Official Blog of Allison Ethier

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

12 November 2010

This weekend - Coupe Pro Gym - Nov 14, 2010

Spray Tanning at the Coupe Pro Gym - November 13th and 14th.

I will be at the Hotel Gouveneur in Saint Jean sur Richelieu for the Coupe Pro Gym.  I will be on site to present myself at the athlete meeting as well as backstage.

We will have JanTana products for sale this weekend - 10minute tan - Ultra One, Pre-Scrub skin prep, Glaze mist, Glaze for Bodybuilders, sponges, and moisturizing lotion. 

You let me know what you need, and we can take care of you.

See you all soon,

A.

I will update my blog this weekend.  I cannot believe my show is next weekend. Where has the time gone?

29 September 2010

50 days to the Fort Lauderdale Pro

Hi Everyone-


Time is just flying. I have meaning to update my blog all month, and then when I sit down to do it, other thing pop up to draw me in a different direction.

Last month, I was at the CBBF Fitness, Figure and Bikini Nationals 2010 - it was a well organized event and I have posted many photos with friends on my facebook page. 

The event was held the last weekend in August in Toronto Ontario Canada.  I was there shooting with fabulous photographer Liana Saadi - now Liana Louzon,  and doing some spray tanning for a few girls - they all looked stunning and I welcome you to contact them to have feedback on my services. 
You can see pictures of the tanning as well on my facebook fan page, and my personal page.


Liana and I created some fabulous images that you all are just going to have to wait for.  She is undeniably the most fearless person I have ever met.


"Doing something scary every one and a while makes me realize I am alive"

Personal Training
Speaking of scary; my personal training is going great.  Still slow but getting there. I am making new contacts everyday, and with each client am learning more and more.  It has been almost 4 month since starting my new position.  Although I still have much to learn, I am excited to get up everyday - including those days at 4:30am to get to work.  When I was teaching I would have many days, especially this time of year at the end of September when the days just felt so long, and the amount of work was just so great getting to the end of each day was an accomplishment.


I am extremely happy for the change.  It is so easy to just be 'me'.  My decision to leave teaching for a year is one of the best decision I have ever made.


It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.  ~e.e. cummings


Upnext
The Fort Lauderdale pro is the next show on my schedule this year.  November 20, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale.  My goal - top 3.  


I want to make the Olympia qualification for next years event.  I just finished watching all the girls compete from the Bodybuilding.com webcast, and always get inspired when I see fellow competitors and their talents. In fact just seeing bodies in shape keep the inspirational juices primed. 


I have about 54 days to get ready for this show.  I love dieting in the fall much more than in the summer. Not sure why, and I never figured it out.  Being cold can lend itself to extra calorie burn I am sure.


Week 1: Photos (13 September 2010)
Here is what I look like last week.
 

This is this week.
20 September 2010



Some improvements.

The suit I am wearing is for sale.  I have a bunch that I am willing to sell. Not sure why I hold on to everything but I will be liquidating.


Photos and price to come soon.  I do have some routine outfits that I will be selling as well.


Placings Perspectives
Competing is a journey with the focus being on where you have come from to where you end up on the day of the show.  Holding the outcome to be the 'be all end all' of your journey is a very dangerous barometer to measure your competition experience.  You just NEVER know where you will end up and certain placings are more frustrating than others.  Such placings as 2nd, 4th, 7th, 11th, and well last.  Last can be frustrating but not the most frustrating.  Actually if you are last there is no where to go but up the next time you compete.  I have been last before, and in the other placings listed.   

In relation to the IFBB, making 4th is crummy (unless the other 3 are already qualified) as then you are not in the Olympia qualification position, and well 7th as some shows the top 6 qualify for the Olympia which makes being 7th all that more hard to accept. 
Unless you have been last and then moved to 7th. That would be a huge improvement. 
11th is bad as you are out of the perennial top 10. 
And well last depends on how you define yourself, and compare yourself to the others in the group. 

You never know how things are going to go on the day of the show - really anything can happen.  Those who are seen as contender end up a few placings lower than what the buzz was about.  It is a disappointing moment?  It could be. However in this sport, and the industry having things be inconsistent should be seen as the most consistent thing.   You just never know.  No matter how hard you have prepared, there are always others who are doing the same thing.  When you put yourself out there like that - competing - lined up ready to be judged by others, and the public, it takes an immense amount of courage. Then when the awards are announced, you either get to bask in the spotlight with a placing that satisfies you, or have an extreme amount of a resilience to be able to get back up if the results knock you down.  

It is just one moment and there are always more shows around the corner. 


Of course, there are worse things that can happen in life than losing a game, but we all know the pain we can feel after a difficult loss, or even the joy we feel after a great win. This game is one of joy and pain. If you want to feel the joy, you must be willing to suffer; like taking the final shot, planning a different strategy, etc... This game is not a matter of life and death -- it only feels that way sometimes!

Until next time,

A.



19 August 2010

Europa Texas 2010 Recap


Hi Everyone –
The weekend has come and gone.  Part of me is happy to see another competition behind me, but sad as I know that it will be sometime before I am back on stage again… or will it? (I will return to that thought later)

Recap of the Weekend’s Events
Tuesday
The weekend in general was a hit.  I left on Tuesday night to drive down to Burlington VT as I always try to fly out of the US to avoid the nightmare of customs, and immigration at a Canadian Airport. I spent most of Tuesday prepping to leave, packing, food preparation, and packing the car, going over numerous times in my head what I need to be bringing and going over it again.   Beside suit, shoes, costume, and routine shoes – everything else can be bought.

Driving to Burlington was pretty much uneventful and then I went shopping.  spent way too much money, and checked into my hotel for the night.

Wednesday
At the airport, I am always hopeful that things go well, and that I don’t get too much flack at security.  This time was great.  Flights went well, met all my meals on time and drank my water for the day.

Once in Dallas, I met up with my roomie – fellow competitor and figure pro Ginette Delhaes.  We stayed together in Orlando and had such a good time, so Texas was going to be much of the same – laughing, prepping for the show, some relaxing, and of course plenty of eating afterward.

