Traci started training at our gym last summer and approached Kyle about competing. We were so thrilled to have someone come to us looking for coaching and guidance. Traci is a runner and a very active person, she runs Spartan races for fun and kills it every time she runs. When you go into competing, especially at the Figure, Physique and especially Bodybuilding level it is ideal to already have a higher caloric intake and lower cardio output in the beginning to build muscle mass and make your cutting phase easier.
We knew with Traci it would be basically an experiment as she had never competed before, her caloric intake was very low and she was already used to doing a lot of cardio. She took our advice and increased her calories for a mini bulk the first few months. During that phase she hit PR's on her lifts, got stronger and put on some pounds. This process can really mess with your mind, my goal was to be there for her every step of the way ensuring her that the weight gain was ok and it was needed in order to gain muscle mass.
Our training sessions together are always a blast. To think I met Traci just over 8 months ago and we have bonded like sisters. From saying the same exact thing at the same moment, to laughing at the same time, having the same eye roll response to Kyle as he tells us just a few more reps or seconds. This woman has to have been someone close to me in another lifetime. She pushes me to train harder and taking care of her on this journey was my primary focus even though she also took care of me.
When the competition weekend came I couldn't believe how quickly it was upon us. Traci had her polygraph, natural competitions always require a polygraph to ensure athletes are not taking banned substances, and her spray tan. Competition spray tans are nothing like your regular spray tan, they are DARK to ensure the muscles show with great definition under the strong stage lights. It was kind of a late night but we had fun with her niece Jordyn and my daughter Bella as we went over Traci's mandatory poses and t-walk.
The morning came quickly and we were off to the location, thankfully we got there nice and early to realize I couldn't find the numbers Traci was to wear on her bikini but the promoter Ryan was awesome and took care of that for us. Talk about feeling like a complete idiot. Then we headed off to get her makeup done at the host hotel and then it was back to the venue to really get her ready to go.
I was so thrilled to have Chris Goodman with GPS Coaching, Traci's posing coach and my sponsor for my October competition, back stage with us. She brought a nice level of calm and worked with Traci on her posing and pumping up. This was my first time working with a competitor and I know on my own personal journey with Chris I will continue to get better and learn so much from her.
Traci was a little nervous but honestly held it together very well. This is such an incredibly emotional experience for everyone. You work so hard and when your day to compete arrives you can feel such a massive flood of emotions. I had to hold back my own tears of pride so I wouldn't make Traci cry :) Traci went into this for herself, she was proud she went through the process and made it to the stage and she had no expectations of placing. She did fantastic with her posing, Chris and I were in the audience and Chris would yell her cues. Yes you can hear Chris and tell the difference of her voice among all the others yelling, she seriously has THE BEST cuing!!!
Traci competed in Figure Novice Tall and Figure 40+ Tall, all of the competitors were amazing, they were some stacked classes!!! Traci held her poses well, it's tough standing on those heels and gracefully transitioning into the next quarter turn, it takes practice, practice, practice! How gorgeous does she look???
When they did call outs for top five in Figure Novice Tall and I heard her number I lost it. I am a loud person and man I could not stop cheering!!!! Traci earned 5th place in that class and she was shocked!
Afterwards she talked about how we had never practiced what happens when they call out your number for placing and she was right! She handled it well though and looked so stunning on that stage among the other competitors, each one was just so impressive.
There may be thoughts out there that something like this can have a feeling a cattiness. Well let me be the first to tell you that backstage all of these women are each others biggest supporters, cheering each other on and feeling genuine joy for each other. Each and every competitor goes through intense training and the cutting phase can be daunting. Once you are all together it is like this huge sisterhood and I just love it.
Congratulations to Traci for overcoming so much on this journey, thank you for trusting in Kyle, myself and Chris we couldn't be more honored you chose us. The only way I can describe my own feelings that day is like this, I felt like a proud momma, I cried when I watched her on stage, I cried when she received her award, it was extremely emotional.
Now we have a mud run this coming Saturday, that is Traci's area of expertise so she will be helping me through it. Then I continue on with my training for October with Kyle handling my weight training and Chris handling my nutrition and cardio. I am ready for this part of my own journey and am excited to have Traci as part of it!