Leading Up

by - 4/15/2016

Competition prep is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging.

The weeks leading up, I began to experience more and more brain fog.
I would forget words, forget things that I just did, forget something I just heard, etc.
My body would feel healthy, but my mind wasn't working right.

Interacting with other people was nerve raking.
I generally felt off and my emotions were not stable.

In fact, they were all over the place.
 At times I felt like anything would make me burst out in tears.
Not like small quiet tears - like boohoo ugly cry tears.
Did I ever mention I don't like people seeing me cry?

One day during prep I must have cried at least 4 times.
Each time my boyfriend would try to comfort me and ask me what is going on.
All I could say in between sobs was 'I don't know'.
Then it would end and I would be fine. 
(I definitely drove him a 'little' crazy.)
Boy, was that a tiring day. I even had a cry headache when I went to sleep!

Of course I also experienced another emotion at its extreme.
My patience was thin and I was easily bothered.
Mind you, everyday I was waking up exhausted craving more hours of sleep, working 9-5ish, and then working out at the gym for about 2 hours.

Driving a car was infuriating.
I experienced road rage everyday. Everyone was an awful driver.

At work I wanted to be as quiet as possible with as little interaction with anyone.
I was scared I would be emotional towards someone and I really didn't have any reasonable explanations for my feelings.

By the end of my work day, my left eye was generally red. 
Wearing my contacts bothered me. 
Even though I was drinking 1+ gallons of water a day, my body still felt pretty dry. 

Two weeks out from competition I started clenching my jaw so hard that I chipped 
a little piece of my tooth near my gum line.  
This happened as a result of the pressure from my teeth pushing against each other.
Luckily it only hurts to the touch. I am hoping it will heal on its own.

It was impossible to explain these feelings to anyone, besides the fact that 
I couldn't really put things into words.
I felt like no one would understand since they hadn't experienced it.

Fortunately, my boyfriend was also prepping for the same competition, so we bonded over these changes.
Most nights we would laugh at ourselves.
It was comical.

I did my best to be as positive as I could be and remain fully aware of my feelings.
This was good practice and a great challenge.

So you may wonder why do this?
Despite all of the stuff I described above, I was the healthiest I had ever been.
My physical body became so strong and I was working towards a goal.
The changes I described above didn't really hit until my last two weeks of prep.

For a year of training with 4 months of super super strict training, 
two weeks of uncomfortableness is not bad.
Plus there are numerous rewards.

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