I had to take a step back (ok...a few giant leaps really) and look at my life and my priorities. I am working a full time job, I am running a full time coaching business, I am spending 2 hrs a day, 6 days a week in the gym, spending hrs every day preparing food, eating food, thinking about food, buying food....sleep...well that happened about 5-6 hrs a night. So where did I find time to spend with the people I hold dearest in my life? Well the hr a night I spent "in the same room as my son" while he did his homework or watched cartoons, I was in the kitchen cooking food for the week, prepping meals for the next day. By the time I got done, it was finally time for me to sit and relax for maybe 20 min before I crashed in bed so I could get up and do it again the next day. These were the weekdays....weekends weren't much better. It was get up early, get to the gym, get in my meals, work with clients, do laundry, make more food, buy more food....my son? Well I was hoping he was having "fun" playing with his friend down the street or keeping himself busy with legos or something...as long as I was able to get all MY stuff done. Clearly you see where this is going so far right? But wait...you might be asking...where's time for Eric? Oh yeah...that just didn't happen. How did that become dead last? Well Eric, he is competing too, and not getting home from the gym until that same 20 min just before I go to bed. A quick peck and I rush off to get what little sleep I could get while he hung out late enough to eat his food, prep for the next day and fall asleep. Again, weekends not much better. Some might think...wow this is great they do this together...well we don't work out together, we might be in the gym at the same time, but not together...and always going in different directions on the weekends. You may have noticed that earlier, when I listed where my priorities should be, Wife was first and I mean that. But that is not where I was.
I've been feeling these little pebbles hitting me in the head for months, years really. This weekend those pebbles became boulders. I realized that right now, my son, who is 9 LOVES to spend time with us and honestly HATES that we compete. He has never embraced it as other kids have of their parents...why??? Well he has told us point blank..."I hate how much of your time it takes away from me"...talk about your boulders hitting you in the head! Hey moron...how did you not pay attention to this years ago??? Anyhoo, I realized that in a few years, he'll be a teenager that may not care if I'm around to hang with him...but NOW he does and I'm wasting precious time. You see, I've been competing ALL of his life. I started prepping for my first show when he was 6 mos old. He's not been my priority for that long...how is that? Yeah, when the shit hits the fan I drop everything for this kid....but in normal, everyday activity...well...I already explained that. And as for quality time for husband and wife? Well for years we fooled ourselves into thinking that the weekend or 2 a year we spent "away" on some couples weekend was all we needed...uh....no. We have become 2 competitors living along side each other...the only thing we talked about was what meal we were missing, how our workout was, blah blah blah. Boring shit really...and I was tired of it. I desperately missed connecting on other levels and having fun just being goofy together. We were too tired though...all the time...because the routine was just exhausting.
Yes, even with all of this (remember BOULDERS people) I felt like I had to press on and compete this spring. I had so many people who "couldn't wait to see me rock the stage", soooo many people telling me every day. That kinda "support" gets in your head...how could I, as a coach, as their inspiration, let these people down? They can't see my weakness? They can't see that this is hard and that I'm quitting. What kind of example am I setting if I don't show that "yeah, shit's hard...but you push through no matter what." Well you know what's hard? Realizing that none of this support matters, if I'm not being the best I can be in the areas of my life most important. I realized that competing was the EASY thing to do. This isn't hard for me anymore. I've been doing it 8 years. What's hard, is fixing the shit that has become broken in the last 8 years. You see, this sport, if you let it...the routine, the rigidity, all of it...will suck you in...you will get caught up in all that you have to do if you let it. It will take control of your life, it will become an OBSESSION. For someone with OCD, and an addictive personality...this shit was my drug of choice. I've been doing this for so long....it would be EASY for me to continue on this path, with my addiction...neglecting what is important and giving life to the things that are not.
So what this all comes down to, after much soul searching, talking with my husband and a few other trusted friends....I had to realize that I have nothing left to prove in this sport. I've done everything I wanted to do. I've won 4 pro cards, I've competed as a pro and I've won as a pro. I've come back after injuries and surgeries, I've always come back stronger, always better, always beating my best self. I've built a successful coaching business and found my TRUE PASSION in life....inspiring other and helping others get on stage. Most people live a lifetime and never find their passion...I've found mine and I will never give that up. My challenge now, is to truly find that balance I'm always preaching about (yeah...practice what you preach girlfriend). My challenge now, is to become the best wife, mom, friend, family member, coach I can be. It's time for me to inspire in a different way, not from the stage, but rather from behind the curtain or from in the audience or the judges table. I will inspire by showing how I really can be fit and healthy and have balance in my life and be great at all the things I really want to be. I had to step back and realize....that in no other sport (except maybe MMA) do the coaches, the really good coaches, still compete as an athlete in that sport. My job is to coach, to help those on my team (or others we inspire) to have the most amazing journey possible. My job is to be the best wife and mom I can possibly be. To inspire my son to be fit and healthy and no longer see "fitness" as something that takes time away from him.
I'm excited about my own new challenge, I'm embarking on the next chapter of my life to be the best I can be. I'm excited to see where this next journey will take me....
Thank you all for your continued support. I hope that I can continue to inspire and hope to continue to be a part of your journey.
XOXO - Mama "T"