Official Blog of Allison Ethier

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

02 March 2011

2011 Arnold Classic Blog Update 6

Hi Everyone-

Here it is. The last step in the journey.  

I find the last 2 weeks the hardest.  I say the ‘hardest’ as you are either trying to bring your body in, or else just holding the line.  Although I have been in both situations before a show, the last weekend before the show for me is the most difficult.  I find myself dreaming of food.  I watch TV - and see food commercials, and think, hmmm I would love to eat that.  Not really the junk – just more of the good stuff – like oatmeal with fruit and nuts, or salad or warm bread & butter. (I think you all know by now I have a thing for bread – Mmm)

I find grocery stores particularly interesting and I purposefully walk down the junk isle to see what I cannot have, or will be having in a few days.  I do try to remind myself that the food will always be there, and even with non dieting times.
I would not eat really badly normally. It is only during show prep that I want that stuff.  It is the lack of the option to have that stuff that makes me want it. Right now my body is starving.  It wants food.   Just a few days.....

I leave tomorrow, and then compete on Friday.  It is interesting how I get to this point and the only thoughts are about having it over.  These thoughts tend to kick in just 3-5 days before the show.   I think every show I have been at I have heard or overhead a competitor make this statement - "I just can't wait for it to be over".  Yes I have those thoughts as well.  But I always have those thoughts just before competing.  

I try to reflect on my process through the whole competition phase, and every prep it is the same feelings that arise near the time of the show.  It is different with the Arnold as it is such a big event, and most shows I can be in and out in a weekend.  Arnold - 5-6 days of stuff with travel, and the expo - and more athletes in 3 days in Columbus than at the Olympics.  I am sure once I get there my mind will change - again more reflection - once I am there my mind has always changed.

So last week's training and diet - I did cut a few things - like peanut butter from my diet and just replaced it with more controlled foods - like almonds. Some times with the PB you take a bit more, no slight bit more, and then well, then you know it you are over your planned meal's calories.  And when you are trying to make your body look a certain way for a certain date - it does matter!

Training was great last week, felt really strong, and routine practices were strong.  I do go with how I am feeling on most days, but near the end I have to push myself.  I have never really thought about it, but I don't have a coach - not in the athletic sense.  I see my competitors have trainers with them while they train - and I don't have that.  Not for the routine, or with my own training. I am very independent that way, and really don't know how I would manage having them there as my schedule is so inconsistent.  But I will say that it would be nice to have them (or anyone) there.  To push you to keep going, try harder, and be better than last time.  All of this - at least with the sport that I participate comes from within.  And it is hard. It is hard to keep going. 

Notes to myself, my body and how I feel at this point: (4-5 days from the show)
I do love what I do, and am in love with it, but near the end of the journey you are tired, and I am tired. I know it is due to a lack of gas in the tank, which can affect your training, and motivations.   I mention this all for my own benefit as sometimes it is hard to remember exactly how you feel (or I how I felt) when you are dieting, and training and are at this point before a show.  This time I feel cranky, moody, and out of sorts.  (Perhaps the last show prep, and before that, but I don't remember from show to show)  It only kicked in on Sunday, the week before the show.  So I guess you could say I am right on schedule.  There are moments since Jan 10 (when I started my diet) that I was cranky but knew that it was only temporary, and would fade.  But the last 3 days have been tough.   I feel myself being cranky at my son, (which I hate myself for after), and have avoided being outside as I am cold all the time.  I also avoid being too far from the house or knowing where a bathroom is as I am drinking quite a bit of water.    This is the last 3-4 days of the prep.  This is what you do to get yourself to one of the biggest stages in the world for the sport that I do.

I need to be able to return to my blog and read this now and again to know how it feels in the moments before the show.   These are my thoughts when I am prepping.  Perhaps there are others who do not feel this way.  Is it necessary to feel this way – no.  Some handle the prep better than others. First timers might experience this as they are not used to the sacrifices that you need to make to get to the stage, ready, and on time.  As you prep more and more, you see the work involved, and know that it is part of the process.  Even though I am ‘experienced’ does not mean that I am immune to those feelings.  I just choose to ignore them.  I have the will power, to ignore. 

Am I ready?  Sure.  I just have to go out there and do what I have been training to do – perform.  My only responsibilities this weekend are:
1.      show up in shape.
2.      nail the routine

Everything else is just details, and I don’t sweat the rest of the weekend.  ‘No worries’ is my philosophy for the time I am at the Arnold.  Sit back, and enjoy.    I always think – “what if this is my last show”, and question, “how do I want to remember the experience?”

Pictures from last week.

22 February 2011
22 February 2011

Arnold Classic Weekend Schedule: Friday - competing - VIP meet and greet.
Saturday - ISSN Conference 1-2pm
Sunday - home.

If you see me – stop me, and say ‘hello’.  I might have a few photos on hand to sign and give away. The new Slimquick Razor is out and I have some fantastic shots to share with you all. 

Today: Travel Day
I met someone on my flight down who I know from the competition circles – and she is competing this weekend in the Arnold amateur.  It was great talking to her as I see her enthusiasm for the sport, and how motivated she is to keep going and get her pro card.  I remember when I was like that.  Striving, pushing, dreaming and hoping.  It really made me think about where I am in my career and what I really want to do with it.  What do I want to accomplish? 

I am about half way to Columbus right now, and am starting to get excited. Perhaps it is because I saw people I knew on the plane.  I am starting to feel the spark.  I am sure once I get to the host hotel – the Double tree – where all the action is, get settled, and organized, I will be more willing and ready to be in the zone. 

I know this weekend is going to go by in a flash, so I will bring my camera to be able to remember it all.


1 comment:

Italianangel said...

Hey babe you will do great as usual but its your lack of ego which keeps you on top!!
I can relate with much of your post here, although the family around me unfortunately tend to sabotage me near that last week, starting fights and arguments and problems and stressing me out.....mental and emotional abuse.....sadly they don't know better and do it subconsciously and yes its their issue but its still hard so I hope your family is supportive and helpful!