The rest of  Wednesday included: relaxing, some shopping for groceries and post show treats, eating, and getting to bed early – even if travel is uneventful it is still very tiring.  We had met another new comer who just turned pro – Louise Rogers from England.   I got to know her quite well over the weekend. Turning pro in England is just as hard as Canada – so when she got her chance – she jumped on it.  I agree – why wait right?  Learn while you are in the pros. 

Thursday
The athlete meeting was at 7pm so we had quite a bit of time to kill during the day.  Again, we went shopping, bought some more post show treats, hung out at the hotel relaxing.  We did meet up with Aleisha Hart, another Canadian figure pro and her boyfriend for meals during the day.  Ginette helped me put on some tanner, and then we went down to the meeting.

The thing with these shows is that they are so much more relaxed than I ever remember being as an amateur.  Everyone who is competing is a champion at some point and very good at what they do.   Europa shows are so very organized that things are just easy. At the meeting,  you walk up, get your number, get your information and leave. No messing around.  I love how organized Ed and Betty Pariso are to put on these shows, and provide a top quality atmosphere for the athletes.

After much socializing at the meeting, I was ready for bed, however, I needed a bit of food before bed, so indulged a bit in order to fill out onstage.   I am a smaller girl, so I need to eat before the show to look full.  I was not as depleted as I was in the past, as I think I just hit my mark just in time for this show.   Eating beforehand depends on my current leanness, as well as how depleted I am.  Not being as depleted I did not consume as much food as I would normally and hoped the next day that I would be ‘ready’.

Two weeks before, or even a week out from this show – it was very obvious by photos - I was not ready.

Friday
On Friday, we woke up early to get our tans done by JanTana the queen of tans.  We rode on over to the convention center which was very convenient and a short shuttle bus ride from the hotel.  It was really easy.  We got sprayed, and unfortunately the convention people keep one of the large doors open keeping the humidity really high in the building – and we would not dry.  I stood for at least 1.5 hours to dry under the fans.  Later in the day they did close the door and turn up the AC but for that morning – drying was a pain and it was so hot. 

Normally I cut back my water, but due to the humidity and how swollen I felt I kept drinking water all day. 

I ended up staying at the venue for the morning to get my makeup done, and I was a little worried about going outside as it was so hot and humid that I did not want my color to change.  The show was only in the afternoon so I used this time to catch up with fellow competitors, and socialize.  I love being around these fit folks, that talking to them is such as inspiration and I use it as motivation to stay on track when I return home.

There were many divisions this weekend as this is the last show to qualify for the Olympia.  Men’s 202, Open Pro division, fitness, figure and bikini.  There were a lot of top names here vying for those few last spots.   Qualifying for the Olympia is like competing for a pro card – very challenging and difficult to do.   I don’t think it was out of my league to believe that I could make it there this year; however, I knew that my competition was fierce, so I would have to put on a perfect showing.

A week out from the show I have to say that my body was not ready – two weeks out – it really was not ready.  I did change my job, and move much less than I did when I was teaching.   Summer is harder for me as I am moving less.  I find fall/winter/spring easier because I am always on the go, and maybe it is the cold weather and I have to work to keep warm, so freezing everyday actually helps fat loss ;)   

My suit was made by Tamee Marie and I loved it.  I think her suit style and stone patterning flatters my physique the best.  

When it was finally our turn for the fitness division to do comparisons I knew we would not be on stage for long.  There were only 14 of us, and for fitness that is a great turnout.    I am not really nervous for the physique round as all my nervous energy is spent on the routine round.    If there is anyone who has done fitness and then switch to figure or bikini they realize the difference – being onstage is very exciting, but the nerves for me only come before the routine.

I was in the 2nd callout – which is respectable.  I know that my physique is something that holds me back from placing slightly higher, but considering how difficult this prep was I was proud to be among those called out in my group as they are well established in the industry and bring their A game every time.  These girls are pillars of consistency, and when you are at this level not being prepared is not something that does not happen to often. 

After a few quarter turns the physique round was over.  It took maybe 15-20 mins?  I really enjoy the physique round, and wish it was longer, but with only 14 girls, and some very experienced judges I can see why it does not take that long.

The figure gals, however, took a bit longer.  In the pros having over 20 girls seems to be considered big – now there were 38 onstage – all in one group.  Maybe they will have to consider heighting them into short and tall to at least be able to see everyone.  Not sure how they (the judges) do it, but they managed to judge all those beautiful bodies, and get through the prejudging. 

That was it for the day.  The rest of the day we spent relaxing, cleaning ourselves up from the tanning/makeup and went out to get a small bite to eat.  As usual all I wanted was salad, and was so tired from all the posing that I had to turn myself in early.

Saturday came so fast that I could not believe that this was the last day I was to spend in Dallas.    I work up telling myself that this was the day I was going to be great.  Not just good but great.  There are moments in which I get really excited to be performing the routine, but until it is over it is only thing I really think about.  I always have a good time performing it, but somehow over the past few years I have become extremely nervous to the point of panicky when performing the routine. 

I got up, got re-sprayed, makeup redone, and basically hung out until the NPC show was finished for the morning.   I went over and over in my head my routine numerous times.  I listen to other music that I would listen to when I would be preparing to run my routine at home.  I did get on the stage before other competitors so was able to walk out my routine a few times before we started to share the space.  I took in the all the lights around me, the view of the audience the view of the judges, and tried to absorb all the energies around me to be make this a familiar place rather than a scary one.

Doing a routine for me is very tough as I feel as though what happened at the Arnold was very uncharacteristic of me, and want to show the industry that I am consistent at what I do.  (I am probably the only person who keeps thinking of that moment. ) That they can count on me to perform even under the toughest pressures.  My nerves are hard to control so getting on the stage is crucial to preparing mentally to be on that stage.

I had a conversation afterwards with new pro Cinzia Clapp and asked her about her experience for her first pro show and she seemed to be able to express what I was feeling as well.

