I hear it in the distance; it’s cold, calculating, and monotonous. Is it real? Or is it a figment of my imagination? Every moment I carry it with me. Tick, tick. There it is again. Am I losing time? Gaining it? Have I progressed or regressed? The internal clock ticks, it slows for no one. I question my goals, the timeline to reach them. Am I on time? Running behind? All these inquiries are perpetuated by one thing, measuring myself to others. I find a lot of my insecurities during the younger years of my competitive life (which is only 3 years old) was when I would compare myself to others, instead of worrying about myself and my own progress. Preparing for a show in early 2010, I was all over the forums trying to find out who was doing the show and who my direct competition was. Finding out disheartened me. There were a lot of guys who looked great in their photos. I kind of fell off track in the final weeks of prep, and it caused me to miss my weight class by 2lbs! I ended up placing out of the top 3 for the first time, and I definitely could have fought for top 2 in the lighter class. I didn’t make the same mistake five weeks later at my second show, and placed top 2 in the most competitive east coast NPC show of the year. There are two sides to this pitfall. Being overly confident in assessing your competition can also lead to failure. It happened to me going into my first national show in 2011 but that is a story for another time. I find both can slow you progress down. They can make you lethargic and leave you open to more mistakes. Always worry about yourself, and your own progress. Comparing yourself to others is pointless unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Marc-Antoine Andrade is a NPC National Level Bodybuilder, Model and Trainer. He was the National Powerlifting Champion from 1998-2000 in the 242lb. class. After taking some time off, he became what most consider morbidly obese weighing in at 300lbs; four years later, that is just a memory. Check out his transformation HERE. Today, he competes in the heavyweight division and most recently has placed 1st in the 2011 NE Muscle Classic, 7th in Jr. Nationals.