Jenn Hughes, Nurse Nerd Fitness

Mental toughness – The journey of competing

Figure Competing….I never understood it until I actually did one.   The world of figure competition is a brutal road that isn’t for the mentally weak hearted.  It is an emotional yet gratifying roller coaster of excitement, self deprivation, sacrifice and joy.   All for one brief moment on stage.   One minute to show a panel of judges and many other athletes what you have spent the last year training.  

Jen trophy

When you first start the journey it is new and exciting.   As a “newbie”  you see changes fairly quickly.  However, as time progresses, the weights become heavier, the cheat meal disappears and you strap in for the ride of your life.   That “honeymoon” stage of the game turns into the tower of terror at times.   Week after week you check-in, meal prep, grind out your workouts  and sacrifice weekend fun.   Competition doesn’t just affect you.   Spouses, family and friends watch this transformation.  At times, they don’t understand.  There were many times I brought my own meals to gatherings with strange looks.  But as people begin to understand your journey,  the love and support follows.  Family, friends, co-workers and clients helped me stay on track.   As a trainer myself, my clients would encourage me at the gym.  I can tell you there will be times you cry.  There will be times you don’t want to workout.  There will be times where you surprise the heck out of yourself or even chuckle at yourself.  Within the journey of competition training, you transform into someone you never thought you could.   You become mentally tough.  You gain a new appreciation for patience.  You master the feeling of hunger.  You become one of the very few people who actually have the discipline and belief to follow through.  It’s there, trust me.  

As peak week arrives, you emotionally prepare for the big day.  I will never forget that morning.  As I looked at myself in the mirror after I donned my suit I thought, “we did it!”  I say “we” because I had so many people supporting me.  I realized, taking 4th place out of 14 women, I can do all hard things.   Jens support system You have to believe in yourself and have an amazing support system in place.   People will think you’re crazy.  Let them.  You don’t have to justify your goals to anyone.   Don’t ever doubt you!!!! Be your own damn cheerleader!!   I will say it over and over, hard things make you better.  Always bet on you!   But more importantly, find a coach who will back you, be honest with you, and help  you make you the best version of yourself.  Until 2022, it’s time for off-season gains.  If you have ever contemplated competition, I will be more than happy to sit down and have real talk with you!



Much Love