In hindsight I can see how that goal would have naturally made Daniel, my trainer, cringe. Competitive sports was his world, he helped coach for a while, and being a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness was his first time working with “normal” people. (His word, not mine.)
Well he had quite an introduction to “normal” people when he met me. I cheated on my diet constantly. I skipped on the cardio if I thought he wouldn’t notice. My form was completely wrong at least half the time (but that wasn’t on purpose.)
I gave myself a free pass for these things because, well, it’s not like I was going to win anything right?
So he pulled a Jedi Knight trick on me and told me he thought I could place if I just tried harder. (You can see the whole conversation here: Train to Win.) Well having not come from a sports background and knowing exactly NOTHING about bodybuilding, I took him literally and thought I had a shot at winning my first time out.
“I want to win,” I told him a few days later.
“That’s great! The pep talk worked!” Pep talk? That was just a pep talk? “You have to train to win. That’s the only way to do it.” Then seeing the one-track must-win mentality begin to wash over me, he quickly tempered his statement. “Whether you actually win is another story.”
Wait, what? No, you clearly said I could win…
Of course I didn’t win for a plethora of reasons: It was my first competition so I was nervous, I was still getting comfortable in my new looser skin (I dropped 50 lbs. faster than my skin could keep up,) and for the life of me I couldn’t balance in those dang 5″ heels. Don’t get me wrong – there are lots of Cinderella stories out there, but I’m not one of them.
But training to win and then losing was actually very good for me. I would have never stopped cheating on my diet and trained as hard as I did if I didn’t think there was a chance of winning. So it did make me push myself beyond my own mental limits. And as far as failing goes, it had been a long, long while since the last time I really put my neck on the line for something and gave my absolute 100%. Losing sucks. I cried even. But you know what? I didn’t die. And I’m not as afraid of failing as I was before.
And my next show I trained to win from the very beginning. And I still lost! But I had a lot more fun and was happy to have made progress. At the end of the day I’m only really competing against myself anyway.
And as to “winning” I have a secret. I will never have a Cinderella story. Because my story is the Little Engine That Could. “I think I can. I think I can. I know I can! I KNOW I CAN!”
And one day I will win that trophy. I’ll win it for me. And I’ll know that I’ve earned it.
How about you? What’s your favorite mistake?
Sheslosingit.net (c) 2012 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.