Official Blog of Allison Ethier

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Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Official blog of Allison Ethier NSCA Personal Trainer, ISSN Sport Nutrition, Educator & Mom

22 August 2009

Perspective & North Americans

Hi Everyone-

This week I am in Winnipeg visiting family. Actually between Winnipeg and West Hawk lake. I took some pictures and I will share later. Monday I go back to school, and well on Thursday I am off to Cleveland for the North Americans. Needless to say I have a lot of things to do before I am off again.

I have never been to Cleveland or to the North Americans show promoted by Gary Udit, but have heard only good things. I am so glad they decided to offer a fitness division this year. And another crack at a Pro card. With athletes coming from Canada, USA and Mexico - the competition I am sure will be fierce!

It will be wonderful to see so many familiar faces, and of course meet some new ones. At CBBF Nationals this year I met so many wonderful gals - mostly in the fitness division as we were all back stage at the same time. The figure gals, and bikini gals I did meet, but there are so many and we are all on at different times that it is tough to get to know them all. I did meet a few in the Keg restaurant after the show. It is the tan gives us all away. ;)

There are times when I am posting things, questions, comments or ideas that perhaps does not sit well with some. Or they might read into what I am writing and then send it to someone else and say hey, "I think she is talking about you". Tsk, tsk, tsk. Someone trying to create drama.
Funny, if something is perceived as negative it spreads like wildfire, but yet, has anyone ever emailed someone I specifically wrote about and told them - "Hey, Allison said some really nice things about you on her blog - read this"?

My thoughts, are just that - thoughts. They roll around in my head and the best way I know to get rid of them is to write them down. Often they keep me up at night. Insomnia. Writing in this blog is therapy for me. Training is also therapy. Even if I was not a fitness competitor I would still train. My mind would not be so preoccupied with the show, but I would train everyday, and have a good time at the gym. Training and writing help calm my mind.

Maybe being so open with my emotions in a public form is not a good idea? I guess I will have to look at the benefits vs the negatives to keeping the blog going. The goal was always to help others who want to or consider competing in shows and give them a perspective through my own experiences. I only wanted to motivate through personal reflection, validate others experiences, and allow discussions to be had through questions/comments. This is only one point of view.

Was I upset about the CBBF National result? Sure. Sad - yes. For a moment. But you get over it. You spend so much time and energy preparing for a show, and well, (and I think I have mentioned this before in previous posts) -- I am entitled to my feelings. I allow myself to vent, or whatever I need in that moment, and within a few days I accept the outcome. I am an emotional human being, and sometimes very impulsive, and need time to process things. Being a bridesmaid all year was just not the plan. When I play I always go for the win. Anything less and the result is unacceptable - for me. I set my expectations very high. This is just me and my personality. It has nothing to do with the other girls competing in the show. In no way do I carry it to another event or show. Give me a few days to regroup and I am ok.

But here is my question to you:

What do you do? After you competed, and then have the result and it is not what you wanted, what do you do? Eat? Of course. But after that what you do really tell yourself to make all the work and sacrifice palatable? How do you deal? Do you ask the judges for feedback? Who do you turn to for guidance, and support? What do you do to make it work? To move yourself forward? I welcome your thoughts.

Many have written and reminded me how accomplished I am. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This does help put things in perspective. I am continuously working on my perspective. A positive, more upbeat perspective. I am 2nd. Yes this is very close to be first. 2nd in the short class in the country.

I love competing in fitness as I control most of what I do, but the part that I don't control is the outcome. My emotions I need time to process the situation and then I move forward. I have moved forward, and after I post this consider it moving forward.

I know eventually I will get a chance to be an IFBB Fitness Pro. I feel that I could learn way more, and grow more as an athlete by competing in the Pro ranks, than spending another year as an amateur. The good thing is that there are always more shows around the corner. I am young and do have time to achieve this goal.

