Friday: Driving down to Pittsburgh for my spray tan:
After my meeting with the interns and clearing up all of the odds and ends of things, I drove down to the pittsburgh area where I was spray tanned by Olympia Tan. I chose to do the tanning through the venue that was affiliated with the show. Pricey? Yes, but it was ENTIRELY worth it. The day of the show that provided us with more touch ups, shine, bikini bite, and they were such a nice group to work with. They ensured I looked my best and that there were no drips or lines. They even got me in a whole hour before my appointment was scheduled! Talk about luck right?? After my tan I waited around the hotel for an hour or so until check in/weigh in at 6pm. I was so nervous that I dropped my coffee and it landed on some girls feet! Luckily she was so sweet about it and we started talking; she told me how this was her second show and that I shouldn’t be nervous. We got some cool swag bags and t shirts at check in filled with lots of supplements and protein bars that I couldn’t eat…..#peakweekproblems. It was about 7pm and all I wanted to do was go to sleep, so I did haha! My coach told me how I’d be in bed early and I didn’t believe her. All of the carb depletion really got to me.
Saturday: Show time!
I went back to the hotel at 8:30AM to get some bronzer/touch ups done on my tan. I also got dressed in the hotel bathroom and did my makeup there . Some people get their hair/makeup done, but I chose to do it myself. I don’t usually wear makeup or do anything to my hair, so I was too nervous for anyone to do an awful job and ruin my day! I drove on over to the venue and waddled on over with my huge isolator fitness lunchbox and carry on bag that contained my shoes and suit and other paraphernalia and found a seat in the back. In an hour was the competitor meeting, so had some time to change and practice posing and redo any mascara that smudged, which is inevitable with my unsteady hand. I came back to a few guys that were sitting near my lunchbox and ended up having a great conversation with them. The competitor Matt had done about six shows and is really progressing in the bodybuilding field, and his friend Chad came as support. I looked like a loser sitting all alone but soon enough I knew my friends and fan club at the gym would show up. Tip I learned: TALK to people!! seriously—go network! Talking to Matt and Chad ended up being the highlight of my day! We discussed different diets an techniques, as well as personal stories that weren’t non-fitness related. It was so nice to have my nerves calmed before we all headed backstage to get ready. Lacey and the gym women showed up relatively soon, just in time for me to go on stage!
As a first time competitor, you can say I had NO idea what I was doing! Without a posing coach I was all alone up there, but I think I did fairly well for going into this whole show blind. Prejudging I entirely failed haha, I think I was so nervous I could feel my smile shaking the entire time on stage. But I didn’t trip, I did remember to move my hair to the side, and I was always smiling The two classes I competed in were True novice (never competed before) and collegiate (<25 years old and taking college classes). What really pissed me off was that there were 3 girls who competed in true novice who actually had competed before….and competed with Lacey in previous shows!!! Entirely unfair! But hey, I can’t be salty forever! After I got off stage I was like wow…..that was SO easy. I can’t believe I was so nervous! Prejudging ended around 2:30 and Lacey and I had 2.5 hours to kill before finals, so we sat and chatted with Matt and Chad for a while, until Matt wanted to get coffee.
So that began our journey to find a coffee shop in a town we had never explored. And this involved walking around (luckily it was 66 degrees, because I was walking around in a bikini and a robe) for about a mile looking for this coffee shop that I googled…which ended up being this run down shady looking place in the middle of nowhere. But nonetheless, it was the best time of my life. Walking in, all of the african americans in the room looked at me and were complimenting my tan, stating how black is beautiful. The tan and outfit was a great conversation starter. All of the people in the room were interested in what was going on in town this weekend. We all grabbed our coffees and sat down and just relaxed until finals at 5.
Getting 2nd in the collegiate division baby! All of the girls on stage in every class looked phenomenal! It was bad to say that I was ashamed with how I looked because everyone else topped me big time! After watching all of the women, it only makes me want to try harder and eat better to become like them. I’m so proud of everything that I accomplished and I’m looking forward to my next show in April. Going to bring it even better (and more posing practice is needed). We all celebrated by grabbing food at Red Robin afterwards as a cheat. Mine was a grilled chicken sandwich with unlimited broccoli (accompanied by an entire row of cinnamon bun oreos and chocolate covered pretzels…and some of Laceys french fries obviously)
Things I will take away from my experience as a first time NPC bikini competitor:
- Practice posing….more than you think you need too. Posing is so important! Doing things the right way will hide as well as accentuate the areas you want.
- 80% nutrition, 20% exercise: dieting is key. Cheating is ineveitable in small doses, but staying on track on your diet is so important
- Get a coach: Unless you feel confident in your abilities regarding nutrition, I suggest getting a coach
- Talk to people! Talk to people in your class, the judges, compliment the girls, everything. Not everyone will be nice of course, but it doesn’t hurt to try to network
- Smile—no one likes someone who is flat faced on stage
- Don’t overcheat the night after the show—my cramps after my meal was awful!! Well worth it of course but driving 1.5 hours home after that meal was painful!!
- Take as many photos as possible—you’ll want to remember it forever.