I think therefore I am…I write therefore it will be

I’ve been tucked up in bed all day Friday, yesterday and today – resting. Probably not how I’d usually spend Easter, but nevertheless I’m probably doing the right thing. A bit of quality down time with me, myself and I.

It might sound like a selfish or strange thing to do, but most of us get so wrapped up in being hectic and busy that we don’t know how to have down time, let alone down time by ourselves…all on your own… it can be a scary thing for some people – nothing to do except be with yourself….when was the last time you did that? you know turned off the phone, turned off the computer, didn’t speak to a single person all day…have you ever done that? have you ever taken yourself off on a mini holiday by yourself? have your ever gone and sat in a cafe and had breakfast by yourself? have you ever been to the cinema by yourself?

2 years ago I took myself off on a mini break over Christmas to Hamilton Island – just me. I didn’t want to spend time with the rellies who I hardly know and who generally hate Christmas so they just about tolerate the day and spend the time being polite – its all so false that I just couldn’t be bothered with it, so I thought I’d spend time doing something I enjoyed. I had christmas day in a restaurant and just got chatting to random people at a bar – it was lovely and so relaxing.

The last time I went and had lunch by myself at World Restuarant on Southbank in November last year just after my comps, I was sat there minding my own business, reading a book and smiling to myself about how good life was (that was pre surgery and injuries!) and the waitress came over to inform me that my bill had been totally paid! how random!  Apparently a man on another table thought I had a nice smile…but he’d gone and to this day I have no idea who it was or been able to thank him…its kind of cool…it made my day!

its an interesting concept…at least I think it is, but it would fill some people with horror because they don’t actually know who they are if they didn’t have all this other stuff defining them.

And thats what got me thinking – I do a lot of that when I have my down time. And writing. When I am stuck or in a space that I don’t want to be in, when my head is in a spin and I’m all over the place, emotionally – like I am now, I write. I write about who I think I am right now, I write about whats going on with me, I write about what I want to be doing or experiencing, I write about whats bugging me, I write rubbish and gobbledegook, I write until I cry, I write my anger or fear and my insecurities. I write until I’m exhausted…

and then I write some more.

I write where I am going and how I am going to get there. I write what I have, what I don’t have and what I want to have. I write who I am and who I want to be.

How strange that someone who failed English language at school…creative writing in particular…now uses writing as their channel through which the answers are found.

and then I put the writing away and sleep. I almost never look at the writing again. It is done. It is written. It will be

During my writing it came to me why I’m struggling so much with rehab, not training and my body not being right. It came to me why I’m fighting against acceptance of the situation, why I’m causing myself so much anxiety and stress in my refusal to acknowledge any indication of weakness, the fact that I view injuries as a sign of weakness…why I’m making a mountain out of a molehill….well its not a molehill really, yet by the same token, in the grand scheme of things it is.

My writing revealed that I’ve allowed myself to become defined by my training.

Training for a goal is part of who I am.

Training lost me 1/3 of my bodyweight, training got me up Mt Kilimanjaro, training got me through depression and a host of other issues last year, training got me to a photoshoot, training got me on stage in good enough shape to become Miss Figure Victoria (Novice!).

And now I can’t train. Having disassociated myself from my former life and dived totally into the health and fitness world, almost everybody in my life is involved in the industry in some way, particularly when it comes to training and it upsets me to hear to other people talk about their training because its want I want to be doing above all else. I miss it, desperately.

To an extent, I am lost – if I can’t train, then who am I? I was formerly a fit chick who could climb mountains. I was formerly a bodybuilder who came within 1 point of taking out an overall title the first time she stepped on stage. Now what am I ? A chick who writes about the ‘good old days when she could train’? To me, its gut wrenching.

But as with anything, identification of the problem allows the identification of the solution. A wise friend of mine, a several times Hawiian Iron man, advised me to become a student of the industry.   I may not be able to physically train, but I can ‘mentally’ train and learn this industry that has come to mean so much to me. I have my writing – blogging that I thoroughly enjoy and it appears to be opening doors to other opportunities. For example I wrote up the ANB Get The Edge Workshop and have been very fortunate to receive some kind feedback and comments, I love taking photographs and have now had one published in Australian Iron Man magazine, which I’m thrilled at. On the back of that I have been offered the opportunity to be the backstage photographer at the ANB Natural Mania in May – thats huge!

