From Jessica Jessie, IFBB Pro Bikini competitor
One of the questions I get the most is, ďwhen is your next competition?í I also get asked by many of my clients and those interested in fitness whether they should compete. Thatís why Iíve decided to give you a little insight into what an IFBB pro like myself thinks about in regards to competing.
The fact is I love competing. I love the friendships I have formed, the connections I have made and the lives I inspired through my fitness journey. But there is always part of me that is scared to step on the stage again. Then again there is also a part of me that is scared not to.
You see, my competitive career started off so fast I could barely think about what was happening. I won every NPC show that I entered, I turned pro in under three months when I took the overall win at the 2010 Junior Nationals and I qualified for Miss Olympia in my pro debut. But then I faced my first disappointment on stage. Though I felt like I was in the best shape of my life, I finished in 4th place in my second IFBB pro show. I cried that night and felt anger at the same time because nobody could tell me specifically what I needed to improve. I hadnít come to grips with the subjectivity of the sport yet and things got worse for me mentally when I hit the dreaded 16th place at the Olympia. I tried convincing myself that it was about being the best I could be and not the placing but that is easier said than done. My confidence was shaken and that is always a question when deciding whether or when to compete.
The thing about competing is the journey itself can be very rewarding. I love having a goal which helps me get up in the morning before the rest of the world just to jump on the treadmill. I love how I have learned my body and how to listen to it as I prep for a show. I love how I can better myself and I still learn something every time I get ready to compete. I also love how it gives me the will power to say no to some of my favorite foods which I know are bad for me.
On the flip side, when Iím not competing I often feel like Iím being lazy and out of shape even if that is not reality. When Iím not in full prep mode, motivation just isnít the same. Getting ready to go to the beach isnít the same incentive as competing against the best of the best in the world. Still, I do try to set little goals for myself but there are times Iíll hit the snooze button when I wouldnít if I was about to jump on stage.
Personally, I havenít competed since the Arnold Classic in March but Iím not quite ready to hit the snooze button as a competitor. Still it is important to take a breather and figure out what you are doing and what you want every once in a while.
For me, I am really thankful for everything I have accomplished. Iím proud to have competed in the Miss Olympia twice, to have worked as a spokesmodel and blogger for SAN and to have the love and support of my family, friends, fiancť and fans. Iím so happy I finally got my website, JessicaJessie.com, up and running and that my clientele is growing. Iím proud to have transformed the physique of my clients and my first competitive client just finished 4th at her first show with me as her trainer!
So many things go through my mind when youíre deciding when and if you will step on stage. Are you healthy? Do you have enough time? What about hair, jewelry and your swimsuit? In the end, competing in fitness is tough physically but equally challenging emotionally. So before you decide to jump on stage, figure out what you really want and what you are chasing? To compete or not compete, that is the question.
Jessica Jessie, IFBB Pro Bikini competitor