by Kris Pitcher
As the competition season is in FULL swing, I pose the question - what kind of winner will you be? It might seem like a strange thing to think about but there are reasons I ask.
When I began competing, six years ago (gasp?) my goal was to not have my suit fall off during prejudging. Once I met that goal, my next goal was to get through my posing routine without any serious mishaps, Janet Jackson moments, if you know what I mean.
I didn't think about winning first place. I didn't go thinking I might be the best person on stage, or that the judges would recognize how hard I had worked to get there. As a beginner, my goal was to get there.
What I knew was, each competitor would have worked just as hard as I. I knew there would be women with much greater experience competing. I recognized it as my starting point and I understood I had a long way to go.
I carry that same sense of humility to the stage with each competition I enter. There will be women with much more experience, with better genetics, stronger physiques, better shape and so on. I am just one person who will stand in a line up of many who have worked just as hard. Some harder.
Only one person will take first place. Only five will carry home a trophy, just 10 "place" at all. The rest go home with their hard work and their dirty feet and we all must decide...what kind of winner will I be?
Making this decision before we step on stage is a matter of determining where we are in our own journey. Is this contest the end point? Or is it really part of a much larger cycle?
I like to think of it as the beginning point. It's the starting point for making gains and for working on the things we'd like to improve upon. It's the starting point for being at a great place with our composition and being able to manage where we go from there.
It's the starting place for "what's next?" which is a big question. Where will you take your competition next? Where will you take your physique? Do you keep working and select another show to compete in?
Or do you go off the rails and rebound terribly? The decision depends on what kind of winner you are. Or do you see yourself as a loser? Do you see yourself as having been robbed of a placing? Did the judges not recognize how far you came on your journey to get there?
It's not a short story contest. It's a physique competition where the judges look at you against the people in the line up next to you. You stand with other beginners, and with very experienced athletes.
You stand with the person who stayed tight off season and the one who let their body fat skyrocket, along with the person who lost 75 or 100 pounds to get to the stage. The back-story doesn't get told, the judges see what they see and place you where they place you.
Reminding ourselves of that means we take our own pulse, inventory our own story, we put our own journey into perspective, decide what is next for us, and walk with pride and humility regardless of the outcome. We have each already won. And the question to ponder is, what kind of winner will you be?