Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Show Recap, Part 1

You probably already know (FB and other social media), but the show didn't go as I'd hoped. To put it bluntly, I crashed and burned. Bottom of my class in both divisions. You know those old vaudeville skits where they use a hook to pull someone from stage? Yeah.  It was that bad.

But... let me start from the beginning.

Thursday, Shiloh and I drove to the host hotel for registration and polygraph. As feared, I did giggle. But the tech was very kind and we just rolled with it. They ask several 'baseline' questions, then get to the meat... "have you taken blah-blah-blah in the last seven years?" "Have you taken Clenbuterol?" "Have you taken a prescription diuretic?" Of course all my answers were NO, so I passed with flying colors (and giggles, mustn't forget the giggles).

I got my athletes packet, my number, and paid for my photo CD, then headed home.

Friday, I began the day by taking pics.

I checked into the hotel, shaved, exfoliated, dressed in my loose black clothes (sans deodorant) then went down to get my first coat of spray tan. I'd forgotten just how dark that is! LOL! They've come a long way with the scent of that spray on stuff, but still... stanky.  Shiloh and I hung out, then Bill joined us and we had dinner. Dinner was an experiment we were trying to sodium and carb load.
In-n-Out - no bun, no cheese, lots of salt on the fries. It was definitely tasty. Up until 4pm, I'd been on my usual no-carb and low-water diet, then at 4 I started my fruit, at 7 was dinner, then we watched a movie and crashed.

Saturday morning I began my pre-arranged food/liquid plan, and got ready. I did my hair and base makeup at the hotel, then packed up and headed to the venue for coat 2 of the tan. Kayla met me there and did my makeup (which was AWESOME!).

Isn't she gorgeous?? And she has the CUTEST baby bump!!
What you can't see behind me on the counter is my super-duper-competitor-suitcase. EVERYTHING I could possibly need is in that roller-case! From hair & makeup stuff to resistance bands for pumping up, eye drops, sewing kit, bikini bite, Pam, and more. I'll share more about the contents of the case in another post.

So, moving on. Morning show, we pumped up and stepped out on stage for judging. If you don't know already, the morning is "prejudging" and this is when pretty much all the decisions are made for placing. You go out with your class, do quarter turns (and turns and turns and turns, lol), then curtsy, wave, and exit the stage. The evening show is when you do your 60 second presentation - or T-Walk, and then awards are announced. Note: NPC doesn't do the 60 second routine in the Finals, just quarter turns as an individual (not in your group).

I was nervous. Let me rephrase, I was NERVOUS. I don't know why, but just as I stepped out, I got super fluttery. We lined up, there were 7 of us in the Master's 40+, and did our turns. They moved us around quite a bit, then dip, wave and go.

Can you see right away what's missing? Compare to my photo from the previous morning. My abs are MIA. Crap.

A bit later, more pumping up then back on stage for the Figure Open, Short Class. 5 of us in that one.

After the morning stuff, we headed home to rest until it was time to return. The show itself was run so incredibly smooth! The expediters (who, to all you who will compete for the first time - these guys are your best friends!) were amazing and kept things moving, fun, and energetic. I felt good about the morning and ready to hit it that night. At home, I put my feet up and promptly fell asleep, lol.
And then it was time to pack it back up and head to the show.
Chicken broth and Coffee in hand! Let's do this!
We had our athlete's meeting, got set up in the dressing room, prepped and waited to roll. Presentation walks were up first, then intermission, then awards. The song I chose was Courtesy Call by Thousand Foot Krutch.

After that, I got to stand backstage in the wings and watch the other competitors - there were some really amazing ones! FUN! Then it was time for awards. They gather the classes together backstage, then top 5 are called out onto the stage to receive their trophies. Figure Master's 40+ is called, and we stand together and wait.

One by one, my fellow competitors names were called. I cannot begin to express how crushing, and yes, humiliating, it was to be left backstage. I kept my head high, kept my smile big and bright, and congratulated the gals as they came back. I held on to my dignity by the skin of my teeth, lol. Then it was time to line up again for Figure Open. Well... there were only 5 of us to start with. I got 5th place.

After that, I was free to pack up and leave. And I did. Tail tucked firmly. I got in a good cry (or 2. Or 3), then pulled myself together. My family and Kayla were wonderful and helped me get refocused. Time to evaluate and adjust my course.

First, I had to accept my defeat and failure. 20 weeks of hard work and diet, with my family sacrificing so much to help make this happen, with Kayla giving so much of herself... and this was what I gave back. Damn. Ok - pity party over.

Second, It's not over. A couple things happened that night that turned this all around for me. Kayla had given me a card before the evening show - and I had to repair my makeup after I read it ;-)  I sat with my glass of red wine afterwards and read it again. One of the things she said was this, "You OWNED this goal and the work needed, and what you accomplished as of today is more TRUE than any ribbon will speak of for you."  The trophy, the placing - they don't define me. The journey defines me. And I rocked the journey. Even with self-doubt and fear rearing their heads, I know - I KNOW - I rocked the journey.

The other thing that happened was a conversation with my husband and Shiloh. Both were adamant that this was NOT going to be the end, that I would finish what I started and keep going. Both were fiercely proud of me and so supportive. They 'got' my pain, but pushed me forward. Bill said, "The only way you could disappoint me is if you gave up now." Seriously - how'd I get so lucky to have people like this in my life?

The next morning (slightly hung over, lol), I got online and read all the comments and posts you incredible people left for me. I was overwhelmed. And humbled. And encouraged. And motivated. I emailed the judges for feedback, two have already gotten back to me. I'll take their words and go over them, and the photos, with Kayla, and we'll replot the path.

Looking at the pics, I can identify several things that went awry... I refuse to pick apart my physique in a negative way, but I will objectively analyze it and note areas for improvement. It's not about not being happy with what I did with my body, it's about fine-tuning it to do well in my sport. And, this level of criticism is only for the sport - this isn't normal life. Once my competition season is over, I have a goal weight to reach and maintain that is healthy (for me, we're looking at around 130 lbs and 16-18% body fat).

So... a bit of distance between me and the initial disappointment and I have a better perspective. I had fun competing in this event. The athletes were all very nice and we had a great time chatting and doing our thing. I prepped hard and well, and earned the right to step on the stage. I have some tweaking to do, but I am proud of what I've done. They may have given me this trophy because they had to, lol, but damnit, I still earned it and I'm keeping it (my first impulse was to chuck it as far as I could, lol. Hey, just being honest.).


  1. Damn Right! You earned it and so much more! You have shown such grace and honesty throughout this journey. Its been an honor and such an inspiration for you to have so openly shared your daily efforts!

  2. You are so amazing! I don't comment much but I have watched your journey and every moment had been inspiring. The hard work you put into this show is the reward in itself. I know how you can still feel disappointed but know that this girl is in awe!

  3. I'm very proud of you. It has been a killer joirney which you have shared with us and in my opinion, you killed it. The reward is found in us, your readers. You inspire us to be better versions of ourself. You have shared journey and in my eyes, you are a winner.

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