Official Blog of Allison Ethier

My photo
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Official blog of Allison Ethier NSCA Personal Trainer, ISSN Sport Nutrition, Educator & Mom

17 October 2009

October 2009 Update

Hi Everyone-

It has been 5 weeks since my last show, and 3 weeks since the Olympia, and boy, am I craving another show. I am sure that it is not the right time to compete, or perhaps that I still follow the shows online, but I do like when my body is in tip top shape.

Olympia 2009
My first experience at the Olympia was great. I arrived on Thursday and puttered around. I worked all day at the booth on Friday and Saturday. By Saturday night I was pretty spent and super tired for the flight home on Sunday. The 3 hour time change did me in for sure. I did work out both Friday and Saturday morning to try to get acclimated as quickly as I could. Flying West is ok for me, but coming home is the worst.

I managed to go out on Friday night, as there were friends in town that I had not seen in a while so I had to take advantage of the situation. However, I did have to cut the night short in order to look 'presentable' for Saturday. I am sure glad I did. Saturday I thought I was going to be able to make it, and perhaps stay up all night long, but a 6am flight the next morning (yes, I realized later that this was not smart) was hindering me from a having a good time so I cut the night short and went to bed. I just cannot seem to party it up like I once could. And reality set in as I did have to go back to work on Monday, and well, was not familiar enough with the material in order blow off an entire night partying. Plus, I have responsibilities at home (ahem, my son). Anyone who has kids knows that being tired, and taking care of a young child is not fun. Next time I do go to the Olympia I will plan for one more day for recovery. It was a again, a fabulous time at the and after party at the Encore - at XS. Gorgeous club - I would love to be able to go and enjoy once more. :) Next year for sure, I will plan to stay out late and party the night away in Vegas. (typical me though...even since college I have been known to get all dolled up, start having a good time, and then just get too tired and go to bed..weird, I know...?)

Another show?
I had a huge desire to go to one more show for the year - the Fort Lauderdale Pro. However, after discussing it with my hubby and knowing that I had traveled every 2nd weekend for the last 8 weeks (for 5 days a piece), I realized this was not a good idea. Another day off work, and time away from my family - I had make the right choice and not go. It was not the diet, or the training or any of the prep stuff that would inhibit me from going. I was pretty selfish for the last 8 weeks, and got a lot of support and encouragement for it, so I had to let the year end on a good note (the Olympia) and set my sights on next year.

Right now I am watching the 2009 World Fitness Championships online, and really wish I could be there. Again I had to decide a while back about this show. No regrets for sure, but the experience would have been nice. I would have to take at least 2 weeks off work, and well, that is just not feasible when you are a teacher. So instead, I am going to Sri Lanka, and Qatar at Christmas. Travel - yes; dieting, and training probably not.

It is a tough choice sometimes when you choose to compete. Finding the balance between family and your training can be very taxing on relationships and your work. I find myself looking for the balance in those moments. Training will always take a back seat to my family, if the decision has to be made. I do plan way in advance for any show - I ask my hubby - 'hey, I would like to X show at this time - can WE do this'. It is not just about me, as I do need him to be on board with whatever I choose. I mean, he gives me the same respect. If he wants to spend weekend with the boys, he asks, and says 'hey is this ok?' We discuss it and then decide. Luckily this is the way our relationship has always been. I am grateful that he lets me be me.

I have to say that this year has been the toughest year of teaching yet. There have been numerous issues that I have been through since the beginning of school 7 weeks ago. I am trying really hard to keep my head up. And just 'keep swimming'. I do feel as though I am finally getting my feet under me. I did have this huge plan to help students who are not succeeding, and find the reason why. Instead of doing this with grade 9s and 10s, I have implemented my plan with grade 8s. They are a little more needy than grade 9s and 10s, but I like them. I am a 50% workload, but yet, I work all the time. I am trying to find the balance with my work. I plan to work during the day, and try not to take work home.
I know that I am doing better teaching than I have ever done over the last 8 years. This change has been a wakeup call in many areas, especially when it comes to life's work. I constantly question whether I am doing my 'life's work', and if teaching really is my calling. I am not sure I am ready to be put in this type of box for the next 10, 20 or even 30 years. I am feeling at times very confined, restricted, and unhappy. There are moments that I enjoy - like the teaching and interacting with my students, however, all the other administration stuff can really bog you down. It keeps me shaking my head, and wonder why I continue to put up with this nonsense?

I love to train. I love to train heavy. Right now I am back to an older program in order to put on some more size in my upper body. Hopefully I can do this. The most difficult part is eating a bit more to keep up with the demands I place on my body. I like to stay relatively lean all year long, and when I up the weights, there are times when the lbs like to come on as well. It is always different as this time I am moving much more than I have ever in the past for my work. I am in different corners of the school, which requires me to be go, go, go. Eating more has not showed up on my body yet, but again it has only been 5 weeks since my last show.

Post show ...this time around.
Last time I was post show, I had many feelings of depression and basically gorged myself with food to make myself feel better (mid March/April 2009). This time I took control and I did not allow it to happen. Sure I ate a bit more, but the overly full feeling you get from eating too much just did not feel right this time. I was wondering if I did that subconsciously to sabotage something good that was going on in my life. I am continuing to try to be grateful for what I have rather than what I don't have. I have my health, my family is doing well, I have food on my plate, clothes on my back and a roof over my head. All the other stuff (which I do stress about) is unimportant. I realized that last time I was punishing myself for things I have no control over. The only thing I can control is my training, my diet, and my reaction to things. I knew this time that I would not gain all my weight back in 2 weeks. So far it is working and I am feeling wonderful. I still have my treats with my friends, and eat well (or clean) the rest of the time. Just because you have experience with training, dieting and competitions, does not make it easier to make the right choice after the show. I do know what to do; just this time I am actually following advice I would give someone else.

What's next?
I do hope to get an invite to the Arnold Classic. I will have to put in a request or some sort of application to be invited, and then the list of competitors who will be invited is posted online around Christmas time. That way it still give us all time to get our diets together before the Christmas holidays begin. I have many ideas rolling around in my head for a new routine. I am very excited to begin work on that but will have to wait and see if I can get invited.

Based on last year's schedule quite a few shows were in March/April (in fitness) and I would like to take a go at the them at least once. I am coming to a new understanding of where I am at in my whole fitness hobby, and would like to enjoy all of it with my eyes wide open. I know it cannot happen like this forever, and I just want to make the most of it.

2010 Ironman Spokesmodel contest
The 2010 Spokesmodel contest is now on - make sure you sign up. It is for guys, and gals. Just get yourself a bodyspace profile, and sign up - you never know what could happen. ;)