Taking Look Back to Move Forward

In order to know where you are going and figure out how to get there, you have to be honest with yourself first. This is not always an easy thing to do but ultimately necessary in order to move forward.

When I walked off the stage after my class was compared during prejudging at the USA’s a lot of things ran through my mind. I experienced many different emotions as I stood in the wings and watched the top 5 get compared one last time. None of those emotions were anything close to being happy.

Going into that show I didn’t have expectations of waltzing in and contending for the number one spot but I also didn’t plan to go in and be 15th either. Yeah, I was glad to make the top 15 and yeah, I stood well with the rest of the line-up but being in the very last call-out was a bitter pill to swallow, especially when I was coming off the biggest win of my career.

I am not going to lie to you. 15th place sucks no matter how you slice it. I am not totally bummed out and I do feel, considering everything, I had a respectable showing but I didn’t work that hard or that long to simply have a respectable showing. I wanted to do better. I wanted to do better for me, my crew from Michigan, my friends from Colorado, Paul and AST and I wanted to do better for everyone who followed along with my Daily Training Journal for 26 weeks. Whether it was warranted or not, I felt like I let people down and I had some periods where it was not real easy for me to deal with the outcome.

It took me a while to sort through my emotions and get everything in the right perspective. I came away with many positive things from that weekend which I know will propel me forward but one thing I did not come away with was any form or feeling of satisfaction. After all, if I was satisfied with 15th there would be something wrong with me.

So that brings me to where I am now, standing at the base of the mountain and ready to start my climb. I know I have my work cut out for me and the mountain is pretty high but that is fine by me. I have never backed down in the face of a big challenge before. In fact, I have always had my best years when I felt like my back was against the wall and I had something to prove.

The first step to climbing the mountain was being truthful with myself and coming to grips with my disappointment. It was a necessary process I had to go through after the show and I did it. I faced the music, so to speak, and I have it in a good place now. I am able to look back at the entire year and examine the good and the bad in order to help me better map out my climb. Without honesty, everything would be clouded. You have to know what is broke before you can fix it.

My disappointment has now turned to excitement and motivation that I will call on throughout the year to help me perform at a higher level in and out of the gym. I am excited to make the most of this year and that means with bodybuilding and life in general.

I’ve learned that it is OK to be disappointed and that you can be disappointed and still come away with a positive result if you can use the information you gather to your advantage. I’ve also learned that disappointment can be an incredible motivational tool but it is all up to you, how you use the information and how you choose to respond to the situation. I am choosing to respond with a focused year of training and the determination to do better.

If you choose to close your mind and fail to be honest with yourself, you will be closing the door on the incredible results you could achieve.


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