Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Bloody Hell...

Bloody Hell, it seemed such a good idea yesterday. Today is the day after, every muscle is aching and I have another one and a half years of days like this ahead of me.

A quick recap on who I am - the more elaborate story you can read on my personal blog:
  • Me, Rika, born in June 1961 and thus age 48,
  • started training with weights when I met hubby to be in 1882,
  • had a phase some time around ’86 when things went bumpy at university and I thought that I should become a real bodybuilder/trainer instead of a computer scientist,
  • although at the moment I am neither, I dug my way through university, trained on and off, and settled into a comfortable life after the exam,
  • moved from Germany to England, got house, cats and garden, and became fat while training was more often ‘off’ than ‘on’,
  • got severe back pain and migraines and all of a sudden the comfortable life was a bad life,
  • went back to the gym regularly from early 2005, age 43, and
  • started the Incredible Ladies website as a record of this experience in June 2007 at age 46.

Apparently I am feeling too well now, because yesterday I decided to start a journey paved with pain and sweat: I am going to compete in a Bodybuilding contest in 2011.

Why now?

Well, do the math: firstly I am going to be 50 in 2011, and secondly this idea is bugging me since 35 years and if I don’t do it now, that might well mean ‘never’. I came across this competition for the first time shortly after having started training regularly again, and I have to admit: Even I thought that those competitions have a bit of a dodgy, door bouncer atmosphere about them. Bodybuilding is not a really mainstream sport, is it? And what we see on the telly, on how professional female bodybuilders have to make a living because there is almost no sponsorship in this sport, is not helping either. So hubby and I went to see the show armed with prejudice and mixed feelings: Does one really want to belong to this sort of scene?

But see, one should not judge without having seen it: when we got there we were amazed how professional and fantastically skilled these people were. Nothing dodgy, no door bouncer atmosphere whatsoever, and they put on a great show, it was entertaining and inspiring... and I felt that I could have competed with the lady who came least – well, there were only four ladies anyway. Isn’t it sad that a sport that has so many benefits, especially for women, is not kicking in? It did for the guys. These days almost every guy tries to put on a bit of muscle in the gym, or at least is flirting with the idea.

C’mon guys – don’t lie to mummy! While you are sweating on the treadmill you must be thinking of the one or the other muscle when a well trained guy is passing you by.

For women however, it is out of the question. Oh yes, I see them with 1 kg dumbbells doing a bit of triceps on a stabilizing ball – that is NOT bodybuilding. That is rubbish. Well it is a start... but I so rarely see it taken to the next level. These ladies just vanish from the gym because they never experience the full power this training could give them. Oh I have written piles of pamphlets about why muscles are a good thing. But honestly: Nobody wants to read or hear it!

OK, I am ranting again: So back to my plan. Back then in 2005 the competition bug bit me the second time in my life, but just briefly: I wasn’t confident enough and scared of thousands of things, mainly embarrassment.

And then only two weeks ago the bug bit me again – all good things come in three, apparently – at the whiteboard of my gym there was an advert for a bodybuilding championship - hanging there very innocently. Whoof... this time it hit right into the stomach: I want to do this!

While the stomach was recovering, my brain tried to understand: “No you don’t! You might want to visit it again, but you DO NOT WANT TO COMPETE! You are scared of competitions”.

‘No I’m not! Not anymore, and if I do it next year then I can do it for my 50th and hence I can’t actually lose. It will be fun, and I always wanted to be on a stage and bodybuilding is the only thing I am good at, and hence I am going to do it!’

I checked with the trainers if they would know somebody in the region who could teach me how to pose. I know how to train, but I don’t have a clue how to put on a show. When I got the address of a gym where the head trainer is competing I had to come out of the closet: I just had to tell hubby. And you know what: He loves this idea!

And then we made a deal. This will not be like any other of my projects during which I work, and do, and document, and then see how it goes, and THEN might decide whether or not I will take on the challenge.

This time I will not play it safe. It will be a commitment from the beginning. I herewith declare: If this show is on in 2011, and if I will be fit enough to crawl onto that stage, then I will compete. No matter how I look. I may not be able to get rid of lose skin, I may... oh don’t get me started:

I will look my best, promised!

And with this blog I am inviting you to join me in this journey. Ideas and comments welcome: I will need any help I can get! Oh well, and maybe I see you in mid 2011 in Great Yarmouth!

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