To Compete or Not to Compete: That is the Question

originally posted @FITLODE.COM

Once beginning to compete, it can be easy to fall in love and catch the “competition bug.”


It truly is an awesome thing and can be a fantastic experience. If the decision is reached to make competing a “regular” thing, it’s important to continue loving it, not just to become obsessed with it, and also to keep sight of the difference between the two.

If we really love something, we see it as a great part of our lives, or an addition. We find ways to make it work into our lives, while also keeping in mind very important things like health, healthy relationships, career/life goals and finances. Obsession is when the things we “love,” instead of being a great addition to our lives, take over, and other aspects begin to take a backseat or we lose sight of them. Loving something keeps it fun, whereas obsession really takes away from enjoyment and is very draining.

We can steer clear of this by looking at the other parts of our lives and considering how they are or may be impacted by competing.

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves and some things to consider when choosing shows that help with this:

  • Is my health in check? Get a physical by your doctor (including blood work, checking hormone levels, kidney/liver function, etc). If you’re already experiencing ailments or imbalances that require rest and health measures to keep in check, competition prep may not help your case.
  • Do I have injuries? If you are injured and train in a way that could potentially make things worse through competition prep, wait until you are healed and better able to handle the process. If you really feel this is a good time to begin prepping, adjust training to help prevent matters from worsening.
  • Do I feel rested enough? If you’re already feeling run down (for example, from previous competition prep), getting ready for a show right now won’t be helpful for that.
  • Can I handle this financially? Look at all the costs and decide if this is something that finances will allow. Working out a budget can help big time and can also make the decision easier by making all costs visible for review. For more information on budgeting, read The Costs of Figure Competition.
  • Will competition prep hinder other important goals? Look at career, family, relationships and any life goals and decide if contest prep is a wise choice right now. For example, are you hoping to become pregnant in the immediate future? If so, contest prep is not appropriate right now. Are you hoping to get a promotion at work shortly? Remember that your brain power and energy may not be 100% all the time. Are you already stressed out over a billion other things going on in your life? It’s important to consider whether or not this large commitment is realistic time-and-energy wise.
  • Do you have support from others? Maybe not everyone will be supportive of your goals, but it is very important and helpful to have a support system. Forums, coaches, mentors, fitness friends, etc., are all awesome and a huge asset to prep. It’s also a lot more fun to share the experience with others.

Remember the shows will still be there when you’re ready and have everything in place. AND it will be a lot more fun.

When we have more fun with competing – making it work into our lives and considering all matters of importance – we will have more support from others, more energy, we become better equipped to handle the process and we have a much greater chance of bringing our best physique to the stage.

Contest prep does require a lot of dedication, sacrifice and hard work, but when we love what we are doing and are less stressed out about other factors, these things don’t feel much like sacrifices and the hard work turns into a very satisfying challenge.

Good luck with your next satisfying challenge, when the time is right for you.

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