We’ve all seen it, the one or two people taking the stage that don’t necessarily fit the mould of a fitness competitor. Maybe they aren’t as muscular or as well conditioned as the other people in their class. It never fails, every time I hear the whispers within the crowd, “what the hell is he thinking”, “why is she up there” etc… and those making the comments truly are missing the point.
If you think for a minute those people aren’t aware of how they compare to the rest of the class on stage, you’re likely sadly mistaken – they know. Usually for that person it isn’t about earning a pro card, or becoming the next Mr. Olympia Phil Heath or Nicole Wilkins. It’s about the journey. Often times a person overcomes obesity, disease or a disability and choose to celebrate that fact by hitting the stage.
Forget the fact that it’s terrifying for anyone to get up on stage, wearing very little clothing, totally vulnerable, being judged pretty much solely on looks (yes, I know there are other factors being scored on, but let’s be honest here). Would you want to start your day that way? with 6 strangers scoring you based on your physique as you get out of the shower each morning. I think not.
Fitness really isn’t an aesthetics thing, it’s a feeling. It’s being happy with who you are and how you feel. Being healthy and comfortable in your own skin. That person you’re mocking for being on stage may have been obese their whole life, lost a whole person in bodyweight and feel great. Or maybe they’ve overcome a disease such as diabetes. They embark on a journey – a hard one. They set goals for themselves, sometimes that goal is to hit the competitive stage putting themselves in a place for ridicule and mocking. To me that’s another one in the win column for them.
If you’re on your own fitness journey and your goal is to hit the stage, my advice to you is stay the course and when you reach your goals, celebrate any way you like.