I guess I had it too good for too long until just recently.  Everything was going about as smoothly as it possibly could week after week from the start of this prep until about a month ago.

It started with the fat burner issues about 3 or 4 weeks ago and all of the after effects of that and then got tougher when we went back to Michigan because Mrs. Skip's mother was having surgery to battle stage 3 colorectal cancer.

Staying in prep mode is a bitch when you travel and even worse the longer the travel time is.  We planned to be there for a week and due to complications after surgery, decided to stay a couple extra days.  I am an incredibly well-planned person so I was prepared for the week of being there - all of my food prepped, vitamins in baggies for each day, protein powder in baggies, supplements, etc..  I was not, however, prepared for the extra couple of days.  This situation took priority, obviously, and I did what I could under the circumstances.

During the drive back to Colorado I apparently wasn't getting enough water or something and had such terrible calf cramps I could barely walk when we stopped for gas or to eat.  Though my water was lower than usual this situation, in my mind, was a hold over from the fat burner issues and only proved that as much as I felt I had recovered, I was not 100% in the electrolyte department.

I found myself sleeping any time I sat down or slowed down the last couple of days we were in Michigan - uncharacteristically tired and even my eyes were tired.  I had blurred vision like I get when I am exhausted so it was nice that I had my son to drive most of the way along with my wife.

Upon returning to Colorado I slept for 12 hours the first night and have not had such good sleep like that in months - the kind where you lay down and feel as if it is the most comfortable and luxurious feeling you can imagine.  I knew something wasn't right so I didn't train the next day and slept the next night for another 11 hours.  Waking that next morning I felt like a new person.  I apparently was simply exhausted from the stress of the health issues of my mother-in-law and sticking tight to my prep schedule while there, as well.  To add insult to injury, we filmed 3 training sessions there and most of you may not know this but it takes more time and more volume to make sure that there are enough angles and footage to be edited.  Instead of 3 sets per exercise most exercises were around 5 sets.

I don't want to sound like I am complaining - just laying out how the last week went.

I ended up having to change my workout schedule because I had missed the first 2 days of the week for training and cardio.  As much as I despise training on the weekends, it has to happen to get back on track and get workouts and cardio done.

I have switched to a 3 on and 1 off schedule for both training and cardio - likely through the show as there is only 5 weeks left from this weekend.  Though I have been in pretty good condition for most of the prep and ahead of schedule, I am now a little anxious with the remaining time but if I really sit back and break it down, I can get this done and still be in incredible condition.  It's just tough because even my head plays with me in situations like this so I start to doubt myself.  If the last 2 days back on schedule are any indication, I am in a pretty good spot and improving quickly.

Thought Mrs. Skip has decided under the circumstances that she is not going to compete,  I feel I can still pull it off.  However, if Mrs. Skip's Mom doesn't improve we will likely make another trip to Michigan and that might play into whether I compete or not.  The plan is to see it through and get into my best condition but I will never put a show in front of family - either for my Mother-in-Law, extended family or even to support my wife during this difficult time.  That being said, I will push ahead and stay focused on the goal until or if it becomes too much and I feel that either the stress is too high or I just cannot give enough to get this done right and be on stage in the condition I know I can.

5 weeks.  I am focused and feel I can get this done and done right... unless life decides differently.  It will be a great feeling to finish amidst the obstacles I have endured (and might still endure more of) . If it were easy, everyone would do it.