Week 12: Operation Lean Out
You guys! WE’RE ALMOST THERE! All day, whilst doing chores & errands, I’ve been buzzing around with excitement for this very moment: the opportunity to sit down and write about the incredible week I had! Here ya go:
- Lean Out!: This was another week of being completely mystified by my body’s ability to transform. My coach manipulated all of the components of my training, cardio & nutrition this week to shred me down completely to the muscle we’ve spent months sculpting. And helllllo, gorgeous! Wow! I mean, don’t get me wrong, my brain knew this new ripped body would be coming my way given how hard I’ve busted my ass for 3 months. But actually seeing it in the mirror now without that last layer of squishy just takes my breath away. Its as if I’ve been an artist, painting with my eyes closed for months, knowing I was making all of the right strokes and using all of the right hues, but not opening my eyes until the very end. And suddenly, there it is. Right before me. The final piece. Vivid and better than I could have imagined. I had this experience in the Athleta dressing room trying on a sports bra (photos below). I don’t get to see my back muscles very often (for obvious reasons), but seeing them in the 3-sided mirror that day was that moment for me. My final piece. And to think, I’m saying this prematurely as I am just now embarking on peak week (the last week before a competition)! Just wait until I’m on stage. THAT will be the real final piece.
- You Gotta Feel This: You may have gathered by now that my tear ducts may as well be dubbed as Old Faithful(s). Last week, I cried. This week, the tears continue. Struggles? Nope – quite the opposite! I keep finding myself joyfully choked up with emotion in the most routine moments of my day. Sitting down to enjoy a meal, walking to my car after finishing up at the gym or sipping tea on the couch while watching a mindless TV show. Although tactically I haven’t altered my behavior in any of these moments, my mind is suddenly honing in on the reality that I am on the brink of achieving something monumental. These moments of mindfulness evoke so many feelings: humility, pride, satisfaction, elation, gratitude, awe. On their own, each of these has enormous volume, filling my heart to the brim. But when felt all together, all at once, my cup doesn’t just runneth over but euphorically bursts from the force. Its nothing shy of transcendent. And forget the fitness-y, “check out my shredded muscles” part of this whole gig for just a second. THIS! This very feeling I’m trying to weave into words is the true gift, the true reward of my journey. The ability to sit quietly at my kitchen table, gaze out the window as baby quail hop across my backyard, and smile to myself, “babe, you’ve done it.” THAT is magic. The beauty of it is that anyone can do this. And I mean it. All you have to do is identify a challenge in your life that is so great that you get to feel this too. Just think of the possibilities! Fitness, career, hobbies, spirituality, relationships, etc. No matter what it is, I can tell you it has to be lofty and it has to break you at times. After all, its the aggregate impact of my struggles that give real punch, real meaning, real depth to the words “you’ve done it.”
- Heart So Full: One of the feelings that keeps triggering my emotions is humility. I started this journey for me and have been so “me-centric” since Day 1. My training. My diet. My needs. And even though I knew my family and friends supported me, I could never have asked for or anticipated the above-and-beyond showering of encouragement, sacrifice and solidarity I’ve received. Example: just this morning alone I woke up to 3 different messages from friends scattered all across the US sending their love and well wishes for the big week ahead of me. And although it probably only took them a few minutes of thought and typing time to do so, they have no idea how enormous of a gift that was and how much it moves me. And it doesn’t stop there! As if being 6 days out from my first competition weren’t exciting enough, I have so many people traveling both by plane and really long car rides to be here with me this week! My mommy is flying up from out of state, my inlaws are making a long road trip, my best friend is traveling all the way from Arizona (yea, like serious multi-state trip!), and her mom is making a long roadtrip up here too! (OK – where’s my Kleenex?). Seriously. Just typing those words gets me. I have no words that will do justice to how much this means to me. I think I’ll just give them big, huge, brown spray-tan hugs to show them how much I love them 🙂