In six days I will be flying to Iowa for my second Strongman Corporation Nationals and my 2nd National competition of any kind. Even though it’s a bit surreal, I know exactly how I got here. I worked harder than I ever have for anything in my life and I learned how to truly take care of myself through that work.
After Nationals last year, I remember on our journey home talking about how training was going to change, how we were going to comprehensively rebuild ourselves from the ground up. And that’s exactly what we did. With my coach Chad’s guidance, I have become more explosive, more conditioned, and stronger than I have ever been, with much better technique, body awareness and coordination, and I feel like a completely different animal. I AM different.
It’s been a year of really, really hard work.
It’s been a year of going to bed early, of not going out, of eating my vegetables and my carbs and not drinking much and generally being kind of boring. Sometimes I got tired of saying “no” to friends asking me to come out on weekday nights. There were many small moments where I felt like I was missing out a little bit. But everytime I turned down something, I knew I was saying yes to taking care of myself. It wasn’t just for the sake of optimizing recovery, it wasn’t obsessive worrying about doing everything it took to be the best. It was about, for maybe the most consistent period ever, saying yes to taking care of myself.
There is no “woe is me” spirit to my self-imposed restrictions, because they are responsible for some of the most important physical, mental, and emotional developments I have experienced yet. There are countless ways for a person to grow, and right now I choose Strongman as the main facilitator for my personal growth. When I put my energy into competing and training, I am also putting energy into eating well, sleeping enough and doing the selfcare that has become an agent of radical in change in how I treat myself. It’s been a year of learning profound love for myself.
It’s been a year of effort, of all the literal and metaphorical sweat, blood and tears. Outside of Strongman, I have experienced personal and professional highs and lows and learning opportunities. One of the things that loving and doing Strongman has reinforced, is that if you are really passionate about something and you let yourself love it and move yourself through it, that passion will wake you up to other opportunities and joys you forgot about or didn’t know you needed or wanted.
Nationals next week is going to be a party. It is going to be a ccelebratin of a year of lessons, love, and self-discovery. I know I will PR in many ways, and I leave myself open to the surprise of what this training cycle accomplished. I want to place high of course, but that’s an end result I am not worrying about right now. Right now, I am just feeling so very lucky to have had the year of Strongman that I have had. If you were in any way part of it, thank you.
I am excited. I am ready.