There are no cheat days.
I can’t stop feeling like something is missing. All those days, weeks and months coming together for one (albeit long) day and now…crickets. The gym is still here, the diet is still here the love of strength is still here but now there is a quiet over me that I’m not welcoming all that easily into the fold of regular life.
Taking off to Mexico and having a real rest and reflect will be the re-boot I need to gear up for 6 months of hard work, gains, travel and adventure. Recovery is a part of the cycle and a much needed one, it’s just hard to get off the hype train when you’ve been on it non-stop for this long.
I am so grateful for my coach, who brought me this victory. Who was patient and understanding of my needs. My best friend and partner in everything, Jeff. Not sure how we do it, but we stay in love every day, even when I’m so hungry I could punch. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My family and my parents who flew in just to see their “little girl” compete once again. Must’ve been surreal for you since I haven’t competed on a stage in so long. I’m grateful you were there to keep me motivated and watch me excel.
I’ve tried to capture my day here for everyone who has followed along on this journey. It’s been tough but fun and I’ve done SO much growing and learning. I can’t believe that I’m as strong as I’ve been in so many ways. My body, mind and spirit have blown the lid off of what I thought I was made up of. Yay me.
My original goal, that I sent to my coach Jennifer was to just come in top 5. Well, I beat my goal and now I’m on to my next one – first place, and a Pro Card in May. I have 2 kicks at the can…..stay tuned everyone.
New and improved suit
Sparkle central – more bling on this ting!
I sent my suit away to have more rhinestones put on it – was a recommendation of my coach and I’m glad I did. She sparkled quite nicely if I do say so myself. The suit cost me just over $300 in total as an FYI.
Schedule for 2 days tanning
Tanning was actually a total pain in the ass. I went to Bronze Baxx in Calgary where they sprayed me (butt naked is the status quo here so you cannot be shy) then baked me in a stand up for 6 minutes. 2 days in a row.
The JanTana tattoo cover cream that I ordered was darker than the tan they had so I had to run to the mall last minute the morning of tan #2 to pick up some Kat Von D stuff they recommended which seemed to work.
Sleeping in this tan is disgusting. You will end up about the stinkiest you could possibly be by the end of show #2 on d-day. It’s just a fact.These tans cannot take moisture so being ultra vigilant once your final tan is on is key.
When I got to the athletes meeting later on Friday night, a bunch of folks advised me that my tan wasn’t dark enough. I’ll need to let Bronze Baxx (who guaranteed me a sufficient tan for my federation) because I paid nearly $200 for essentially nothing. SO I had to get my wonderful makeup artist Glam Girl out of YEG to spray me.
SO glad I did. They used the JanTana spray product and I had compliments coming out of the wazoo about my tan. I certainly stood out in comparison to my competitors who were all tanned by the same company at the event. Risky, but worth it.
Lie detection about to go down.
The polygraph went fine. Basic 10 questions about banned substances and if I’d taken any in the last 7 years. No worries there. At breakfast the next day we were talking about this though…why don’t they just pee test everyone instead of the lie detector?
The lie detector takes about 30 minutes and then you STILL get to compete if you pass it (and lie) so that if you make it as the top of your class and go for a pro card THEN you get tested.
A lot of people leave after placement/awards so if the top dog was found to have contraband in their system what next? They contact the second runner up? They should pee test the top 5 in my opinion to stop cheating and expedite the system more quickly.
Anyway, it seemed kind of silly because if you didn’t use contraband, you have no worries…was quite the ordeal getting in. The polygraph team were a great couple with amazing personalities however, so the time passed quickly.
Athletes meeting & Registration
Athletes meeting swag.
This took place at the host hotel. It started 45 minutes late, took nearly 3 hours and was exhausting. This is when you check in to register, pick up your number and drop off any music you have if you are in a class with a routine and weigh in for bodybuilders.
You find out some information here about the next day however, we were not given schedules or anything and this was a really tough part of the night. I was on 3.5 hours sleep and had no energy. If I would have known how delayed it would all be…well, I would have left the meeting a little early to sleep. Honestly, the waiting is the hardest part – thank you Tom Petty.
Take the time to ask any questions here that you need to if the platform is provided. I was happy that they went through T-walks and all of the posing requirements for each class here – I was seriously freaking for some time about missing the posing camp – but I rocked the stage with what I learned on my own….nice to know they back your knowledge up at the athletes meeting though.
My nail girl failed so I bought a pack of press-ons. They worked fine, looked good from the stage and were $10. I would never schedule nails again in my life for a show. I painted my toes super sparkly gold (unlike the french that they recommend).
Hair, Makeup and Tanning
Hypothermia setting in – spray booth torture.
Glam Girl was amazing. So professional and quick. A husband and wife team out of Edmonton who kick ass. The makeup is beyond professional, the tan is JanTana and they have done up gals from here to Nevada at every sort of show you could imagine. I wish that you could fit them in your pocket and take them with you to all shows.
