Okay…this is delayed, but better late than never.
This past week, I competed at my first national level show. It was a pretty wild ride.
We flew from St. Louis to Chicago, which is a really short flight. However, I came to find out there is no such thing. Let me be clear, I am all about airport security. TSA checkpoints are a small price to pay for the safety. That said, I have never been through one as an adult and not been extensively checked. This time they went STRAIGHT for the crotch. Cool.
Chicago was beautiful. Got in, saw a lot of friends from when I lived there. That was great. Got checked in, which took a grand total of 4 minutes. Jr. Nationals ran smooth as butter from start to finish. I cannot say enough good things about the promoters/expediters/etc. Went back to the hotel, slept like a brick until the next morning.
Day of show 1: Woke up to an AMAZING hair day. Got my tan applied super early in the AM as opposed to the night before, which I prefer. No touch up needed before stage time. Make up next, which was amazing. Then it was stage time….
Probably the most nervous I have ever been on stage. There were 35ish other girls in my class and every.last.one. was lights out. I knew one other girl in my class, which was nice. She was experienced at this level and made sure I didn’t miss a cue. We were on stage for approximately five minutes, which felt like forever. We did group quarter turns, individual presentations, and call outs. While this isn’t where they announce placing, this is where you get an idea of where you stand.
Day 2: Day 2 was short lived, and at night. We were on stage for about 1 minute, hit one post, and filed off with the exception of the top 5. I was way less nervous, and had a lot of fun getting to know people.
I didn’t place for the first time in anything in my entire iron sport career. AND: I completely agree with it. There was something very calming about it. It was my first time on THAT big of a stage with THAT many people looking at me. I have a few take-aways
1. Bring the look YOU want to bring, don’t worry about the rest. Im not good at moderation. If I am going to be lean, I want to be REALLY lean. I was a little more moderate as a judge suggested last October after my Ottawa show. Not that I wasn’t happy with my look, but now I am going to do another show to really nail my conditioning how *I* want.
2. This should be fun. I feel like anytime you are partaking in a HOBBY, it should be fun. For a lot of people backstage, it really wasn’t. I was cool as a cucumber, but noted a surprising number of women having what looked like the worst time of their entire life. Geesh.
3. Train how you want to train, and worry about your category later. The day of competition is 1 day of the year. You are in the gym training 364 days otherwise. Your training style should be whatever you enjoy, regardless of its impact on your aesthetics. I heard one girl lamenting that her coach had her stop doing squats and how she really missed them. I hope our 5 minutes on stage was worth “almost crying because she missed the squat rack so bad” ever leg day. I hope that was an exaggeration.
4. The people that follow you on social media actually do exist. I met them. Lots of them. Who woulda thunk.
5. You learn a hellova lot more losing than winning. Its hard to see your downfalls when you are winning. This weekend brought to light a lot of things I can work on, and that’s exciting for me. I will likely switch to physique, and took note of what it takes to be on their level as well.
For kicks, this was my post show reefed(24 hours):
-2 slices Genos Deep Dish Meat Lovers Pizza
-IHOP Cinnamon Raisen French toast + ice cream
-Chicken Fajitas, chips salsa, diet soda
-Medium James Brown Concrete from Andys Frozen Custard
-Some cookie with icing in the middle