When you come from doing small shows, where the stage is so small and the audience is on top of you transitioning to a large venue show can be a shock.  At the smaller venue shows, you can feel energy of the audience. You can internalize that energy, and transmit that through your performance back out to the audience.  It almost creates a cyclic effect of give and take.   However at these big shows, on a big stage where the audience is very far away, and positioned lower on the ground floor from you and puts you on a bit of a pedestal, it is hard to have that give and take.  It is almost as though you are practicing and there are people watching from far away, and you have to use your own internal experience to transmit that energy only in one direction. The energy must be generated internally in you, and then out to the audience.  They are so far away that any response seems very quiet to the point where they don’t seem like they are reacting at all. 

This can make for a tough transition from the amateurs to the pros – however, all the new pros – including myself are working through it, and hope to become seasoned pros soon enough to the point where it just feels natural.

After the introductions of Betty & Ed, all athletes were onstage to throw Frisbees.  I took this opportunity not only to try to see how far I could biff a Frisbees without killing someone, but to also hear the music, feel how it sounded, and use that for my routine and how it might translate to what I am about to do.

There were 5 girls before me.  I basically just listen to their music; see if it is can help pump me up to get ready for my own routine.  I never watch the girls before me as I don’t want their routine to mess with the one that I am about to do.  My only focus is my own routine.  I do watch afterwards (as I did purchase the video) but for the time being I am the only competitor about to perform. 

When it was my turn I was surprisingly calm.  I tried to soak up what was going on around me and remember it for later. I do still feel the energy and nerves that I have during the routine round as all that adrenaline is hard to control.  I tell myself – ‘just like practice’.   As I have done this routine so many times during practice that I know it.  I went out there and after the first move – relaxed – things flowed so well on this day that I breathed in every moment.  I felt light and airy.  Moves we finished, and flowed, with no hesitations. 

Sometimes I get too nervous and have to tell myself in my head as I am doing the routine – ‘calm down, relax, breathe’. 

It is an exhilarating feeling once it is all over and you have done your best, and it came out really well.  You feel proud.  And I was proud of myself on this day.

I was not ready a week ago and my routine I was extremely nervous.   I managed to overcome these nerves and put out a great performance.  And I was relieved and very hungry when it was all over.

I waited to eat some as we had a huge break between the routines and the finals when they announce the winner.    I spent the time collecting food from the athlete dessert buffet, fixing my tan, socializing, and touch up on makeup. 

When all was said and done – I placed 5th – sweet!  My goal was to keep in the top 5 and with many of the big names who showed up for this show I am super pleased to be among the top 5.  Respectable finish – especially for someone who just turned pro last year and I am already cracking the top 5.   Sweet.

After the show, we went back to the hotel, eating all the way, got showed up and started the tour of restaurants in the hotel.  I went to eat with Jan Tana’s team who are always a hoot, hung out at the bar for a while, back to the Italian restaurant, and then decided to pack it in for the evening as I was super tired.  The stress of having to perform the routine makes me really tired afterwards.  I had a lot of stress about it this time, perhaps I know that I huge break is on the horizon for me, and just wanted to put out a great performance for me.  And I did that.

Sunday I woke up early, got dressed, and left.  I did not want to wake my roomie, as she was sleeping, but I felt very peaceful at what I did this weekend.

I am very excited to be heading back to work this week, and seeing my clients. I am always so motivated for them to do well.

Right now I am in the airport writing, and many people are staring as
1. I have muscles, and 2.  Am oddly very tanned. 

I usually shy away from showing my arms but this time I am proud.  Proud to have muscle and show off my arms – and I should be more proud.  It is very hard to do what we do – fitness, figure, bikini, bodybuilding etc – the diet, the training, the focus.  Getting a beach body is one thing, but a stage ready body – well that is WORK!

I had a super time in Texas – they are so friendly and warm down here.  The host hotel was amazing and had top notch hospitality and services.  I would come back to this show and can see why it has been running for 17 years.

Thank you’s.

  • I want to thank Ed & Betty Pariso for putting on this show, and continuing to produce top quality shows. 
  • Coach & mentor – Erik Ledin for helping to build this body to do well in the pros. 
  • Husband for continuing to support my fitness endeavors over the last 10 years.
  • Family & friends for being there when I need them, and lend a helping hand when I cannot seem to get my brain to work right.  
  • Fellow competitors & fitness friends – I am so proud to know you, honor and respect all your hard work.

I am not sure my plans for the Olympia but do hope to be going. I should know more in a few weeks.

But as for another show – will there be another show – the last one of the year after the Olympia is the Fort Lauderdale show November 20th.  I am not sure but I am feeling that I want to do another one….don’t we all feel like this after the show – wanted to do more…..

When I do know, I will post.

Talk soon,

A.


11 August 2010

Europa Texas on the Horizon

Seeing the Light - so warm, so nice
Ah, I can see the light - the light at the end of the tunnel. Some say it is the last 21 days that are the most tough, however, I disagree - it is the last 7-10 days.  Your body either is 'in' or else it is not quite in and you are hoping that you meet the deadline - the day of the show.  Most of the time I am ahead of the game anywhere from 1-3 weeks; this time I will be just in time.  Mike Davies told me 'you don't win a show 3 weeks out - and this time his words have stuck with me throughout my entire prep.

Today, right now, I am traveling to Dallas, TX.
I have never been there, and am pumped to be among some Southern folks.  Always warm and welcoming they are really great to be around. 
This show is shaping up to be one tough competition. They all seem to be like that though.  Especially figure - there seems to be quite a few girls competing - perhaps it is due to the fact that it is the last show before the Olympia in order to qualify for that event.  I too, am keeping my fingers crossed, and hope to get a 'ticket to Vegas'.  Oh, and have you seen the fitness competitor list - I get heart palpitations, and nerves just looking at it.

You can see a full list of competitors at http://www.ifbbpro.com/.

Prep Perspectives
This summer I started my diet late.  My fault.  I was on vacation with the family near the beginning of July and well, it was hard.  Really hard.  I can diet in fall and winter and spring no issues, but summer for me is hard.  I love being in shape, but getting there (contest shape) is hard.  It is never a lot of weight that I need to lose - just around the 10lb mark, or if I am lucky less, but getting the momentum to do the work, and stay consistent at it is hard.

