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The real key to competing, I believe, is being transcendent with yourself before deciding to get stage ready. What I mean by "being transcendent" is that you should ask yourself some philosophical questions.
What does it mean to believe in who you are? Does it essentially define us as a species? Is it the fact of being able to take over your entire body, consuming you in every way, shape or form? If a person desires to be something great the first thing that sticks out is being able to remain motivated. As Arnold said in Pumping Iron, "Having the guts to say I go through and I don't care what happens, it aches and if I fall down I have no fear of fainting in the gym." Pretty self-evident don't you think?
1. Is Fear The Only Thing Holding You Back?
Fear is not your enemy. Being a newcomer to the sport, a majority of the time fear is what stops you. The queasy feeling of not doing well or looking like a fool. I could remember my first competition like it was yesterday. Emotions were running high, I was scared but yet something inside me still got on stage that day and it turned out to be the greatest feeling of my life, knowing that all that time and effort in the gym was given back to me with a loud applause.
If fear is the only thing stopping you it's time to get over it, because last time I checked the world isn't coming to an end and the moon has yet to fall from the sky. Placing well in your first show is an amazing experience but placing isn't everything. In this instance you must bring yourself back to reality, because in reality there's nothing shameful about being in the best shape of your life.
2. How Will You Stay Motivated?
I have been competing for three years now and each year I love the sport more and more. On the flip side, I know many bodybuilders who have trained with me leading up to competitions only finding out they became petrified two weeks from show time. This left me in a cumbersome situation because I couldn't be physically motivated in the gym when people like that trained with me.
When it comes down to something I really enjoy the last thing I need is an irrelevant distraction. Being on stage, I believe, teaches you something about yourself, making it a very intuitive feeling. Who do you see yourself becoming?
When I first started competing I always looked up to a body like Frank Zane. Every day in the gym I would push harder and harder because this vision became so clear to me, it was something I could achieve with hard work. Thinking about your ultimate physique enhances your perception, making it easier to reach your goal. If staying motivated is hard the one thing I say time and time again is do you really want this?
3. Do You Know When To Compete?
I am a firm believer in being in touch with your mind, body and spirit. Together as one completes you as a person and makes the treasures of life more applicable to you. Think about it, have you ever dreamed of winning first place in a spelling bee, or becoming a pro BMX rider? If you answered no to the above...well, I didn't think so, it was only an anecdote to get you thinking.
Knowing when to compete is something that isn't as self-explanatory as people think. Being happy with yourself makes it easier to do more recreational things that you enjoy. Picking a contest in the middle of getting married, writing a book, and buying a house isn't a great time to compete. It will expend so much energy from you that by the time your nap is over three years would have passed. Believe me it takes a lot of dedication, and being smart about when to give full commitment will let you enjoy the sport much more.
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Knowing When To Compete Is Something That
Isn't As Self-Explanatory As People Think.
Competing for the first time is a marvelous experience and in part will change your life for the better. Do not be flabbergasted by the media into thinking that you have to take drugs in order to do well. Many federations out there cater to drug free bodybuilding, figure, fitness and even bikini contests. There is something out there for everybody.
People can never take away the illumination of knowing you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Enduring contest prep and getting that applause signifies you can do what most people can't. It truly is a glorious feeling.
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