Tomorrow is what we’re officially calling Day 1 of our competition prep, as per the spreadsheet! And because you have to just pick some day, eventually, and call it Day 1!
So: what I’m worried about, blog-wise, is that a year-long competition prep — which is infinitely fascinating to me, with gripping chills and thrills because I’m physically experiencing it — will be basically unreadable to the average Anyone Else. In my experience, people aren’t interested in hearing about barbell, plant-based diet, deliberate creation, conspiracy facts, Bitcoin, my clothing collection, or the little dogs.
They are interested in hearing about Nick and any indications of interpersonal drama or sexiness — I always notice some bigger numbers there, and have occasionally considered simply closing down shop in favor of an Instagram page called “Candid/Eye/Candy”, where it’s just pictures of Nick doing things. It was a dark day on the internet when I closed down FB and IG, for that reason. To illustrate:
(Bonus Pomeranian.) And then before that, before we got together, I was like my generation’s Susan Sarandon of the internet: the thinking man’s sex symbol. Sort of kidding, sort of not.
Anyway, it’s my suspicion that there’s an almost 100% overlap between what I want to write and what people don’t want to read.
Oh dear, it’s just as I suspected: I’m doing this for me
Could be worse! I’ve been more cognizant than ever of the mind/muscle connection, lately. I don’t know why, but I think it was just a natural insight, based on this desire to level up in fitness. Or let me put it this way: no matter what goal you have, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a bunch of helpful negative examples.
There was this one lady, at the gym in Albuquerque? She was a skinny ole bird, probably a cutie back in the day but had morphed into a desiccated Gidget. She wore her hair in a high ponytail so bleached blonde I could actually hear the Beach Boys crooning, but the look was a little spoiled by the readers perched at the edge of her nose, over which she would peer at her phone. So what this lady would do, and this was 100% of her “workout”, was: lay on her back in the leg press machine, with no weight on it, absentmindedly pulse her legs with the catches still on, and scroll her phone. For about a solid half-hour, 45m, then she’d hit the showers.
So when I think about a total absence of a mind/muscle connection, the absence of presence, mindfulness, intention, and instead just going through the motions, I think of her.
Now, conversely, I made a new mind/muscle connection yesterday during squats, and this feels really silly to share but I’m gonna share anyway. I’ve been looking at lots of NPC Bikini champion pictures and videos, right? And for people who haven’t been around this at all, the “back pose”, which is just where you show your back to the judges, used to inflame my feminist sensibilities — which I barely even have, if that tells you anything — to the point that I wanted to burn it all down as “the Patriarchy”. A picture’s worth a thousand words, so let me just…
So, having first encountered this as a mandatory pose — and this is not a pose that any of the men’s divisions do, per se — I was like, “Really, NPC? You can’t find any other way to judge glute muscularity and separation?”
So, I’m not here to be an NPC apologist, and apparently that’s a mandatory pose, and I’ve decided to do this, so here we are. Much like OB/GYN doctors, if there was ever any illicit thrill in it for these judges, it goes away real fast. When Nick and I talked to the judges at his show, they were all former career competitors, you know, and many of them female — not just some slavering, aging frat boy bar flies off the street, as you kind of initially fear when you see things like this. They’ve judged ten million tight, toned tushes, and it shows. It’s like checking the weather for them.
I’m not gonna commit to anything and not do it as well as I can, so somehow this evolved into a new reason to mind/muscle connect for me, yesterday. We’re exiting the lower weight/higher rep schemes we were doing, last couple months, and getting back into higher weight/lower reps territory now. So I get nervous, before each set! Even though I’ve squatted at this weight, and more, previously. Because it’s hard. I really respect those gals who get themselves into heavy lifting on their own, because I’m like a horse that always wants to head to the barn, when it comes to weight, and Nick is the boots with spurs that keeps me adding more. And then it turns out I can do it, and I get really excited about that, but every time I go to get under the bar again at a new (for this week) weight, I’m like “d’ermahgerrd it’s so heavy, d’ermahgerrrrrrd!” That’s an exact transcript.
SO, all this is to say, whatever remaining discomfort I have about this mandatory back pose, both in terms of The Patriarchy and how ‘not like that’ my ass looks yet (because no one’s ass looks like that until they do all the things that make it look like that, which is in part what this year is about), it really helped me get into a new space with my squats yesterday. Each time, before I un-racked the bar, I imagined standing on a stage with a bikini glued to my ass and four inch rhinestone acrylic heels (oh because that’s also mandatory, and I’m sure also has nothing to do with The Patriarchy lmaoooooo), and really felt my squats in a new way! A much more mind/body connected way. And I liked that!
Okay, so one more meta-point, here. You all know by now I’m a big fan of Abraham Hicks (just put it into YouTube), who is I think the best influence for people wanting to just fast track into the “law of attraction” or “deliberate creation” world, with no muss no fuss. I can get kind of head-y about it, and I really like Seth and Joseph and stuff that metaphysically represents more like the Isaac Asimov-type “hard science fiction” side of the spectrum, versus the original Star Trek / original Battlestar Galactia “soft science fiction”, where it’s just sexy cocktail waitresses in space.
So Abraham Hicks is for everybody, but if sexy cocktail waitresses in the vortex is your speed, it’s a great entry ramp. And Abraham is always trying to convince people — although they continue, in droves, to remain unconvinced — that, as much as we THINK we want the destination, without the journey?…we really don’t.
We really don’t.
We think we want to just snap our fingers and be rich, or have the dream car, or the dream lover, or the dream body, but what (in Abraham Hick’s view) we actually want is the adventure, like an advent calendar, of realizing our alignment with that dream, insight by insight, impulse by impulse, delight by delight, allowing by allowing.
“No! No we don’t!,” audience after audience seems to assert, in almost 4 decades of live events.
“Yes you do!,” Abraham retorts.
And you know what? They’re right. Abraham, that is. I love the bodily beauty and strength and resiliency that the last 2 years of amateur barbell has given me, and I wouldn’t want to have just arrived here magically, and not to know how to breathe right, get mentally tough, listen to my body as I ask more and more things of it. I wouldn’t want to not know that!
And I wouldn’t want to not know that I can take the most charged feelings I have about the mandatory poses, and use them to supercharge my squat focus. And it’s not even Day 1 of prep yet!
So honestly I’m expecting a year full of little micro-revelations, connections, epiphanies, and new neural pathways that will represent a cornucopia of blessings on me for years to come. Which I’ll share, whether anyone wants to read about them or not!
Okay, have a good day, y’all, and remember! Biden’s not my president — and he’s not your president either! He’s not anyone’s fuckin’ president, because he wasn’t elected! Okay byeeeee.