindset and attitude are spot on! On the big day it’s about enjoying the moment and taking pride in all you accomplished. You certainly did that! Kudos and hugs to you! Rock on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Twyla Paulos

    Hi stranger that motivates me on Facebook!You looked beautiful up there and after you got moved to the side you started to really smile and I thought “Wow! I would love to be doing that someday!! You are strong in more than body! Thanks for sharing your life, thoughts and struggles!Another stranger on Facebook :)Twyla

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Colin DeWaay

    As always the perspective is spot on. I’ve noticed the same with my powerlifting. Like I used to be wrapped up in how I finished, but I’ve learned how I do personally matters so much more. My best ever meet, the one I’m most proud of I didn’t even sniff the top 5. My worst meet I ever had and the one that kicked my ass the most, was my best ever “placing” getting 2nd. I wasn’t proud of that medal at all. But I also learned many valuable lessons from it too, much like you did. Thanks for the video, I LOVED your solo routine! The confidence and elegance really came through and I thought you rocked it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting that you had a similar experience. Even though most people in my circle of friends share the same attitude, I don’t think it’s common. Thanks for the comment about the routine! I have some rough edges to file down yet, but I love doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sheri

    I so enjoyed watching this. My take:
    You should be VERY proud. You looked great! Your routine was nicely done. Your glutes were standing out there nicely muscled. You had definitely improved since 2015.( though 2015 was nothing to scoff at).
    I especially enjoyed watching and following you as I competed in 1985 and have this thought of returning in Masters bodybuilding or masters physic ( if I can learn to walk in those crazy heels! lol I can picture me breaking an ankle or something!). I was born in 1960, so if I’m going to do it again, I’m going to have to go ahead and do it in the next year or two.
    Keep up the great work and I will be following you into your next show!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carole

    Loved seeing this video- stunning and inspirational ! Such discipline.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for the video! I love bodybuilding shows and it was so fun to watch your presentation.

    Maybe it’s time for me to get ready for competition. I turn 50 this year and I’m finding that all of my excuses are behind me now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kim Louman

    Thank you so much for sharing! Loved the old school….and you looked great!

    Liked by 1 person

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