Tomorrow is a rather important day for me. Tuesday is the day in which I find out if I will be moving ahead to the next phase of the police recruitment process. There is to be a panel review where the details of my written exam, panel interview, and background investigation will all be looked at together. Those with a clean record and with the highest overall combined scores of the interview and written exam will move forward. The next step will be the polygraph examination, to be followed by a medical and psychological examination.
From what I have gathered from research and asking those experienced with the process, this is where the panel will ultimately make a decision as to whom they want to hire. As such, to move to the next portion of the process a conditional offer of employment must be made. It just so happens that no employer can require that a polygraph and medical examination be performed without an offer on the table. As lengthy as the process seems, the academy starts on April 7 – so it is going to be moving at a fast pace after Tuesday.
The reason I bring this up again, is because this process has completely changed who I see in the mirror at the gym. Although it is not a done deal at this point, I can’t help but get excited about the whole thing. I frequently slip into the mindset that it is going to happen for me. This may or may not be setting myself up for disappointment, but for the time being it is getting me through my days.
Before, I would look in the mirror at the gym and see a bodybuilder in prep. As I admired my physique, I would envision success on the stage. Every workout, every pump, every rep – it was all for one thing – and that was to dominate the stage. Every glance at myself in the mirror brought about a boost in confidence and boost in motivation. Having decided to take a year off from competition, I no longer see the same person in the mirror. I don’t see a bodybuilder anymore. Unless I am taking pictures of a strange vascular occurrence, I don’t even feel ‘big’ anymore.
I have let myself slip into a more lax approach to diet and training. I eat at odd times, I don’t always measure and weigh my portions, I snack a lot…the list goes on. Can you guess what happened to my body? Nothing. I haven’t gotten obscenely fat. I’m not lethargic and out of energy. I’m not sick. In fact, it is the opposite. Now that I have the post contest bingeing out-of-the-way, my bodyweight has stabilized; I have tightened up, and am I back to my normal self. My abs have managed to come to the surface again and the overall lean and vascular appearance in my arms have returned.
It had gotten to the point that I was slowly starting to dislike my routine more and more. The constant dieting and overall strictness of the routine had become so robotic that I found myself progressively disliking the whole process. Had I continued in the manner I was, I was surely on track to despise bodybuilding altogether. It was clear that I was on the verge of a significant change in focus. I felt as though I had just ridden an epic rollercoaster and somebody had forgotten to let me out of the ride.
With my current preoccupation with becoming a police officer, I now look in the mirror at the gym and picture the quintessential police officer. Forget the stereotypes of the overweight and donut addicted cop – I’m talking about the physically fit go get ‘em no-nonsense power cop. As I picture myself as a police officer, I again feel inspired and motivated. I want to be the image of what everybody thinks a cop should be, not the product of lowered personal standards and accountability. I know I can do the job – keeping my body in a state to do the job better, longer, and with ease is just a perk.
In the unfortunate event that I do not make it to the next step and/or do not end up getting the job, I still see a lot more changes for me in the near future. I have really come to enjoy the ‘time off’ and at this point in my life I feel absolutely no desire to step on the stage again. I am content with observing from the sidelines and working at my own pace with my own modest goals. I wouldn’t say that my competitive days are over – after all, I am only thirty years old and have only competed as a professional twice. For the sake of maintaining my professional status I will have to compete at least once every two years. As long as I am able to lift, there is no way I will let my pro card lapse.
To prepare myself for what lies ahead, I have decided to start from scratch. Whether I get the job or not, my life is going to instantly change. I have very exciting plans for the future regardless of what happens. It’s time to start this cycle of personal growth again – only this time I come with the experience and knowledge of having been on this ride before.
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