Prep Is a Mental Game November 3, 2017 00:00
By Janea Munoz
One thing most people do not realize with show prepping is the effects it can play on a person — not just physically, but mentally. I would say I have at least one mental breakdown during each prep, no matter how ready I am for it. Funny thing is, after I have my mental crying breakdown that lasts no more than 30 minutes, I am completely fine and feel refreshed. It’s quite silly, but so needed and necessary sometimes — not just in prep, but in life as a whole. Meltdowns can even be triggered by something so small and we tend to not make sense when we are trying to express why we are freaking out.
The last meltdown I had was due to me being unable to make an extra posing class that my coach had scheduled for us right before peak week started. Keep in mind, I make every posing class and then still practice outside of posing class. There was no need as a whole for me to completely break down and feel like a failure as a competitor and the captain of my team. I remember telling my coach, “I can’t make that new practice, I completely let the team down, I just need to be there for them and I can make it, please tell them I am so, so sorry!” I was so close to making it through this prep without a breakdown. I then went on a little drive and cried for 15 minutes — and when I got home, I felt better. My coach even said, “As soon as you started crying and mumbling about being unable to make a last-minute posing class, I knew that you were having an ‘I feel’ moment.” This was so true!
Something that is also easy to do without realizing, is taking stress out on our loved ones. I have been told by my parents that I am “mean" when I am in show prep, especially during peak week. It was so hard to hear, but it made me take a step back and realize that, this was all on me. I chose to start competing. I chose to become more precise and strict with my food. I chose to make the commitment to be disciplined. It's not my family’s fault that I am tired, stressed, on edge, irritable, sore and everything else that competing does to me.
That being said, my best advice for making it through show prep is literally taking it day by day. Of course, it is always good to have an overall goal set come show time, and small checkpoints to hit along the way to make sure you are on track.
Who you surround yourself with will also have a huge impact on how you handle things. A support system is big and made a lot of things possible during my preps, especially my family.
Remember to keep in mind that life may decide to throw a kink in the plans you have set for yourself and that is OK. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason — it’s all about how we handle them.