Again, I never realized how much time and energy I have put into what I do.  I never 'thought' about it before.  And now since I have embarked on being an awesome, knowledgeable personal trainer I see the demands it places on my family and myself as a person.  I never thought I kept myself from doing things just because I was preparing for a show - but now have realized that I do just that.  There are situations that I avoid as I just don't feel like socializing, or being around people.  When I am moody or cranky, because of the diet or perhaps that time of the month - I do isolate myself.  Perhaps it is a protective mechanism as I never want to seem disinterested in those around me, or seem preoccupied by my thoughts but when dieting and especially the last 2 weeks before a show, I am very internal as they say.  I am pensive - I am focussed.  I can understand why some relationships don't last in the industry as I can see it from the other person's perspective how hard that must be for them.  To feel isolated while living with someone else.  Their thoughts on their show and the other person almost feeling jealous not of a person but of a thing.

I am so lucky that my husband knew what I did years before we ever got married.  He knew what he was getting into.But what about other husbands - when their wives take up this sport (or girlfriends) and then things change.  It is hard.  Really hard.  As you are always trying to find the balance between giving your all to the activity you love, and giving to your family.  That is why I say the last 2 weeks (for me anyways) are the hardest - as I am the most focussed and thinking about the show basically all the time. Everthing I do for the next 2 weeks surrounds what is going to happen in 14 days - the show.

Have a I found a balance?  I thought I did but now I am finding it swing the other way.  What do I really want out of all of this?  I am questionning more and more my reasons for competing.  I think it is good to do that, but I am finding myself feeling the need for a break.  A long break.  I want to leave the sport (or take a break for a while) with good positive feelings rather than keep chasing something that I am not really sure of what the goal is anymore.  Why am I competing?

Again these thoughts have been running through my mind for a long time. 

Dallas - this weekend.  I will be focussed.  I will have fun.  I will be very excited to see everyone, laugh, eat, and take lots of photos as I am not sure of my next move in the industry.

This weekend I will savor every moment.  It might be a while before I get an experience like this for a while.

"Moving on is a simple thing, but what it leaves behind, is hard"

25 July 2010

Official Blog of Allison Ethier: Two Months in.

Official Blog of Allison Ethier: Two Months in.

Two Months in.

Hi Everyone-

It has been a fabulous summer so far. The last year has been so trying and I think I have finally build a bridge and go 'over it'.  Meaning all the events of the previous year.
I took about 10 days for family vacation in the Maritimes.  Loved being home.  The weather was a complete 180 from the previous year - super sunny and hot while last year was dark and down pour rain the entire time.  This summer's weather has been nearly perfect and we are only half way through. 


Personal Training
July has been a busier month than June for my personal training.  My personal training services @ the ProGym is going well, although it is slow right now. I am told that is normal for this time of year.  Summer, I am told,  sees many individuals take a 'break' from the gym for the summer.   I have had about 10 clients in person so far.  I am always excited to see them and cannot wait to train them.  I would like to be busier, and many friends have given great information.

I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to be busy, and be great right away.  I have to stop doing this.  I am new, the whole experience is new and I cannot expect to have a filled schedule in less than 8 weeks.  I would never have done that with teaching - teaching was all about survival of the day.   It has not even been a month in total that I have been at the gym.  I have been travelling a lot, have been away for vacation with the family - so having clients depends more on me - I need to be at the gym to mingle and meet clients.  I am told everything will pick up by the end of August.  It is really empty during the day at the gym so I think this would be a good time to be branching out - to online training.

Online Training
I have a few online clients right now so much of my time is spend setting that up.  I am almost ready to go live on my website.  Eventually I would like to have both running solid, but somehow I am liking the idea of working from home.  My web guy - MirapDesigns.com - redid my entire site and if you like what you see.... - his name is Paul and he is super reasonable and always responds back to your emails.  Quick, reliable, and good.


Realizations of Competition
I am also preparing for the Europa Texas show August 13th, 14th of next month.  I am finding it challenging to prepare for this show.  I am realizing many things that I have never paid attention to before.  Like my diet for instance, I never realized how little food I do eat to get ready for the show.  It is less than maintenance level calories for off season, but I guess I was just so busy that I ate and went about my day.  Perhaps it is because I feel more present in my life, and can take the time to eat my food, and pay attention to it.

Another thing is the routine - which I love performing but somehow do not like practicing it.  I can totally understand why girls do bikini or figure - the routine is HARD.  I never knew how hard until now.  Although I am still conditioned and not completely out of shape being in perfect routine performing cardio shape is tough.  I will be working through that, and am almost there to be able to run through it 3X full out.  But again, I never noticed that before. 

Then there is the time we spend onstage.   I watched a full show online and it was around 8-10 mins in total that you get to spend onstage. Luckily with fitness we have 2 rounds, but with the elimination of the one piece for figure (which is still a good thing) the amount of work that you do to get onstage begs me to ask the question - is it really all worth it?  Fitness still has 2 rounds which allows us now to have the most time on stage - actually no - we are not equal to the bodybuilders.  They have group comparsions and individual posing.    But if you just look at fitness, figure or bikini of the 3 yes we have the most time onstage.  However, if you are only getting one call out - that is about 2 mins of facetime for 8-12 weeks of contest prep.  I know there is more time outside of that as you don't discount all the prep work you did before that, but if we only look at the 12 weeks before the show, it works out to be (12 weeks x 7day/week x 24hours/day x 60mins/hour) = 120 960 minutes of prep work before a show.   Even if we take out the 24 hours in a day, and put in 2 hours a day of prep (on average over the whole prep and this is being conservative) that is (12 x 7 x 2 x 60) = 10 080 minutes of work for the prep divided by 2 mins for a call out and that is:
5040 mins of work for every 1 mins on stage.

Or in terms of hours that is: 84 hours of work to every 1 min onstage
I am sure you can appreciate the point I am trying to make.

Training me, Training others
I am not sure how girls who compete full time and train others continue to have motivation for themselves.   Giving my motivation to others can be much more rewarding - but having enough for me and then for others is really tough.  I would rather see someone else compete than spend all that energy on me.  I wonder what this is saying about me at this point in my life?  Time to take a break maybe?  Not sure.  I always find I experience these feelings before a show and then when I am at the show things change again - I always am more motivated at the show and cannot wait to do another.  Being around people who are just like me is very inspirational.


