I thought I would let you all peer into my mind a little after I have just competed at this year’s 2010 Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh, PA. As a competitor, it is always a humbling experience to go to any big national event and compete against the country’s best competitors. This year was no exception. This year’s contest was huge with around 500 competitors competing and being in a class of around 20 heavy weight guys can feel overwhelming to the first timer. While I am not new to the National stage, it was still a humbling and inspiring experience for me.
I finished 3rd in such a deep and competitive heavy weight class and it was a great feeling of accomplishment to be in a top spot. I must admit though, the best feelings for me are always when I get crowd support and competitors that come to me and appreciate the hard work that is put into my body in order to get it ready to compete. I have competed for over twenty years and I am still hooked on the compliments that are given to me after a contest.
The most important step in my competitive process has always been answering the critical question “what next?” I always evaluate all my competitive experiences in the same fashion. First, what am I taking away from this show that makes me feel good? Next, what did I learn that can make me a better competitor and bodybuilder? And finally, how do I use these components in my competitive process so that I am building on each show no matter what the outcome was.
This time around I learned to trust what has always worked in my diet process. I did less experimenting and more of what I knew has historically worked for me. Don’t try and fix a machine that isn’t broken. In my case, the keto diet that I had been trying to make work in my diet process the last few contests simply didn’t produce the end product in my physique that I was trying to make it produce. Going back to what I knew would work and having patience with my body was the key to feeling great on my diet and getting my body to look closer to what I wanted it to look like day of the contest did the trick.
Finally, feeling great about my competitive process reminded me why I do this stuff in the first place. I do this because it adds value to my life. Feeling great about what you are doing and about yourself is important to being a balanced person as well as giving you the internal fuel to give back to others. So because it was so easy for me to get value from the Masters Nationals this year, it was an easy decision for me to continue my process and plan on competing again in a few weeks at the North American Championships. My goal is to extract similar value from this next contest experience and to walk away with good feelings and a sense of progress in my bodybuilding and my life of good feelings (not to mention my Pro Card!).