Thursday, 15 December 2016

2016...muscles, figure suits and stripper shoes. What's in store for 2017?

So, it normally gets to this time of year and I think my Mum and Dad begin to suffer from mini anxiety attacks. Nothing to do with the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shopping, the trials and tribulations of Secret Santa or the thought of bringing out the emergency chairs for the social gatherings, but because this time of year I’m normally pondering over what my goals will be for the upcoming 12 months.
You might be thinking that’s a good thing, right? Wrong. When it’s me thinking up my goals for the next year you can guarantee it’s going way beyond the usual New Year resolutions of shedding a few extra pounds, tripping off on more adventures or gaining a little more independence in life.
Well, I guess that’s not exactly true. I do often have resolutions along similar notions however with my inability to be able to do ‘average’ those resolutions over the years have translated in Rebecca World to shedding a few extra pounds i.e. stripping every last bit of fat and becoming a bodybuilder; tripping off on more adventures i.e. leave your job on a career break and go to the other side of the world for 12 months jumping out of planes and swinging in bungees; and gaining a little more independence in life i.e. buying a house and taking on your first mortgage on your own.
You see, in Rebecca World I don’t do grey, I never have, I’m black and white and it’s either happening big and bold or it isn’t happening at all.
For once this year, my parents don’t have to worry about what big surprise might be coming next in my action-packed story (although disclaimer right here to say never say never because…well…you just never know what might be around the corner, do you? Sorry Mum). They don’t have to worry about what the next thing might be because for months now it’s been certain it will only be one thing. Bodybuilding. Bodybuilding. Bodybuilding (again, sorry Mum).
Pic: Fivos Averkiou
 It’s fair to say 2016 turned into the game-changer in many ways. My first year as a bodybuilder and I’ve never looked back (well, apart from in the midst of prep when I was gipping on cod looking back to a time when pizza was permitted in my life, but other than that) – all joking aside though and I actually haven’t looked back in that respect; I wouldn’t undo any of it for the world.
This year has been a fantastic year in many ways and I’m very thankful for all I’ve done and achieved both on and off stage. Stepping on that stage at the NPA Yorkshire’s in May was one of my happiest moments of 2016. It followed one of THE toughest challenges of my life; getting through prep was like nothing I’d ever done before in my life and it really was a rollercoaster for me.
Another day of posing practice
6 weeks out from comp
After vowing to never do it again, that soon changed and within months (in fact, let’s not lie, it was weeks, probably even days) I was already planning for the 2017 season. I guess it must be similar to childbirth in that once I was on stage and had the elation of picking up a trophy (similar of course to a baby haha) the pain of the prep just didn’t seem to matter anymore. I won’t say I’ve forgotten about it like they say you do with childbirth, because I haven’t, I very much remember the torturous days of being hungry constantly and trying to drown myself in green tea (don’t worry, not actually), but I guess it all seemed worth it on stage. (Apologies to the Mums out there reading this probably cursing me at comparing bodybuilding to giving birth…I’m sure it’s a breeze in comparison…or not)
Since May I have focused on building muscles and getting stronger. I’ve enjoyed my off-season and everything that comes with it and over the last few weeks in particular, as the year draws to an end I’ve spent more time thinking about what’s to come and what my priorities are for 2017.
For me 2017 is focused on getting back up on that stage and being the best I can be to put it simply. 2016 has been a whirlwind with many things happening in my life; buying my own house, trip to America, jetting off to Australia, starting back at uni, being back at work after a year off and in a new job with more responsibility. I’m not planning on any big changes in the other aspects of my life next year (she says) so my focus can 100% be on the stage.
Living it up in Vegas (June, 2016)
I placed sixth at the Yorkshires this year and I have set some more specific goals in terms of how well I aim to do next year but that’s something I’ve only shared with a few people and that’s how it will stay. I’ve got a couple of other fitness events thrown into the mix along the way with a 3 Peaks Challenge currently in the planning and it would appear I’ve been roped into doing Tough Mudder over summer but hopefully they will tie in nicely with my bodybuilding goals too.
Winter Warrior 2016...Tough Mudder 2017
So, I would like to say my Mum and Dad can sit peacefully as we enter into 2017 knowing there’s no real ‘wildcards’ on the line up for next year but I know their usual anxieties over my next big dreams will only be replaced with anxieties over my upcoming bodybuilding season with my plan to do bigger and better than this year. And I know how hard they found it watching me go through prep this year but there’s one difference I guess this time around; I know what I’m letting myself in for, I know how to handle the ups and downs, I know what needs to be done. I’m hoping for that reason I won’t be such a stroppy cow to be around. It also means that my game face is well and truly on and I couldn’t be more focused or determined to smash my goals over the next 12 months.

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