August Schedule
So for August I have the Europa show, then I will be off to the Canadian Fitness, Figure and Bikini Nationals in Mississauga at the end of the month.  I will be doing spray tanning at the event.  Sign up today if you are going and I would love to take care of you.
Sign up today!  Visit my facebook page to see images of my work.







For now I will spend the last 3 weeks prepping for the show, and trying add new clients for my business.  I am so excited to get up each and every day.  I am really enjoying life right now.
 Everyone asks - "Will you go back to teaching?"  I am not sure. But I will leave you with this -


Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. - Maria Robinson

26 June 2010

One month in

Hi Everyone-

I am sitting here at the Tampa International airport about to board my flight back home and I thought I would take a moment to let you know how things have been going.

I have had a few clients so far this month. One is a long term client that has signed up for a few months. I am very excited to see their changes over the next few weeks. I do have some clients who sign on for a week, and then take a week break with me. I have been told that this is not normal - however, what really is normal when it comes to personal training? Sure I would love the client to have me with them all the time to make sure they are progressing, working hard enough, but then again it is all about what the client wants. I am willing to show them as much as I can in that small time frame we are together, and then let them see if they are able to work on their own, and usually they do come back for some more. My philosophy is to teach independence. I would do the same thing with my students; preparation for the next level. Giving them information and hopefully they are able to assimilate this information into something that is workable for them.

CISSN Exam/ISSN Conference

This past weekend, I was in Tampa, FLA for the International Society of Sport Nutrition’s (ISSN) annual conference and of course I was writing their Certification in Sport Nutrition (CISSN). This information is very athlete specific - endurance, or anaerobic/strength/power athlete. The application to fitness, figure and bikini gals is very limited. However, it is information. Information I feel I need, and perspectives that can only add to my understanding of my role as personal trainer, and ultimately fitness, figure, and bikini coach. Plus I get to hang with some super smart people for the weekend, and see what is up and coming in supplements.

Like Vitamin D for example. I saw a wonderful presentation by Rikki Keen out of Alaska about Vitamin D and how it is recommended for anyone who lives north of Altanta, GA they should be supplementing. 2000mg is the recommendation, but she herself supplements with 5000mg. There were some presentations that I was really impressed with; impressed that I had the knowledge to understand what was being said. The language was clearly very scientific but seemingly I understood all of it, and was able to follow along. I am sure reading the ISSN textbook has helped tremendously in refreshing my memory to some of these concepts, including the use of a very good dictionary.

Speaking of the ISSN exam - I think things went well. There were questions (of course) that I was not sure of and others that I was absolutely sure of. I will have to wait up to a month to see what my results are and I am very hopeful that things will work themselves out. I tried to remember questions that I had difficulty with in order to go and look up the answers, but after 3 hours of intense focus, and 200 multiple choice questions, I was pretty spent. I am sure questions will come to be as time passes, but yes, it was a difficult test, and yes, you do need to have a strong science background to be able to handle the concepts.

What is next for me? A few items.

Europa Texas - I will be training and dieting all summer for the August Europa Texas show. It will be the last chance to see if I can qualify for the Olympia. It is the last chance for any fitness competitor to qualify for the Olympia. I would love to be able to attend the show in my rookie year. Am I ready? Well, that is all up to the judges. I am on the smaller side (even Oxygen said so recently) but my routine I feel is on par with what is being presented on stage today.

Dieting - well I am actually looking forward to it. I have always found dieting in the winter easier, but this summer I want to be in better condition. I am not content with my shape right now, and losing a few will make everything (including me) feel better. Being in the gym on a daily basis also helps as this is now my job, and I am my own advertising.

Eating well can be seen as something as overwhelming but over the years I have found the right formula to make sure I am always prepared with my food. Like cooking in bulk, or preparing in advance if I know I am going to be away from the house for the day. I always bring my food with me. Always. You just never know when you will get stuck somewhere or might be at someone's house, and well - it is time to eat.

There are times when I want to go out to eat, or have a beer with friends, but it is few and far between. Many, many times I am extremely disappointed with the food I receive at restaurants, and think to myself, ‘why did even I even bother?’. I am always more satisfied with my food at home, and feel much better afterward.

I say this as I just traveled with all my food to this conference, and it really was not that hard. You never have to wait for your food, you always feel satisfied, never that heavy feeling you would get after a big meal, and it is good food. Sure you can get good food at restaurant, but if you are not familiar with what is being offered in terms of restaurants, or the kinds of foods they serve in that area (fresh, frozen, or fried) would it not just be a safer bet to travel with your food?

I rarely go out to eat in my town, and if I do plan to go out to a restaurant ever again it needs to be a very high end restaurant; one that offers the best food in the city. If I can cook it at home for fewer calories, and equal taste, I just don’t see the fun in going out to eat. BBQs and suppers with friends takes care of the social part, and I anytime I do eat out in a restaurant you know what I get? Salad. That is it, just salad. To me salad is a treat, and a ‘cheat’. I love to have a huge salad, with lots of toppings, and dressing, and some bread. Pretty boring eh? I guess my tastes have changed over the years, and I just find it easier to eat the same things most of the time. This was not a change that happened overnight.

Gym - Back to the gym on Monday, and with that I am going to make a push for more business. I have not advertised at all, and will do so when I get home. Unfortunately, I will be going on vacation in July so that might slow things for July. I will be visiting the Maritimes again this summer, and will start advertising down there. Plus I do want to hold some camps in the early fall. I really want to train fitness, figure and bikini competitors and show that your prep does not have to be THAT difficult. It is a process, one that you must be patient with, and realize that changes don't happen overnight.

I do have a post that I have worked on and am considering posting it; however, I do want to see how the summer goes with PT and how busy I am.

;)

Have a great week,

A.

06 June 2010

2010 New Beginnings - June 1

Hi Everyone-

There are so many good things going on, that I am not sure where to start.

Spray Tanning Services-
My friend and I are doing Spray Tanning backstage at shows and for regular spray tans in the Sherbrooke area in which we live. We did the FCPAQ Est show here in Sherbrooke (CBBF stream), and received great feedback from the promoter and he has already booked us for next year.
It was a busy day, but I loved seeing all the athletes performing and being apart of the atmosphere without any pressure to compete.

