Well, I did it! Exactly a year ago I decided to start this blog to hold me accountable for my first figure competition and it’s now over and done with. Feels amazing to complete a goal, especially one as lofty as a competition. This has been one dramatic and challenging year indeed.
Before you read this though, be sure to check out my “Thank You” post on my FB Page. I did my best to TAG everyone but of course I’m sure I missed some people. The followers of this blog deserve a big Thank You as well!
I thought it best to try to summarize and highlight the highs and lows of the days leading up to the competition, the competition day itself, and of course, these days after it’s all over.
Favorite part: Getting to eat 315 grams of carbs the day before the competition. YES I was THRILLED to eat all this food
Least favorite part: The lack of carbs for so many days in a row. I felt a little foggy on Monday, better on Tuesday and on Wednesday was totally used to it.
I came home to some very surprised and shocked faces from the family. You look freakish! I was forewarned ahead of time by fellow competitors to “Leave your modesty at the door!” when getting spray tanned. Yes, lots of nakedness going on amongst my female co-competitors. It’s comical more than anything. But it was helpful to break the ice and talk to a few gals and get their “story.” First time competing? What division? Who made your suit?
I got up as late as I could but for me that was 5:30am. My sister did my hair as best she could (we got thick hair in this family) and she made it look awesome and perfect!
I arrived at the venue a half hour early for my make up appointment. So I plopped myself down on the floor and started up a conversation with a bikini competitor named Robin. She mentioned she was in the military and had lost over 40lbs. We showed each other our “before” pictures on our phones and congratulated each other on our success. I got called for make up, I can’t recall the girl who did my eyes but she did a phenomenal job. My first time with false eye lashes was a success!
Athlete’s Meeting at 8:30am – This felt a little rushed as I wasn’t quite done with my makeup so I headed into the auditorium to hear the order of events and get our swag – kick ass Bodybuilding.com bag full of goodies (most of which were pre-workout powders that went to my friend Joe as I’m not a big pre-workout fan).
9:00am – Back in the makeup chair but not before I got THIS picture of the woman herself, Dana Linn Bailey.
She’s just a rock star in the competition world. I was literally star struck. I couldn’t say anything except “Oh my God HI!!!!!” as I snapped a picture of her. Robin (the bikini military chick) was in the chair next to mine and she was just as star struck. We just stood there in awe of her.
After make up was officially done it was time to just wait. So I went into the auditorium to see my friends and family who had just arrived. We took some pics and I headed back to the back stage area which was another hallway. I ran into Physique competitor Jo Ann and my second interview on this page, ELLEN!! I immediately recognized her and proceeded to stick to her like glue until I knew what the heck to do. In my foggy-ness I never even grabbed a picture with her! Bad Job Outta ME!
Around 10am – Stood in line for Tanning touch ups. THIS was the worlds longest line. So, I gabbed with Ellen and another competitor Roseann. We chatted for quite some time and I told Roseann I would definitely need to interview her for the blog. Her story and Ellen’s story are quite similar! So be on the lookout for that…
No idea on time – guessing it was around 11:00 or 11:30 – More waiting. More picture taking with family and friends. I was so worried they were bored out of their minds but they claimed they were enjoying the show. It was their first time at a bodybuilding show so there was alot of stimulation around. I believe my friend Krista put it best: “Holy spray tan Batman!” I was getting nervous at this point so I practiced my posing with my friends Joe and Amanda standing nearby. Then finally, they announced Masters Figure to head backstage.
Probably 12:30-1:00pm by now – Backstage was a small area with a bunch of bands but only maybe one set of 10lb weights. Not much room to get your pump on but what can you do. I stood in line for a bikini bite (so your suit doesn’t cause a wardrobe malfunction) and then glazed up (nice and shiny).
Then they announced our numbers and we stood in numerical order, still pumping as much as we could. I started working up a little sweat and figured, hell with it. I started talking to girls in line who were ALL SO NICE!! No cattyness at all.
I did my best not compare myself to everyone as I stood in line although it was hard not to. I realized early on that yes, I’m very lean and “small” for figure. In fact I was asked by the head judge the night before if I was competing in Bikini. But this was just about the journey. I reminded myself this is the result of a ton of hard work. No trophy needed.
There was one moment that I will not forget: It was about 30 seconds before we were heading onto the stage and I was waiting in the wings with one girl in front of me and one girl behind me and I just stopped. I stood still and just closed my eyes and took a breath and took the moment in. I thought of the blog, I thought of my Mom, and I thought of how a year ago I pictured THIS moment very vividly in my head.
It was the BEST I felt the entire day.
Walking on stage: The screams and cheers as I walked out with my group was AMAZING! Yes I know not all the cheers were for me but wow, what a high!!!
I stood off to the far side of the stage in line with the other girls and they called each of us individually to do our posing.
When it got to me, the auditorium echoed with my friends and family who screamed “104!!! Yeah!!! Go Pickles!!!” My friend Jess captured it on video!
Any nervousness or shakiness went away (okay not ALL the shakiness) but I was able to do my individual posing with minimal mistakes. I tried desperately to remember to turn my toes out to accentuate the quads, I tried to remember to flex the armpits and spread the lats in the back pose
and tried my hardest not to be too “jumpy” in my transitions.
The BEST reaction to my “Fans” was the competitor (her name is Tammy) standing behind me exclaiming “Holy shit!” after my name was announced. 🙂 I aimed to have the best support at this show and I’ll be damned, I got it!
Even some girls backstage said “Oh number 104! The one with the big crowd!” YEAH, that’s me!
One negative: The head judge did not look up at me at all during my individual posing. At the time I didn’t even think too much of it. But at the end of the day I kept thinking about it and was like “Damn, why didn’t he even look up?”
I got to go back out for comparisons with the Open Figure girls shortly after I came off stage so I got to hear the cheers one more time but no individual posing this time because the judges already saw me earlier.
Then it was over! I texted my family “Okay let’s go eat!” I was ready to celebrate. Yeah I didn’t get asked to stick around for the drug test which basically means you didn’t make the top 5 but again, that wasn’t the point.
Overall feeling: I really didn’t like the morning AND evening format of this show and had decided earlier that I would not participate in the evening show. The tickets were not cheap and to ask my friends and family to stick around for 5 more hours was just not something I wanted to do. Since I lived so close it wasn’t a big deal to just go eat and go home and relax. I had an amazing time after it was all over hanging out with my friends and family and EATING!
Post competition Food: So, I technically cheated on the poll – I believe a Steak/burger had the most amount of votes and I DID order one at the bar we went to afterwards…but I added bacon on top of it AND I had my best friend bring me two cupcakes….AND I had pizza the day AFTER. So, I kind of put all my foods together and had all of them. Worth it!!!
Post Competition Plans: The building phase has begun. I aim to do another competition in about two years. I’m always stressing the importance of goals, and this is another big one. Putting on 15lbs of lean muscle takes time and I’m in no hurry.
Thanks again for following me along on my journey. I will continue to post progress pics and interviews of fellow competitors on this blog as well as the Male Site. However, I would LOVE if some other females were aiming to do a competition in a year so they can write some posts as well. If any of you ladies out there have a competition goal in mind, you know where to find me!
In the meantime, thank you all again for your support, your words of encouragement, and taking the time to comment and follow this blog. I do hope you continue to keep in touch with me via this blog as well as my FB page and Twitter for the latest and greatest.
-Michelle, NPC Figure Competitor