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

19 September 2009

Olympia 2009 - Las Vegas

Don't you just love the autumn? I have had or we have had, I should say, a very wet summer, and now the weather is just beautiful. I would have liked July to be a 'school' month, and then we should have September off. Just a thought...

Well, it has been one week since my last show. I am craving another show. Yes, I am crazy but I would love to do the Fort Lauderdale pro show which is the 10th of October. I know that my physique is not on par with other pros, but it is a work in progress. I would like to just have more experience on the pro circuit, have fun with the girls, and just 'see how I do'. Placing well was important, as it lead to a Pro card, but now I just want to get better each time I compete. Not sure if doing another show is in my schedule, but I know I want to, but perhaps may not have the time to. It does land on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, and well, the weekend before is homecoming at the local University and well, things can get a bit crazy around here during that time. ;)

Oh, and I did I mention, I am moving all week. Yes, we bought a new house. My husband has been moving things all week, while I oriented myself back at school. I do feel as though I have my feet under me know. It can be very stressful when you just don't know what you are doing with your job. This weekend, I am planning on doing all the 'little stuff' for the move, and then letting him and his helpers (he has lined up many), move all the furniture when I am gone. So when I return we will be in the new house.

Next weekend is the Olympia! I have never been to the Olympia. I hear it is quite a scene. I will be working the booth all weekend. Lots of product to give away so make sure this is your #1 spot to visit if you are planning on attending the expo. I am hoping to attend the night shows, but I think they might be all sold out!

I am trying to 'hold the line' with my physique this week. It is hard at times, but I am managing. I did not want to go through the rebound that I experienced last March after the Arnold. This time I think I have things under control. I was not as strict with myself, and did diet longer, but not harder.

After returning home from the Atlantic City Pro show, I had an interview with Jenna Mitcheson with American Body Plus. It was wonderful to be able to talk about my experiences this year. I find through my blog, and talking to others you gain a good perspective about competition, life, and the balance between the two.

And I did an interview with Dave Palumbo, for and I found my routine and the post win Interview. I was very excited, and extremely proud to be in that moment.

And I did post my 45 second routine on my YouTube channel.

See you all really soon at the Olympia - I will be arriving Thursday.


12 September 2009

Atlantic City Pro

(45 sec cat suit - Gone!)
Hi Everyone-

It has been a really long journey this year. Many highs. And many moments that make you ask yourself, 'why do I do this again?'. Well, being in Atlantic City and having my Pro debut moment was definitely worth all the ups, and downs and then some.

I was prepping all week for school to make sure my students were taken care of for the classes that I was going to be absent. I am really hoping things went well, and I did bribe them with candy so I hope that worked ;)

They had posted the final list of competitors at , and well I was not on the list. All week I was anticipating my name to be on 'the list' of competitors competing at the Atlantic City Pro, and well, I hate to admit this but when I did see my name on the list by Wed night (the night before I was to leave), I was a bit worried. Did they not accept my application? What was going on? I emailed them just to make sure, (and a few other friends to see if this was normal), and they all reassured me things would be fine and I would be able to compete. I can be a bit of a worrier, if all my ducks are not in a row. I was leaving Thursday around noon, so sleeping Wed night was a bit tough. I did call the IFBB on Thursday am, to verbally confirm my attendance, and they again, reassured me that everything would be ok, and I would be on 'the list' by today. And after teaching a class, I checked back and by noon - I was on 'the list'!
Huge moment for me. To be listed among these girls is such an inspiration and honor.

So I went home, got my gear together and I was off.

But before I was even on the highway to the airport - I got stopped. I got myself a speeding ticket. Damn. I will be checking for the speed signs on the way home, for sure. I thought it was a certain limit, and well the cop told me otherwise. I am mentioning this, as I was determined to not let it bother me, and affect my focus. These 'little issues' can sometimes bring us down, and well, I have been working toward not letting the 'little issues' get to me so that I can focus on what is most important. And this ticket, although annoying, is not a huge issue.