Sophie Charpentier, an athlete who I helped train competed in her first show. She is 18 years old and a former math student of mine. She did an amazing job - I could never have imaged myself at 18 years old competing onstage.

We have some photos online - where you can see the before and afters.

We will be at the 2010 CBBF Fitness, Figure and Bikini, Junior, Masters, and Grandmasters National championships in August in Toronto.

If you would like spray tanning services, you can sign up from my website - sign up here - and then we can make sure to take care of you for the event. We are still seeing if we can get backstage at the event as the CBBF has expressed interest in supporting our endeavors. We will update all our athletes of the final decision, however, we will be at the host hotel for the event in August.

Along with that we will be at our 3rd event - the New Brunswick Provincials in November. Information is available on my site - under 'services'.

Teaching & Beyond
Summer is almost upon us, and school for most students is coming to an end. Although I did not finish out the school year I know that I would not have made it to the end of the year. Teaching is one of those things that is so hard nowadays. It is unlike the way the education system was even 10-15 years ago. Expectations are different, students are different, administration has more pressure on them to implement changes quickly and effectively, and the teachers are expected to do more work than is humanly possible. This June try to thank the teachers of your children. High school might be tough but maybe you can thank the homeroom teacher or that teacher that takes the most care of your child. It is not an easy job at times, and even just a small note is enough encouragement for those great teachers to stay in the profession a little longer.

For me, I am so blessed. I did apply for a parental leave of absence in March, and luckily it was approved. This now leaves me the time to pursue being a personal trainer, teacher, and coach.

Personal Trainer & Teacher
I have finally decided on a gym that I will be working at for the next year - ProGym in Sherbrooke (Fleurimont) location. I already have an office, and a few clients under my care. I am very excited to what changes I can help them make. So if you are in the area, by all means stop in and see me or contact me at - contactallison@yahoo.ca

ProGym is a great environment for me. I had a decision to make as the other major private gym in my area also expressed interest in me. Although I would love to work at both gyms, I don't think either one would be happy with that arrangement. I have a great relationship with both gyms, and this was a tough decision to make. Did I mention that I am also trying to tackle this new position all in French? I will be learning a lot this year.

My goals include teaching my clients - (as that is my background) I want to help teach those who just don't get the gym to at least feel comfortable in the gym, stay motivated, and keep them on track when those times get tough. I find it tough every now and again, and it is always good to have someone in your corner to help pick you up when you need it.

Presentation & Posing Classes
Along with my gym, I also have a great working relationship with other community areas in Sherbrooke/Lennoxville area. I do my presentation classes at University of Bishops - they have an amazing dance studio that I can use for routines, and presentation/posing classes.

I know some from the Maritimes have contacted me about having seminars etc on this, and I will be home this summer in July - so if you are still interested, contact me and we will see what we can do.

Studying
I am currently studying for the CISSN sport nutrition exam in June - I will also be attending the ISSN Conference in Clearwater Florida at the end of the month. It is a very challenging exam as I have forgotten a lot of my chemistry and biology, but bit by bit it is coming back to me. I will be glad when this exam is over as it is occupying a lot of my time. I just don't want all this time and energy I have been putting into this, (plus the expense) to go to waste. I am very excited for the conference though. I like being the student as well as being the teacher.

Competing....? Again?
Yes. Yes please. I will be competing again this summer - crazy I know. I told myself not this summer, no more dieting in the summer, not any more summers, but here I go again. I don't find the diet as restrictive as I used to. Actually when I eat those 'bad' foods, I don't feel well, and my skin does not cooperate well to the change in foods. I am 33 and sometimes have the skin of a 14 year old. I don't realize how good I feel on the good food, until I start eating the bad food. (or too much of the bad food).
So I will be going to the Europa Texas this summer. Very excited, as I have never been to Texas. I do have a family vacation in there, but it is on the beach, so it is manageable.

My goal is to make it to the Olympia this year. Top 3 I need to make, or if the top 3 are already qualified, then the 4th place will be qualified. I will keep visualizing (a hint from Kary Odiatu), and then go out there and do my absolute best. I can only control me; not the outcome.

Along the lines of competing - how do I manage to compete year after year, and still enjoy it. My prep is not THAT difficult. Really. There are times when I want bread, and butter, but other than that I enjoy working out, I enjoy performing the routine (the practices are killer though...especially after a break), and I like the travel and seeing the girls. The summer I know it is about beer, and food, and friends. So I can have the friends, and the BBQ (with selected foods), but not the beer.

Is socializing with my friends going to be any more/less fun if I ate the non diet food? Probably not. I still talk and drink (water etc) and have a good time. I think it makes the people around me (or those who don't know what I do) more uncomfortable than it makes me. I do have tricks to mask my dieting, but my closer friends know when they see the blue cooler it is time. Time for the diet. They just don't even ask anymore.

Metabolic Damage
Although I never suffered any of this myself, I do feel that I could have been one of these girls. I ended up having my son at a time that if I continued competing this would have been me. After having my son in 2006, I did not have the time to spend doing endless hours of cardio, so trained smarter, more efficiently, and worked on cleaning up my diet more. In March of 2008, I connected with Erik Ledin and well, he wrote an excellent piece on this heated topic of debate - Metabolic Damage - all you who compete should read this.

Contest prep should not be a part time job. If your trainer is doing any of the mentioned things...you might want to rethink your trainer - or perhaps get a second opinion.

I would love your feedback -

A.

08 May 2010

Update - April 2010

Hi Everyone-

Yes it has been a long time since I have updated. There is so much going on. I am thrilled to be embarking on some new challenges this year.

Before I left for the Arnold, I had put in for a leave of absence from teaching for the following school year. I have to make a decision in March for something that is only going to happen in September. Perhaps that is why I am such a planner. In teaching you always have to plan way in advance.

