So What’s Next?

Hi guys!

Sorry I’ve been absent. I wanted to figure out the date of my next competition before writing a blog about it. I’ve made a decision, and I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be competing at the NPC Junior Nationals in Chicago, Illinois on June 15-16. This is a national-level competition, so you must qualify to be eligible to compete in it (fortunately I did that at the March 10 Mesa, AZ competition).

To me, this is a really big deal. The national-level shows are where competitors become eligible to earn their IFBB Pro Card. The top four bikini competitors in the overall comparison will earn their cards. The competition at this show will be tough. The winners last year were women who have gone on to compete at the biggest competitions in the world (the Olympia and the Arnold), have been on magazine covers, and have become extremely successful in the fitness industry. That is exactly the goal I’ve set for myself, and competing at the Jr. Nationals is the first step toward getting there.

There is plenty of work to be done in the 12 weeks until this competition, particularly with on my stage presentation. My friends at law school have been asking about whether I’d take some time off from my strict diet and training regimen, and I certainly did relax for a few days after my back-to-back competitions (including a delicious cheat meal, of course!). But after a few days, honestly, it felt weird to be off-track! I’ve found that I’m the most happy when I have a goal in my head and a specific plan to get there. It gives me motivation and a reason to stay close to my competition weight. I learned the hard way this year that it’s not fun to be forced to drop weight quickly, so I’ll stick within 5 lbs. of my stage weight. (At the law school gala this weekend, however, I WILL be enjoying our lovely 3-course meal!)

 

P.S. If you enjoy reading about my competition journey, you will love my friend Menden’s blog called “My Goal Called Life”. She is currently 5 weeks away from her first bikini competition, and she’s been awesome about documenting her progress. It’s located at: http://mygoalcalledlife.com/

Until next time,

Katie

Advertisements

I Did It!

It’s been four days since the NPC Natural Western USA in Mesa, AZ, and I’m still having a hard time believing what happened – I’m the Bikini Class F champion! I have this big trophy (affectionately referred to as Bertha) sitting next to me as I write this, so there’s proof that it wasn’t a dream, but it still feels like one! Here’s what happened:

Friday 3/9/12: I did my last cardio session early in the morning, sent photos of my posing to my coaches for any last-minute changes, and packed my stuff. Packing for a competition is a major production because there are a million things to remember, including your food (very important!), makeup products, hair products, suit, heels, jewelry, registration paperwork, etc. I had a checklist that I looked over obsessively because I was terrified of forgetting something.

I drove to Phoenix and went straight to a nail salon to get my nails done (presentation onstage is very important – even little things like nails). Next I went to the check-in location for all competitors and got my first coat of spray tan. I waited in line for about 45 minutes to check in. I purchased my National Physique Committee (NPC) card, which every competitor must purchase annually. They measured my height to put me in the correct height class.

There turned out to be WAY more bikini competitors than they’d expected – I think it was around 100 of us! Thus there ended up being seven height classes, “A” through “G”. I am 5’7 and 1/8” so I was put in Class F. I was up against 14 girls in my class.

I checked into my hotel and relaxed with my sister, hoping to get lots of sleep because the next day would be a long one.

Saturday 3/10/12: I woke up at 5 AM because I was so excited about the day, and started doing my makeup. My sister did my hair (and it looked fabulous, thanks Julie!). I left the hotel and drove to the Mesa Arts Center, which is a cool venue. We had our morning meeting with all the competitors, then lined up to get our competitor numbers, which you safety-pin to your suit (I was #277). Then I got in ANOTHER LINE (there’s a lot of waiting around during competitions) for my second coat of spray tan.

I had lots of time to kill because the bikini competitors were dead last in the prejudging lineup. They went through the bodybuilding men and women, the men’s physique, the figure girls, and all the other divisions before finally getting to bikini. (For those of you unfamiliar with these shows, prejudging is where the majority of the actual judging occurs. At the night show they just announce the winners). While I waited, I practiced my posing over and over and over by myself. I wanted my routine to look confident yet graceful. When I finally went onstage, I felt good about it. I looked each judge in the eye (there were 9 of them) and smiled until my cheeks quivered.

