Monday, July 8, 2013

Can't Stop, Won't Stop

It's about time I stop procrastinating and actually recap the OCB Natural Bodyz Beach Classic from last weekend, don't you think? I apologize for the lag in posting--I know many of you have been very eager to hear how the show went. Truth be told, I've had this past week off of work (corporate shutdown, yay!) so it coincided nicely with a week to recoup and figure out next steps. It's so funny, because now that I've gotten my first bikini competition under my belt, I feel like the day just flew by and almost like it didn't happen at all. But it did, and here is how it went down.


A work day like none other, my plan Friday was to get through my offices as quickly and efficiently as possible and make the drive from Manassas (where I was that day) to Virginia Beach. GPS said it should take about 3 hours. Traffic upon traffic upon traffic later, I finally made it to the Westin Town Center, where I would be checking in for the competition and staying for the night. Just in case you're unsure, traffic upon traffic upon traffic equates to about 6 1/2 hours. Give or take. (Give).
Cooler packed full of chicken, naive to the traffic ahead of me.
The show had a very nice setup for accommodations--the host hotel was directly across from the venue, within walking distance. When I finally made it to check-in, I made the split decision to cross-over into bikini open. If you recall, I'd previously decided to register for bikini novice and was on the fence about crossing over. Well, I was pushed off the fence and landed feet first into both divisions. I was then presented with a lovely competitor's packet and the button of the day.
Potentially lucky #47??
At that point, I only had about half an hour to relax in my room before my polygraph test--yes, apparently the OCB makes you pay for take a polygraph test to ensure you have not used performance-enhancing drugs in the past 7 years. Let me tell you, that's a great way to up the cost of a show! And even though I can honestly say that I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs, I still got a little nervous strapped up and down with wires, blood pressure cuffs, etc. What if it somehow said I was lying?! All that worrying was for naught though, because the polygraph went off without a hitch duh. After that, it was back to the room to wait for my coach to arrive--because of my work schedule earlier in the day, we had to drive separately. Although in hindsight, it would have taken probably the same amount of time had I just opted to detour to Charlottesville instead of taking I-95. Oh well.

Less than half an hour later, my coach made it through the traffic as well, and we got to work on Coat #2 of 3 of ProTan. There really wasn't much time to relax at all, and by the time we finished up it was around 11pm, aka bedtime. Unfortunately for me, being the light sleeper that I am, I tossed and turned all night. I am pretty sure I woke up unable to fall back asleep more than I actually slept that night. This was due to several reasons--the obvious (nerves, excitement, etc.), and poor sleeping conditions (the ice machine RIGHT down the hall from my room beeped the ENTIRE night). I also kept switching between hot and cold, and I for the life of me could not get the thermostat and my thermoregulatory system to agree.

Saturday--Show Time!

Of course, I woke up well before my alarm the next morning, anxious as anything. It was 6:30 and I still had to eat my breakfast chicken, apply another coat of tan, and do my hair and makeup before walking across to the venue at 9am. It didn't seem like there was enough time, and my best friend was arriving at 8am to help me with makeup. I kept feeling like I was running behind and didn't get started on my hair until about 7:45. Thank goodness for my level-headed BFF who listened to me freak out, calmed me down, and managed to apply my fake eye lashes like a pro. Love her--such a trooper!
How adorable is she?!
Did I mention that she just shy of surprised me by coming down for the competition? Initially, she was unsure whether or not she would be able to make it, because she and her husband have been crazy busy with visitors (including myself) up in Philly practically every weekend for the past month or so. When I travelled to visit her 3 weeks prior to my show, she mentioned that she was going to try to convince her husband to come down with her this weekend but wasn't 100% positive. Then a few days before the show, as I was talking with her dad (they really are my second family), he told me the exciting news that she was indeed coming down. I'm so lucky I have such a supportive group of friends and family!

So 9am rolls around and my coach and I headed to the venue, and my BFF and I parted ways (only to be reunited after prejudging). Walking into the dressing rooms backstage, I was at first a little lot nervous...until I realized that I just happened to walk into the room full of figure girls. Most of the bikini girls were in the other dressing room. Then the waiting game began. I kept practicing posing in the hallways until it was time to oil up and hit the stage.
Sending IG love to all my supporters!

