Physically last week was the first week I consistently felt the effects of the prep, not like 4-weeks-out type of feelings but noticeably low energy throughout the second half of the day from after my workout through the evening, mentally started feeling the effects as well. Sluggish, run down generally negative mindset which is not my standard of typical positive and high energy, etc.
I haven’t gone too into detail about my work life, but I do own two businesses, one is a residential real estate company and other is I write music for highly competitive marching bands (pretty diverse huh?) and both of those businesses are kicking up into high gear as they usually do this time of year. With real estate the market here in the Austin area is absolutely on fire, it’s intense and over the past week had numerous real estate related issues come up. All standard stuff for being in the business, but it was an ass kicker in terms of throwing many wrenches in the day, a few days last week I was having to write contracts and take phone calls between sets at the gym (there’s literally no way around it sometimes with the time sensitive nature of the industry in this area), unexpected showings, etc.
Regarding writing music, when I sit down to write I really need all my mental faculties at 100% to feel creative, positive in a good mindset, etc. Between real estate items I mentioned, feeling sluggish from prepping, it was a rough week for that business as well. I recently picked up a couple of very big music clients and will need to be able to give them my very best for their music, which I know from experience is not going to happen if I’m writing while prepping. It’s been 3 years since I stepped on stage last and the prospect was (and still is) very exciting, but when I did it earlier I was just writing music at the time and it was easier to be flexible and get it all done, take naps during the day, etc. With the real estate business added, music writing, family obligations, all that stuff combined, those aspects of life are 100% priority and need be at my best, and adding contest prepping to the mix is starting to take a toll. It’s something that I could push through if I really, really wanted to, to get on stage, but I know that the sacrifices that would be made in those other departments of life would be significant and ultimately, for myself and my life priorities as a dedicated husband and the sole income earner in the family, not worth it. I’ve never prepped with so much going on professionally, and especially with being an active Realtor thrown in the mix, in addition to writing music, and getting deeper into the prep, I’ve concluded that I need to drop the contest prep so I can focus and be my best for those aspects of life.
I have learned a TON working with Cliff the the past 4-5 months, and am not ruling out competing forever, right now just is not the time. The way I look at it, I learned a ton from an incredible coach, lost 17 pounds of fat, definitely made huge gains in the gym, and learned that I can get down to a physique I’m very happy with without killing myself. It may definitely be in the cards to get on stage again and working with Cliff has been a fantastic experience. I’ve communicated with him and will be working on slowly reversing out of the prep diet and how I can best maintain where I am.
This was an extremely tough decision, long conversations with my wife who is INCREDIBLY supportive of bodybuilding and really thinking on it, but I know it is the right decision for my life right now.
I sincerely appreciate the support on this thread and from the T-Nation community as always!