Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Back to Reality

Hi friends! I haven't forgotten about you; I've just been swamped lately and haven't gotten a chance to post anything. Here's what I was up to last week:

Playa del Carmen, Mexico
5th Avenue, Playa del Carmen
Mowgli the baby lion
Baby white tiger and baby jaguar
Family fun!
We came back to cold weather, although it's since warmed up a lot. I miss the palm trees and the relaxing days on the beach. Back to reality! I'll post a longer update in a few days. I've missed you all!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Google is Your Friend

If you have a question about something, what's the first thing you do to get information?

I'm prolly gonna date myself by saying this, but when I was growing up, the only ways to get information was from printed materials. The card catalog in the library was comprised of actual cards: little index cards that contained book and periodical information. In order to help us kids with school reports, my parents made the investment to buy the entire 1988 series of World Book Encyclopedia, complete with gold leaf finishing (far superior to Encyclopedia Britannica!). A few years later, they also purchased a few "problem solving" books that World Book released. If we had a question, my parents always encouraged us to do some research before they would just give us the answer. When I joined the workforce, I was also encouraged to do research before asking my managers questions they knew I could answer on my own. By doing my own research, oftentimes, I learned more than I would have if someone had just answered my question immediately.

Now that we have the world at our fingertips - literally - it's SO much easier to find information! While watching movies or TV shows at home, I often pull up IMDB to look up actors or facts about the program. While having a conversation with someone, I can do a quick Google search on my phone to help me prove a point or find additional information about the topic. It is SO EASY to find information now!

Yet I continue to see people asking simple questions, wasting the time of others who go through the effort of answering. This is one of my biggest pet peeves! It's not only rude, it's LAZY. These are the kinds of questions I'm referring to:
  • Can you tell me the website of XYZ product? (
  • What is XYZ?
  • What's the difference between ABC and XYZ?
Srsly?! They couldn't take TWO seconds to Google the website? Or the 10 seconds to look up what XYZ is? Bet it's on the website! And the difference between products? Again, I bet it's on the website!!

Now I'm all worked up and need a moment to get my breathing under control.

Inhale, exhale.

One of my most favoritest things in the world is Google. Google is my friend. Google is your friend too! Google is EVERYONE'S friend!

Keeping in mind my goals for prep, I've been trying to remain positive and friendly. But I can tell my patience level is dropping from my usual barely tolerant to zero patience with rudeness, stupidity, and laziness. From now on, any time I encounter a question I KNOW the person could answer by themselves just by taking a few minutes, I'm going to reply with this: " and you're welcome!"

Have you seen or heard any questions like the ones above? How do you feel when you see them? Do you take the time to reply? Do you think I'll make it through prep without becoming super crabby? LOL

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nothing to Fear

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Lately, I've been hearing people say that they're "afraid of prep." This baffles me, because how can prep be scary? It doesn't involve anything different than the usual fitness lifestyle: gym and diet.

Prep is easy because it's a routine. It's some variation of: get up, do cardio, eat, eat, eat, train, do cardio, eat, eat, go to bed. Srsly, how difficult is that?! What is scary about doing cardio, training, and eating?

When I hear people talk about being "scared of prep," I wonder what they're really scared of. Success?

To me, prep is an exciting time! It's a journey of self introspection: discipline, courage, strength (mental and physical), and consistency.

I am the only one responsible for my own success.

How empowering is that?! I have the power to decide how consistent I will be, how hard I will train, how well I will follow my diet. It's up to me - no one else. No one else is going to standing on stage, holding my hand. It's going to be just me up there, showcasing my hard work and dedication. What an exhilarating feeling!

As I've mentioned before, I think of prep as unwrapping a beautiful present. You don't really know what's under the paper until you begin peeling away the layers. Each week of prep is like peeling away a layer of paper to get a glimpse of what you built in the off-season. Personally, I love presents! I love to unwrap them slowly, letting my anticipation and curiosity grow as I peel the paper away.

Once all the paper is peeled away, underneath you have a beautiful present: YOU! You can see the evidence of the past several weeks (or months) of prep. You're a lean, streamlined competitor, ready to shine on stage!

Prep is hard work, but why be afraid of hard work? Embrace it.When you break through barriers, enjoy the feeling of triumph. You deserve to be proud of yourself, to feel successful! I'm willing to bet that when you're standing on stage, you'll wonder why you were ever afraid of prep.

Have you heard anyone say they were afraid of prep? Have you felt that way? What were/are you afraid of and why?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Goals! Not Resolutions

All this talk about "resolutions" and "goals" lately has caused me to really think hard about my goals for this year regarding prep and competing. As I've mentioned before, I'm not really a fan of "New Year's Resolutions," mostly because not only do they usually get broken within the first 30 days of the year, I don't understand the concept of waiting to start something. If you want something badly enough, you'll just do it. (Right, Nike?)

I do, however, think it's important to have goals all year round in many aspects of your life. I decided to set some goals for this upcoming competition season:

  • Remain positive throughout prep. Note that I didn't write, "Don't be negative" cuz that would be negative. I was SO crabby last year during prep, and I hated it! Oh, the irony of that statement. I couldn't figure out why I felt so negative. And after 6 months of introspection ... I still can't figure it out. This year, I'm going to really focus on finding the silver lining and keeping my thoughts positive. Even when I feel like crap.
  • Approach each workout with enthusiasm, not dread. I have high hopes that I'll be able to achieve this goal; however, it may become extremely difficult closer to the competition. When my energy is low throughout the day, I dread my workout, wondering how I'll ever find the strength to get through it. I need to just keep reminding myself that I've never NOT found the strength. Therefore, it's hidden within me somewhere and I just need to trust that I will get through it. Because I always do.
  • Play nice with others. See also: "Remain positive throughout prep." I'm going to strive to work on my patience level.
  • Bring my absolute best to the stage. This is a goal I've always had ever since I began competing. I always want to bring my best to the stage and know that I did everything I possibly could do to achieve my best look. There have been times that I haven't looked my best on stage, and it's a humbling experience, one I don't ever want to repeat again if I can help it.
I've already started working on these goals and continue to remind myself of them every day. Here's to a positive and successful prep!

Do you set goals? What are some of your 2013 life and/or competition goals?