Although I delayed the diet part of my cut until last Monday, I began doing my cardio as prescribed three weeks ago. Before, I only did two-a-day gym sessions twice a week, but now I’m doing them Monday to Friday.
Last week there were a couple of instances where I actually felt embarrassed about the volume of my training, which in hindsight was very silly of me – seeing as I’m not even on the same scale as most bodybuilders. I lift for an hour in the mornings and do 30 minutes of cardio in the evenings. Usually about half of the trainers at my gym who I see in the morning I see again after work. So most of them just smile when they see me in there twice a day, and many refer to me as a “machine” or a “beast”. Flattering, but far from the truth!
The weather was amazing here in Sydney last week, and I hate the fact that I’m cooped up in my office too often to really enjoy it. So I took my sprints outside after work, at a park close to my house. And who should walk by but a trainer from my gym?! She knows I’m competing, but I still – stupidly – felt guilty about the fact that she had seen me working out morning and night every day this week, and now three kilometres from the gym. I was embarrassed because I knew she must think all I do is train every waking second.
While I know I do a lot of exercise, I have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about it! After reflecting on the incident I then realised that most people who know me must think of me as being exercised-obsessed. My neighbours only see me in workout clothes. Every time I see anyone in my office building I’m either in my workout clothes, or I have my gym bag in hand. Not only do all the receptions at my gym know my name, but they all remember my membership number – again, I don’t know if this is something to be proud of or if I should feel pathetic for being in there so much!
There are four people in my office, and I’m the only one who does any form of exercise. Seriously. My coworkers consider walking to the bus stop – which is 200 metres away from the office – their exercise for the day. Another stopped getting the ferry into work (and consequently doubled his commute time) because it meant he had to walk up a hill… for 5 minutes. We had a temp worker in the office this week, and every afternoon when I’d get changed he would exclaim: “You’re going to the gym again?!”
My colleagues are used to it and just think I’m crazy for exercising every day – let alone twice a day. But seriously, why should I feel bad? They don’t do anything, which is much worse! I move my body, and they act like I should receive a gold medal. In my opinion, I still spend far too much time sitting down and think I should be doing a lot more!
Even some trainers are pretty misinformed about competing. A couple of weeks ago I was leaving the gym and one of the trainers walked for about 10 minutes in the same direction as me. Even though he is a personal trainer, he didn’t know anything about competing. Some of the memorable comments he came out with were:
“Oh, isn’t that where you walk around in a bikini like a beauty pageant?”, “So what is a cut? What can you eat?” and “Oh, but surely a competition diet would be a piece of cake? You’d just have to limit your alcohol intake, right?”
I’m used to getting ridiculous questions about competing from ‘ordinary’ people, but it’s pretty damn sad when a trainer doesn’t even know what a figure competition is.
Obviously right now I’m doing more exercise than usual. When I actually begin contest prep, though, it’s going to sky rocket! I won’t have time to worry about feeling like a freak for being in the gym all day. But for now, there’s nothing wrong with lifting weights and doing some cardio. I think everyone should be jumping on board, rather than staring at me like a circus animal!
Have you ever had to justify the amount of exercise you do?
Finally, a special shout out to the All Blacks, who just won the Rugby World Cup!