Journey to the Stage 2

Finding Balance and Motivation

15 weeks.That’s it. That is all the time I have to turn my mediocre body into a flawless, tanned and toned physique. Oh no, that’s not intimidating, that’s not terrifying, it’s a walk in the park (more like HIIT in the park), a piece of cake (well, actually more like a piece of chicken breast). I just have to do it, right? Right.

Well now that that’s clear, where exactly do I start? For roughly the last month I have been waiting to find out exactly what I will be doing both nutritionally and physically to prepare for the competition. I have been researching the kinds of nutrition plans different people use for contest prep, the kinds of training competitors use, reading anything I can get my hands on to get an idea of what I am in store for. I know that I need to lose body fat and gain muscle mass and definition. But at this moment, that is all I know.

Luckily, I have a coach. I have been working with my coach for 12 weeks and have had great results with my initial nutrition program. That success is one of the reasons I have decided to compete in a fitness competition. By the end of this week I will have my new diet and training plan that I will start next week. But, the closer and closer I get to the start of the program, the more and more anxious I get. When I finished my initial nutrition program, I was brimming with confidence; I felt as if I could take over the world and do anything I set my mind to. Yet, as the show becomes more and more real, the less confident I get. The good thing is I have found a great team; the men and women who have become my teammates are both incredible and inspirational. I know that while, right now, I may be filled with anxiety, over time, with the help of my team, I will be able to step on that stage exuding the same confidence as my teammates.

One advantage that I have found in being part of a team is the endless amount of motivation I have access to. As my new journey approaches, motivation becomes my key ingredient to success. I know that I can push myself physically and stay strong during the nutritional regimen, but it will be the mental motivation that becomes essential. I tend to be more of a pessimist or as I like to say, a realist. However, part of this journey is the transformation within— to change my negative tendencies into positive thoughts and actions. Through positivity I will achieve success, which is the ultimate goal both onstage and off.

My goal for this week is to find a balance. This balance will be vital to my progress both mentally and physically. I am taking anatomy and physiology, chemistry and math, and I will not accept anything less than straight A’s. I am preparing to apply to a very competitive advanced nursing degree program and I need stellar grades to get in. I am training for the Emerald Cup in Seattle, WA in May, and I want to do well. I want to compete at the highest level that I can and I will push myself as hard as I can to reach that goal.

In addition, during my three-month prep for the competition, I will be moving. Not just to a new house in Portland, but rather to a new state, Texas. Not exactly a small move. A weeklong move, in the middle of training, will be quite an obstacle. While this move is still two months away, I am already nervous. The last third of my training for my first show will have to be done over the Internet with my team and on my own. I certainly haven’t set an easy road for myself. But I am not the type of person who likes to take the easy route. The busier I am the better. Pack in it and pump it out. So here I go, shoes tied, iPod charged, meals planned.

Rachael Olkin

Rachael graduated from UCLA in December 2010 with a degree in International Development Studies. She is currently working towards admission to nursing school, where she hopes to obtain both a Bachelors of Science in Nursing as well as a Masters of Science in Nursing.

Rachael is also preparing for her first Figure competition and will share her journey along the way, including her goals, aspirations and struggles.

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Muscular Development