Friday, February 12, 2016

There's No I In Team

For me, training alone was never an option; from the start of my interest in competing I knew I would have the support and experience of Iron Will Fitness behind me. This is important to me not only for their exposure to the industry, or their fitness lifestyles (all of my trainers compete themselves; they are not someone just there for a paycheck, they know exactly what you are going through and are there for you every step of the way;) but for the communal aspect I am constantly searching for after the Appalachian Trail. It feels nice to be a part of something, connecting different individuals that you may not have met otherwise; all working towards the same goal. This becomes extremely important the moment you realize that not everyone outside of the gym will support you, and that is okay. Remember, you are doing this for you; so it is not their obligation to understand your journey. If they really want the best for you, they will find a way to understand your new obsession and those are few and far between so cherish them. Having a large extended family; I have on occasion in the past already run into such obstacles when I show up to pizza night with Tupperware of tuna fish, and vegetable and bean salad solely for the reason I do not feel like eating pizza, again. I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I love pizza, I love burgers, but generally even outside of prep I like to lead a healthy lifestyle. Generally people attack you with these questions of "why are you eating that" "don't you want some pizza?" "one slice won't kill you." Your right, but I don't stop at one; generally I have five slices when I step in the door of Pepe's pizza, and Papa Gino's just doesn't do it for me. They question your lifestyle choices because you intimidate them and make them second guess theirs; ultimately making them feel bad for themselves and blame you for that feeling. The problem with this is, again; it's not about them, it's about you. Your doing this to become a better, healthier, stronger you; not to judge others on their lifestyle. I also don't want you to get the wrong impression about my family; they are the most important, strongest, support system I have. Plus a lot of them read this blog! Just kidding guys, I have received for the most part, only positive initiation into my journey and I am very thankful for that. The other important factor in my life is my friends; again, surround yourself with likeminded people that if you show you want them to succeed they will return the favor. I always give people the benefit of the doubt, treat them how they treat me, and interact with the upmost respect of my friends I would hope to get in return. I have yet to receive one negative comment from any of them, close or extended and that means the world to me. I've even had some friends reach out to me for help and advise that flatters me to the moon and back. I need to be very clear here as I am with them; I am not a personal trainer, I am not certified nor did I go to school for nutrition, I have trainers for that; but I am always happy to share my experience and be there for yours. But back to my team and trainers; first you should know, the cost of competing is not cheap. Prices may vary but here is a look at a ballpark of what you can expect:

Training with a team for 12-16 weeks $2000
Posing coach: $500
Competition suit: $100-400
Shoes $70-90
Jewelry $40-60
Federation Membership fees $50-$90
Show entry $60
Polygraph $50
Stage Photos $100
Tanning $100
Hair & Makeup $75
Mani/Pedi $75
Hair extensions (if you use them): $50-150
Travel Expenses (If you decide on a non-local show)

Food, Supplements, Storage Containers, Scale, the list goes on and the end price for this can vary tremendously. So be sure this is something you truly want to invest not only your time, but your money into; is your health and wellbeing worth it to you? My initial reaction to joining an already existing team was like graduating from 8th grade and knowing you would be in high school the following year with all new people. This was both exciting and frightening at the same time; I wanted the opportunity to meet new people and remove myself from the stagnant routine of the familiar, but I also felt like the new kid in school. Luckily I knew Seven Lemons and that helped out a lot with the transition; the other comforting factor was how welcoming these ladies were! They took me under their wing encouraging me, cheering me on, and helping me in a constructive manner. Their strength and perseverance inspires me and makes me strive for the best. I will admit though I do compare myself to them and this is something I am trying to eliminate from my experience. Human nature is to compare, and when I look over to one of my teammates putting up more weight than me and with much ease it can be disheartening. Leading me to wonder if I am putting in as much work as I need to, are they training on off days at other gyms, are they taking supplements I don't yet know about, am I doing everything I can to present myself with the best package come May? What I fail to remember is; nearly everyone on the team has competed at least once before if not more, and everyone on the team has been training at Iron Will Fitness for a year or more. I have only given myself a few months worth of credit and I need to focus on the bigger picture. I have even expressed my thoughts on this to my trainer Darian and he assured me that I am putting in the hard work in the gym and I am exactly where I need to be. Which leads me to the support of my trainers; Carmen, Darian, and even Dee (even though I have never trained with him, he is always smiling and handing out high fives and encouraging tips) thank you for always pushing that last rep (or sometimes the last 5 or 6 for me!) And though Eric and Nick are not my trainers; they are both great friends and certified trainers. I find myself texting Seven Lemons, Nick, and sometimes Eric to ask fitness related questions and never have they blown me off or given me the short end of the stick with their responses. My team consists of friends, family, trainers at Iron Will Fitness, friends who are trainers, and you as readers! Each one is thorough and cheering me on in their own way from my corner of the ring and I really appreciate their support. 

So thankful for this group right here, and to even more ladies that aren't pictured! They welcomed me to the team with open arms this season for competition prep

Eric and I checking out The Edge Fitness for the first time

 It's a love hate relationship; (not with them, but with the process.) They are what make the tough days better.

Iron Will Fitness competitor team 2016 (not everyone pictured)

This was actually from last night but I wanted to have a nice group shot with all trainers; Carmen next to me, Darian being all zen in the middle, and Dee sprawled out up front; and of course the rest of the ladies and Mr. Bigs in the back
My trainers (missing Carmen.) They are my inspiration, motivation, mentors, and friends. Thank you for welcoming me into your fitness family

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