Competition Day- The Tale of 1000 Rice Cakes
It's quite strange to actually be writing this post. So much prep time and the actual day that loomed in my calendar for weeks has come and gone. I'm sitting on the other side of the goal. It's crossed off and accomplished. Here is the funny thing about goals. We meet them. Then we replace them with something bigger and better. The satisfaction is fleeting.
I suppose that isn't a terrible approach to life. A lot of people do the same with worries or problems. They worry so much and then replace their worries with something bigger and more worrisome. Being an optimist I'll stick with being goal oriented.
So many people have asked me what the big day was like so here we go. This is a pretty comprehensive account of what happens during a bodybuilding competition. Mainly because I want the memories for myself as well since they are fresh in my head.
The week prior to competition was an uphill battle. Carb depletion, final cardio, water loading all in an effort to find the right combination of sodium and water in your body. This is essentially what it takes for your muscles to chisel and pop. However, not to much because the division I'm in you'll actually get knocked down points if you look to hard or dry. I had felt so good during my entire prep until that week. I seriously had moments where I wanted to give up.
I was really lethargic and irritable. It was tough going to the gym as I just felt like I had no energy. I went...but there were a lot of texts with my Coach getting through the day to day. On top of that I was working. I feel in hindsight I would have booked those last few days off.
When it was time to head up to Kelowna I was feeling excited. Especially as I knew the end of my Friday would be topped off with a burger, cheesecake and a glass of wine. Got to love science. This was all on coaches orders to achieve the right look for show day.
In the early afternoon I got my first layer of tan. Yes. It comes in layers. Then I went to the athletes meeting in the evening and to be honest it was really chaotic. Maybe they are all like that or maybe not. It was just a massive crowd of 200 competitors with varying layers of tan crammed in a room. On top of that once you are tanned you can't wear any body sprays or antipersperant. Enough said. I felt as though it didn't provide any reassurance over how the next day would go. Since my show was drug tested all the meeting accomplished was making me to nervous to drink my AM coffee the next day in fears I would test for high levels of caffeine. After the meeting you get your suit checked, your height measured and get your button. Number 232. That was what I had to put in my head. Number one rule-know your number. It is how they refer to you on stage.
Most of my nerves leading up to competition were based around my physique not being ready to compete. I obviously had full trust in my coaches strategy. It is just some sort of mental messed up sabotage you do to yourself. So much so Coach Ondrej gave me specific instructions to text in those moments. In addition I had to send morning and night photos every day that last week incase we had to do any last minute diet adjustments.
I had my burger and then it was time for bed. I slept really well. A carb related burger coma after so much carb deprivation will do that to a person. I woke up the morning of the Kelowna Classic calm and ready to go. I will be very honest. Peak week was so tough I was almost excited to fast forward through the day just so I could have my cheat meal at the end. (which was nachos by the way.) Terrible I know.
The way the show works is you are on stage in the morning for "pre judging". Which is actually the real judging. You go through your poses. They instruct some additional moves and switches for comparisons. Then you go back and they do call outs. Call outs are indicative of your placing. You want first call out. Then at night its more the fun glitz and glam portion. You come out. Do your poses in 10 seconds. Then you leave the stage and they announce the top 5.
Morning started with hair and makeup done by Beauty Mark Productions. They were the official provider of the show. They had to reassure me a million times I wouldn't be late. The bikini division is the last to go so you are actually getting hair and makeup done while the show is happening. Being a first timer I was so paranoid over time. They were right. It was a hurry up and wait when I got to the show after, but I just felt better being at the venue. There were to many unknowns in my day to relax when I wasn't there.
Arriving at the venue was wild. You travel back stage. Instantly the smell of rice cakes fills your nose. I'm fairly sure Quaker Oats stays in business because of the bodybuilding competition industry. There are people everywhere! Men and women pumping up their muscles with resistance bands, random push ups dropping down left right and centre, people practicing posing and touching up for the stage. I took a second to just take in the madness. There is a room where the show tanners are set up for putting on your second layer and glaze. It is not very private. You just accept it. Everyone is there for the same reason. The staff at Visual Dimensions Tanning were phenomenal. They 100 percent understand the sport and have a lot of love for the athletes. I was beyond impressed.
I had a couple hours to go until it was my turn for stage. I just crammed in those rice cakes every 90 minutes to avoid my muscles going flat. I honestly wasn't nervous backstage. So many of the women were really kind. Yes we were all in competition, but it was more a women supporting other women vibe. I love that! We all did the work. We were all excited to be there. Why not just be a nice person. There were the odd few that didn't play by that philosophy...and that's okay. I opted to surround myself with the positive.
