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.

Find more of Rachael on:

Muscular Development

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