It was 8 a.m. and I felt well rested after a good night of sleep, (a slumber which was fully aided by vodka, wine and sweet potato fries).
I ate some cod, had my morning pre-workout and cleaned up my place for the makeup artist to come and do her thing.
At 8:15 a.m. Kit and I sat down in the rooftop lobby of my building so she could begin my makeup with all the natural lighting.
A 8:22 a.m. my friend from David Barton’s Gym, AJ, texted me:
“Nope! My tan isn’t til 11.” I responded.
“You need to be here to register, like pronto.”
And just like that I ran down stairs, (still in my pajamas–no bra, no shoes) and grabbed the biggest Lululemon bag I could find.
In it I threw two servings of cod, two servings of oatmeal, a bag of rice cakes, a bag of Swedish Fish, my bikini (thank goodness), high heals, a phone charger, pre-worout, a water bottle and a hair brush.
I called an Uber and told my mom she was on “body bar” duty; meaning, she had to carry a HUGE, red 12-pound body bar I wanted to have for backstage to pump up.
Kit packed up her makeup and we all ran down into the street to wait for the cab (which took about five minutes) and then a *large* awkward van showed up.
Just like that my Mom with her coffee, oversized purse and a red body bar jumped in behind me and Kit with our big bags.
It was forty-something degrees and I was still wearing my pajamas but now had on flip flops and eye makeup on one eye.
The cab driver approached the John Hancock and before he came to a complete stop I jumped out with Kit and made a mad dash for the big doors while ignoring whatever the driver was yelling.
I saw signs on the doors that said “Use 200 Berkley entrance” and as I turned around to go to 200 Berkely, I saw the van still at the corner with the door wide open, my mom across the street juggling the body bar, her coffee and the bag and the cab driver still at the corner yelling.
I tried to ignore him as I rounded the corner making a break for the next block.
He sped up and began driving alongside me…meanwhile Kit was jogging 10 feet behind me and my mom was a good 40 yards back.
The driver summoned me to jump in the van while it was running…
…I went for it.
Amazingly enough, somehow within 20 seconds my mom was in the van too.
We drove one more block and arrived at the doors.
I made it to the event.
I walked in from backstage and saw a line of 300 very dark people.
But don’t worry, I wasn’t scared.
The scary part was the day before when I had to stand butt naked next to four strangers for the tan.
I signed-in, still in my pajamas with one eye partially done up with make-up and paid another $120 dollars.
I said hi to my friends in line and went to a back corner so Kit could begin to do my makeup, again.
Little did I know while it was only 9:00 a.m. I wouldn’t be on stage until 4:30 p.m.
Kit did her thing and with intermittent breaks for athletes meetings, the restroom, photos and people getting in the way. We finished my makeup by 11:15 a.m. and I ate this disgusting, cold cod while she did my face.
Had I known I shouldn’t be eating protein at that point I think Kit would have been much happier.
For the next two hours my mom and I watched the men’s bodybuilding aspect of the show.
At about 1 p.m. I decided to go put my suit on.
I reached in my bag to grab the suit and gagged.
It smelled like fish.
One of my containers of cod had leaked all over my shoes and my suit.
Great, I was going to be the girl that smelled like fish.
I went back stage to get ready by about 1:45 p.m.
At 1:55 p.m. one of the women in the Masters division (over 40 years old) walked over to stand by me and chat.
We said hello to one another.
She told me I had a long white streak on the back of my leg from sitting on the toilet and I should go get it fixed.
Then she added, “Also, don’t stand by the trashcan behind you, I think it smells like fish.”
I always imagined that I would get very insecure at a thing like this with all of the naked bodies, perfectly toned bodies and dark tans.
However, when you see all these people up close and personal you realize how there’s really no good way to compare people.
Some people have amazing legs but have no muscle in their arms, others have strong chests with weak calves.
You just have to do you.
Run your own race.
It’s at events like these you realize we all have really good assets and our flaws.
I felt guilty as I walked around and saw all the hungry people.
I kept hearing:
“My coach says I can eat after 3 p.m.”
“My coach says I can have two rice cakes at 4 p.m.”
“I want a burger.”
“Can’t wait for Cheesecake Factory tonight..and a milkshake.”
All I wanted was water.
I might have been the only one without a coach…
I thought, hmm…. my coach told me to have vodka, wine and sweet potato fries last night ….
I felt so sorry for them!
However I did feel like I had messed something up….
You see I had been around 110 pounds the four days leading up to the event.
I think I peaked early.
I woke up at 113 the day of the show.
I knew I had done something wrong because my abs had disappeared and I felt like I was holding onto water.
Just then, my BFF AJ came up.
He greeted me with a warm, cheery hug and then narrowed his eyes down at my gut.
