Reconciling the Ridiculous
A couple weeks ago I swore I wouldn’t compete again as a bikini bodybuilder. I was sulking because I didn’t make the team I wanted to represent, and within that sulking the idea of mustering up the energy for that type of dedication, alone, seemed unappealing. I also realize I didn’t handle the post-competition as well as I wanted — or nowhere near as well as I had handled the prepping and actual competing. I felt the post-comp beat me.
Then there were the ridiculous aspects of Bikini I was trying to come to terms with: mainly, competing for aesthetics not performance. And then, of course, there were the hooker heels. And that terracotta tan. Dudes, the tan …
So, I dropped it. Forget bikini. It’s stupid.
But recently, I began to miss it. A lot. This was unexpected. I missed all the things that made me feel extraordinary while training — all the things I had shoved to other parts of my memory while trying to figure out post-competition life and deal with rejection. I missed the focus and the drive and the actual physical training. I even missed tinkering and calculating my macros meticulously. It took me over six months to get stage-ready and I was basing a decision to not compete on the couple things I couldn’t seem to reconcile. I forgot what a joy the whole process had been and how I had felt like a TOTAL EFFING BADASS even when it was sometimes really challenging to stay on course. Seriously, I felt invincible; superhero-like. Athletically, I felt 100% accomplished; entirely unmediocre. And I let getting knocked down and the quirkiness of the bikini subculture block the great parts of the experience, which was the majority of the time.
The good memories are rising back to the surface. My old routine beckons, and just like anything that has knocked me down — that still feels worth pursuing — I’ll get up, dust myself off, wish that team the best, and try to improve my post-comp experience the next time around.
The aesthetic focus is what it is. It’s simply a showcase for all the work put in. I’ll continue to wrap my head around that particular hue of brown-orange and the purpose of the heels. But let’s be clear, I not-so-secretly liked the glamour of it all. I can’t pretend that it wasn’t fun to strut around and pose.
I was talking to Zach about his upcoming 30 for 30 experience. We were talking about how the idea of working out for 30 hours is entirely crazy yet still it’s important to him. Sometimes we can learn the most about ourselves doing ridiculous things was his main point. And it’s exactly the same for me, too. It’s not a coincidence that this 30 for 30 event has resonated with so many members. It’s so out there and over the top, but people recognize — even when it’s indescribable — that the event is an opportunity to explore unchartered territory, and sometimes it takes a crazy venue to get you there.
This is how I feel about bikini bodybuilding. I learned so much about myself during the experience yet I can’t explain or justify all the ridiculous parts. After having found some peace, I’m going to do it despite the ridiculousness.
This post isn’t about me really. It’s about being brave. It’s for anyone who needs some encouragement to go for something they really enjoy – even if it seems crazy to everyone else. Things that spark joy don’t always need to be explained, but finding peace with the ridiculous aspects is personal and important. If you think about it, every passion could seem ridiculous to someone: CrossFitting, eating your particular version of healthy, wearing only vintage hats, and on ….. If you can make peace with it, who cares. If it isn’t harmful (or illegal) and it’s joyful and meaningful and fun to you, who cares. Be brave, friends. And do what sparks you no matter how ridiculous.
“Amanda on Roids”
And Coming Monday
2 Rounds on the 15:00
Up, over, back, and up