Monday, August 19, 2013

Floored for Four: OCB Presidential Recap, Part 1

So proud. So dang proud! If you had asked me at the beginning of April if I thought I really would step on stage and compete in a bikini competition before the year's end, I would have had the following response: "I hope so." If you think back to that time, I had just started my initial prep--cleaning up diet, getting serious about workouts, etc--and within 3 days, I got rear-ended at a stoplight and had to deal with that whole mess. Luckily for me, it was more of an insurance/paperwork/time-consumption mess than a physical/health mess.
So very blessed that Bug Eyes suffered the damage, not me.
I walked away pretty much unscathed, with a good amount of chest tightness and shortness of breath, but no physical pain. But the incident still left me questioning whether I could actualize my goals. Three days in and already the odds were against me.

BUT I stuck it out, and here I stand four and a half months later, looking the best I've ever looked, feeling the best I've ever felt, weighing the least I've weighed since...middle school(?!?!), AND with not one but TWO bikini competitions under my belt.

I can't believe it. I seriously cannot fathom all that has happened in that seemingly short amount of time--especially between the OCB Beach Classic and the OCB Presidential Cup. I can't believe it's been a week since I stepped off stage. At this time last week, I would have been just getting back to the high school (the venue for the competition) gearing up for finals. Can you say t-walk?! It wouldn't be for another 2 or so hours that I would even strut my solo stuff--I was competitor #75 out of 80, and unlike the first competition, they ran the finals in numerical order, not by class. Hallelujah for excellent planning!

It wouldn't be for another 3 or so hours that I would have found out my fate. Did I even place? Did I do as well as I had hoped? Did I redeem myself from my subpar performance 6 weeks prior?
Is this trophy even mine? Maybe I'm just holding it for someone...
How Did It All Go Down?

It's always my goal to take what I've learned from the past and apply it to the future. So walking into my peak week, I knew what I had coming for me. I knew I would have a caffeine withdrawal and I knew that working on Friday was out of the question. I also knew that I must shave at THE last possible minute before tanning and I MUST wash my hair right before show day.

If I had to choose which peak week was harder, it would be a tough call but in the end, this most recent one would win out over the last. I went into Thursday with an excruciating headache that just would. not. go. away., and resulting back pain from sitting around on my bum all day driving between few and far between offices. The joys of having rural southwestern Virginia offices in my territory. By the time Thursday evening rolled around, I had NO appetite, and I really just wanted to get the first round of tanning over with so I could get in on my bed and sleep. Not the best mindset to have, but hey--if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Lucky for me, with the extra sleep Thursday night, and no set time I needed to be awake (although I woke up at 6:30am anyway--darned internal clock!), I got up feeling much better than the evening before. Upon walking out of my room, I was even greeted with a pleasant surprise from my roommate, who is officially the most supportive roommate in existence. With an estimated departure time of 12:30, I had plenty of time to run errands, shameless reeking of self-tanner and looking just shy of Oompah-Loompah status. Minus the green hair.
Competitor essentials--how sweet is M?!
The rest of the day seemed to fly by. Kevin, my coach, was nice enough to be my chauffeur and I was able to just relax away until we made it into Laurel, MD. After checking in, getting my competitor number, and going through the polygraph, we made it to the hotel and started round 2 of the tanning process. This went much better and much quicker than round 1. Fast-forward a few hours, and the following meal(s) occurred:
The meat and (sweet) taters
I was in heaven. Chicken? What chicken?? I had weighed in a little bit leaner than we would have liked to hit the stage with on Friday morning, so in order to refeed my muscles, a medium-rare steak and a baked sweet potato, lovingly made by the chef at Outback, was just what the doctor coach ordered. And just what my body needed.

Show Time!

Excuse my horrendous abilities (or lack thereof) to properly recap events. With one show and all its preparation flaws behind us, we awoke Saturday morning with a purpose. First thing first--wash the mane that is my hair, avoiding tan streaking as much as possible, and get those last 2 coats of tan on. After all, we were going darker for this competition. Lesson learned from June 29th. The final product:

I wish it were feasible to look like that every day. Sigh. You can tell by the look on my face though that I was already feeling much more confident with what I achieved in the 5 weeks between competitions! Several layers of makeup later, and I was looking like a certified whore winner. At that point, I ate something although I honestly couldn't tell you what because I don't even recall, and I headed over to the venue. Competitors were told to start getting there at 8am, although this is always a massively overestimation of how much time you need. The show didn't start until 10:30 (11 in actuality), and they didn't even open the backstage doors until 9:30. Good thing I brought a book and entertained myself by taking selfies!

Again, the level of support I received was incredible, although this time much more personal/genuine/concise. I never went into competing as a way to garner interest from friends and acquaintances. It may seem that way at times because I have started using my Instagram and Facebook accounts as a way to keep up with my progress, hold myself accountable, and connect with like-minded individuals with the same or similar goals. When I noticed that several people would mention in conversation that I had inspired them or motivated them to better themselves, whether in the gym or out, I kept it up. I was very humbled by the good luck wishes sent my way that morning and felt more ready than ever to step up my game on that stage!