“Garrett, what the F did you do last night girl?” He said in his thick Boston accent.
“They’re gone…you look soft.”
“You drank last night?!”
“Did you poop? Do you want to poop?”
He took my hand and said, “Come with me.”
Together AJ and I wound through a maze of stairways crowded with hungry, dark people.
Some were crouched down resting, some eating rice cakes, others fixing their make-up.
He led me to a restroom and gave me a suppository.
“Go use this and then come chill with me we will hang out until you can go.”
“You will feel better and lose that belly flab of water you are holding onto.”
“Aye-aye captain.” I said.
Just kidding I didn’t say that. I was in shock that my guy friend was telling me to do this.
I did it anyway.
Literally. I couldn’t go.
AJ had another idea.
We wound back up to my spot by the makeup artists and he handed me some colloid mineral water.
“Only one small sip!” He ordered.
I had the small sip then he handed me a scoop of some type of pump-y pre-workout which was foreign to me; I am a Volt fanatic.
“Take this now.” He demanded.
“But I don’t have water.”
“Yeah, I know just put in your mouth like a pixy-stick and chase it with this.”
I followed the directions only to find out it was vodka I was chasing it with.
“Then when the figure girls get off stage, eat two rice cakes and five swedish fish. Your abs will come back.”
He left me with about three shots of vodka in a water bottle at 1:40 p.m. and the long wait began.
AJ helped me so much. I am so thankful for his help and support and more importantly his sincere, no boundaries, unconditional friendship.
I started to feel ready. My veins began to pop, I was doing some push-ups and lateral raises etc.
But then I started to hit a wall. It was only 2:30 p.m.
I got my tan buffed up but couldn’t wake up.
I grabbed the vodka.
I literally sipped on that gosh darn vodka for the next two hours.
I also ate about 25 Swedish fish, not 5.
Luckily I met some very sweet people there with whom I passed the time.
Most were friendly, some were not.
Some of the best people I met included a 40 year-old mom who was competing for the fifth time and a 20 year-old girl with whom I shared some Swedish Fish. She was over the show too and said, “don’t tell my coach,” when I handed her the candy.
By about 4 p.m. I wanted to go home.
It was like it was a fake show and I wasn’t going to go on.
At 4:52 my class lined up.
Only me and one other girl had to go on and do our full posing routines.
Because I forgot to sign-up for novice I was in the Open category.
I should have been in Novice and Open, but I am not good at reading thoroughly or following directions so I was in the Open Class only.
Therefore a seasoned vet and myself had to go back-to-back on stage to show our poses after all of the competitors in our division went out and lined up.
Here was the glitch: we were told right before we went on that the routines were to be shortened; we could only do ONE front and ONE back pose.
Looks like I was going to wing it!
Right before I went on the lady who was corralling all the competitors stopped me.
She fixed my hair and spoke with me for a while.
All day I thought she looked tough and intense..and maybe perhaps a little mean.
Not the case.
It was like she knew I didn’t have a coach.
She said, “All your hard work is done, just have fun with this. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Go to the center hit your best pose. Turn around, squeeze your back, SMILE and go to the side.”
“One sec, let me fix your hair.”
Then I went on…
This is what happened next…..watch the video.
After I left stage early I thought it was because I messed up.
I was sad.
Then an older man named Allen told me I better not go eat a burger because I was tied for first and still had to perform that night!
I went to Loew’s Hotel bar across the street with my mom and had some vodka on the rocks, two slices of pizza and three deviled eggs.
Everyone told me they make up their mind in pre-judging and I thought, even if I look or feel bloated now, they know I am first or second so it will be fine.
Not the case.
After three more hours of waiting, doing push-ups, drinking the rest of my vodka, finishing my rice cakes and swedish fish I was informed that my division was going to be re-judged because there was a conflict of opinion.
I went out, smiled and got SECOND place.
I couldn’t have been more happy, but a judge who was shaking her head when they called me second told me afterward that I should’ve been first.
My thought was that perhaps the lead judge was just a brunette fan because the brunette got first.
At the end of the day what matters to me is that I did this on my own.
I celebrated my BFF’s 25th birthday in Chicago with bountiful booze.
I had two nice dinners and a few cocktails with my best guy friend Matt one-week out.
I had two drinks with my cousins and mom the night before at a fun restaurant.
I enjoyed the experience.
In fact, I absolutely loved the beauty aspect of it! I am a girly-girl and loved getting dolled up!
The only unfortunate part is I never had time to do my hair. I did this with the hair I woke up with that had been blown out at noon on Friday.
Moselle at Shag Boston knows what’s up! That hair is still looking great as I type this.
I learned something and I feel like I may or may not have cheated the system since I got to eat Quest bars and oatmeal the entire time!
I plan to do another show April 23rd in Beech Grove, Indiana.