Two and a half weeks into this new training protocol. I’ve been excited, proud, scared, bruised, scraped, sore, pissed off, depressed, ambivalent, defiant, but today I’m calm.

In the last two weeks, I’ve increased my overhead press by 15 pounds. I’ve increased my Farmer’s Walk by the same amount – actually more if you consider how far, how fast, and how many times I do it now. I’m flipping a tire that may be 100 pounds heavier than what I thought was “heavy”. My sled pull has increased from 180 lbs to 265 lbs.

No way that’s strength. That right there is a paradigm shift.

Bodybuilders train for size. There are strength gains that come along with that, but it’s not the primary goal. Since I started training, I wanted to lift heavier and someone would remind me that it doesn’t matter when I’m on stage. Nothing wrong with that and I adopted it. I also used it as an excuse not to push myself. And then I started getting hurt. More yellow flags. I pushed myself on exercises I felt secure doing. Obviously did OK. But I have many ideas about what I can’t do.

A few minutes ago, a lot of random thoughts converged into a single idea – reject the label “bodybuilder”. I’ve been thinking and saying “I’m a bodybuilder” over and over. To achieve my goal of getting to the stage, twice now, I’ve always found ways to overcome obstacles. The mental battle has been fought over and over so many times. In the battle of me vs. myself, I always win. (Ooo that’s kind of obvious, huh?) So going forward, I have to stop thinking like a bodybuilder. I’m a strong woman competitor now.

Despite the increases, I’m not ready to compete in any event. Still have a lot of work to do. I don’t know how long it will take. This is by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever done at the gym. So to do it, I will transform into a different kind of athlete. I have to make my mind go there first and then I will be able to do this thing. I appreciate all the people who have told me to “believe”, but when I’m not ready, I’m not ready. I’m approaching “ready”. Like I said before, I’m feeling a lot calmer.

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