I have 20 weeks left to prepare for my first bodybuilding show.  I’ve been on this journey for 146 weeks already.  I didn’t have the show in mind during the first year, but I have been training and eating for that goal since June 2010.

Every once in awhile, I feel like I’ve sacrificed some things.  It gets a little tough when I’m hungry.  But that’s not a big deal.  Temporary insanity.  My new “normal” is a feeling of abundance.  I’m incredibly grateful to be able to do this.  I’m fascinated by the process and by the changes that are happening.

This week was a memorable week at the gym.

This Week’s Highlights…

  • I pinned myself under a barbell when I was doing bench press by myself.  No worries.  I’m careful.  I knew I was going to lift heavy, so  I was in a lifting cage.  The bar came down on the safety pins.  I had them set a little low for a full range of motion, so the bar on the pins was a just a bit too tight for me to wiggle out.  One of the guys came over, laughed at me, scolded me a little, and then lifted the barbell.  I’m actually proud of myself for failing at the bottom of a bench press.  I’ve now been pinned under a leg press and under a barbell.  No fear.  I’m excited to try that weight again this week.

But I could be safe and change my bench technique…

  • I busted through a plateau on the lateral deltoid machine – max weight I’ve used forever was 25 pounds.  I felt good.  I kept adding weight.  I kept lifting it.  Added more.  Lifted it.  Didn’t hit failure until 50 pounds, four reps.  Wow.
  • Hanging leg raises have changed from knees up to feet up.  I can now pike up my feet to touch the bar and I did that for reps.  I did three sets of 10.

Working up to do this…

  • For the first time ever, both of my calves cramped on the first rep during a seated calf raise.  I’m not sure what that means.  Diana, my muscle therapist (masseuse), thinks I need more bananas in my diet.  I don’t know if it’s that or if it’s because I ran out of calcium tablets and didn’t think it was a big deal to miss it for a few days while I waited for my Vitamin Shoppe order to arrive.  (I think calcium is the culprit, not bananas.)
  • There is a small muscle pull in my back that’s been healing v e r y  s l o w l y – weeks, maybe a couple months.  I’m used to pulling those stupid erectors.  I’ve done it a dozen times.  Something happened this morning that triggered a major inflammation.  But today was quads.  I hoped I could loosen it with all my little tricks – a foam roll, static stretching, walking on the treadmill, dynamic stretching – nothing worked.  So I modified the quad workout to be light and increased the reps.  Pumped blood into the muscles and got things burning with no weight on my back.  Diana was able to see me in the afternoon for an emergency massage.  Apparently the little muscle was swollen enough it was visible as a lump in my back.

A good week.  I’m a little freaked out that it’s less than 20 weeks left.  So much to do.  The challenge is the thing – not how I look.  Every day there is a new obstacle or a new temptation.  And every single time I conquer one of the  little things, I feel empowered.  Back pull?  No biggie.  Don’t need to skip the workout  – I’ll just modify it.  Hungry?  No biggie.  I’ll have a cup a tea and read a good book.  LOL!!!  I’m reading The Hunger Games when I’m hungry.

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