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Create your own competition

Often times, we start out on a fitness/wellness journey to better ourselves but our natural human instinct creates competition where it shouldn’t exist. Be it weight training, running, yoga, or cross training, we tend to find ourselves comparing our strengths and weaknesses to those around us. Think about it. How many times have you thought, “man, I should’ve outrun that guy, “ or “how is she lifting heavier than me right now,” or “why can’t I bend like that?”

Why are we so focused on what everyone else can do when the only competition should be the one you see in the mirror everyday. Better yet, why do we allow others to create a competition where one doesn’t exist in us? Is it ego? Is it fear? The best advice I’ve ever received when it comes to creating your own goals is to simply remember IT IS YOURS.

Nothing else matters but your own physical and mental wellbeing. Running is the best example. If you set out to run a marathon, the end goal for everyone in that race is 26.2 miles. Whether you walk, crawl, run or leap….everyone reaches the finish line. No one is running that race for you so why does it matter who passes you up or who is behind you?

Recently, I competed in my first post-baby bodybuilding competition. Four years ago, when I competed, I was set out to win. I wanted a winning physique that outshined everyone else on stage. I even got first call-outs in the masters division of my second nationally ranked competition called North Americans in Pittsburgh. Although I was in the top 6 line-up with all of these amazing females from around the United States, I felt like a failure because I didn’t come in first place.

This past weekend, at a smaller regional competition in West Virginia, was the first time I felt like I had already won before I even got on stage. My only goal was to prove to myself I could do it again. I wanted to conquer the struggles I’ve recently had in my life and getting back on stage was my outlet. My trophy wasn’t made of metal, my trophy was having pride in saying “I did it.”

My mindset has changed. I’m now only focusing on my own improvements without comparison to anyone but the person I was yesterday. I knew I wasn’t the best physique up there but I was the best I could be for me at that moment. That’s all that should ever matter.

There is a difference between winning and being victorious. Having victory in yourself is more important than any competition we create or allow others to create for us. Remember that. Never let anything outshine your own personal victories. Don’t let those made up competitions keep you from pursuing your dreams and goals. After all, those dreams are no one else’s but your own.



Vivianne Vallance is a personal trainer, health coach and yoga instructor working in Lawrence County.