Hi guys! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I wanted to do a recap of my last competition, but between a friends wedding in Brazil and getting things together for the holidays I have had zero time.
My last competition was the NPC national championships in Fort Lauderdale and it was also my first National level contest. I was hoping to win my pro card, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I learned a lot though and I am not too disappointed with how I did, because I did place, but I think I could have done better and I hope to next time.
One of the main differences between this competition and the local ones I have done in the past was the fact that it was stretched out over 3 days instead of just 2. Check in was Thursday, prejudging for Bikini, Bodybuilding and Women’s Physique was Friday, Prejudging for the other categories and the Finals were Saturday. I have to say that this is one thing I really didn’t like. Not only was it more expensive to stay more days, but it also meant more days without deodorant and that awful spray tan.
I booked my flight to leave early on Thursday so I could have lots of time to check in and get my spray tan, which ended up being a really good thing. The flight was just 2.5 hours from DC and since I was alone it felt easy and relaxed. Getting my car from the rental place was the only annoying thing because I had to take a shuttle and wait, but by about 1pm I had my car and arrived at my hotel.
I ended up staying at the Holiday Inn Express which was across the street from the host hotel. It saved me about $150 from what the host hotel would have costed and the location was great because within walking distance there was a grocery store, GNC, sushi restaurant and nail place (important because I still needed to get my nails done.) My room wasn’t ready so I decided to get one more workout in at the Lifetime Fitness that was about 40 min away. Nerves and exhaustion had gotten to me at that point and I just didn’t feel like staying long at the gym. I did about 20 minutes of cardio and headed back to the hotel. By that time it was 3pm and I still had to get my nails done before my spray tan appointment at 4:45.
My hotel room was ready so I checked in. It was nice, clean, modern and big enough. I set my stuff up, pumped (yes I am still breast feeding!) and then walked over to the nail salon. Everything went smoothly and by 4:15 I was all set to head over to check in when it started pouring rain. YES POURING. My coach had told me to wear a cute check-in outfit so I was dodging rain drops as I sprinted too the hotel in my pink dress and heels. My heart was racing as I looked around at all the fit gorgeous bodies.Obviously the competition was a step up from what I had seen in the past. Nationals brings out the best of the best. I tried to tell myself not to let it get into my head and feigned confidence as I walked in the check-in room, got my height taken and my goody bag. Bikini class E. Yay!
In the pouring rain, I sprinted over to the spray tan building. If you have ever competed, you know that the spray tan rooms are full of naked competitors. It is so hard not to size up the competition. It is so hard not to compare yourself and let your insecurities crop up. For me my main area of insecurity are my abs. While i used to love showing off my mid-section, since I had Cyrus, my belly button has popped out into an outie, and my abs are not as ripped as I would like. Looking at the other girls I could tell that the competition would be tough and that the judges would have a hard decision. And for once I really didn’t feel like I was a front runner, but I forced myself to stay positive.
When I was done with my tan, the rain was still pouring down and I did not want to ruin my tan so I waited for a little break in the rain and rushed to my car. I made it back to the hotel with minimal damage and spent the night relaxing in my room. I have learned not to be so dramatic about my tan since my first competition.. Most tan imperfections can be fixed later and with the bright stage lights, minor blemishes are camouflaged.
Waking up the next morning I was excited. I had a quick breakfast, picked up some things from CVS- a few bottles of water and some snacks, got my second coat of tan and then headed back to the hotel. Since it was my first time doing my own make-up and hair I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time. Even though the athlete’s meeting wasn’t until 3pm I started getting ready at around 12. I started with my hair in rollers and did my make-up according to my coach’s plan. It took me about 2 hours but I saved sooooo much money since I heard from other girls the make-up artist cost about $250. I would definitely recommend learning how to do your own hair and make-up. Its really not that hard.
After getting everything together in my rolling suit case I headed to the theater. The Broward performing arts center was a lot bigger than any other venues I had competed at. The expo was also a lot bigger. I had to pry myself away from the quest bar station so that I wouldn’t miss the athletes meeting.
At the athletes meeting they told us that they would explain how our stage time would go when we were about to go on stage so basically they just handed us our number buttons. The line for bikini girls to get their number took up most of the backstage area and I started getting nervous looking over the girls. I predicted we would be waiting for about 3 hours back stage so once I got my number I headed upstairs to watch the male bodybuilders that were on before us. Boy was I wrong! I ended up wondering around the performance center, practicing my posing, and trying to stay calm for 7 hours!
At 9:00pm was finally our turn to go on stage. The time lapse, wasn’t good for me. In the time that my hair had fallen flat, my tan had turned an unappealing shade of green and my energy had waned. I had also spent entirely too much time in my heels and my lower back and feet were already killing me. While, Pro tan was able to help me salvage my tan a little bit, the pain I was feeling combined with my nerves meant that I didn’t give my best performance on stage. Looking at my pictures from the competition I can see that.
For this show, (unlike the others I have done) they had us all walk out do our posing, and then file off to the side, still on stage. That meant we had to stand in the same position while all the other girls took their turn. I was in so much pain I thought me feet were going to fall off. When they started doing callouts I prayed that I would be in the first few just so that I could get off stage quicker.
I made third call outs. My legs were shaking but I was placed right in the center so I felt confident that I at least placed top 15. It was 9:30 by the time we finished and I could not wait to get back to the hotel, knowing I had another day of this and knowing that I hadn’t met my goal of going pro.
Back at the hotel I took a shower and relaxed, almost glad that I didn’t have the pressure of being in the top five. I didn’t really have to worry about ruining my tan or anything like that so I took a shower and fell asleep quickly.
The next day was more relaxed. Knowing I hadn’t won, I considered blowing off the night show and just spending the day on the beach but figured that would be unsportsmanlike and that at least it would be fun to watch the show and see the results. I did get some time to visit with family and walk by the beach though. The weather was great. Determined not to waste so much time waiting around, I ended up missing the athletes meeting for the night show. I was freaking out internally on my way to the venue but luckily it wasn’t a big deal.
The night show ended up being a lot of fun. I really enjoyed watching the different categories especially women’s bodybuilding and physique, which have to do routines to their own music. I also liked watching the show from the judge’s/audience’s perspective. This time my wait was only about 3 hours. My stint on stage was about 2 seconds– just an introduction as I walked by– since I didn’t place top five., but I was glad that I had stuck around for it. I also got a few great pictures from backstage.
I ended up placing 14th. Overall, I think the girls that placed top 5 in my category did deserve it. Since the NPC website is awesome, the pictures were available pretty much as soon as the show was over and I spent time looking and comparing myself against the winners. I didn’t hear any thing back from the e-mail I sent to the main judge, Sandy, for feedback but I know I need to add a little muscle mass and work on my stage presence.
I am excited for my next competition. Sorry for the long rambling post and Thanks for sticking with it if you read all the way to here, but I really did want to share my whole experience. I would have loved more info about how a national level show is run before I competed (maybe then I wouldn’t have spent 7 hours backstage doing nothing) so I hope this helps those of you who are considering competing at the national level.
Have you competed at the national level? What did you learn? What mistakes (if any) did you make?