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When a person becomes determined, there’s very little, or nearly nothing, that will stand in their way. When I hear the word determination, I think absolute. Meaning, there is only one outcome that I am willing to accept: I am in my late 30’s, and throughout the years, I encountered many different challenges in my personal life, professional life, and in my life as an athlete and professional dancer. But never have I been through the level of determination necessary to compete at the level required for the NPC LA Championships.

I decided to enter the physique show competition last December and started training in January 2017. My goal was to get educated and understand the level of commitment needed for these type of events to in return, help others achieve their goals. Nothing better than putting myself through the ringer to be a better mentor, supporter, and result driven partner for my clients and potential clients.

At first, training seemed relatively easy: eat significant amounts of food (surprisingly really difficult for me) and lift heavy weights. Even though it was the complete opposite of my regular diet and routine, it was easy enough. But then, the real challenge started. I had to get granular with my diet. It wasn’t simply about eating large amounts of food anymore. Instead, I had to focus on meticulously choosing my macro nutrients and organizing my meal frequency to get to the results targeted. My energy level and my focal point started to shift. Some days I was excited, and other days I would be completely over the process, wanting to quit.

Five months after the beginning of my training, I started to see the fruits of my labor. Granted I had to go through a weight gain, weight loss roller coaster; I felt pretty good about my progress. I was training six days a week, twice a day but made a mistake to keep working. The combination of intensive workouts, work, and challenging diet finally caught up with me, and I got sick. I had to push my competition date back a month to gain the weight I had lost during my sickness.

By postponing the date, I gave myself an additional four weeks to get things back in order by aggressively jumping back into my routine. July is finally here, and the show date is around the corner. I am modeling, picking out swim suits, still working out hard every day, and everything is going as planned. Then comes "peak week" which is the week before the competition. That week, I understood what "deepest determination" meant. It was, by far, the hardest week of the entire process. Not only was my diet completely turned upside down, but I was completely exhausted and weak. I will leave out the exact details of what your body goes through but let’s just say that feeling light headed and faintly is common.

Despite the many challenges and obstacles, I competed in my first physique show in July of 2017. From the two categories entered, Novice and Men’s Open Physique, I respectively placed 2nd and 3rd. I was very pleased with the result.

The road to the physique show taught me a lot. I got to challenge a side of myself that I hadn’t tested before and made it happen. Everything is a preparation for the next thing. A dance teacher told me once that each step is a preparation to the next. Every experience counts and should be treated with the utmost determination to see it through.

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