Next up for me is the North Americans on August 27th to the 30th. In about a week, I will be competing in Cleveland. This could be the last show for me for a while, so I am making it count.

Tomorrow is always a new day to do better.


16 August 2009

The Result

(Sherry Boudreau, me, Jodi Boam)

Hi Everyone-

I know I have been absent from this blog, but it has been on purpose. I had to take myself away from things that clouded my focus. Not so much this blog, but the internet in general. About 9 days away I was feeling like I could not make it to this show, but luckily through the encouragement of some really good friends I did make it.

One year and one week I had waited to compete in this show. Now it has come and gone. How did I do? 2nd. 2nd place at the 2009 CBBF Fitness and Figure Nationals. Damn! Not the results that I wanted.

How was my performance - awesome! I did it perfectly and am really proud of myself. I am sorry that the judges did not see it that way. I will be off to North Americans and try my body & routine there and see what happens.

I felt really relaxed all weekend, and wanted to work on my confidence, and performance to know and understand that I can 'do it' when it mattered. And I did just that. I could not have done any better. I did awesome work yesterday. And I do not often say good things about myself in this respect as I am very hard on myself. But yesterday I rocked.

I brought exactly what they [the judges] wanted - darker, fuller, better suit choice a more flashier costume and more dance. I guess they did not want me. They wanted someone else.

I did not see any of my fellow competitors routines so I cannot comment on what they did. I do not think anyone has taped my routine, as they did not have a videographer there this year. I do have some pictures so I will post them at the end of the entry. (update - routine is online at

Feelings? I am bit bummed. Bummed to think that Canada does not believe that I am qualified to be a pro this year. Will I ask for feedback? Probably not. Or maybe just not yet. I would have to decide soon, as the judges will forget. But I cannot see myself asking. I am sure they would just say similar to things like last time. [I am a smaller frame by nature and am limited by my genetics - comments by head judge last time]

This could be my naive or maybe because I am a teacher, but I refuse to believe in the politics. I always keep faith and hope that the judges know what they are doing and will choose the best to move to the pro ranks. People to continue to tell me things, and well, I just don't want to believe them.

Questions do run around in my mind. For instance, I do see some of the girls being pretty chummy with the judges -- does that matter? Or does the head judge decides who she wants as the winner? No - they would not do that right? Does it matter what trainer you have? Declining my invitation to Worlds - did that matter? How many times you have been at Nationals? (I have been 4 times - btw) I keep pushing these thoughts out my head, as I have found they will only cloud my focus, and I do want to keep an open and positive mind (this was a new resolution of mine for January and I am sticking to it) And someone came up to me in March and told me I would not win Nationals - Yes, it is official - I am very naive.

To me, it is not just about choosing the winner, but also the person who will best demonstrate talent and hold their own in the pros. I feel I can do that. I understand there is a hierarchy when you get to the pro ranks, but with that being said, you are a PRO - the biggest hurdle is already accomplished.

My love and respect for this sport has not dwindled. I follow many of the shows, love all the girls, getting to know them, hearing their stories and lives, and just being around those that are just like me. My motivation for competing has not lessened, in fact this show perhaps has fired me up even more. All year, things have been happening, and there is a reason for this, and I am not sure yet why...but it will all become evident soon. I have faith.

I do know that I am really tired, and have been up late, so I do feel emotional. Probably a combination of too much sugar, too little sleep, and a bit of anxiety as school starts in a week.

I want to thank everyone for this words of encouragement, and feedback after my performance. Fans who said hello - your compliments make my day, and during these times I carry them with me. Thank you. I love talking to all of you. (actually I think I just love talking....ha!)

On to my real life....

I have come to the conclusion that I will probably not return full time to teaching for a while. I am going to try to keep a 50% workload and then work towards training other girls for fitness/figure/bikini and training the general masses to achieve their goals. I will be working on a nutrition certification this year as I do have quite a few things to do this fall.