I am looking to spend more quality time with my son, and have a bit more time for myself, and pursue some interests that I might not otherwise. Teaching has been very good to me over the years, however, I am very unhappy with the direction the education system is headed. I do not feel that my own personal expectations of students are in line with what I am being told to do in the classroom. I know that I am able to 'close my door' and still do my own thing, yet, ignoring what is happening is no longer an option. My colleagues are able to deal with the situation much better than I. Hopefully my leave will be approved, as my love of the students and my fellow teaching staff is what I felt has kept me teaching for almost a decade. The amount of work required of me as a teacher has tripled over the last 3 years, and I am unable to do the job that I am feel that I am qualified to do, as the amount of preparation, planning, correcting, and daily administration duties are beyond what is humanly possible in the span of a 8-12 hour work day. And if I am going to be putting in that many hours into something that I am not 100% passionate about, I might as well be giving the same amount of effort into something that I would anyways - fitness.

I feel that at this time in my life, choosing to do something 'different' and for me that would be pursuing training others, helping with their nutrition, and helping them change their lives for the better is something that has interested me since I was a little kid. I am willing to face my fears of changing my job in order to do something that I never viewed as 'work'. I love learning, and am willing to do the work required to get better. I am more motivated than ever at the prospect of being 'superior' at my job.

Teaching I always felt as though I was lacking, as there were too many variable that continuously changed. With a constant change in workload/subject area, I never felt as though I was progressing. Every year I felt as though I was starting over, and never had a chance to be 'great'. For me it was important to be able to add to my resources, not scrap everything and have to start over. I always felt like I was starting over.

In the last few years of teaching, I had a really difficult time of separating my two worlds - teaching and fitness. I felt as though I was not being authentic self when I was teaching. There were parts of me that had to be 'controlled' as certain aspects of the industry could be viewed as inappropriate. I am fully conscious of my role as teacher, and role model for the younger generation. I think that this move towards fitness is going to be more in line with who I am. I am still an educator - but one of health & fitness not just mathematics, science and ethics. (although I will always love math)

I will be training girls for shows to show them there is an easier way to contest prep. I am having more fun than ever preparing for my shows, dieting, and training than I ever have. I am to help those in need to achieve their goal of being on stage. It is such a wonderful time when the show finally comes around and you put what you have prepared for into action. I am following a few girls now, and am very proud and excited for them. Much more than I ever have been for myself. I love being able to 'teach' girls how to prep for shows, so hopefully they can take this knowledge with them for their next show (if they choose to compete again).

I am also starting a spray tanning service at shows (see previous post), for shows, and if I can - backstage. I want to be involved in many aspects of the industry and this just seemed like the next natural step. With a friend of mine, we are going to be attending various shows in my region (Sherbrooke, QC). Depending on the schedules of shows, and our schedules (she has 2 children, myself just one), we will be at various shows. Just check back here, or on my site for which shows we will be attending. The first one for this year is the FCPAQ show in Sherbrooke, on May 22nd.

On the competition front - lots of good things happening.
I placed 5th in the New York Pro show, and 6th at the Orlando Pro. I had a wonderful time at both shows. Really I just wanted to redeem myself from the performance at the Arnold. It was a better showing, but ultimately my goal is to make it to the Olympia this year. One more show that would allow me to qualify - the Europa in Texas in August. So I am 99% sure that I will be attending that show. I have a new suit in the works, and then I have to decide new routine, or just my Be Italian routine with a few modifications.

I did make it up to Toronto and spent some time with Liana Saadi - photographer extraordinaire, and close friend. We shot together. Images were amazing! While I was there, I was able to shoot with Oxygen and Inside fitness, visit with Erik Ledin of Lean Bodies Consulting and meet with my agent - Tereasa Panossa of the Red Group.

I have been traveling quite a bit in the last 2 months, so now it is time to take a break, and catch up with friends, and family. (and put the house back together).

I think I will be taking up golf this summer, take on a few clients (so you can email me), some vacation time, and we doing some alterations to the house, have plenty of visitors, studying (I am writing the CISSN exam in Clearwater in June), and prepping for the Europa Texas. There are plenty of things to keep me occupied since leaving teaching.

I have to say that I am super excited to get out of bed everyday. I really have not felt like this for a long time. I guess I never realized how unhappy I was teaching (or maybe just teaching the subjects I was teaching). Sometimes in life we do things that are expected of us. I am glad that I took the risk, and am taking the steps necessary to do what I really want in my life.

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."
Vincent Van Gogh

Talk soon,

A.

05 May 2010

Services de Spray Tan

Hi Everyone-

Long time since I have updated and I will. I have so many new things on the go and am very excited. I actually have too many things on the go, and really just have to sit down and focus on one or two things, set them up and then add more.

My first big project right now is starting a tanning business with a close friend of mine.

I will be offering back stage tanning services as of May 22nd starting with a local show that is going on in my area - Sherbrooke, QC.




It is the FCPAQ Est. Follow www.fcpaqest.com for more information on the show and times of prelims & finals.

For the tanning services I am listing both an English and a French writing of the service as my clientelle is primarily French. I am very excited to be helping the athletes present the best they can on stage. The tan is the final step to heading the stage, and can have affect on your final placing if things don't go well.

I will update further on my other events since the Arnold. I just have to say that I am in a very good place in my life right now, and having so much fun.

Talk soon,

A.

Click on image for English & French Version on Facebook




















Please do not hesitate to contact me for any questions on the tanning.
contactallison@yahoo.ca

A.

22 March 2010

Arnold Classic WrapUp & Beyond

Hi Everyone-

I have been away for the past 2 weeks. I decided to take a quick vacation home to Moncton, NB, where most of my family resides, and well, my old stomping grounds. I am originally from Halifax, NS, and lived most of my adolescence in Moncton, NB and also spend quite a few year in school in Charlottetown PEI - so I am a true Maritimer through and through.

I came home from the Arnold, only to leave 2 days later. I had decided to spend time taking a Can Fit Pro seminar that was happening in Moncton the following weekend. I thought it would be a good time to go home, and visit with the family as summer vacations never seem to be long enough to visit with everyone.

But before we get to that, let's talk about the Arnold.

The Arnold was a great experience for me. I learned so much this year from competing to making some new contacts. Everytime I compete I learn something new. This show really taught me a lot.

Everything leading up to Friday went really well. Friday morning, I had my tan touched up by JanTana, had my makeup done by the fabulous Elaine Goodlad, and then went on the athlete's bus to the Expo to do the physique round of the competition.

