How to Deal When Things Don’t Go Your Way – A.K.A How My Return to the NPC Stage Went

“Strength doesn’t just come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength” 

  • Gandhi 

Often are the times when challenges arise, for life is filled with ups and downs. It’s what one does when down that ultimately sets the stage for the ups, or so I’ve come to find. Last weekend, I made my return to the NPC bodybuilding stage, after a 4 year hiatus. If you follow me on social media, you know that the outcome wasn’t quite what I was hoping for or expecting. This post is all about how I’m coping with a personal defeat.

Allow to me paint a picture of how this past couple of months have gone for me. I set my sights on a show earlier this year, and began show prep with a fiery motivation within me. I’VE GOT THIS, I told myself. I followed my diet and exercise plan, and watched as my body changed every single day. Don’t get me wrong – I had some distinct low points – periods where I felt completely burned out, but I stuck with it and rejoiced in the constant changes I saw weekly, for the better.

Riding high on the feelings of success after my transformation, I set out that Saturday to strut my stuff on that stage, feeling absolutely unstoppable. I mean, I looked way better than I did four years ago – when I competed last, and I placed in every single show that I did back then. How could anything go wrong? Show day arrives, and I felt great, up until the moment when I learned I placed last – 6th out of the 6 girls in my class. Devastated and deflated would be understatements in regards to the emotions raging through my heart and mind at that very moment.

So what did I do as soon as I walked off that stage? Well, I cried, and I sulked, and I repeated the phrase “what did I do wrong?” over and over, like a personal mantra. It wasn’t pretty, folks… The following evening and day were spent in a similar state, where I bordered on tears any time my thoughts turned to the grand failure that was supposed to be my triumphant comeback. But this post isn’t a cry for you all to feel sorry for me, so allow me to move on to the greater picture here.

What you do when things don’t go your way is what shapes your experience, obviously. How you choose to react to setbacks are what shapes your success. Yes, I was devastated when I learned the results of my show, and I lost all rationality and clarity. I let the bad consume me, and nothing anyone could say would ease the sting. It wasn’t until I had some time to self-reflect that I found my fire, again. 

Bodybuilding is a subjective sport, and the outcome of any competitive endeavor is the result of so many different factors that it is hard to pinpoint exactly what might have went wrong. But in reflecting back, I can say this. The Adina of today blows the Adina of four years ago out of the water. The Adina today has overcome more adversity than she could have ever imagined, and still come out improving herself, for the better.

So while this particular competition didn’t go as planned, I have decided not to hang up my clear heels just yet. I have some things to work on, and I am determined to find myself on that stage again, soon. I am taking this competition as a learning experience, and letting my defeat fuel my fire to succeed. In short, I’m turning my lemons into lemonade.

A special thanks to all who came to watch, or reached out to show their support. It really meant the world to me!

And that is how my competition went. How do you deal with life’s setbacks?

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