Monday, February 22, 2010

10 more days

Only 10 more days to go ... it seems like a lifetime ago when I first thought about doing the Arnold. When the thought crossed my mind, I almost immediately banished it. It's too big a show. I'm not at that level yet. People are going to have such high expectations for me, and if I don't place well, I'll let them down. I'm only kidding myself by thinking I've earned the right to stand on that stage.

But the more I thought about it, the more I felt something was pulling me toward it. Why not do it??

And thus, the journey began. I decided in September that I was going to apply for an invitation. I knew I'd have to start training for it long before the invitations were sent out, so I talked it over with Jerry, and he assured me that I deserved to be on the stage just as much as the next girl.

"You won a sword, for pete's sake!" he kept telling me. But I still wasn't completely convinced. When people asked me what my next show was, I'd just shrug and say I hadn't decided yet. Then I finally got the courage to start telling people. But whenever I'd tell them, it'd be with a disclaimer, "well, that is, IF I get an invitation. But I'm gonna train for it."

By the time I officially started prep, most people around me knew it was my goal. And oddly enough, they all seemed to have far more confidence in me than I did. (I still think that's true). The day I sent the registration in, I took a deep breath and hit the gym with intensity. And the day the invitation letter came, I started jumping up and down for joy. When I asked Jerry how it felt to be dating an Arnold Competitor, his head whipped around, his jaw dropped, and he looked at me with huge eyes. I'll never forget the big hug he gave me at that moment.

I'm not gonna lie ... this prep has been tough. It's been different than any other prep I've done. The first half was a piece of cake (mmm ... cake ...), and then the second half started ... and it's been a constant struggle since then. Because I messed up my metabolism so badly dieting for the Jr Nats last year, my body hung onto everything I ate after the show, and I slowly gained 20 lbs. NOT the off-season I wanted! So I had a long ways to go. I needed to drop 20 lbs in 15 weeks. Maybe not such a big deal for a big bodybuilder, but I have a petite frame, so even 5 lbs on me makes a big difference in how I look and feel.

Jerry's been by my side the entire time. Supporting me, encouraging me, pushing me, wiping my tears, holding me, and motivating me. I honestly couldn't have gotten to this point without him. I feel like I'm right on track. My body is responding in the way we want it to respond, I made some good off-season improvements for a more balanced look, and I have the confidence to know I can hang with the best on that stage.

This is the final week of hard training, and then next week it all changes. I always look forward to the week of the show, because the hard part is done. Then it's time to just "land the plane," in the words of the famous Kevin Levrone.

It's time to hit up the gym for another training and cardio session. Each time I stumble on the treadmill or falter during a rep, I picture myself standing on stage, knowing I did everything I could to deserve to be there. I keep moving my feet, one step at a time; I keep pushing through my training, one rep at a time, one set at a time.

Contest prep truly is a team effort. And I want to acknowledge all the support, guidance, and motivation others have given me the past couple months. I hope I make you proud on that stage.

1 comment:

  1. I'm finally catching up on all your blog posts. I know the outcome, but reading your journal is so inspirational. This particular post got me, tears and all. I'm so proud of you Kari, and very happy for you.
    I know it's been a while since we last chatted, but know that you're always in the back of my mind. Been following your progress from the sidelines. :)