When I stepped behind the curtains, I realized I wasn't the only girl there that was trying to hold it together like a ball of yarn about to unravel. And yet I this sense that I was the most out of practice. The time came that we were finally called out on stage and I did what I was told to do--strike a pose. Hold it. Change. Hold it. "Turn to the back." Pivot. Flip the hair (I forgot to flip the hair SEVERAL times). Hold it. "Now take 5 steps to the back of the stage." Strike a pose. Hold it. "Turn to the front." Strike a pose. Hold it. #__ and #47 change places. Wave. Saunter. Strike a pose. Hold it.
Let's not comment much on my terrible stage presence...
It seemed like it went on forever, and there is no room to "check out what the other competitors are doing." No, no. When we stepped off stage, I already didn't have a good feeling about my placing. You can tell who the judges are watching, and I didn't seem to be a favorite. Not to mention, despite the long drawn-out description of the exact poses that the OCB was looking for (especially with back poses), there were several girls that took to other poses. Yeah, that sounds confusing, but basically, the rules said they were looking for rear poses where you have your hip popped to one side or the other, looking over one shoulder, and yet EVERY other girl on the stage either hit a straddle-legged (I don't really know what it's called) pose or one with their legs crossed together to accentuate their glutes/hammies.

I remember meeting up with my coach backstage practically fighting back tears because I didn't think that was fair. It was one of those "had I known" moments. I had one of the best physiques out of the girls in the bikini division. Heck, I was the only bikini competitor with legit abs! Okay, well maybe one of two... And yet, I lacked the stage presence, I lacked the posing confidence, and it killed my placement.
One, two, three, four, five, six. Yup, that's a 6-pack!

The Waiting Game, Evening Show, and Beyond

Captain Cole! (How is it that I don't have pics with my own family??)
After prejudging, I met up with my BFF, her dad, my mom, and my sister. It was interesting to hear their opinions of the competition, especially my mom. Let's just say strutting your stuff on stage in next to nothing isn't exactly her cup of tea. But she was also a trooper and stayed through the entire show, as did my BFF and sister. We "celebrated" being done with the hard part by going to get a little lunch and unwind. Before I knew it, it was time to get back for the evening show. At this point, I was a little bummed, as I already knew the odds were not in my favor. When it came time for my T-walk, they started playing house music until the cut into the music that I provided, which threw me off and I kinda blew that too. Well, not really, but there was a LOT of room for improvement.
Caption explained: I felt gross
and desperately wanted to shower.
After awards wrapped up, it was already 10pm(!!) and my BFF's dad invited me over so he could grill me up my first post-competition food--a delicious burger with a side of her mom's fabulous berry cobbler. I kid you not when I say I dreamt about that cobbler that night! Well it sort of turned into a nightmare of "I ate a pan of cobbler and now I need to workout...Yes, I have odd dreams.

Now What?

In the end, I think I placed 8th out of 9 girls in the novice class. Frustrating, but I'm well aware of why. And yet, I am not discouraged. Back to the drawing board! The next day, I was ready to get back at it. No, I don't mean a Sunday morning fasted cardio session, but I did hit the gym when I got back to Charlottesville that evening. I was ready to fix the things that need fixing. I was ready to revamp my training and nutrition plan, get in contact with my posing coach, and exhaust all my resources/contacts between now and my next show. And then I made that decision, which I knew I'd made long before--another show is in the works.

Not just another show, though. Another TWO shows. One larger, in Maryland. The OCB Presidential Cup on August 10th. Another, probably about the same size, by the same promoter, again in Virginia Beach. The OCB Battle for Tidewater on September 14th. The second is still a little tentative because I had committed to an obstacle race team with a couple of friends, and I don't want to leave them in the dust. However, I explained my intentions and we are working on finding a replacement for me so we can still all have our competitive moments that day.

It wasn't until Friday that I finally met with my coach. We weighed in, checked BF%, and made some tweaks to the training plan. Only 3 pounds up from competition weight (I was VERY cognizant about what I ate/drank afterward because I've heard my fair share of horror stories), and BF% was right in check. We've kept most the same because we don't want any drastic changes between now and the next two shows, but I'm cutting down my cardio from 20-30 minutes steady-state (more or less) to 15-20 minutes of HIIT. Luckily, both my old (current) and new apartments are within walking distance of two different local school tracks. Can you say TRACK SPRINTS?! Oh yeah, did I mention I'm moving about 3 miles down the road during this next prep??

Along those lines, I'm also trying to shape up my derriere a bit more, so I've started what I've termed BSO: The Booty Sculpting Offensive. This rear better shape up or ship out!

So all-in-all, I'm excited, I'm invigorated, and I'm raring to go! I have my first competition under my belt, I know the ropes, I know what to work on, and I'm fixing what must be fixed. August 10th, you better watch yourself!

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