by Kris Pitcher
Social media is a buzz with competitors in the final stages of preparation for spring shows. Some are in the throws of peak week. Others are a week or two out. Regardless, I have some wisdom do share and words of advice.
As I was driving from work to the gym last night I counted the years. I've been competing for 6 years. Many by some, few by others. Most of those years I competed in two shows, some three, there was even an epic year of 4 shows. Whether it's been 12, 18 or 20 shows...one thing is for certain.
Every time I step on stage, I lead with humble beginnings. The only guarantee I can provide myself is I've come in with a better package than I brought the time before. If I've done my work, that is all I have.
Without fail, when the promoter sends the competitor list it takes my breath away. For a split second, I am taken aback that there will actually be other people there. That moment passes as quickly as it comes. I walk with humility.
And when you take the step to compete at a higher level you will have absolutely no idea who is showing up, or how many people might be in your class. It doesn't matter. You control you.
Everyone begins somewhere. In any given show, there will be beginners, and there will be career recreational local competitors. Those athletes who show up every time at every show. If it's your first time, get out there. Then just keep showing up.
Find your place in your humble beginnings whether you're stepping on stage for your first time, your fifth or 20th. Your physique and conditioning speak for you. You shouldn't need to make a bunch of noise about showing up. Just show up.
Keep showing up. When I started competing I had no idea what was going to happen. There were times when I won. Times when I was the only one who showed up. Times when I lost to people who I'd rather not have lost to. And even times when I couldn't believe I beat someone who was fantastic. Humility, always.
Hold your head high. Be a good sport. Celebrate your fellow competitors. Without them, there is no contest. If you win that's great. Someone else might be better than you. They might have been doing this longer.
We all begin somewhere. Each time we step on stage it is not the end, it truly is the beginning. If you are in the best shape of your life, if you've done your work and brought your best...that is your humble beginning.
If you are about to step on stage I hope you are thinking about this point in your prep as a starting point rather than an ending point. I also hope you'll consider the perspective you take with you to the stage. It's a time to celebrate where you've come from, and where you see yourself going.