Every time we talk about this, it seems as if we come back to the discussion about sports. Almost any sport, but most definitely bodybuilding. Some would argue that bodybuilding isn't a sport, but bear with me here. Most sports require a certain level of dedication to training. That training at times may be intense. It may require you to push yourself to the limit. To the limit you have in your head..and then push a little bit further. You see, the limit is the exact place that you think you need to stop. Where you THINK you cannot take another step, push any more weight, run any faster or jump any higher. But you CAN. You just proved you could. You dug deeper. When you faced the challenge you didn't give up, you pushed further. You conquered the challenge. You didn't stop and cower or run away. You did it. That is what I mean by 'Cowboy up'. Sports teach us how to do that.
What happens if you didn't play sports and you didn't ever face that challenge? Maybe you faced the challenge but just tucked tail and ran? Chances are you probably fold in the face of adversity. Let the challenge run you into the ground. Give up. Roll over and die.
My history in the bodybuilding world is no secret. I competed for 15 years in fitness and figure competitions as an amateur and a professional. My husband competed for years in bodybuilding competitions. For those of you that have never done this or for those of you that have..but only gave half-hearted attempts, you have no idea what you missed. This is a sport like no other. It requires a selfishness of sorts, because YOU are the only one that can do it. No one can help you. Sure people can tell you what to do- what to eat how to train, how to pose, but YOU are the only one that can do it. YOU have to do all of the training. YOU have to do all of the dieting. YOU have to do all of the posing. You have to do it every day. This isn't like golf or football or any other sport where you practice a few hours a day and then go drink beer, eat burgers and sleep until noon the next day. This is 100% dedication, 24 hours a day. No matter what. You have to do it when you are tired, hungry and cranky. You have to do it during the week while you are at work and on the weekends when you are not. You do it while you are on vacation, on your birthday and Christmas and New Year's too. There is no rest, there is no off day. There are no excuses. You Cowboy up.
So for anyone trying to figure out how to take that next step, to figure out how to Cowboy up. How to dedicate yourself fully to something. How to just suck it up and do whatever it takes to reach your goal, I suggest doing a bodybuilding show. Heck do a few. I promise you that you will learn more than you ever thought you could..about yourself, about nutrition, about training, about commitment . You will redefine what you thought was possible. You will effect changes in yourself, both physically and mentally that no other process can match. It isn't all glamourous, it isn't easy and a lot of times it isn't even fun. But it IS worth it. I have learned things over the years that I otherwise never would have learned. The commitment and dedication necessary to survive in the bodybuilding world carries over into all aspects of life. Healthy eating, proper training, but most of all how to Cowboy up.