Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Contest Prep and Being a Tourist

It's been a couple days since I've written anything. My parents arrived last Friday afternoon to visit for a couple days, so we've been running around DC, playing tourist. While it's been really fun seeing the monuments and touring various places, it's also been exhausting. It's really driven home the fact that my body isn't functioning at its normal level right now, and it's very clear that I'm in contest prep.

I was discussing this with Jerry last night, concerned about life balance. I always strive to have some semblance of balance in my life as much as possible, but I'm finding that contest prep is really affecting my ability to do certain activities ... like sightseeing. In the past 4 days, we've toured the US Naval Academy, the Capitol, the White House, and the Mall. And in those past 4 days, I've packed my cooler full of food and brought my water bottle with me everywhere we went. It was a pain in the butt, but I gladly did it, because as soon as it was meal time, my body started to shut down. What was most challenging, though, were the tours that didn't allow food or drinks. Yesterday's tour of the capitol and today's tour of the White House added 2 extra hours between meal times. By the time I got to my food, I was practically dragging on the floor. What kind of balance is that?!

So thus concerned, I broached the subject with Jerry, who always helps me declutter my mind. He compared contest prep to a sports training camp, like football. Or like baseball Spring training. Players are sent to a training camp for several weeks or months to prepare for their season. Their main focus is on their job, which is their position and duties on the team. There's very little balance in their lives, as they spend the majority of their time practicing and preparing for the upcoming season.

Bodybuilders and figure competitors don't have a "camp" to attend; instead, their seasonal preparation takes place during their regular life activities. Somewhere in between meals and training, we find time to do our regular full-time jobs, spend time with friends and family, and partake in other recreational activities. We bring our own food along to functions and events, and we stay up late or get up early to make sure we get all our training and cardio in. (Jerry and I were at the gym at 5:30 am this morning doing cardio because we had a 9 am tour of the White House. Usually we're at the gym at 7:30 am.)

I've had several meals in restaurants the past 4 days when I'd usually have maybe 1 a week. Granted, I didn't eat any food that wouldn't normally be in my diet, but there's always a chance that the food isn't prepared like I'd prepare it. I've even heard one story of a restaurant cooking their egg whites in butter, and when asked if they could use cooking spray instead, they said it wasn't possible. What's the point of having egg whites if they're cooked in butter?!

I'm happy I can still do the tourist activities during prep, but I'm also looking forward to my off-season, when I won't have to worry about packing 4 meals for a day trip, eating cold turkey, and finding a bathroom every half hour.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous post. I love Jerry's analogy of the spring training camp. He's a good one, that Jerry!