Tuesday, May 17, 2011
What a weekend! On Thursday afternoon, Steve & I packed up the car and headed to FL for my first figure competition of the season. Roughly 7 hours later we arrived in town only to find out that the official event hotel we had booked wasn't AT ALL what it was cracked up to be online...it was a complete HOLE! We were not a happy campers...especially since I was nervous and excited about my first show, and with the stress from all the preparation that goes into the final week with diet and final workouts and a long car ride to the event location. I was tired and cranky! I'm not a "hotel snob" in any way, but seriously...this is 2011 and there are still hotels that don't provide Internet access in the guest rooms, even for a fee? Even hotels that are "official event" hotels? Get real. The facilities were just gross and I won't get into how unattractive the actual room was. No wonder they charged a first night non-refundable booking fee! I bet most people RUN when they actually see it!
So...Steve immediately logged online from the lobby (along with lots of other unhappy guests) and quickly found a hotel in our usual chain, less than 5 minutes away, and booked it. We let the desk know we were out of there withoit even spending 2 minutes in the room and, after a few minutes explaining our situation, they actually refunded our entire stay. What a relief! So off to hotel #2 we went and I crashed in a CLEAN bed knowing I could still be connected online to my fans!
On Friday I took it easy as check-in for competitors wasn't until 3pm and the prejudging show didn't begin until after 5pm. I spent a good part of the day on Twitter with a lot of YOU, and Steve applied coat after coat of the special bodybuilding/figure/bikini stage tanning product I used to get me "stage dark"! What a tough job for Steve, huh? Me, naked and him smearing lotion all over ever nook & cranny of my body, from head to toe, literally. :-) (I know..."Poor Steve!", LOL!) Then I took my time putting on my make up and putting finishing touches on my hair.
Steve dropped me off at competitor check-in and I was feeling great! There is usually a lot of "hurry up and wait" once you get to these shows and this one was no exception. You get signed in, wait on all the other competitors, then they have a meeting to explain how the whole process works and then you head back stage to get ready. Well, as it worked out, the Figure category was the LAST to go! First all the male bodybuilders and physique guys, then female bodybuilders, then bikini ladies and then us. But I had a blast backstage getting to know tons of other fabulous women.
I was entered in 2 categories for this show. Masters Figure Over 40 (which is obviously women my own age) and Open Figure B which is women in the same height range, but open to all ages, 18 and up. I was actually the first to go on stage for Figure...suddenly my number was called and out from behind the curtain I went! I must say, I had a little case of the jitters the first time out. I went through my poses and tried not to fall over! After we all came out individually, we were then called out for side-by-side comparisons. I was in the first group called out, which is always a GOOD thing...it means the judges like you! And then I was moved toward the middle of that group, which is another good thing..it means you are among the top of the top placers! I was feeling GREAT about how it prejudging as going.
I later came out again for the Open Class B round and was much more confident after shaking the nerves off the first round. Once again, as with the Masters Over 40 group, I was called out with the first group and placed toward the middle. Yay! That meant I was definitely going to place highly in BOTH categories...although what place, exactly, I wouldn't know until the finals show the next night. Meanwhile, Steve had VIP seats in the auditorium and got some great photos of me on stage.
So then came the WAITING part, as this was a 2-day event. So I returned to do it all over again for Finals on Saturday night. This is always the super-fun part because all the real judging is over and it is awards time! I was ecstatic to learn that I won 2nd Place in Women's Figure Masters Over 40 and 2nd Place in Women's Figure Open Class B, too! Not bad at all for my first show of the season! It was a national qualifier, too...and since I placed so well, I am now able to do compete at national-level shows from here on out! Woo-hoo!
The Saturday night finals show went pretty quickly, so Steve and I went out to celebrate my long journey and my high placings. As a break from my usual brutally spartan diet, my coach allows me a great "cheat" meal after any show I do...basically, anything I want, within reason. We had crab cakes for an appetizer while toasting with a nice glass of Pinot Noir (I was a cheap date since I hadn't had a sip of alchohol in over 4 months!) , a nice lentil soup, then devoured a filet mignon that was exquisitely tender and juicy. Then we shared desert...French Vanilla ice cream caramel lacing and rum-roasted pecans. Mmmm...it was total Taste Bud Orgasm (or "TBO", as Steve & I call it) time!
Saturday was also the last night of the then-current Vitrix Model contest I was in. So after dinner we went back to the hotel and see if I might win, since I was holding at second place for so loong. It was a super-close race and I was on Twitter working for votes until the wee hours of the night (the contest ended at midnight Pacific time, which was 2 am in the panhandle of FL.) Exhausted by the full gamut of emotions and the long day and the indulgent food & wine, I called it quits 2 hours before the contest ended and went into a coma-like sleep.
Well, I woke up Sunday morning to find out that I had placed 2nd in the Vitrix contest. I was a bit bummed, but on the other hand it was a heck of a first run and my fans really did try hard to get me to first place! (The winner had entered for multiple months, as is typical of most winners.)
So..I have another Figure show in June..so I'm already back on the diet and exercise plan and I am currently in the May Vitrix Model Search Contest, and have started the month off in the #1 spot so far! I REALLY hope I win this month as I can get out to Vegas and have some FUN and include my fans...so please vote for me daily! (You can vote once every 24 hours.)
Thanks for all your support over the whirl-wind weekend, guys and gals! It truly means the world to me knowing you all are rooting for me and celebrating in my successes!
P.S. Don't forget to check out my new Facebook Fan Page and "like" it so you can see more of my fitness-oriented photos and keep up with me there, too!