My flight at the airport, was delayed, but that was fine, as I did have work to do.

I arrived quite late in Philadelphia, and then took a shuttle to Atlantic city and the host hotel. It was a long trip, and I was glad to get to my hotel. Atlantic city does remind me of Las Vegas, but my driver, told me not to 'insult' Vegas by doing that. ;)

Friday I was up early to tan with JanTana. Then off to the athlete meeting at noon to get my number, and hand in the music. I was the last girl to sign in, as well, I was not on 'the list' they had at the table. However I reassured them that I was ok to compete, and received my number (#13), and handed in my 2 rounds of music.

On my way to the hotel I did hear the news. Yes, I am one of 2 (Sofia Johnson is the other), to be the last pro debut fitness gals to do the 45 second routine, and one piece. (All those going to the Olympia are not pro debut girls). The IFBB Pro has decided to do away with the 45 second mandatory round, and the one piece round. Anyone want to buy a full body cat suit? See more information on

(Renee, and I)

I met some new girls at the meeting, talked a bit, and then was back upstairs to get some more tanning. My friend Renee came down from New York to visit, and hang with me for the weekend. She was a huge help, again, a friend bringing me groceries, and just helping with other things for the show. I don't usually travel with anyone, but having her here, really helped me this weekend. There is nothing around the hotel to buy groceries, etc, and well it is quite expensive here in Atlantic city.

Friends, good friends, like Renee, I have made through competing in fitness. I do feel really blessed to have them around me.

The afternoon was filled with getting ready for the night show pre-judging which started at 5pm. The one piece was first. Tracey MacDonald who so lovingly lent me her one piece, was a beautiful CeeJay suit. I was tanned, oiled and ready to go. It was so great to be up there with those girls. There were 3 call outs, myself in the 3rd call out with the other newbies. Sometimes I find myself on stage watching the other girls rather than focusing on what I am doing. It was very exciting and very hot on the stage. Man, the lights were hot. I was sweating quite a bit under that one piece. The round went quite quickly.

The two piece round was next. I started to turn a bit green. It has been a long season for me, so my skin is probably sick of the tanning, and scrubbing. So I tried to fix it and with the help of Marnie Holley (fellow Canadian and fitness pro) help to fix my color. It really only turned green where my suit was as I was sweating so much. We went on stage, similar call-outs to the one piece, 3 rounds of call outs, and we were done. It went so fast. After, friends told me my color was off, and well if I look at pictures - yes, I could have been darker.

Up next: 45 second mandatory round. I loved this round. Luckily, was able to get my costume to me in two business days - and that meant shipped to Canada. Amazing what you can get done when you have to. My friend even video taped the routine for me. I was pumped to do that round, and think I 'hit it'. Too bad there won't be any more.

(myself and Tracey Greenwood)

That was that, for pre-judging. I grabbed my stuff, and went off to a restaurant to have a bite to eat. Showered, and went to bed. I was pretty tired by the end of the night, and really just craved sleep.

(fellow Canadian - Marney Holley)

On Saturday I really did not do too much. Fix my tan. Do my hair and makeup over again.
Get some sleep and try to relax a bit before the night show.

The night show started at 6pm. I arrived early, around 5 to start warming up the routine. I was told that for the physique confirmation rounds in the evening fitness would only be doing the one piece, and figure doing the two piece. The routine round quite quickly and I did do my routine well. I was happy with my performance. I do have it on video but it is in pieces. It was the same routine as nationals but I felt I had more pep.

The awards were announced later in the night. I placed 9th out of 10 girls. There was supposed to be 13 girls, but one switched to figure (you can switch between fitness & figure once you obtain your pro status), and 2 other girls dropped out. I understand how this works, so I am perfectly fine with the outcome. No worries, no issues, no complaints.

You can see pictures and results at: (scroll to the bottom)

Full results will be posted on IFBBPro League site. Then I will know how I ranked in each round.

