My last show was an amazing experience, even the bad bits. I say this because of the way I choose to react to the hard things that can happen during a prep & contest.
The lead up to this show was one of the messiest hardest preps in several ways to date for me. I'd lost a friend just before Christmas & was stuggling with grief. I tried using a prep coach whom I hadn't worked with before & it didn't work out. Endometriosis & IBS had both been playing up & that really got me down. I landed in Texas too close to the show. Tornado warnings issued on my second day there & lost shopping at the expo. Had bags searched & broken, had to tape up my suitcases flying back from Dallas to LA as I hadn't realized my case was split until I was checking in. Once back in LA stayed at a friends, then was meant to get picked up at golds' by someone who failed to let me know they couldn't make it so late at night there I am in golds with suitcases & nowhere sorted for accomodation. Lucky for me I now know people there & straight away a familiar face helped me with my bags, & another friend came to my rescue to drive me to a hotel after getting dinner.
The show itself was a disaster for me. I have photos from 1 week out looking totally different. THAT is what was dissapointing for me. My rank I can deal with, being "out of shape" - been in that position before so can deal with that feedback BUT knowing how different I looked the week before, the night before & even morning of day one opposed to on stage, that got to me. So I was standing on stage knowing I'd be in the last call out & that nothing had gone to plan I was litereally thinking to myself:
"Nuria what are you going to do about this... let it get to you, go back to your room by yourself & cry feeling like you've wasted 5 thousand dollars on a bad experience... NO, no you will not do that. You are here around amazing people, at an awesome expo in a country you love. You are going to go & buy yourself some cool tights to make yourself feel better then you are going to mix & mingle and meet lots of awesome people and learn a lot from this, get your shit together"
So that's what I did. Unfortunately for me I got back to my room & thought I'd take a photo of my awesome new tights to send to my mum only to realize I'd left that shopping bag somewhere. Then I cried, but not for long.
All those shitty unexpected things though couldn't dampen all the excellent things that happened. Here are my highlights:
1: I got to meet Brittnie Lyn Pettiford. This girl & I have talked for about five years on FB but we had never met. Her & her man Austin came to my hotel to meet me for dinner after day 1, we hit it off & it was like catching up with old friends. They also took me out for authentic mexican the day after the show, lots of laughs, great convo's & a friend for life in this amazing woman. We are similar in age & have both been through some big (but totally different) struggles & we are both very resilient people.
2: got to catchup with my friend and fellow Women's Physique Pro Beth Schneider who was also in the show & made for a great post show eating companion haha. We chowed down burgers & a platter at the Hard Rock Cafe & had great chats about life after finals day.
3: Met so many amazing people & made some new friends. The women in the physique class I have found to be so positive friendly & helpful. Getting to chat to women I look up to like Sabrina Taylor is such a buzz.
4: Catching up with friends from previous trips & hanging out in Lake Forest & Venice my familiar places that feel like home.
5: FOOD. goes without saying. I love eating out in America. So many healthy options & even when you want a nice burger & fries it's not hard to find somewhere that does organic everything.
6: Santa Monica, got to check this cool place out which I hadn't done before. Very cute, similar to Venice & the two spots are close together.
7: Venice Beach. My favourite place in the world (& I am reasonably well travelled). I would never, ever get sick of this place. I love the crazy people, the colour, art, music, culture & talking to strangers.
8: What I learnt about myself. I learn new things about me every prep & every trip. I love going alone, some people tell me it's brave or wonder if it's nerve wracking, for me no. I like time to myself, I also like it because I think you meet more people when you travel alone.
9: Fuel to the fire.... I can not WAIT for the next show. I won't be making the same mistakes, also hoping IBS & endo will be better controlled so should be pretty easy to walk on stage looking a lot better next time.
10: New knowledge. I learn a lot about training, nutrition & supplements every time I make a trip. I make a point of learning as much as possible, I talk to everyone - the expo was great for picking people's brains.
For now I have been enjoying some time off, I train as hard as ever still but I relax on food & limit my cardio between shows. I am really excited about counting down time to prepping for another show later in the year... this one is going to be better :)
If you compete - don't beat yourself up if things don't go to plan. It's one thing to have tried your best, but another to have done your best but had things you can't control effect your outcome. We are all human, life happens. Don't let set backs get you down & don't let dissapointments put you off your path. You are in control, you can choose how you react, whether you give up or whether you think screw this... I'm coming back better.