I am inspired to start another blog totally unrelated to fitness that will be centred around my photography and Melbourne (2 things I love that came out of a different writing session!)

I have just successfully completed a course – Anthropometry Level 1 – this involves learning how to measure a persons body fat % and body composition which I will need to be able to do when I set up my Competition Preparation business. I have research to do for this business, I need to get my IAPC certification, I have started studying sports nutrition and performance to formalise the knowledge that I already have. I will learn.

I am attending Filex and will write that up and submit it to magazines and maybe bodybuilding.com – I want a tag around my neck at FitX next year that says ‘Media’ on it

I have volunteered as backstage helper for the upcoming INBA shows.

All of this is leading towards an ultimate solution that does not depend upon my training. I am redefining who I am.

And when I can train again…I will welcome it back like the long lost friend that it is…I will enjoy it and appreciate it for what it is and where it potentially could take me, but I will not allow it to define me.

and then I will be able to sit at World restaurant on Southbank, with a secret smile on my face, knowing how good life is…and just maybe….

🙂

It is written, therefore it will be.

Wow. That was heavy. So now for something completely different

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6 comments

    1. Hi Jivan

      I will be introducing cardio on an as needs basis probably from about 6-8 weeks out depending upon how I’m coming in. I won’t be doing fasted cardio, I won’t be doing hours of steady state cardio. It will be H.I.I.T, max 15 minutes post workout only.
      Number of sessions depends upon how I’m coming in again – weekly monitoring is the key here and the last week it will probably be reduced to none if possible.
      The aim is to get to stage in the freshest state possible rather than being trained overtrained and exhausted.

      hope that helps! 🙂

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      1. Thank you for your fast reply, that is awesome:) May I ask then do you still train 6 days a week with your weights and then add in maybe 3 – 4 HIT training sessions? Why not fasted cardio? Does that burn too much muscle? By the way you look amazing on stage!!!

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      2. Hi
        I do 5 days resistance training a week – split shoulders/abs, legs, chest/bi, back/tri then back to sholders/abs then 2 days off – I might throw in a hiit session or I might just have 2 days off. The following week I would start on legs so they get hit twice, the following week I would start on chest so thats get shit twice a week…etc.
        A training session is max 60 mins preferably 45. I stop once I get to 60 mins no matter where I am in my session.
        No fasted cardio because it would burn the muscle I’ve worked so bloody hard to get! 🙂

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      3. Yes it is hard work, thank you for you tips. Are you competing again soon? I’m 46 and have been training for over 10 years and would like to compete but I am not sure about the diet thing. I can do most of it I think but the last week is confusing from what I read with water, carb, sodium load and depletion etc. I really admire you!! All the best and again thank you I’m looking forward to your future blogs.

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      4. Hi Jivan

        yes last week can be very confusing – every man and his dog has an opinion! the best bit of advice I was given is to chose ONE person and only ONE person to listen to. Then do not listen to any one else.
        Find someone who knows what they’re doing – make sure they know what they’re talking about, you trust their methods, and their methods are safe for your health. I have got friends who have had amazing results with Layne Norton’s online program AND he also provides post comp diet assistance which is actually more important than pre comp.
        For my last week I didn’t change anything. Nothing at all. I had got to where I wanted to be by about 10 days out so from then on it was a case of K.I.S.S and ‘If it ain’t broke, dont fix it’
        I did water load – 7 litres a day from 10 days to about 9pm the night before show. Then 1/2 litre on show day, rationed 100ml with 1st meal, 100ml with 2nd meal, 100 ml after pumping up for 1st category, 100ml after pumping up for 2nd category, 100ml after pumping up for overall.
        Some people don’t even bother with cutting water now – if you get to where you need to be at least a week before your show you shouldn’t have to resort to anything extreme.
        I’ll be competing in October – INBA Australian titles with the aim of qualifying nor Natural Olympia in San Diego.
        Can’t Wait! It’s been too long 🙂
        If you’ve been training for 10 years – give it a go. Its fun and you’ll be so proud of yourself. 🙂

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