(Aleisha Hart, IFBB Figure Pro, and I)

Reflection....I think it is was a great showing considering I just turned pro two weeks ago, and that this is my 5th show of the year. I have many improvements to make.
The one piece round went great, and I thought I looked good. The suit was not small enough in the butt.
The two piece my color was not great - I started turning green. I am realizing now what I need to do when I do shows back to back like this. How I need to prevent the 'greeness' for coming. Also my two piece did not look 'great' on me. I think I made the wrong suit choice. Again the butt was not small enough. Who knew how small the suits the pros were wearing are 'that' small. It does not look like that on stage, but in person, they look quite small. Note taken.
I am also not as muscular as the other girls. I am a small frame so it is going to take a while to get up to that level, but I am up for the challenge. It is wonderful to see changes in your body. I will try to find out how to contact the judges, and ask for some feedback on improvement. Saturday night I do think I looked much better, especially with my tan.

Routines - I cannot complain. I did my routine perfectly, and hit all my moves. I liked what I presented, and proud of myself to actually jumping right in. It can be scary the first time you do something so new. But for me this was not scary. It felt as though this is where I should be. I felt completely at ease with being around the girls, and was not nervous. The Arnold this year I was really nervous. This pro show - not nervous, just excited that I got to show my stuff with these accomplished girls. They were all friendly, and welcoming.

(Tina Durkin, and I)

Immediately after the announcements of the awards, I headed straight to the buffet at the Borgata. I ate way to much, and headed straight to bed as I had a long day of travel on Sunday back to Canada. Who knew you could feel drunk on food.

What is next for me? Well, in another two weeks I will be off to the Olympia with How exciting! I have never been to the Olympia and am so glad that my principal has allowed me to take a few days off to travel and be among these very inspiration people again. Come and stop by, talk a minute and receive lots of samples!

Monday it is back to teaching, back to my diet(at least for 10 more days), and get back in the gym to train heavy again. Gosh, I love training heavy.

02 September 2009

North Americans - Results!

(me and Kim Tilden, newest IFBB Figure Pro)

Hi Everyone-

I cannot believe it. The goal finally achieved. I am the 2009 North American Champion and with that an IFBB Fitness Professional! Whohoo!

How do I feel? Blessed, and a little relieved. You hope, train, dream, and prepare for so long to achieve one goal, that when it finally happens, sometimes it is a bit overwhelming and you really don't know exactly the words to describe how you are feeling. I have to admit that I have not had time to reflect much on my experience, as the days leading up to leaving for Cleveland where filled with teacher stuff - meetings mainly. So I spend 4 days before Cleveland doing teacher stuff, preparing lessons in the hotel room in Cleveland, and then just this past Monday all the students returned to school. For parents this might be a relief, but for a teacher, the first day is the most stressful day. Things are not organized, and well it is very chaotic.

So I waited at least 3 days after the weekend to prepare this blog entry. I had to get my work organized, as well try to find time to plan to go to the gym, and well, I am stressing about what I am teaching - ethics - yes, I teach ethics. My colleagues are very helpful, but still, me - teaching ethics and religion. It is just very strange.

Leaving for Cleveland during this time was probably not the best idea, but there are times in your life that opportunities present themselves, and you just have to find a way to make them happen. It was a bit more stressful to fly as this time I decided to fly from the US and since I do not fly out of that airport very often - I really did not know how to get there. There was many back roads and small towns to go through, but obviously I did make it - after getting lost twice.

After arriving at the airport in Cleveland, I am always up for an adventure, so I took the subway to the hotel. It runs directly to the airport to the Tower City and the hotel is in Tower City. So you don't have to go outside at all. Which is a really great thing about this show as it down poured the entire weekend. I arrived at Tower City and to my surprise is inside a mall, so that you can go shopping if you want to. Bonus. And Tower City has free wireless. The internet - my addiction.

