It’s been nearly two weeks since I stepped off the stage in Lake Tahoe, NV. With the show being a thing of the past, I can now take a step back and analyze the amazing and refreshing experience.
As we were driving up to Lake Tahoe, NV I spent my time in the car to relax and not let my nerves act up. Once we got there we checked into the hotel and realized I forgot my NPC card at home (my mistake).
After scrambling with the computer in the business center of the hotel to print it out, I left to head to the male athlete briefing and registration. As soon as I walked in the door I was immediately thinking back to those classic scenes of “Pumping Iron” where enormous (at least from my point of view) muscle bound artists walk around with their Tupperware and chicken breast.
I still kept my 14-16 hour fast period, and added in carbs in the form of vegetables after spending the last 6 days with completely no carbs. I will say my body felt a lot better with the addition of carbs.
I tend to get nervous before competition and I could feel my stomach crawling up my esophagus. Even when I was filling out the liability form, my hand writing went to crap due to some slight shakes.
Once I was chilled out and registered and going back up to the room for some chicken, it was time to get my tan. I will just say I did not expect to look like Robert Downey Jr. In “Tropic Thunder”. It was pretty comical to have such a starkly different skin tone in 20 minutes.
After my tan I realized that my big sweats would help keep the tan off everything I touched, but the short sleeve shirt would not. 30 bucks later I had a big long sleeve shirt which would help prevent any smearing and getting orange on everything.
The last meal of the day included a banana, and several spoon fills of almond butter. Not so much that I had a overly full stomach, but just enough to fill me up. My water in the morning till lunch time was normal, after lunch I just cut my normal water intake by half. The end of the evening concluded rest and lots of sleep.
After a less than decent night’s sleep, it was time to start the carb up process. The carb up process is a tactic a lot of body builders use to fill their muscles with glycogen which in turn will give them a more fuller look.
The carb up process consisted of 10 Oreos right when I woke up and 10 more about an hour before I went on stage for prejudging. While I was waiting during prejudging I had some more chicken and a bell pepper to stay fueled and ready to pose.
The ladies went first, each striving to display figure as well as finesse followed by the men to show physique and power. I decided to go back stage several classes before mine to prepare and pump up. Little did I know that when i got back stage a loud female voice yelled, “We’re skipping intermission! Men’s Physique you’re up next!” My heart raced and I was freaking out. I quickly changed into my posing trunks and grabbed my band trying to pump up as quickly as possible with out getting out of breath. Thankfully the rest of the competition was in the same frenzy as I. When the super heavyweight bodybuilders filed off stage, I was filed in line behind the curtain praying that I would just hit my first pose smoothly with any noticeable rookie mistakes.
I said a short prayer before I walked out and turned on the “x” made in masking tape to proceed to the next “x” in front of the judges. I hit my front pose, and nerves disappeared. On to my back pose, then to my second front pose, and off to the side. I maintained composure and the best posing i could while the other competitors displayed their physique before the judges.
The time for first call outs came and my heart was relieved and thoroughly excited when they said they wanted to see me, #223. I went out for comparisons and when the judges said we could exit the stage, I knew I was hooked. All the workouts, early mornings, skipped cheat meals, and going to bed early paid off in an amazing experience which I am thirsty to have again.
Saturday Evening: The Night Show
After spending time with my family as well as my girlfriend and her family, it was time to return to the hotel for the night show. Things were moving along quickly. Competitors would come out, hit one pose, receive their medals and then file off to enjoy the donuts provided by the promoter backstage. Now it was time for the physique competitors and bodybuilders to all perform their posing routine… After probably 30 routines deep I was ready to leave. I was hungry, anxious, and wanting the anticipation to be over. It reminded me of what is was like to have one more wrestling match for the tournament and having to wait sometimes an hour and 45 minutes before you step onto the mat. The anticipation for the big hurrah sometimes can be mind numbing and progressively lethal.
After upwards of 30 more posing routines, I went back stage to pump up. Properly this time. I grabbed my band, tucked my self in a corning dodging more neon workout bands, and dumbbells. The wait seemed like forever for my class to be called, but in due time it was finally called for. I was back behind the same curtain I was during the morning prejudging. This time the nerves were gone and I could distinctly hear the crowd and the music. The facilitator in back told me i was good to go and I walked and turned on that first “X”. It was at that moment I knew I was hooked and already wanted to start training for another show. I took third place in my class, and was so thankful for that awesome experience. The support from all my friends and family was such a huge part of that experience. People to wait out the long prejudging night show and travel with me was something incredibly special, so thank you Mom, Dad, Rilee, Caleb, Burke, and Angel.
I know i have a lot to work on, but I am so incredibly excited to build up those weaknesses and step on stage again. Training for next year begins now.