As I sit here two days out from my second biggest show of the year, Jr National's in Chicago, where I will be competing for my IFBB Bikini Pro card, I somehow manage to come up with a blog to write on the thoughts swimming through my head right now! I have to admit, I love writing but the hardest part for me is getting started. Ironically, in what should be the most difficult time for me to express the things I want to share, the emotions have developed so much to 2 days out that I feel compelled to just, write. A thought passed through my mind yesterday as I was coming to the end of a 2 day no carb, water loading week. My body was numb, my head was spinning, words could no longer be put together without sounding like a drunken spaced-out fool..but I still had another client to train. The world still kept moving. The thought that came to me as I was anxiously waiting for my day to officially end is, this is what I've been training for. This right here is the reason I decided to become a competitor. I knew there was something that separated 'us' from the rest of the people that may live a healthy lifestyle, work out 3-4 days/week and consider a caesar salad a 'healthier option'. The 'suffering' of those last few weeks, the mental strength (now physical strength) that I force myself through and being able to sit back and know that I see the light at the end of the tunnel, is a natural high and satisfaction for me. It's these last few days that are the epitome of 'bittersweet'. As much as I hate the feeling..god do I love it :) Knowing that I just had complete control over something within myself, to change. Through the years of suffering in the locked-down rehab program I experienced for 15 months, I know the continued message from my father 'short term pain equals long term gains' still sticks with me until this day.
I know, many of you might be thinking, 'but Dari, you're a bikini competitor, how hard could your prep be?!' While a year ago, I may have agreed with you based off my first impression of the division before deciding to make the switch from 'Figure' being my goal, I have to say that it is all about the individual. Everyone is genetically made up differently and must work at different levels for different goals. Certainly a female bodybuilder would have a hard time competing in bikini and figure; and most likely would have to take drastic measures to take OFf muscle, is that not working hard? In my case, I'd kill to be able to compete among the best in Figure, but my body just has not gained that muscle maturity to be on that level. I still work my butt off 7 days/week, 15 hours/day, getting my respective rest! I diet hard, with minimal carbs, high protein for an extended period of time and at any point have been up to 4 workouts a day! Keep in mind this is while I'm cutting down for a show, obviously there will be no gains in muscle there with my caloric intake and exercise level. But I figure now, whats the rush! I'm still young in the sport and am having fun with bikini now! As long as I can still keep working my butt off, I'll take it ;)