I checked into my hotel and a friend, Rachel Vienneau-LeBlanc had stopped by to deliver my groceries. How cool is that? A friend who went to get groceries for me. She was competing that weekend in figure. It was a huge help, and a huge relief, as any competitor knows that when you get to the hotel the first thing is trying to find water. Rachel and her husband were helpful, warm, and very generous all weekend. Probably because she is from the Maritimes. (like me ;)

Friday was a busy day. Getting up at 6am, there was tanning with On The Mark Tanning, then registering for the show, more tanning, some time to relax, athlete meeting, and then sometime to get organized to compete. The routines were on Friday afternoon to start the show at 3pm, with the physique round being on Saturday. Gary Udit runs a very tight show, and I love that you can count on that.

(Me, Paige Oliver, Babette Mulford)

The stage was carpeted, and at first I thought this to be a problem, but underneath it was a bit bouncy, like spring floor - so it was all good. Besides these things happen all the time you just never know what kind of floor you are going to get at a show so you just have to go for it.

The routine went really well. I was very happy with my performance. Whenever the routine is over, and you have done it well, it is a huge worry put to bed. I love doing the routine, but there are always possibilities of mistakes. I noticed a few Canadian judges on the panel - not sure if they were judging me or not. But I had seen them 2 weeks earlier so I had to make sure my performance was on par with the Canadian Nationals, just in case. And that was it for Friday.

After the performance I noticed I was turning green a bit. Poor skin prep on my part. Two weeks between shows is minimum I can do in order to get my tan right for the next show. I did not exfoliate well the night before so I decided to shower and start again. I went back to my room, showed up, and then went for more tanning. During this time I was hanging with Tracey MacDonald - a fellow Canadian, Maritimer, who now resides in California. She gives a lot of perspective to the industry and has been a fitness competitor, now figure competitor and she may be onward toward another goal. We hung out, ate, and had awesome laughs.

On Friday night I did stop down to the lobby, and happened upon the crew taking the group photo. I think I missed the 'official' photo, but I was there, and someone did take a few pictures. I just have to find out who. And find the photo.

Saturday morning came quickly. I went to see Elaine Goodlad, makeup artist, and host of Bodysport Radio. She does an amazing job of highlighting the face on stage for shows. Unfortunately my eyes would not cooperate. They watered all day Saturday. All day. Basically, I was crying all day. I guess one day of makeup is ok, but two really puts stress on my eyes - I don't wear makeup that often. We got through it, and well after getting my makeup done, it was a waiting game until around 3pm. The figure gals were first, and I did want to see the show. So I went down to the venue around 10am, and it took about 30 mins per class. There were 6 classes I believe, and then there would be figure masters, bikini gals, and then the fitness gals. It was ok, as I was able to rest, talk to some of girls, get to know many more, and shop a bit.

The physique round in fitness took less than 5 mins on stage. They did individual presentation, lined us up, switched the line and then we were done. We had about an hour between prelims, and finals, so I went back to my room and rested, stopped back at Elaine's room for a quick touch-up, and off to the evening show.

The show started at 5pm and fitness routines were first. I still get nervous even if we are not judged. I was starting to get really tired, so during the final performance I did miss my handstand move. I was a little concerned afterwards, as I always want to give my best and well that was not my best.

The rest of the night show was filled with watching the women's bodybuilding individual routines, and men's over 40, and over 50 routines, before they would be giving out the awards for fitness. The night show went really quick as before I knew it the fitness gals were back onstage for the awards.

(me, and Stephanie, ClassB winner)

The announcement of the placings went quite quick, and as fast as I was ons tage, they announced me winner of the Class A division. Whohoo! One goal achieved. Myself and Stephanie - the Class B winner, posed for the Overall Title, and after a few short quarter turns (which seemed like an eternity at the time), they announced me as the Overall winner, and with that I was the overall winner, and newest IFBB Fitness Pro. I can remember seeing friends of mine on the side of the stage, and them clapping, and smiling - that was really fun. To be able to share this with my friends.

