Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Competitor

It came in the mail, my Women's Fitness magazine. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but since we can't get magazines in English here, it's like Christmas when they do arrive, albeit a month late. So after dinner when I should have been doing the dishes, I was much too distracted by the shiny cover. 1-2-3 Abs!, it taunted me. I'll just read a couple pages I convinced myself. Because I'm good at self-deception like that. It was a tiny box on the bottom corner. Fittest Friends contest it declared. I'm fit I thought.

Why didn't I just read it and turn the page? But of course, that's not what I did. It's one thing to be fit and another thing to enter yourself into a fitness contest. But all I need to do is send a picture of myself and 500 words or less. Why not? Reading just a bit further, the deadline to submit the entry was just a few hours away.

One thing you may not know about me, once I get a thought in my head I can get so determined that I become a tad bit irrational. Why does this contest intrigue me so?I don't know yet. I go on-line and read the rules. Although I live in Morocco, I am indeed a tax paying resident of Colorado and I clear the over 18 years of age requirement (uh-hum) by just a few years. So with the legalities out of the way, I go check out the competition. Oh my god, what the HELL am I thinking? They're in their 20s! Most of them are part-time models, personal trainers and triathletes and they have the gorgeous pictures of their sexy athleticism to prove it. And I have 4 kids and 2 hours to come up with something that's going to try to compete with this youthful perfection.

GULP. I could just not enter.

But, my friend irrationality says I'm gonna anyway...

Ok, I don't have time to schedule a photo shoot of myself in a bikini top, tutu and tube socks. I'd be jumping on the trampoline and flexing my bicep casually with my roller skates on. Don't forget the spray tan and duck lips. You get the picture. Cause really, I think that's the direction I would have gone. If I had time of course. But I don't. So I will have to look through vacation pictures to find something that screams sexy. Oh who am I kidding? Something that whispers sporty. The only screaming will come from my kids.

I find a picture of me in a bikini in Egypt a couple of months ago. It looks more like a body mugshot with my pale over sun screened self standing unsexily at attention in front of the Nile River. No one else in the competition has a photo quite like it. I am showcasing my infamous awkward self-conscious pose with a side of my snarky trademark "I'm-not-going-to-show-my-teeth" grin. Now that the picture choice is out of the way, I'm ready to complete the application and write. Ah, writing. My comfort zone. This is gonna be the easy part. Except.... the application is nowhere to be found on the website. I go in cyber circles searching for it for an extraordinarily long time, the length of which I am too embarrassed to divulge. Defeated, I go and catch a couple of minutes of the Daily Show before falling asleep on the couch. Nothing ventured, nothing lost. Or so I thought.

Right before I head up to bed I decide to check just one more time. Bingo, I find the application! Damn it! Now there's even LESS time and I haven't even thought about what to write. I would have had all this great stuff to say if I had time to think it over. It would have been insightful and funny. Life changing even. But I wrote it in 5 minutes. And who am I kidding? Who's gonna read what I wrote without a corresponding sexy photo? No one. So really, it doesn't even matter. I clicked send and immediately wondered why I did. Then a prompt asked if I wanted it posted to my facebook. Now why the hell would I want to post this to my facebook? I don't want people to see this! Oh crap, people are going to see this! Why am I doing this again?

The funny thing is, I'm not a competitive person. I don't compete against others. I am a determined person though. Translation, I compete against myself and I'm a hard ass bitch. (Don't tell me I said that.) So while I know I'm not going to win or be in the top 10, I'm totally ok with that. And as a general rule I think contests tend to be popularity contests. And I'm way too lazy to put the work in that's necessary to be popular. Because it is work. I know because I tried to have a popular blog for a while and that's when I discovered that I love writing but I hate marketing and grew to accept my own lethargy. I like to conserve my energy for substance with the naive notion that substance prevails in the end. I like to believe this is true, but I'm not sure that it is. And this is probably most true in a fitness competition. It's really not for lazy people. (I think this should be their motto by the way.)

So, my goal in this contest? No, it's not to win. It's to be the ultimate underdog. Yes, this I have realized is why I'm in this contest. I submitted my entry and I've done nothing else but write this blog post about it. You will not find a link to my submission. Because what I'm asking you to do is....absolutely nothing! I'm asking that you DON'T vote for me! I will not post it to my facebook or do anything else to promote my place in the contest.

I want to see how far your average not 20 something woman can get in this contest without glitzy photos and constant facebook requests for votes. Of course this is what this contest is based on. Can I move up in ranking at all doing absolutely nothing? Or is ranking solely determined by a mathematical sexy photo/social networking ratio? I entered on Monday night and currently I stand at 92 votes and I'm ranked 415th. Honestly, I was shocked I had any votes because you see, I didn't even vote for myself.

So now, will I get more votes? But more importantly, will I stay ranked at 415th? Will my ranking go down or is 415th last? But, my biggest question? What will the top ten look like? Will they all be tanned personal trainers and part-time models? Please tell me there will be at least one woman who is a mom. At least one woman who has struggled with her weight. At least one woman who has overcome an obstacle so great she's an inspiration to other women. And please, at least one woman who uses sunscreen regularly. I ask this for all of the underdogs of the world everywhere! Amen.

I guess we'll see on July 25th...


Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA said...

You didn't tell US how we can vote for YOU!!!!

BTW- thanks for the laughter. With the heat and the storm, I needed it!

Jan said...

Great fun, love the post...

A Brilliant Life said...

good luck and what exactly is the contest. Like is there an on-going fitness schedule that you will follow and post updates? If so, then that will be a big enough pay off right? The self-satisfaction.

SherilinR said...

way to go, momma! you can be hot & foxy and strong even if you don't win the contest. or even make it out of the 400 range.
and also, i'd like to say that i laughed when i read your comment. i hope they did tell the story & there was a goat involved! way better than what actually happened. =)


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