This year of “moxie”, I’m striving to push beyond limits. I want to be a change agent. What does that really mean? I’m working to better define it. However, what I have learned is how I can push myself beyond limits, each day, one day at at time, to reach my goals.
Last week, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed. An image caught my eye. It was a contest for the Arnold Model Search. I had not heard of this before, but explored further. The Arnold Fitness Expo and Arnold Classic, held in Columbus, Ohio is one of the largest fitness events in the U.S., right in my back door. I have attended two times in the past and have already purchased tickets for my third experience. My interest heightened when I read about this “model search”.
I followed through the link to read the requirements and deadlines, and I had one week to gather details and submit. Deep down, I’ve always wanted to model. I think it is a unique talent and art form. Not just that, but being a fitness athlete (wow, I finally feel comfortable describing myself that way) model is a different avenue. I did my first “photo shoot” after my national debut at Jr. USAs in 2016. It was thrilling and I know I have some room for improvement on posing. However, at that time, I was lean. I was jacked and tan. Right now, I am not that.
My goal right now is to build muscle and strength for shows in fall 2017. I am up 12 pounds from my last stage weight, which I’m guessing will change this year. Nonetheless, I had to decide if I was truly comfortable shooting photos at this physique.
Could I just submit 8-month old photos instead?
This thought crossed my mind. But, then I stopped myself.
Who is the true, vulnerable, transparent me that I want to show the world? This 24-year-old woman, right now, at 5’4″, 137 pounds.
On a whim, I reached out to a good friend who does photography as a side business. She was able to fit me into her busy schedule. Although she had never done a fitness photo shoot before, I’m glad she made the attempt! She turned around the photos within a few hours and I submitted my application.
Pushing Beyond Limits
This is something totally new, out of my norm and is very exciting. A lot of things that I have found to enjoy the past couple of years have only come from moments of pushing beyond limits. Because of this, I wanted to share the concept and four ways you can push yourself beyond limits.
1| Create a new habit.
If you are wanting to make a change in your life, think of it more positively and not necessarily taking away something, but perhaps adding or replacing an old habit with a new one.
This has been key in improving my eating habits. Instead of grabbing a candy bar at the store, I will buy yogurt or fruit. I have identified my weakness as sweets and cater to it accordingly by creating a new habit.
Maybe you realize every moment you feel “bored” you start to watch SnapChat stories or scroll your Instagram or Facebook feed. What could you replace the little habit with instead that could add to your joy and productivity?
2| Overanalyze, reflect, act.
I have a tendency to overthink and overanalyze a lot of things. For a long time, this held me back from potential.
In the gym, I have a limiting belief of how much I can squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench, etc. If I am approaching a challenging workout, I will overanalyze. However, I will then reflect on how I feel, past workout progress and my goals. And then, I will push full force to act and execute.
This little mental process has helped me overcome some of the anxiety or overwhelm I cause on myself. Do you tend to overanalyze and need to move past it to succeed?
3| Aim for best case scenarios.
“Worst case scenario, I lose a chance at ‘x’. Best case scenario, I am one or two steps closer to reaching my goal at ‘x’.”
Humans are good at talking ourselves out of ideas and activities with worst-case scenarios. But, what if instead, we aimed for the best case scenarios? I have a goal this year to work with a new life coach (outside of fitness). I have a few I want to reach out to. But for some reason, I still have not done it. The “what if” factor keeps holding me back. What if they don’t respond, can’t make time, I sound amateur, etc.? If I don’t reach out to them in the first place, I’m still sitting her stagnant, unchanged. Is that what I want? Or do I want to get closer to my goals and dreams?
Aim for the best case scenario. For me, that means contacting potential coaches! What about you?
4| Ignore the haters and do it.
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you will be criticized anyway.”