Congratulations came from everywhere, and I am so lucky to have friends like this to support and encourage me, not just through the tough times, but also share in the good results as well. Tracey MacDonald gave me a huge hug as I walked off the stage - I felt really overwhelmed at this moment. Ok, so I cried. It is to be expected right?

I did a quick interview for with Dave Palumbo, and then I was off backstage to gather my things, and my thoughts. Friends greeted me with 'congrats', but I was really not sure what to do next. I did want to watch the figure results, but my eyes were burning by this time, so I did what any competitor wants to do (besides eat, but I did that too), I went to take a shower.

I was in and out of my room in 45mins. Back downstairs to see the final overall results of the figure event. You can see full results of the North Americans and photos of the show at, and

After that I hung with Rachel and her husband and we hit Hard Rock Cafe for some good eats.

(Rachel, far left, she placed 5th in her class

Sunday, I was up early, packing and getting ready to leave.
Erik Ledin and I had a good chat on Sunday, and talked about what is next.

So what is next for me? On to compete in the Pros. That is right, I am jumping in. No waiting. I am going to the Atlantic City pro show in 7 days. I am very excited, but it is hard to think about the show, when I have so much other work to do. I think this is a good thing, as I am sure I would over think the entire situation and it would make me very nervous. So the best thing for me right now is to make all my arrangements to go to the show (which I have done), and train when I can. The problem here might be that I come in too lean. I find once the process gets going, it is hard for me to slow it down. Plus I am back working running all over the place. I have no central classroom, so I am really running from classroom to classroom to teach.

So this week, I sent in my application and entry fee, made hotel, flight, and transportation arrangements (I am flying into Philadelphia), ordered a black cat suit, hair, and nail appointments for next week, and well, am enjoying every minute of it. Nicole Duncan is bringing a black cat suit for me just in case mine does not arrive on time. Tracey MacDonald lent me her one piece- just stopped and pulled it right out of her suitcase at the hotel - and she placed 4th in Figure Masters. That is a lot of trust. Those one pieces are not cheap! These girls are awesome and I am going to owe them big time.

I cannot wait to be on stage - you can see a list of competitors at I am hoping they will add me to the list soon, as I am very excited to be sharing the stage with these girls. I have competed with some, over the past few years, and others I will be meeting for the first time. I will be off on Thursday to the show, and it will be an interesting experience I am sure. I am ready to learn more, and grow as an athlete into this new realm of professional fitness competition.

My goal is to be at the Olympia (and the Arnold) as a competitor. Either this year, or in the future. I will be at the Olympia this year, in 2009, regardless of the outcome. It will be my first Olympia and this is a very busy month, but exciting. Did I mention I am moving my house around the 15th of the month?

Thank you to all who have continued to support me over the past year, and also my career. There are those of you who have been around since I started competing, and those who have helped guide me to my Pro card. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are my 'teammates' and I could not have done this without you.

Slimquick Extreme & Explorer Technologies -
Erik Ledin -
Mike Davies -
Cathy Savage -
Dan Brown - crew - - Thank you so much for your coverage of the show, and wow! I am listed as an IFBB pro with my photo on the right column of the page - that is really cool.

My husband for allowing me to be myself, and supporting me though each and every show.

My staff at school, family & friends who understand my crazy dieting, and my administration for approving my absence in order to compete during the school year. (and I will be asking for more days off.....;)

My fans - Thank you for your support, words of encouragement - I have not had that many posts on my Facebook page! I did start a fan's page. I have many more 'friend' requests to confirm, but I think I am limited to 5000 friends - not sure what the limit is on a fan's page. Wow! Thank you for all your words. I have read them all.

This week will be filled with training preparations, more cooking, practicing the 45 second routine, posing, trying not to lose muscle and come in too skinny, and preparing my lessons for the week. I have to build a terrarium this week, and read more about the internet and illegal downloading....until next week.