For those of you participating in the 12 Week Olympia Prep Challenge, you are most likely really “feeling it” now: the fatigue, the hunger, the self-talks about how it’s just a few more weeks. Even if you’re not doing the challenge, if you’ve gone through a competition prep, or another type of challenge or have trained for some kind of athletic competition – you understand when it’s crunch time, and when it’s time to dig deep.
WHAT IT MEANS TO DIG DEEP
In a previous Tip Me Tuesday: Do The Best You Can With What You Have, I go into detail about how it is important to not be so hard on yourself all the time and to not put so much pressure on yourself. Remind yourself often that all you can do is the best you can with what you have and that is good enough.
This is very true … most of the time and for most people who want to live a healthy lifestyle and attain fitness goals. But what separates people who live a fitness lifestyle or people who are recreational athletes from people who are in pursuit of bodybuilding competition dreams, pushing the limits of their physiques and athleticism is the difference between doing your best and never being satisfied with your best. Digging deep, to me, is doing your best and then thinking in your mind “I know this was my best effort, but I want to do better.”
This may seem like a never-ending chase, but that is where the excitement and the challenge lies for those of us who want to keep improving in anything that we do. I wouldn’t call it being a perfectionist necessarily, it’s more of just not wanting to stay stagnant and always wanting to move forward and progress. You are proud of what you’ve accomplished, but why stop there when you know you can push a little harder? Give a little more? Do a little better so that your best keeps getting better and better?
How To Dig Deep
Digging deep takes more of everything that you have ever put forth to make it happen. This is not easy, but digging deep means exactly that. You do more than just your best regardless of if you’re tired or hungry or fatigued or want to quit. You just dig deep within yourself to muster up any shred of whatever you have left to give and you give it.
If you haven’t gotten enough sleep and feel mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted, you dig deep and do what you possibly can as far as working out. If you can’t get a workout in because you are just too tired, then go to sleep and get your workout in after you’re rested. You can’t workout a tired body and the only way you can “un-tire” a body is with good quality sleep.
This is just part of the competition prep process. I don’t know what else to say except that you have to get over this or else bodybuilding competitions might not be for you. When you feel hungry, which might be often or even a constant state of being for se veral weeks, you dig deep and you do what you need to do to your end goal. You almost have to just learn how to deal with being hungry and separate yourself from the sensations of physical hunger.
This kind of digging deep requires you to mentally dig deep. Digging deep in this way can sometimes require you to get mad at yourself for even thinking about giving up or not getting your workout it. Things like “how dare you think about skipping a workout when you are THIS CLOSE to the finish line?” Give yourself a good lecture. Do what you need to do to get your meals in and get your workouts in.
If you’ve ever run a long distance race (or even a short distance for that matter), then you know what it feels like that last mile. Some of it is a mental game, I think, but something happens to your body when you are just a mile or two away from the finish line. You hit that dreaded runner “wall” and everything in your body and your mind just shuts off.
Everything is telling you to stop running. And you can, all you have to do is stop. But instead of stopping, you maybe slow your pace a little, dig deep and push through. You keep going, keep running, keep pushing, and before you know it, that overwhelming feeling of wanting to stop is not there anymore. You see the finish line, and you cross it knowing that you dug deep and pushed through.
Tip Me Tuesday: Work That Muscle
Tip Me Tuesday: Happiness Leads To Success
Tip Me Tuesday: Give It A Rest
Tip Me Tuesday: Health Before Fitness
Tip Me Tuesday: Focus On Action For A Better Outcome
Tip Me Tuesday: Fight The Fear
Tip Me Tuesday: The 4 Cs
Tip Me Tuesday: Are You Really Hungry?
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.