A few weeks ago, after I posted about my results from my last show, I got some good feedback about what I was doing, right and wrong. I always love to get feedback in my quest to achieve any goal, because it can only help me. Even negative feedback makes me sometimes think “screw you!”, and then I just try harder. However, there was a certain piece of advice that really stuck with me. Thanks Pete!
What my older, wiser brother told me to do was to remember the old saying about how success leaves clues, and to follow the clues that successful people leave behind. He told me to keep my eyes and heart open to self-analysis of the things I am doing to be the best I can be! And of course, he then says…”time to grow!” Well, because of my engineering and financial background, the word analysis really got me excited (yeah, yeah I know, I’m kind of a nerd) and I decided to take this to the next level. This analysis is beyond calculating and manipulating protein, carb, and fat ratios for nutrition on Excel and calculating weekly mileages and average paces for training. It goes beyond looking in the mirror and at photos and asking what my weak spots are…
While I was waiting for my largest meal of the day to digest before going for a long run, which is oatmeal at breakfast time, I combined my scientific background with my love and eye for art and beauty, and have created what I call… “Paulina Carla Living Art – A Work in Progress!” It is a photo analysis where I have overlaid photos of a previous NPC bikini champion that I deemed successful onto my photo from my last show. I then drew on my photo the areas that I needed to improve in order to reach my own masterpiece! Note, this look can only be achieve through diet and exercise….NO surgical help!! Lol. Then I removed the overlaid photo and voila! Aside from realizing that there are two major round things missing from my living art, I can see more clearly the areas that I need to target.
I am not sure if this is what my brother meant by stealing clues and self-analysis, but I thought it was kind of funny! And believe it or not, I accomplished all of this on my IPad! Thanks Apple!
Note: this is only the front for now, back is for another day…or never!
While running on the treadmill at the gym, as part of my “that girl’s crazy” workout, an older woman started on the treadmill next to me. I had the setting on at 9 mph and was very much in my zone, making sure not be distracted by anyone working out near me. For some reason I had a lot of energy that morning (probably from enjoying a couple days off from the gym and my favorite Starbucks iced americano at breakfast), and found myself running at 7 min/mile pace for several minutes very easily. As a runner that had to run 10 marathons in order to qualify for the Boston marathon, that is fast for me and I was kind of proud! Well in the midst of my runner’s high, this woman next to me stuck her hand over to my treadmill and pointed at my time. I was kind of annoyed for being disturbed and grunted a “what?!” and she just smiled and gave me a thumbs up (and yes, I did feel bad for being a little mean).
Later, after my workout she approached me as I rinsed off my face, all messy and dripping with sweat. She said she loved running next to me and was so motivated that instead of stopping as she initially planned, she continued her workout and kept on going. I was kind of surprised but I thought that was really cool! In the midst of what was a great workout for ME, and where all my intentions were selfish, I had actually impacted someone else in a positive way!
And strange enough, a similar thing happened several days later. I was running along a walkway at the beach, when I decided to work on my stairmill skills outside. There are many stairs leading up and down the walkway to the beach that I decided to run up as fast as I could (plus I had a good fast song playing on my iPod). Darting in between surfers coming down with their big boards and kids playing around, I skipped, jumped, and high kneed my way to the top when I noticed a woman sitting at the top of the stairs watching me. At first, I was annoyed, wondering what the heck this lady was staring at! But I just decided to ignore her and not let her distract me from my mission of sprinting to the top. Of course, when I got to the top I could still feel her eyes on me, so I looked over and she gave me a big grin and two thumbs up.
Now, I don’t know what was up with the thumbs up that week, maybe I was training like a maniac for my upcoming show and people could see it?? But, either way, it made me a lot more aware than I have ever been. Even when you are all alone, in your zone, in your own world and you think that no one is watching, that nobody cares, someone probably is! So even if not 10000 people read this blog that I am throwing out there, to share all the ups and downs and lessons learned in training, I will keep writing (and training like a maniac) because you never who you might reach by doing the things you love to do, and who might be inspired to not quit and just decide to keep on going!
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again! and try, try, try some more!!…and one more time!
It seems like that has been the saying of my life lately, and some things just do not come easy for me! Sometimes, I look around at everything that is going on around me and feel like I have to work so much harder than others to get what I want. This often relates to work and school, but more recently with my own personal goals.
Take for example, marathon running. After I did my first race at the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, finishing in a little over 5 hours in much pain with horrible blisters, I set the goal to run fast enough in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon. That would mean running 26.2 miles in under 3 hours and 40 minutes (8.4 min/ mile). The time, 3:40, is a time that would be engraved in my head for the next 2 and 1/2 years…. Because that is how long it took me to qualify, and I ran 8 more marathons in that time frame to do so! I remember talking to several people that qualified on their first marathon, and wondered why it was so much harder for me. Did they want it more? Did they train harder? Did they eat, sleep, and dream of qualifying more than me? Maybe. But I really think they were just faster naturally. Whatever the reason though, I still had to work harder to get that fast. Or, at least it felt that way!
Now, the same goes for competing in NPC Bikini competitions. I competed in my first NPC show at the Atlantic States NY in 2010 and placed 10 out of 18. I didn’t do too bad, but I had the same feeling as after I ran my first marathon: I knew I could do better and I wanted to do better! So I made The Goal: to win a show and turn Ifbb Pro. To date, I have competed in 7 NPC shows. Does that mean I need to compete 2 more before turning Ifbb pro? Perhaps so! One show to win local and another to win nationally?? Well, however many it is, each show has brought me and will bring me closer to my goal, little by little. My shoulders get a little rounder, my abs get a little tighter (unfortunately my thunder thighs never go away but that’s another story), and my presentation gets a little cleaner. Sometimes I might tweak too much here, too much there, but it is all a learning experience for me. And it is certainly healthier than lying on the couch eating potato chips!
So, however many shows it takes to do, I will do. As long as I am always learning, growing, improving and having fun…which I am! So maybe this saying is a good one: If at first you don’t succeed, try try try again and try try try some more!!….and one more time! Because, if it is only the journey that matters, not the destination, then I get to have that much more journey to enjoy! See me below, enjoying my journey yesterday at the NPC Excalibur in Culver City, LA. I’m chillin’ with big bro Pete and beautiful Khay Rosemond!