I love fitness. I love talking about it. I love researching it on the computer. I love studying it. It is stuff I do anyways. I just need to get my butt in gear, and do it!

Today, I might have one meal off my plan, but it is back to the diet mode, and getting my butt tighter for North Americans.

But this week, I am in Winnipeg - and need a gym near West Hawk Lake - any ideas? I will post on facebook and see what happens.

Here are some pictures.
(me and Myriam Cantin)

Me, and good friend Sherry Boudreau

I want to Thank Sandra & Ross Wickham for putting on a great show. Organized and on time. What else can an athlete ask for? The moderators were wonderful in getting everyone to the stage on time, lined up and ready to go. Thank you again, and your hard work and dedication to the sport is very evident.


05 August 2009

8 days....

Ok, so here we go. The final big push. I have been struggling lately with motivation. Not sure it is because the end is in sight, or that the end is really in sight.....;)

I have been busy with various family activities over the past week. For one, we bought a new house, and sold our old one. We put our house on the market on a Wed, and by Sat we had 4 offers. About 5 days later I was signing the papers for sell out house. This is a big change for me. I remember moving into this house, and it was during preparations for a show. The move was from an apartment to a house, so, we did not have a lot of stuff. Now that we have a house, and a kid, well I just hope I don't get as stressed out about the whole situation like I did last time.

This past weekend a family member got married. Yes, I did it - went to a wedding, ate my 'diet food' and survived. It was a good time to be able to go back home and have some good weather. (unlike the vacation where it rained everyday). I even managed to go out one night with the girls and get home very early am. No drinking. No cheating. They were all drinking beer and margaritas and well I had my eggs, chicken, asparagus and some cottage cheese. Oh, and lots of water. I was glad I did go out as normally I would have stayed home. My life needs to be lived, and well if I am going to compete, I have to be able to do both.

This week, I have family visiting from various places. So the house is a buzz. I think it is great to have them around, as then I am always thinking about them and not myself. As long as I get my training in, and go to bed at a reasonable hour, things remain good.

School will be starting in about 2 weeks. My attempts to stay in the math department, and convince my principal it is the best choice for my family and for the department, have failed. I am more than 99% sure, I will getting the new workload. My compliance should never be confused with acceptance. I think this a move that is not in my best interest, and because I want to put my family first - I get the leftovers for workload. Funny, a woman who puts her family first in the traditional sense, and try to contribute to society by having a part time job just does not seem to be acceptable. I am in the business of education for Pete's sake. You would think they would be a little more accommodating? My new schedule does not allow for me to keep my son home some days from daycare. I am teaching everyday - even if it is just one class and well, my son has a schedule too, so he has to go to daycare, everyday. I will see what I will do in August. The most frustrating part is that I have to clean out my classroom. Do you know how much stuff a teacher accumulates? I swear, we are all pack rats by nature.

In other news, I am competing in 8 days. Or leaving for Vancouver in 8 days. I cannot wait to eat! I am so craving, and oogling the TV commercials lately. Different foods, such as ice cream (which I would never eat), hamburgers, nachos, fries - all the really bad foods. I know it is because I cannot have it now.

I took pictures yesterday, and well I feel really fat. Not phat; fat. I think that I have gained muscle, but I am not sure of what is going on. All my clothes are loose like usual, but the scale has not really gone down. I remember a time when this has happened - back when I was training in 2007. I started at 120lbs, and ended at 120lbs when the diet was all over. Perhaps it is possible to go in 2 directions at once: gain muscle, and lose fat? I am not as lean as I was for the Arnold- but am 'fuller' as they say. To me, that just is a loose term to mean - fat. Others would disagree but what else can I say? I like being small, tight and little. I just hope the judges appreciate, and reward my 'new' look.

I still have 8 days and a lot of things can change between now and then. Today I am off to practice my routine -- which I have to say is going really well. I enjoy this routine, and think it is a better reflection of me.

Until Vancouver, I leave with this...

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.
~Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Talk soon,