After much waiting we were called into the hallway to await our turn for the pump up room. After about 15 minutes it was time to go in. I used resistance bands and just did lots of reps of biceps, shoulders, back and triceps. This gets the blood going to your muscles and ultimately they will look their best. Then we were lined up by our numbers and before I knew it Bikini Class D was being called to the stage. It was literally as if all the waiting disappeared in an instant.
I wasn't nervous in the pump up room. I took a deep breath before walking on stage. I used to do public speaking talks for over 1000 cruise ship guests at a time, I work on live television and I used to do theatre. Yep-It didn't matter...It didn't matter at all. The minute those lights hit me I discovered something about my body. It had a vibrate setting. Everything was shaking. My lips were quivering. I did have a smile on. Its honestly my most natural setting. Smile mode. I eyed down the judges. Going through my poses was tough. When your entire body is involuntarily shaking its a little difficult to look graceful in your quarter turns.
The bikini class D was a big group of incredible ladies. Somehow though I hear number 232 for first call out. I now head to front and centre along with 5 other women. Now I'm really really shaking. We have to do our quarter turns and comparisons once again. While in my front pose the one judge says 232 adjust your left foot. I know my brain told it to move, but it was like my body wasn't quite able to connect at that point. I kept composed and smiling, but it took me a minute to get it just right. I have a feeling this pose and that moment has a lot to do with my final placing.
After this you exit the stage and you're free to relax until the night show. A lot of people were congratulating me on first call out. I had stared down those trophies that were on stage knowing I wanted to leave with one. I was in the top 6 so it was a viable possibility. On top of that the top 5 qualify for provincials. I was feeling good....until...one text message and Facebook post got in my head. My husband didn't mean to start anything when he read it. A friend of his that is familiar with shows asked where was she standing at the end of first call outs. I knew from watching shows the middle is where you want to end up. I started in the middle and ended up on the end. Throughout my entire break this made me feel like a trophy was out of my grasp as it had already been decided. I couldn't get it out of my head. The mind. Can it seriously be any more annoying at times!
My coaches were really supportive. My posing coach Andrea just said you walk out there and show them your body is worth a million bucks.
It was a long long day. I had been up at 5am. On stage the first time around noon. Back at the venue at 8:30pm for tan touch ups. Not on for the final part of the show til 10:30pm. The second time out on stage for the night show was so fast. You walk out on a line. Do your four quarter turns and exit the stage. Then the top 5 are called out. One number...two numbers called...three numbers called...then four and five. No number 232. I placed the dreaded 6th.
I remember in training when Andrea said sometimes in big shows they call out 6 women for first call out. You do not want to be the 6th one.
Don't get them wrong or myself. First call out is a great accomplishment especially in such a competitive class. This is me though. I was there to participate, but of course I wanted to win. My eye was on the prize. I was out of the venue really quickly after that. Not in a poor sportsmanship way. It was so late places that sold food in Kelowna were quickly closing and this girl wanted her nachos on the pronto. I wished well many of the ladies as we grabbed our things. However, I can't lie. I had a lump in my throat. I knew I just needed a quick moment to absorb the sting of the loss. Being so very close to the top 5 and just being edged out.
My husband was so supportive, but I could tell he was disappointed. Not in me. He just knew that I wanted it. So it made me more sad that he was sad for me. Then I had to text my coaches and that was the worst part. I wanted to bring a trophy home for them. I felt like I disappointed them. Again, they were so amazing and were asking if I was okay. I knew I was. I just needed a minute. My in laws were away in Mexico during the show. They had been checking in all day. They were in a different time zone, but I figured I would Facebook message them the result just so I didn't have to do it the next day. My mother in law was AWAKE. She had messaged all day how I had done the family so proud. She was so excited that she was still up thinking of the show. I know they were proud and it was all well intentioned...but it left a sinking feeling that she was up all that time and I had to write I was 6th. They had told everyone at their resort I was competing and were sharing pictures all day. It made me feel like great now they have to get up the next day and explain I didn't win. So I had a little tear fest again when I said this scenario to my husband. I realize all involved were super proud of the accomplishment. I'm merely just telling you the honest truth of how I felt in the moment and where the root of my defeat was coming from.
So all that sorrow was literally a 15 minute affair. In true Krissy style it did a quick turn around into fuel. I'm going to submit my competition pictures to the judges for feedback. I know my posing felt a little rocky and even looking at some of the videos I can pinpoint things that I could have fixed. I will find out exactly what I did that docked my points for a placing and get to work for the next competition in the fall.
Being so close to a win...now I want it even more.