My Head is a Confusing Place

For a good portion of the day, I’ve been glued to my Facebook feed watching as the results roll in from The Arnold Strongwoman World Championships. It’s been both exhilarating and gut wrenching to follow.

I was supposed to be there competing again.

I took 2nd in the middle weight women’s division last year.

The competitor in me, she’s still there. And she thinks that next year I’ll be right back in the saddle, competing alongside these other amazingly strong women.

The 2016 Women’s Middleweight World Champions

But part of me, the part that has been competing in SOMETHING, from dance to judo to strongman, is glad I’m not putting that stress on myself right now. I’m not rolling my bank account right up to empty to compete in another national or international level meet. That I have time and energy for business, family, and friends.

I’m watching the Instagram and Snapchat videos, the Facebook posts and feeling incredibly jealous that I’m not participating. I was in the best shape of my life when I went to The Arnold last year. People loved to watch me train and perform. I used the strength I acquired to inspire women around me to compete and train hard themselves.

My first unsanctioned strongman contest.

And yet, competing causes so much anxiety. It’s overwhelming and I often wonder if it’s still worth it. I put so much pressure on myself to be better: better than others, better than my last performance, better than above average. And it’s almost worse that I seem to accomplish this is many areas, as it perpetuates that cycle. And as I get older and other things tug at my attention, it’s an impossible standard to constantly hold myself to.

In addition, I’ve realized that I have a hard time, a near impossible time, separating my competitive mentality from my ability to have fun with competition. I see others able to juggle it, fighting hard on the platform, then joking and conversing with the very people they’re trying to beat. As I get better and move up the ranks in a sport, I lose my ability to balance that.

This means that I lose out on a lot of the competitive experience. I miss out on potential friends and connections. I want to make sure that I can be a part of the community and be helpful in it’s growth long after I’ve quit being competitive, but with my binary mindset (you’re here to compete, not make friends) it’s not going to happen so well.

Can’t we all be winners? Like this cat?

There is no way I would have taken a step back without something this dramatic happening to me. Now I’m really analyzing what role competition should hold in my life. Right now I’m standing on the edge of a new endeavor that I can’t wait to talk more about, that I know will consume A LOT of my time and energy. So that decision is probably already made for me in a round about way. I’m not ready to give up competing completely, but it’s definitely time to release it’s hold on all things in my life.