Season Spectacular

OMG! Its been such a long time since I wrote anything – I’ve almost forgotten how to write!

I hope you will forgive me though, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve also been kinda busy for the last few months tearing around Australia and the World, and tearing up stages in what has been the most amazing, full on, epic season of competitions ever dreamed up by anyone!

Well, maybe not, but it must be up there with the baddest.

Now that I’m back and trying to get over jet lag, I’m still trying to process just what I’ve achieved and whether it’s been done before…or even attempted.

Looking at the cold hard facts you’d have to say I was crazy – and maybe I am. I mean who in their right mind would attempt this:

Date Competition Location
Sept 14th Melbourne INBA Victorian Titles Melbourne
Sept 28th WNBF Victorian Titles Melbourne
Oct 4th ANB Victorian Titles Melbourne
Oct 5th INBA Australian Titles Brisbane
Oct 12th ANB Australian Titles Sydney
Oct 18th IFBB Australian Titles Sydney
Oct 25th Photo-shoot Sydney
Nov 1st INBA World Cup Hollywood
Nov 8th UFE World Championships Toronto
Nov 15th WNBF World Championships Boston

 

9 competitions, in 9 weeks, in 3 different Australian states, in 3 different countries, in 4 different federations, with 15 flights.

or to put in another way:

25 categories, 17 outright wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds and 3 no places – all the while maintaining and even improving on my competition conditioning with every show, sometimes backing up in different states on consecutive days, or having to get over flight rebound and disrupted routine, not being able to get hold of my usual foods – all in time for the next competition.

I do to set myself a very high bar to aim for – but even I’m impressed that I did it!

It’s quite a feat.

Has it been worth it?

Hell yes!

IMG_2817

Despite getting off to a shaky start, and with a very mixed bag of domestic results that sometimes had Aiden and me scratching our heads, frustrated, or questioning where we thought we were at, we stuck to our guns, followed the game plan and it all came together in the most spectacular fashion where we (by that I mean, Aiden) expected it to:  On the International stage.

And those results unanimously speak for themselves:

3 times amateur world champion, in 3 different natural federations – Pro qualified in both Figure and Physique (or equivalent) in all 3.

Yeah baby!

Interestingly, back in August, it almost as if I actually predicted this outcome – I ran a crowdfunding campaign titled ‘Help Sarah become World Champion…aged 45!’

In the pitch blurb I mentioned that this was my:

‘…Commonwealth games and Olympics all rolled into one…’

I wrote how I imagined it would play out

‘…I imagine it now – standing in the spotlights, with competitors from all over the world, who too, are representing their country; waiting, waiting – anxiously, heart in mouth to hear the announcement…I hear it…

‘And the winner…representing Australia, is…Sarah Taylor!’

I would cry, I know that – tears of joy, relief and sheer pride in the fact that I’d done everyone who supported me proud, knowing that Aiden’s unwavering belief in me and complete commitment to the process was justified and no matter how tough it got, I never gave up…’

I wrote how many titles I was going to win:

‘oh, and I’m not planning on winning one title…oh no, I’m planning on taking out the world championships across 3 natural federations!’

Wow! Prophetic.

For those of you who believe in the power of the universe, the law of attraction, ask and it is given – this is a perfect example of it in action.

And I’m still pinching myself.

I’ve had many people ask me – what’s next?

Time off? Retire? Do the Arnies?

And I have to say, I don’t know – you see, for the whole of the last 3 years that I’ve been working towards this, the entire goal was to build and grow my physique, so that I would  be able to step on the world stage and be competitive – which we achieved beyond all expectations.

At no point did we actually consider or plan for what happened if I won.

And now that I have, I can literally compete for any natural federation, anywhere in the world at Pro level.

It’s quite amazing, and it’s also a bit too big to take in at the moment!

What I will be doing, is sitting down with Aiden, having a long chat about the whole scenario, working out what our options are – what is the best avenue for me to pursue, where am I best suited to. This will determine what tweaks we need to make to my physique and hence my training and time frames.

It’s going to be interesting and exciting.

Right now, though, the first thing I’ve got to do is rest – I am utterly exhausted. Aiden has banned me from doing anything that even hints of being active for at least a week, because I have put my body through hell – for the last 6 weeks the routine has been: compete – long day without proper food followed by huge refeed, back onto comp diet for a day, fly somewhere – non standard routine/foods/time zone changes, rebound from flight, get back onto comp diet, try to get back into sleep routine, find new gym, source suitable comp foods, pre comp cheat meal, compete…repeat.

That fact that I did it for so long and didn’t lose my conditioning too much, just shows how good and sustainable my process is. But it’s still a lot of hard work to stay on track – mentally, emotionally and physically – with such upheaval every week, being away from your usual support and I need a break.

And now that I have stopped, I’ve REALLY stopped – I’m sleeping at odd (any!) hours, I haven’t cycled to work because can’t face the thought of getting on my bike. Staying away from the gym for once has been easy – the mere thought of picking up a weight exhausts me!

I did train today, and it wasn’t too bad a session – but I cut it short because I faded out really badly and it soon became clear just how much this season has taken out of me. I started my prep back in May so I’ve been going for 29 weeks. That’s a long time in anyone’s books, and I need to allow myself the time to recover.

So now it’s on to off season!

Woohoo!!

This year I’m actually really looking forward to it. Last year I found it to be a complete stress and emotional rollercoaster, I simply wasn’t prepared for the rebound that occurred and the more I tried to control it, the harder it seemed to get. I hated it, I hated the process and I hated myself for being weak and undisciplined (jeez! Cut myself some slack!)

This year, I’m already in a much calmer space and feeling positive about it. It may be that I know what to expect this time, it may help that I’ve decided not to reverse diet.

What?

Nope, not going to reverse diet – well I tried it last year and it was bloody hard work – I felt completely out of control with food cravings that I’d never had before, which led to binge eating – which of course I totally beat myself up over.

So not going to do that this year…

I’ve got a crazy diet experiment lined up (which Aiden hates me doing!) – Something I’ve wanted to do for ages, and I’m actually looking forward to giving it a go.

More on that later 🙂

It’s been an incredible 10 weeks of competition. I’m glad I did it, and I’m also glad to be home again and finished. I’m going to take some time to relax, re-energise and then refocus on what’s next…but that can come after Christmas. There’s a lot to write about too, so keep watching!

In the meantime, I’m going to get re-acquainted with my favourite breakfast spots – I can’t tell you just how much I have missed Melbourne’s café culture!

Touchwood Chilli Scrambled with bacon, shallots, manchego cheese and a side of Dutch gluten free toast and smoked salmon.

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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