Week by week, as I watch my husband come ever closer to his competition date, I cringe each time someone at the gym asks certain questions. I know it's with the best of intentions...but here are some things you should not ask a competitor.
- Don't you have a show coming up? Being reminded of this daily, weekly, is simply painful. Yes. The show is still coming up.
- When do you start cutting? Cutting started when the diet began. Sixteen weeks ago.
- Do you think you'll ever compete again? I actually want to quit this very moment. Please don't ask me to think about what is after this competition.
- You look like you're really shrinking down? Yes. Yes, I feel about as small as a second grader. Thank you for pointing that out.
- Are you eating, like, a lot of protein and stuff? No. Not stuff exactly.
- What do you want to eat after? Everything. If you had any idea what I'm eating now, you'd retract that question and apologize.
- Your lifts are lighter, is that part of the cutting? No. I am exhausted and my body is about to fall apart. I've lost strength and I am trying to keep from getting injured.
- How old are you? This insinuates you think I should have quit before I started. I'm young, very young.
- What happens if you don't win? This just makes my jaw drop. I don't even know what you're asking. Everyone doesn't win...
- Can I work in? *Sigh...yes. You can. It's just I really want to get this workout over with and you working in is going to slow that down. By all means, work right in.
It's not that you should not talk to a competitor. It's just questions like these are like a burning poker being plunged into their eye. When they're asked day in, day out - over and over...it's just as exhausting as the cardio and the caloric deficit. It's like competition questioning endurance.
The final week is upon us, and the questions will dwindle. And then they won't be so hot and poky. If you're a competitor, you can relate to these and other questions that just stop you in your tracks.
My favorite? Do you work out?