Raquel Long - IFBB Bikini Pro

September 2017.

My 2017 Prep was very different than past years. Previously, I was in school full time and working full time plus training. 2017 my plate wasn't as full but I experienced major changes. I am a Cosmetic Nurse with a scope of practice that includes Injectables (fillers/Botox), Aesthetician (skincare/lasers) and a surgical nurse in the Operating Room. This year I have been concentrating on building my practice and brand.

Every prep has its challenges. 2017 I switched coach's and changed up my diet and training mentality. As any athlete can attest that is a difficult decision to make at any time but I decided that 12 weeks before the IFBB Wings of Strength Chicago Pro Show. My feeling is it was the right and best decision for me. I approached this season with a very different mindset.

Back Stage Finals IFBB Wings of Strength Chicago Pro Show @wingsofstrength Thank you to @toxicangelzbikinis for my new fabulous suit @williamcorfield @nudethesalon for my hair cut and color Feel good vibes????????????with @natalieabrhiemifbb And looking forward to Tim's table @tgflex snacks for the athletes... to die for ??and much appreciated?? #wingsofstrength #yourmom#yournurse #ifbbpro #ifbbathlete #honeybadger #timgardnerproductions #ifbbproleague#npcbikini#npcphysique#npccompetitor#grow#bodybuilding#aesthetics#motivation #gym #workout #bodybuilding #train #training ##healthychoices #active #strong #motivation #instagood #determination #lifestyle

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If I may digress for a moment. The sport of bodybuilding has taught me mental toughness. The key as an athlete or even success in life is to cope better than those in your same arena. I've always had the belief that success is achievable. Perhaps, I have bit of my own inner arrogance, but my attitude is that if I set my mind to do something I will accomplish it. I know there may be obstacles but that I can overcome them and learn from the experience. There comes a price with that focus. Long hours, social isolation and at moments tunnel vision.

This is where my competing altered this year. My son was inadvertently my voice of reason. He said to me, "mom do me a favor this year. Enjoy yourself. You are already a pro and have nothing to prove. So do it for the love of the sport." And so I did. This year is the best I have ever looked physically. More importantly it was the best mentally I've felt. I enjoyed myself, the journey and the process. I met athletes that I now call friends. I learned nutrition and new methods of training from new coach's. I incorporated the Tempo Contrast method, Multi Hold Pump set and Plyometrics.

Nutrition was different in that I added more food than normal with the focus more on the timing of my meals. I weighed more than previous years and my muscles were fuller. As a Master's (over 35) athlete, I have muscle maturity. It is important as a Bikini competitor the stay full, not soft, but not as structured as figure. The way I timed my carb meals before and after my weaker body parts to continue to grow and maintain muscle while leaning out. Also, I only stepped on stage once. That was a hard decision. I find I get caught up in the moment of competing. I love it. The discipline. The pain. The rush. The adrenaline. The stage.

All things are possible with Caffeine?? & Botox?? Happy Friyay Feels ?????? Call to Schedule Medical Office 2485240620 Medical Spa 2485243624 Follow me at ig @nurseraquel FB Page Raquel Merlini Aesthetics #yournurse #yourmom#nurseinjector#filler#juvederm#restalyn#botox#aesthetics#bodybuilding#plasticsurgery#wrinkles#lips#lipservice#lipfillers #fillers #skincare #cosmeticsurgery #aspire#galderma #injectables#brotox#bodybuilding #lifestyle#r#swag#ifbb #npcbikini#dysport#allergan#aspire

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I maintain my motivation and confidence in a subjective sport through positive self talk. I look at self talk three ways; motivational (my desire), mastery based (enhance self reliance and instructional (creating goals, imagery). True to my word I gave my son, I enjoyed my 2017 and 1 show, Wings of Strength Chicago Pro and chose to end there for the season. I took the month afterwards off from the gym. I've relished in my Michigan summer with my family and my relationships.

I've already selected my 2018 shows and I am continuing to grow my brand with my injectable and Aesthetics practice as a nurse. My words of wisdom if you believe and visualize it, you will achieve it.

Raquel Cosmetic
RN, Licensed Aesthetician, ISSA CPT and IFBB Bikini PRo
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raquellongifbbpro
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raquel.merlini
Previous feature on Models Observer (2015)

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