Wednesday, June 6, 2018

20 Weeks Out

Saturday my journey officially began with Chris Goodman of GPS Coaching for the NGA Natural Peoria Championships on October 20th.

I am so excited to learn from Chris and prep in a different way.  She has started me off with a caloric reduction and varying days for carb/protein/fat amounts.  I will have two high carb days, two medium carb days and three low carb days.  Kyle is having me weight train five days a week.  Allowing 20 weeks for the prep will give us time to play around with the numbers and see what best suits my body.

With this prep I do have a "new to me" challenge.  My body seems to continually be changing, not sure if it is my age or what.  My menstrual cycle has changed dramatically which led to me talking with my doctor.  I have multiple fibroids and will be meeting with an OBGYN to discuss treatment options.  Having just had surgery to have my right thyroid removed last November I am hoping we can find a solution that does not involve surgery.  Regardless I am going to give it my all throughout this prep and deal with the not so fun time of the month and just get through it.

My weight starting off is 149 pounds.  Chris is not concerned with my body fat, she goes off of measurements and pictures/check ins rather than checking body fat.  That is a big change for me, I can still have Kyle do it because I am going to be curious about that number, it's just the way I am.

So here I was two weeks out from my last competition which was in May 2014.

Here I am currently, 20 weeks out from my next competition.

My weight training over the last four years has not been consistent the entire time.  I would have time frames of taking a couple months off due to health issues both physical and mental.  Even with that I am happy to see the growth in my back, my lats are much wider which helps to make my waist look smaller.  I really have been trying to grow my "wings" and what Kyle had me doing has definitely worked!

Since January I have been very consistent with my training and nutrition.  To see the pictures and know I have 20 weeks of cutting, it just gives me butterflies of excitement to see how I end up for the competition.  Now as I go through this journey I know there will be voices questioning why and judging me, it has already begun.  Even those closest to you sometimes cannot understand the journey you choose and will view you with eyes of judgement.  But this journey is for ME and I choose to compete because I truly enjoy it.
Even though comments can sting, and they may not be made with that intention, I will move on from them and remember I am not doing this for anyone else but myself.  My biggest piece of advice for anyone that considers competing is to know that there will ALWAYS be someone who judges you but as long as you are doing it for the right reasons you can move past it and ignore the haters.

This is going to be a fun journey for me and I am so pumped to see the changes in my body as we go along.  It is fascinating to slowly lose the body fat and see all of the muscles hiding underneath.  So here we go, a journey that may seem crazy and silly to some, but one that I choose to undertake with joy and love for myself.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Gladiator Assault Challenge

One day long ago I was a runner.  I have ran multiple half marathons but after injuries and pursuing different goals running hasn't been a big part of my training.

However I do enjoy obstacle races but have only participated in small ones.  My husband and Traci decided to put a team together for our gym to participate in the Gladiator Assault Challenge.  I was all for it, then I realized it was six miles long with 31 obstacles and on a ski hill.  I went into it not really knowing what to fully expect but I was excited that we had 17 people on our team and knew everyone would be supportive and help one another through the course.

Our group consisted of runners, obstacle race participants and a few first time obstacle race participants.  As with any race there was a lot of excitement and adrenaline before the race began.  To get to the start you first had to walk up the very steep ski hill, no joke I was tired just walking up that dang hill.

Kyle and Traci were keeping me upbeat and excited before the actual start.  We began running back down the huge hill we walked up and went straight over two mud hills that you had to slide down into some cold water.  We got crazy muddy right off the bat and my shoes were so heavy with mud!

At the beginning we all stayed together pretty much running along and having fun in the mud.  Once we hit the timber area with some very steep inclines and muddy trails our group split into about three groups.  Traci, who I know could have just ran that race, stayed with me the entire time.  Encouraging me through each obstacle because there were some that I was simply fearful of.  Kyle would get ahead a bit and then circle back to make sure I was doing alright.  

My fears for this race were climbing over the walls, heights get to me and my biggest fear was going into water underneath a chain length fence and pulling yourself through.  I was fine climbing up the wall but once I was up there fear took over, they were slick with mud and I would freeze wondering if I could do it.  Traci was right beside me at the top guiding me down with Kyle at the bottom cheering me on and reminding me that I could do it.

Of course the final obstacle was the one I feared the most.  I stood there for a few moments contemplating skipping it.  Traci once again was right beside me, encouraging me and I just decided to go for it.  This picture isn't of me, it is one of our members who went through it but this is what it was.

I was actually doing great until I got to the end.  Another competitor accidentally bumped into me and pushed me against the side, I hit my head on the top part of the fence and was stuck for about five seconds.  That five seconds was enough to make me panic, thankfully he realized he had bumped me and he pulled me out.  It was so scary but I did it!!!!

Overcoming my fears was what this race was all about and I did every single obstacle.  It was such an awesome event and having our amazing Kosama team made it one of the best races I have ever participated in.

I could not have done it without the support and encouragement from everyone, especially Traci and Kyle.  Teamwork is what these races are all about for us.  Playing in the mud was fun, I was exhausted by the end but still smiling.

I am the girl who loves to dress up and wear high heels.  Traci is the girl who loves to get muddy and run.  We make quite the team and I know I wouldn't have been able to get through the race like I did without her.  Kyle encouraged me and as usual his belief in me is stronger than my own belief in myself.  

With that race in the books I move forward with my weight training and preparation for the October competition.  We are running the Spartan Sprint in Chicago in June, it makes me nervous just typing that out.  I know it will be tough and the obstacles will be more difficult along with the burpees you do when you can't pass an obstacle.  Traci and Kyle will be there along with other Kosamies and I know we will have fun.

Always believe in yourself, this was an awesome experience with some of the strongest, most supportive people in my life.  I am blessed!