Training at home and not being very active on social media has been an adjustment. Overall I think it’s actually been a blessing in disguise. Training on my own has allowed me to truly embrace bodybuilding as something I love to do for its own sake. Like an artist who plays an instrument in their basement and no one else ever hears. We do it for the pure enjoyment we get from practicing our chosen craft and pursuing our passion.
Not being on social media as much has taken off all of the pressure of living up to others expectations. While I think putting yourself out there can help make you more accountable it can also add undue pressure and stress. I know in my 2012 and 2014 preps I needed that external validation and encouragement because I was unsure of myself.
When I first started training in 2011 I had no idea you could even build muscle at 46. I just wanted to share my experience with others. I quickly learned that I could actually build muscle and decided to pursue my dream of getting on stage as a bodybuilder. Once I accomplished that it became my mission to prove to everyone that even in my late 40’s I could hang with the young guns, which I think I accomplished.
Now I am finally at a place that I am just doing this for me. I am not trying to prove anything to anyone other than myself. It’s liberating and freeing to say the least. My motivation has changed from proving to others to just being content with doing my best for me. A subtle change but one that makes a huge difference I think. I am really enjoying my training right now and looking forward to getting back on stage.
Perhaps having that goal helps bring more focus and clarity of purpose when I go to the gym. I would like to think self mastery and looking inward instead of outward for gratification is my new found zen.