I hear a lot of folks laughing at adults who spend inordinate amounts of time on hobbies or amateur sports "just to win a plastic trophy." I hear it in the old car hobby and in bodybuilding circles, but I'm sure that bowlers, quilters, runners, and others get this critique as well.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I have three bodybuilding contests coming up. I spent a lot of time in the gym preparing for these events, and a lot of time performing necessary ancillary tasks ... all in hopes of winning some plastic trophies.
Or, did I? When I think about it, the greatest rewards from my bodybuilding contest prep periods have been inward and outward changes to my own being. Outwardly, I am starting to look at least a little like the guy on the trophy. Inwardly, I have found new, formerly untapped strength and resolve.
I don't think that bodybuilding is unique in this regard, either. If you have spent long, grueling hours preparing for an event at which you have a chance of winning a cheap, plastic trophy ... remember: the trophy is not the trophy. YOU are the trophy. It is the changes which you have brought about in your own being which are the real and lasting artifacts of your Herculean efforts.
You ARE the trophy.