Focus on the Positive

Staying focused on the positive and having a positive attitude is a key to growth and change

October 7, 2012
Focus on the Positive

I start this blog, pretty unclear about what I intend to write or really knowing which direction I am headed with my blog. So this will be more of a brainstorming type of writing, sort of a "stream of consciousness." That is kind of an odd term I guess and I don't think I have actually said that phrase since I was a sophomore in high school. That was the year that I wrote my first term paper and made the discovery that I found writing to be an expressive outlet that I really connected with. And that I was pretty good at understanding the entire process, which landed me the only A grade in the class that year. (Well actually an A-, but I quickly learned that no one else got an A of any kind!) That was my very first research paper, followed by many more before graduation. I went to a Catholic college preparatory school (high school) for young women, and our assignments were considered college level work. I remember feeling pretty good about that paper. I just kept looking at the red A- on my work, and remember how nice it was to do something well. Those days, I didn't have any frame of reference that I was good at anything, so it made me feel special.

Funny, I haven't thought about that in years, or the fact that I studied French for 4 years to prepare to study in Paris. Unfortunately, when it came time for plans to be made, well, let's just say that promise wasn't kept. Angered and confused, I shut the door on my academic career, failing all of my college classes when I begrudgingly enrolled in a local junior college. I simply couldn't get past the anger, and I sabotaged myself and simply blew off classes. My young fragile and inexperienced mind must have thought I would show "them"! I certainly had no guidance or support, and discovered in truth that the anger I projected outward always only hurt myself. As is usually the case with anger not properly dealt with and discarded. I simply was not prepared to deal with life or my emotions at the time. Come to think of it, it took me years to learn and wait. And to not just react without giving it careful consideration or how it may affect the people around me.

Thankfully, here I am 20 years later, with a few new tools to deal with the most improbable behind-the-scenes issues with grace and dignity. I guess it took a while, but I am getting it. And when I fail, as I do around every other corner, I have found a way to get back up and try again. Far from where I want to be, but so much better than ever before.

You might be asking what does any of this have to do with fitness or about my life as an athlete? It has everything to do with it. It truly is worth mentioning the importance of focusing on all of your positive aspects, especially outside interests and the people and things that bring you joy. Otherwise, it is easy to fall into those post-competition blues, depression or feelings of not being enough. The fact is, there is much more to what makes a person special and happy. If all areas within you are as in shape as your body, the balance enables a clearer view of life. And you have to have value that is unshakable, regardless of outside circumstances. That is just how I make all of it work for me.

You are not just a body, your hair style or the color of your suit. And thankfully I’ve found a way to understand and accept that not everyone will like me. But I like me. And I guess when I figured out that is what matters most, that’ when my life got a whole lot easier. No matter what my eyes and ears tell me, I believe in myself. And I hold on to that so tightly there is no way to make that part of me deep inside believe anything else. I have stepped out in front and know what is coming and therefore can watch through eyes of knowing rather than fearing what is coming my way. At least I am trying, I stumble all the time, but I do believe and keep moving forward.

I am on a flight to Florida today, just for the day to take care of some business … okay, my hair! LOL And I head back home tomorrow. I am also preparing for Arnold Figure in Europe, and I am pretty excited to compete in Spain. I feel very fortunate to get another opportunity to compete after the Olympia and am I honored to have received an invite. Thank you Gaspari Nutrition and everyone at the IFBB Presidency office for making this event happen for me. I will do my very best.

This past week, I have been training very intensely, and lifting exactly how I want: Like a maniac! I’m doing full pull-ups, blasting my arms as well as my shoulders and back. I also added some calories back into my diet to facilitate any growth if at all possible. My goal is to fill out a bit. I am so sore and I love it! I actually got that old endorphin rush again after training and it felt amazing!

So as you see, I had no idea where this blog was going. I still don't. But I do know this: I am making my way to the ocean today. Just to take a look, sit down and relax. Breathe and fill my lungs with the warm salty air. I want to focus on the beauty and strength of the water and on all of the good things in my life.

I will catch up with you after my trip to Spain.

Feeling inspired! I hope you feel that way today too.

Ava
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