What a weekend it was! We headed to Peoria the Friday morning before the competition as I had my spray tan and polygraph that evening. There was so much excitement through every step from picking up my bag of goodies to the polygraph and the spray tan and trying to get some sleep Friday night.
Have I said how dang lucky I am to have the most amazing, supportive tribe of people in my life? My hubby, daughter, parents, bestie Traci, sister Mindy and niece Evey, bestie Shalae and her friend Kendra and a group of friends from our gym all were there to cheer me on. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about their support. When I came out for my twalk during the evening show there was such a loud applause from the crowd, even the emcee was surprised. I went to compete in Illinois from Iowa so I don't think they expected that much noise :)
The excitement of the day started at 4:30am with my breakfast of rice cakes and finally peanut butter! Photos of me in my suit were sent to my coach so she could track my "filling out" progress. My sister Mindy is the most phenomenal makeup artist and she started prettying me up at about 5:30am. Traci and I headed to the venue for the athletes meeting at 8am. I didn't step on stage until almost noon, it was a long morning and it was pretty cold where we were set up backstage.
All of the other competitors were so amazing, encouraging one another, helping out with makeup or hair when anyone needed anything. I'm telling you this sport is one of friendship and camaraderie. Everyone has their own plans for pre show goodies like pop tarts, rice cakes and peanut butter (which is my go to), fruit, getting those carbs in to help fill out depleted muscles is so important. Then you spend about 20 minutes pumping up before you go on stage AND I got to have two Reece's peanut butter cups, that made me happy :)
When it came time to finally step on stage my nerves hit me pretty hard. I felt pretty relaxed but it had been so long since I competed. I felt my posing was a bit wobbly but thankfully the feedback was that my posing was spot on! I was in the Open Figure Tall category and the Figure Masters 35+ category.
I accomplished my goal and brought my best physique yet to the stage. I had cuts in my quads and until I saw the photos I didn't realize how awesomely big my back was! This was by far the leanest I had ever been. My suit is so gorgeous, I was just thrilled with how everything came together.
At this competition pre-judging is in the morning, then we take a break and have the evening show later. That makes for a LONG day, I did have a Subway salad between the morning judging and the evening show.
The evening show is when all of the competitors get to do their routines. Again I was dang nervous at first but when I heard the roar of my supporters it gave me so much confidence. I didn't hear it on stage but in the video of my twalk you can hear my sweet Bella yell, "I love you mommy!" After all of the routines each class is called out, sent backstage and called out again for top 5. When there are "Tall" and "Short" classes the winners of each class go against each other for the top spot and their Pro card.
My coach was very confident with how I was looking and thought I would place well. I honestly had it in my head that I would place in the bottom and had no thoughts of anything else. To my complete surprise I won the Open Figure Tall class!!!!
It was such a crazy moment, I could not believe it. Knowing I would pose with the Open Short competitor for the pro card was insane. I really wasn't sure if I was ready for my pro card yet.
Traci is someone who came into my life through our gym. We bonded instantly and it was a joy to help coach her to the stage last May. It meant the world to me having her with us that weekend and she spent the entire day backstage with me. I shed tears when I watched her step on stage and she shed a few that weekend too. It really is such an emotional experience going through all of the training, the cutting and when you finally reach your goal it is indescribable.
I would not have been able to do as well as I did without the training of my husband Kyle and nutrition/cardio guidance of my coach Chris. Kyle has been training me for 16 years now and I wouldn't want it any other way. Bella had a fun weekend and she was pretty proud of her mom. Sharing this experience with her at this age was such a blast! I strive to teach her that you can do what you put your mind to as long as you are willing to work hard, to stay humble and to always strive to be your best.
Here are a few pictures from my twalk. Chris helped me put together a walk I was comfortable with. You stop and hit your favorite poses on different spots on the stage. This is the fun part where you get to be yourself and show off all of your hard work!
My supporters made the experience even more special. My parents are so, SO supportive of me and always have been. Knowing how honestly proud they were just watching me do what I enjoy and then winning a category, again words can't explain it. My beautiful, talented sister Mindy and our sweet niece Evey made the trip so Mindy could do my makeup, she is the BEST! One of my best friends from high school made the trip from Iowa and came with one of her friends who has competed before. The group of friends who came from our gym had ran a Spartan race about an hour away and they all came for the evening show. Again I was just so incredibly humbled by the support from so many wonderful people in my life that I am blessed to call family and friends.
The whole experience was incredible. I absolutely cannot wait to step on stage again. I am taking the year of 2019 to work on building where I need to and will look to be on stage with Traci in May 2020.
I beat Stephanie 2014 and will look forward to presenting an even better physique in 2020!