I’ll be using them May 7th for my Calgary show – if you’re competing in YYC soon please have a look out for them, they help me win second place I swear.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Prepare to be totally exhausted friends. Totally exhausted. There is not really any sleep for you if the show is organized anything like this one was. Day before the show they kept us up late at the athletes meet, show day you get up when you need to get your hair and makeup done.
On show day we were told to be at the stadium for 10 am – didn’t end up going on till 3pm. We were told after our pre-judging that ALL athletes had to be back by 4pm. My division didn’t go on until nearly 9pm. Essentially I spent an entire day laying on pavement/walking around aimlessly…along with my poor family who flew and drove in to see me.
This was probably the WORST part of the whole experience. Know the timing as best you can and try to relax somewhere else (home/hotel) when you can. I brought a blanket with me but should’ve brought an ultra thick yoga mat as well. It was cold back there and there were no chairs for anyone. Be prepared.
Meals for Fri/Sat
I had packed rice, boiled mashed yams and portions of tempeh for the day of the show. I also packed maple syrup, peanut butter, coconut oil and salt.
Meal prepping for the show.
I would be texting pictures to my coach every few hours for tweaks and changes. Water started to be cut on Friday around 1pm. This whole part is a science and I would have failed miserably if I didn’t have a great coach who is also a holistic nutritionist.
Keeping the right balance of food to stay tight and not bloated all day is a serious commitment.
Typical check-in picture. This was between prejudging and finals.
This is the longest part of the day and where all the placements are decided. This is where you need to kick ass and take names. I was not anticipating having to do quarter turns, walks etc… for so long, holding back pose over and over again for about 25-30 minutes has left me with a super tender lower back….be prepared for having to do a lot of work in pre-judging….stretch well and rest well after this….my leg day today will be affected by my back tenderness.
What I didn’t like about this portion was that I ALMOST had to do my walk to Shaggy’s song about getting caught cheating or whatever, I nearly puked. Finally “Rock my World” by Michael Jackson came on and I could groove and do an amazing T-walk.
I really wish they let us choose our music for this too….
This part is supposed to be for the audience and for fun. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather do one show and have it over with. I was up from 4am for the day and didn’t get to off the stage till just after 9pm that evening. I was SO tired and SO sore…. being an ex-performer I really found this odd…PLUS the audience leaves after every category so by the time mine went on there were literally about 40 people left in the audience. Sad face.
Bum glued on and checking in with my coach before Pre-judging.
The rhythm for back stage is eat a meal, pump up and practice posing. I probably ate about 6-9 times (small meals & snacks) for the first show and then about 6-7 times between the first and end of the second.
There were no mirrors provided in the area which sucked, but we shared some full lengths that locals had brought. I brought my own bands and small weights. I suggest you do the same if you’re ever competing so that you’re not SOL when pumping time comes before they call you up. So important to keep your muscles looking full and lovely before pre-judging especially.
First meals off-plan
2nd place in the bag. Time to hit up some delicious vegan/raw vegan fare!
Celebration Dinner – Noorish, Edmonton
All organic. All vegan, all amazing.
These folks pulled a late-nighter to stay open and serve our group of 7 – I was so happy to have this kind of kindness shown to me on such a hard and late day.
We sampled their kale chips, root veggie poutine, I had an open-faced “burger” on a raw vegan onion bread with a kale caesar salad, vegan pumpkin cheesecake for dessert AND my first glass of wine in 4 months.
I have to say that I really wasn’t over the moon about the wine, didn’t really miss it at all. I nursed it and that was that. Still no hankering for a drink……food however, I’ll hanker that till the cows come home.
Celebration breakfast – Clever Rabbit, Edmonton
Vegan eggs, vegan homemade bacon, vegan benny, vegan latte…..Vegan heaven. We even took some baking with us ( a giant vegan nanaimo bar which now lives in my deep freeze, an earl grey donut and a couple of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies)
Wrap up and emotions
Well, this one was a tough one for me. If you don’t know me, I’m SUPER competitive. Not because I need to beat people at things, but because I need to be the best I can be by MY definition…which, is usually number one.
I started to beat myself up a bit about coming in second. I really did….nearly pouted about it. Then I started collecting memories from along the way and realized that it’s subjective this category of bodybuilding, and that sometimes there isn’t a way to have won…your face may not be the face the judges like overall that day etc etc…I don’t know about industry politics, I’m sure I’ll run into this at some point down the road.
I had to shake myself and say HEY you were after this for a total of 90-120 days…and you came in top five, top 2 in the largest class of the competition – take a minute to bask in that accomplishment stupid.
I am the only athlete there that did it VEGAN…..and I really should have pushed to have that known more. I definitely will next time.
I’m committed to achieving first and a pro card. That’s my ultimate goal…so I’ll be back in May on the 7th and 14th in Calgary and Vancouver respectively – working for that. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (thank you Daft Punk).
Strong, determined and coming back with a vengeance.