Not Everyone Can Win

Before and After
12/2/12 vs. 3/23/13

I wish I could have written a competition update sooner (when my thoughts and feelings were crisper), but my mom’s dial-up internet from hell in Phoenix made that all but impossible.  Well, let me get this out of the way first – I did not place well.  At all.  There were 20 girls in my class, which was the largest of all of the bikini classes.  There were three callouts, and I made the second one.  However, when the full results came out, I placed 10th…along with 10 other girls.  So, I basically tied for last place with 10 other people.

It stung.  I’ll even admit to getting a little bit teary eyed at some point a couple of days later when reflecting on everything.  My placing felt like confirmation of all of the things that the critical voice in my head (i.e. the shit bird) had been telling me all along.  I’ve worked really hard to get out of my comfort zone and to be more confident, and it felt as though all of that was suddenly snatched away.  I also competed as part of a team for the first time, so in addition to being disappointed in myself, I felt that I let the team down (even though none of them gave me any indication that was true – on the contrary, everyone was very supportive).  Most of my teammates made first callouts and many won trophies.  It kills me to know I didn’t contribute to the team’s overall success, at least not in the way I wanted to.

Figure (11/2011) on the left, Bikini (3/2013) on the right.
Figure (11/2011) on the left, Bikini (3/2013) on the right.

I was very confident leading up to the show…but once I got backstage and saw all of the other incredibly stunning girls who were competing, my confidence plummeted.  I felt like there was no way I had a chance against any of them.  I didn’t realize my confidence was so precarious.  I made every effort to block out the other competitors and turn my negative self talk around, but it was extremely difficult.  However, one of my superhero powers happens to be the ability to perform well under pressure and to exude confidence even if I don’t feel it, and that’s exactly what I did.  When my coach showed me some of the pictures he took of me onstage, I was taken aback by how confident I looked, knowing full well how insecure I felt on the inside.

So, competing was a bit of a wake-up call.  I have more work to do, mentally more than anything else.  I’m doing my best not to get hung up on my placing – it’s silly to let the subjective opinions of a panel of strangers alter my own sense of confidence and self-worth.  I’ve improved tremendously since my first competition a year and a half ago, and look better than I think I ever have.  So instead of having a pity party or throwing in the towel, I’m just going to use this as motivation to work even harder and do better next time.  The biggest obstacle I need to overcome is the apparent fragility of my confidence.  Diet, training, posing – I can do all of that.  But I absolutely cannot defeat myself before I’ve even stepped on stage.  It would make a great comeback story to place last at this show and then place top 3 at the next competition, don’t you think?  So, Charlotte Cup, here I come!

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Stephanie says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and you’ve motivated me a tonne while I’ve been prepping for my first competition in MAY. I can completely relate to how you felt seeing all the other gorgeous women, who also worked their butts off on the day of the competition!! I have a feeling that will play with my emotions as well, even though I’m feeling confident now!!! Just getting your body to where it was for the show, and getting up on that stage and looking SO INCREDIBLE is a win in itself!! You look AMAZING and you are a winner in my books! I think focusing on the next one is a great attitude to have! You’ve got this! And I will be following along for the next one too 😉 Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!

    1. kaykayla85 says:

      Thank you, Stephanie! I really appreciate the support 🙂

  2. Mindy Irish says:

    Kayla-I think continuing on is the exact thing to do. I’m so happy you did this show for more experience and took the time to give it your all. Having not competed yet, I know that we can each only control the package we bring to the stage. This sport embodies a small percentage of the population and it’s the sport of driven, athletic, high performing people. Congrats for keeping your head up and carrying on. You look amazing and your inner beauty is shining brightly too!!

    1. kaykayla85 says:

      Thanks, Mindy! I can’t wait to see how you do at your show and hear about your first competition experience!

  3. rachael sher says:

    Kayla,
    You are a great inspiration, and your impact on the team was far GREATER then you’ll ever realize. A placing means nothing in the “real” world, but the knowledge you gain about yourself, and the genuine confidence you do have did and does shine through. While we were sitting getting our hair and makeup done you truly moved and inspired me to live with less fear, and to take it head on when it presents itself to me. Your choice to take your job and move out of your comfort zone allows others to see the growth that is possible by pushing your boundaries. When I did my first bikini show in Nov 2012, it was disappointing for me to realize my ego was as fragile as it was, even after all that hard work. I had to remind myself that from where I came from to where I am at cannot be taken away from me by a placing or judges. The growth, progress, and change are mine to keep, from this day forward on. Contestant or not, placing or not, I am proud to be in my skin, as you yours. You are beautiful inside and out. You WILL rock it in Charlotte and I’ll be rooting for you here in AZ. Love ya, Rachael

    1. kaykayla85 says:

      Rachael, I don’t even know what to say…thank you. I can’t tell you how much what you said means to me. I’m so glad to have met you and the rest of the team – there’s nothing more inspiring than surrounding yourself with amazing people accomplishing extraordinary things. And you are absolutely right…the true reward of competing and of the experience are not tangible things that can be taken away by others. Thanks for helping me adjust my perspective 🙂 You rock!

      1. rachael sher says:

        Anytime:) Life is a challenge. We all need a little support now and again to help us keep the right focus.

  4. Angeli Yuson says:

    I personally think you look AMAZING! It is so sad to think that you were upset with your results because i think your body looks great!

    I hope you can find the self-confidence within you to be happy with your result and know that you tried your best! x

    1. kaykayla85 says:

      Thank you! Now that some time has passed, I am happy with how I looked on stage and the actual placing itself is really inconsequential. I compete for the journey, not the outcome anyway. 🙂

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