Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Knowing When to Say "When"

This past weekend I made a big decision. I decided not to compete anymore this year. Which means I won't be competing at Team Universe, or doing any National shows this year.

This was a difficult decision that I put a lot of thought and consideration into. My whole goal this year was to turn Pro in figure. So why pull out of the show with only 3 weeks left?

As I've mentioned before, I started dieting right after Thanksgiving ... which means I've been dieting non-stop for 29 weeks. Add in 2 high-stress shows (the Arnold Amateur and a local show for my NQ) that required peaking my body and then going straight back into dieting, and my body is just DONE.

The past 2 weeks have been a struggle for me mentally also. Since my body wasn't responding as we'd anticipated, and I was really sick of dieting, every day included a debate about continuing with prep. I knew I COULD push through it through sheer willpower ... but the question remained ... did I WANT to? And that's when I needed to be completely honest with myself.

For no good reason, I hadn't booked the hotel, sent in my registration, or booked the spray tan appointment for Team U. It's not like I didn't have time or didn't know what I needed to do. I just didn't do it. It's like my subconscious was trying to tell me something, and it reminded me of a time quite a few years ago when I just didn't do something I needed to do because I wasn't 100% sure of my decision. Back then, I didn't listen to my gut feeling, and ended up regretting a decision. This time, I listened to my gut. And it was telling me that doing Team U this year just wasn't right for me.

Each time I step on stage, I make sure I bring an improved physique from the last show. And this time, I wasn't so sure I could bring the physique I needed in order to win my Pro card. Sure, I could give some of the girls a run for their money, but at this point, I still have some work to do before I achieve a physique that's worthy of a Pro card.

I knew the next 3 weeks would require 100% focus, and include a fair amount of suffering. I'm not averse to either one, but this time, my heart just wasn't in it. And putting my relationship and family on the back burner for those 3 more weeks wasn't worth it to me just to place in the middle of the pack at Team U.

I know the level of competition, and I know the level of conditioning and size I need to bring to the stage in order to win. I could get the conditioning (with said focus and suffering), but I can't put on the amount of size I need in such a short time. I need another year of intense, heavy lifting, with a focused off-season and some time to grow.

As soon as I realized I was ok with my decision not to compete, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I'm confident I made the right decision for me, and I don't feel like I'm disappointing myself or it's something I'll regret. One of the hardest things in life is knowing when to say "when."

And after reaching deep inside and being honest with myself, I know that this is the time for me to say "when." My body and my mind need some time to relax, to unwind. I'm going to enjoy my first summer in DC with my boyfriend by going to the beach, to ball games, to movies, to dinner ... and not worry about packing all my food or finding time to get all my cardio in.

So my off-season has officially begun! This weekend, we spent time with my family and watched the Jr. Nationals show (stay tuned for my review of the weekend). We ate a ton of junk food, satisfying all those carb cravings, and are back to eating clean food ... which feels good. I'm not "dieting" anymore ... I'm just living a healthy, balanced life. I said "when" ... and I'm happy. :)


  1. It's good that you knew when to back off...enjoy your off-season.

  2. I admire your honesty, truly a quality trait. I know you are going to have the best summer ever enjoying the time with your family and friends. Cheering you on, through every decision you make,

  3. everyone knows what they can handle....and your body was telling you to slow down...nothing wrong with that...enjoy yourself :)

  4. Enjoy your summer, Kari! I look forward to your off season!

  5. Man can I empathize with how hard that decision is! I had to make the same choice earlier this summer and it sucked, even though I knew, like you do, that it's the right thing in the long run. The break & building time will allow you to come back next season and kick some serious ass!

  6. I know the decision is tough but you know in your heart it's best. It'll just make next year a great one for you!

    Enjoy your summer but not so much you're in cardio H E double hockey sticks next year ;)

  7. Kari,

    I respect you so much for listening to your body. I completely understand your reasoning. Your body is telling you something and you are listening. Also, I wouldn't want to step on stage feeling like I am not on my A game either. I think your decision will move you closer to your goal in the long run...but then you already know that ;)

  8. You should be proud of your decision! You deserve some relaxation without all that stress hanging over you like a cloud. Enjoy your off season!

  9. You know what's best for you. I hope you feel good about your decision. Your'e so in tune with your body. That's awesome. I hope you enjoy your off season....and your donuts :)

  10. I am so PROUD of you Kari!! You inspire me and I know this was tough for you but you know yourself best!! I am always here.......now its time for a girls dinner!!

  11. I wish I had the guts to say "when"