Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My reflections on the St.Louis Pro

Last weekend I competed in the St.Louis Pro Bikini. It was my first show of the season and my 5th Bikini show ever. For those of you who don't know, I earned my pro status as a fitness competitor in 2008 and started competing at the age of 16 in the NPC. My switch to bikini has been kind of a love/hate relationship with myself, lol. I love the division, I love the look, and most importantly I love the sass we are able to bring to the stage. On the flip side, bikini is what it is....BIKINI. There is no standard look and easily the most subjective division in all of the IFBB. With that said, there is only one round that will make or break you...and you either flaunt it or you dont.

Am I glad I did the show? Absolutely. Was this the best placing I've ever had in bikini? Uhhh...NO. Was the lineup competitive? YES...everyone looked great from top to bottom and everyone looked like they belonged on that stage. Even some of the less familiar names "brought it" this weekend. Was the judging fair? I believe so. As with any show there will always be a few placings that could have gone either way, but for the most part...the judging was fair. This was one of first shows where I felt all 3 callouts were actually judged from 1st to 14th place. And with that said, I am ok with my placing.

If you don't know how the judging works...basically they judge what shows up. The overall theme for the my lineup this past weekend was hard, hard, hard. Actually many of the girls showed up harder than the figure competitors. That I did not anticipate simply because I had attended the Arnold just two weeks before (thinking that was going to set the standard for the rest of the year) and I found a lot of the girls to be softer for that that show. YOU NEVER CAN TELL! So in comparison to the other girls...I was a bit softer and therefore penalized for that. On the flip side...had the girls been softer and a few girls leaner and harder...they would have been penalized. I brought in a tigher package than I did at my last show, yet I placed a lot higher at my last show. Get it??? YOU NEVER CAN TELL!

Your best bet is to train for YOU! If you like how you look and how you trained for your show, then so be it and let the placings fall where they may. After prejudging I knew I hadn't placed well and began feeling disappointed and questioning myself and why I continue to put myself through this haha. And because we all train to excel and do well... I allowed myself to be disappointed and "sulk" for about a good 20 minutes. After that, I got my groove back and remembered how lucky I was to be a pro and be amongst good people.

This was my first pro bikini show my husband ever saw me compete in. Last year he was in Iraq and missed  everything I did that year. Not to mention it was great to reconnect with old friends whom I only get to see a few times a year at these shows and connect with new ones. We kind of share a "sisterhood" because so few of us do what we do. At the end of the show, I recieved some really constructive feedback. Yes, there was actually HOPE and yes there was actually something I could do to improve! I will never have "legs for days" nor will I ever be the "american girl next door"...because I have a flava of my own.

There was one feedback in particular that I had recieved that really stuck out to me because I had never had it mentioned to me before or even thought of it myself. I was told how striking I was in person, but for some reason on stage and it wasn't translating that way. They mentioned how I didn't even look like same person on stage and for that reason I became just another body, another number. Hmm...something to think about. Looks like I better rethink those colored contacts, clip in extentions, and heavy makeup!

I would like to think my wonderful husband (who cooked so many of my meals and has been my biggest supporter and sponsor) my awesome family and sisters (who always remind me to be humble and persistent, oh and that I ROCK), my nutritionist Layne Norton for making this experience knowledgable and pleasant, and Joyce VanSeters for Fitness Professionals for representing me in the best possible light. And for anyone else who has supported me in my journey thus far. I have learned so much from all of you.


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