Happy New Year!!
And welcome to my new chapter (Chapter 7 would you believe!):
The chapter I never ever thought I’d be writing, and the one that I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be doing.
Couldn’t find a better picture – but I reckon I’m going to get and read that book! 🙂
I’ve had a number of conversations over the last (mere!) 7 weeks or so since I got back from overseas about what it means to ‘go pro’ and I’m not sure I have an answer yet. I guess that’s what I’ll be writing about this year – what I do differently from previously to take me to that next level and even what that next level is. It’s uncharted territory again, both for me and Aiden, a complete unknown, so I’ll try and shed some light into a world that so few get the opportunity to experience.
I’ve also had a number of conversations about what it takes to get to the very top and that one I can answer (and I haven’t read the book!) – in fact the answer could be applied to any aspect of your life, career, hobby whatever it is that you want to succeed at.
When I look back over the various chapters of my whole 5 year transformation, every single one of them started with a vision. A desired end state, but not one that is just ‘hey that would be nice’, it has to be so powerful that you can feel it in your very bones. I was obese and unfit and I wanted to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. I burned to stand on the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. I have the real photograph of the scenario I’d dreamed up in my head, framed and hanging on my bedroom wall. It’s exactly what I saw in my vision.
Once I had the vision, then it was a matter of putting the steps in place to get there, which is where the next critical factor comes into play. Focus. I lived and breathed the vision. Everything I did, I asked myself – will this get me to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro? If it made the vision brighter, more tangible then I did it. If didn’t feel right or seem to fit the vision then I didn’t do it, which was not always easy as I had to make some very tough calls around some of the people in my life at the time.
And that is where the next critical factor came in. Determination. How much did I want this? Badly enough to get me through those tough calls? Would making those tough calls benefit me in the long term? Would it get me to where I wanted to go? There were many times I questioned myself and what I was doing and that is only natural when you’re stepping out into the unknown.
This is where the final factor comes into its own. Consistency is critical – I did something every single day – diet, training, blogging, research – something, anything that inched me closer and kept my focus squarely on the goal. Yes there were days when I didn’t want to get out of bed, didn’t want to train, had to force myself to eat better rather than relapse into old habits and yes there were days when I just quit and told myself to stop being ridiculous, but I’d still find something that would keep me moving in the right direction until I regained my motivation and momentum. Actually this is when blogging became my ‘thing’ and it’s served as an invaluable tool for me ever since when I doubt or question or get fearful – I write I out for myself until I’ve set myself straight again.
Other chapters where I’ve applied these factors? Depression: Vision – be happy again, Focus – something, anything in my life that was positive – diet and training were going well, so how could I make them better? Hire a personal trainer – someone who could do the thinking for me as I didn’t have the capacity to deal with trying to figure out how to stay fit when everything else was going to shit. Determination – to overcome this myself. I refused to be a victim and resort to medication. I’m proud to say that I did it entirely my way. Consistency – do something every single day that was positive and made me feel better about myself and that turned out to be training! I soaked up everything Aiden threw at me physically and came back asking for more. I became a total sponge for his training knowledge, asking endless questions. Training became my lifeline and I did it every single day.
By focusing so intently on my training and the new exciting results and changes that were happening I pulled myself out of depression into a more positive place where I able to start looking to the future instead of wallowing in the immediate, I started setting goals – a photoshoot to reward myself for not quitting. That led into the bodybuilding, which I won and led into the biggest chapter(s) of my life…
My family completely disapproved of the bodybuilding, so much so that my father refused to speak to me for ages…after grumbling about it during a training session I uttered the fateful comment ‘serves him right if I become Miss Natural Olympia’
From that moment on, the die for the last 3 years was cast. Vision – winning Natural Olympia. Focus – I needed to build a body which meant doing the right sort of training and that of course requires the right trainer. Lucky me, I already had the right trainer. Determination has been required in spades – I was going to do whatever it took and it has taken a lot. Getting the hobsons choice of double shoulder surgery or stopping all forms of exercise – which one brings the vision closer? Obviously not the ‘stop all forms of exercise’, so there was only one direction to take. Sometimes you have to take a step backward to go forward. In this case it was about 20 steps backward! A few months after the surgery when the rest of my body had disintegrated, and I was ordered out of the gym for 3 months minimum – Aidens belief in me and himself when he told me he could take me all the way to the top kept me focused, kept the vision alive and set my determination into concrete. And then came the consistency. Every day – do the rehab, go to the physio, get the blood injections, the cortisone, do the structural pilates work, work around the injuries, work around more injuries – its dull and boring, but it has to be done. Of course it’s never as easy as that – I even went through a stage where I ‘didn’t want to get big’!
Yeah, didn’t last long fortunately!
The focus has changed slightly each year, to break the big vision down into smaller chunks – first the focus was the comeback, when that succeeded, the focus became to go international…I even wrote that vision and it came true – exactly as I’d written it!
And ultimately, here I am. I haven’t won Natural Olympia (yet!), but I have applied focus on a vision, consistently, with dogged determination over the last 3 years at something I never imagined I’d be doing, and have succeeded beyond my wildest expectations.
So now you have the formula, what do you want to ‘Go pro’ in?
Find it, do it and never ever stop.
May 2015 be the year you make your dreams come true.