Post competition reflections – know your weaknesses, and strive to make them your strengths

It’s just over a week now since I competed for the second time this year with the WBFF at the Indigo, O2 ProAm extravaganza.

All in all it was a confusing, crazy but very cool day!  I had the pleasure of catching up with some of the friends I’ve made on the competition circuit this year and made a whole heap of new ones whom I can’t wait to train with and learn from. It was fantastic!

But, I didn’t place this time and although I’d always said competing was more of a test for me and to see what I could achieve I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.

Looking back now, if I’m really honest with myself I think I might have been a little complacent during this prep. Having come second in my category in June I felt as though some of the hard work had been done by the time I started prepping for the second time and as a consequence I think my focus might have slipped somewhat. I also think I’d underestimated the competition; this time around there were over 250 athletes competing, the standard was high and I just didn’t cut it.

In addition I found prepping for two competitions back to back within 8 months both physically and mentally tough and that might have had an effect on my level of commitment and dedication. Certainly by the end of Oct I was really feeling the strain and struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel, though in many ways that tough time taught me most (see my last post).

However, the longer time passes between event the more my feelings about and attitudes towards my physique changes. Immediately post comp I felt a little deflated and somewhat insecure; why didn’t I look good enough, what was wrong with my body? Feeling a sense of defeat I started to tell myself that this sport wasn’t for me, that I’d never be successful, maybe I’m too old, I don’t have the ‘right’ figure, everyone else looks better etc. But that’s not what this is all about.  I mentioned in my last post how important it was not to let what’s going on around you distract you and to focus on you and you alone.  At the end of the day, that’s all you can actually effect or control.  It’s all down to you.

A week later I know I need to heed my own words and start to think about my own progress this year by considering where I started out in February and comparing that with where I’ve got to today.  And looking back I’m so happy with my physique and my overall health and fitness now. I genuinely think I look and feel better than I did 20 years ago, my waist is smaller, my shoulders broader and my legs way more defined. I’m also super fit and healthy! If that’s what I can do in 8 months, just think what I can do in 12 or 18.

So the competition doesn’t signal the end, it was simply a marker, a way point, a part of something much bigger, better and longer lasting.  This year has been a watershed year for me in many ways and competing (along with all the fantastic people I’ve met) has played a big part in that.

As soon as I get my professional stage shots I’ll be forwarding them to my coach Lee for his expert advice on where I need to focus my efforts over the next 12-18 months to make the improvements I want going forward.  Stepping back and seeing the bigger picture I realise that I’ve only just started on this journey and I’m excited to see what I can do with a proper off season, eating for gains and training hard.

As I write this I’m off for a week of fitness action in the sun, a time to enjoy some of my other sporting passions (windsurfing, surfing, running and biking – YAY!). It’ll also give me the opportunity to reset and refocus.  And soon there’ll be snow and it’ll be time to hit the slopes again. I CAN’T WAIT!

So here’s to learning from your weaknesses and making them your strengths.

Oh and competition wise…I’ll be back; older, wiser, bigger, better, badder and more focussed than before. Bring it on!

Getting my hands on Pietro Boselli before he took the number 1 slot in Male Fitness ;-)

Getting my hands on Pietro Boselli before he took the number 1 slot in Male Fitness 😉



Me and my fellow competitors striking a pose :-)

Me and my fellow competitors striking a pose 🙂


Tags: , , , ,

About Eleanor Barlow

Hi I’m Eleanor Barlow and I’m a part time Personal Trainer (Level 3), qualified Snowboard instructor (BASI Level 1) and occasional fitness model. Staying fit and active not only benefits your body it benefits your mind and soul, it’s good for the heart and good for the spirit. Training is only half the story though, eating clean is just as important if not more so. I don’t eat diary and am very particular about the nutritional merits of the protein supplements I use which is why I’m so excited to be a Brand Ambassador for Sativa Shakes which taste great and fit perfectly into my diet. Every year I set myself a new fitness goal or challenge, this year I decided to enter my first physique competition so in June I competed with the WBFF and came second in my category. I loved it so much I’ve entered again this November! Follow my progress here at the Sativa Shakes blog were I’ll be providing regular updates on everything fitness and food related :-) For more info or to get in touch drop me a line at my Facebook page, Eleanor Barlow Fit Pro.
No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.