After prejudging I met my sister for lunch at a sushi restaurant (I ate some lettuce with my own dressing I carried in my purse). This meant going out in public looking like an alien, which is rather entertaining. You get some confused stares! Then I took a nap in my car for half an hour before returning to the Arts Center for our next competitor meeting at 4:30 PM. The night show was set to begin at 6 PM, but I knew I wouldn’t step onstage until 8:30 or 9 PM, so I spent some time hanging out with my sister, mom, dad and aunt. It was SO nice to see them! I also had some other wonderful friends attend, and their support meant the world to me.

So now we get to the exciting part! The people working backstage announced, “If your name is highlighted on this list, you’re in the top 5 finalists in your class.” So I peeked at the list – and my name was highlighted! My heart was pounding. Finally it was time for Bikini Class F to step onstage. They announced the 5th place trophy winner … and it wasn’t me. I thought, “Oh cool, I got fourth place! That is awesome!” But then they announced 4th place, and again, it wasn’t me. At this point I’m freaking out inside. When they announced that I was the first place winner, I was shocked and felt tears start to develop. Fortunately they whisked us offstage before I could make a total fool of myself!


Since I won my class, I had to go BACK onstage to be judged AGAIN against all the other first-place winners of classes A, B, C, D, E, and G. So there I was standing onstage against some truly beautiful women competing for the overall title. It was just crazy. I didn’t win the overall, but I don’t feel so bad because the woman who won has been competing since 2007! She looked awesome and deserved it.

Since I won first place in my class, I am now qualified to attend a national level competition. At these competitions (there are only six happening in 2012 for bikini), you have the ability to earn your IFBB Pro Card, which is a huge feat for any competitor. So my next goal is to do just that!

Overall it was an incredible, wonderful weekend and I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. I am so grateful for all the people who helped me get there, including my coaches at Team Bombshell, who texted/emailed me all day on Friday and Saturday helping me feel totally ready. I compete again this upcoming weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, which is an even bigger event I believe… so we’ll see how it goes! I’ll keep you guys posted 🙂

9 Days Til Showtime

Hi guys!

It’s March 1. Only 9 days until I step onstage for the NPC Natural Western USA bikini contest in Mesa. I’ve been like a machine the last few weeks on the gym/school/gym/sleep routine, and it certainly is wearing on me. But I try to remember that there just WILL be bad moments along with the good ones. It’s inevitable. If I can get past the tough moments, I’ll emerge from this contest prep proud of myself (and hopefully you guys will be proud too 🙂

There are about 8 million things to think about before a contest (and it’s multiplied by 2 since I’m doing a contest on 3/10 and then another one the following weekend in Atlanta, GA.) Here are some of things I’ve been working on:

  • Hotel stay/flights/shuttles to-and-from airport
  • Spray tan appointment (although I’m going to attempt to do this myself in Atlanta. We’ll see how it goes!)
  • Where do I check in? What time? What time is the competitor meeting before prejudging?
  • Shopping for, cooking and packing all my food in advance. No room for error at this point. Every bite counts!
  • Makeup and hair appointments (I’m also going to attempt to do these things myself, so I had to make a trip to the M.A.C. Cosmetics store 🙂

  • Is my suit ready to go? Shoes? (All competitors wear clear heels, as shown below. Mine are a little beat up but they still work.)

  • Jewelry (this part is fun – bikini competitors get to wear jewelry onstage. Also, here is a close-up picture of my suit so you can see the pretty bling!)

So I’ve been trying to prepare all of the above stuff in addition to keeping up with classes. It’s been tough, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I cannot wait to step onstage. I might not look the best up there, but I’ll look my best ever.

I’d love to get a good placing and qualify for Nationals at either the Mesa or Atlanta show, but I don’t want to put all my hopes and dreams on that. This is a subjective sport and it’s tough to know exactly what the judges will be looking for at any particular show.

Lastly, this weekend is the Arnold Classic! It’s a HUGE event held each year in Ohio! (Yes, it’s named after THAT “Arnold”). It will be broadcast live by Bodybuilding.com so I’ll be watching the Figure and Bikini prejudging and finals. Watching my fellow Bombshell teammates compete will be the last bit of inspiration I need to get through this final week.