I felt really good backstage at the expo. My physique felt tight, and I was not nervous at all. It was a good showing. I was in the 3rd callout, with the other newbies. I am not a big girl, but I really liked the package that I presented, and was happy with that. My suit by Tamee Marie, was beautiful and it fit like a glove. I left the expo feeling energized, and excited for the nights' events. There was no expectation going into this show, and being at the Arnold has been one of my dreams since I had begun competing. I was more than happy with what I presented.

I stopped by the Bodybuilding.com booth on the way out to pick up my outfits for Sat/Sun, and it was a zoo. A crazy mad house! Like usual the Bodybuilding.com booth is always one of the main attractions of the Arnold Expo.

Here are some links to pictures of the physique round:
Muscular Development.com
Bodybuilding.com
RxMuscle.com

I went back to the hotel, relaxed a bit, ate, and then got ready to go to the Veterans Memorial for the night show.

For the night show, they decided to put the bodybuilders first before the fitness routines. Not sure if that threw a few girls, as I have not seen the routines, but I do know that when it was my turn to go, I did find myself questioning the floor, and if it was slippery or not.
I was 4th to perform my routine, and the girls before me, did mention that the floor was slippery. When they announced my name to go, I went out there to a big welcome cheer from the crowd (which was absolutely wonderful to hear), and went in position to start my routine. (I am getting cold right now thinking about this as all the nervous feelings are coming back to me).

As the music started, and I heard it start, and did my first move but then I could hear nothing. I am not sure what happened. I watched the broadcast on Bodybuilding.com and basically I looked lost, but in my mind, I could hear nothing. Nothing. I was lost as I could not hear my music. So I walked off the stage. I told the music guy I was 'going back out there', and did, so if I was not supposed to have a 'restart' I did, as I was on my way back onstage. I did do my routine the 2nd time I started, but still had a really hard time hearing my music. Again the replay of BB.com makes it look like I am behind. Not sure what it was...maybe I am just not used to hearing my music played in such a big venue. Could it have been nerves? Absolutely. I can tell you now that I was really scared of performing as, this was the ARNOLD! I hold the Arnold competition on such a pedistal that I am still really amazed that it all happened. As I was doing the routine, I was so mad at myself for having a 'do over'. There is no 'do overs' in the Pros - you get one shot and that is it. So for the routine I was in last place. That is cool. I was mad at myself, but not upset. Hopefully I can get this across correctly - it did not feel like the end of the world to me. Although it was a huge mistake in my eyes, so many told me how they really enjoyed the routine, and that is what I am really proud of. I love it when people understand and appreicate what you do. Bottom line on this one, I learned many things about how I need to prepare myself for this type of high level performance, and will do so in the future. The Arnold was a great moment to shine, but it was not my best moment. Right now I am in last place so there is no where to go but up. ;)

On Saturday I woke up and felt as though everything on Friday was a dream. Like, did that really happen? I was proud of the physique but the routine round I can do way better. And I will.

Sat and Sun were just as crazy as Friday. Less stressful, but more crazy. The booth was super busy, and Sly Stallone, and Arnold stopped by for some pictures at the Bodybuilding.com booth. I was not tired during the day, even though I had expected to be. With this renewed energy I scheduled a shoot with Liana Saadi, before going out at night. It was a great shoot. We always seem to do really great work in a short amount of time. I wonder what it would be like to have more time to really get some good shots in? After the photoshoot, and not wanting to waste my photoshoot makeup I went to a sushi place with fellow fitness gal Jill Brooks. Food never tastes so good than after a show! We went to the Party with the Pros - there was a buffet, and I was not really interested in socializing just browsing the buffet! Just kidding. You know how us competitors can get post show. After about an hour at Party with the Pros, we were off to Boma after party.



I don't go out much but for some reason this evening I was energized, and ready to stay out all night. I did see quite a few people out and about - including Beth Horn. She told me her story when she competed at the Arnold. Very encouraging.

I love hanging out with the fitness types, and was able to make a few new friends. It is so wonderful to hang with those who are really similar to yourself. A feeling of connection and belonging.

I knew that working on Sunday being tired is not fun, so I packed it in. I left early am (around 2am- early?) and headed home.

Sunday was just as busy as on Saturday. Working at the Bodybuilding.com booth this year was a bit more busy than last years. The booth had 3 sides of crowd rather than one line of crowd. It was tough to manage but by Sunday we had things set up and rolling smoothly. We did hand out all of the product that was there on the weekend. Luckily on Sunday I did not have to rush to the airport and was able to stay another day and leave on Monday. I took the evening to have dinner with another BB.com booth gal - Maleah Bataoel, at Buca Di Peppo. I had never been to this restaurant, and was plesantly surprised. I loved it! I do love Italian food, but really all I want is salad after a show, and well, plenty of bread.

After all the events on the weekend, I was pretty tired on Sunday night. I packed it in early - around 7:30pm. I basically crashed.

The Arnold is always my favorite event of the year. I love the time that it is held, and the city of Columbus really does an amazing job of putting together the event. I hope that I will be invited back next year, and well, this time no 'do overs'.

On that note, I am preparing for another show the New York Pro & the Orlando Pro. I have already sent in my applications, and made my flight and hotel arrangements. I have roomies, and am excited to get to know other Pros. What's 2-4 more weeks of dieting right?

It is time to do my absolutely best all the time, and live without this fear. Sometimes I think I make mistakes on purpose. Or I over think things rather than just doing. There are many changes that I am going through with my 'life's work', and it is having an impact on my performances. I wonder how others seems to be able to go out there and perform so consistently, all the time, and I am sure they have personal issues as well. I admire those who can do that. I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve a bit more. I vent. I write. Then I move on. I can tell you that I am moving on, and it feels really good. Sometimes when there is a huge 'negative' in your life it is really hard to focus on all that is positive. Things in my life are great, and I am trying to lay the foundation to move forward with what I want out my life.

I do want to take this time and Thank some very influential people in my life all of whom have shaped, lent advice, help guide, and calm me when needed. You are immensely important to me and I want you to know how much I value your friendship, experience, and guidance.

Arnold Classic Committee
IFBB Professional League
Erik Ledin - Lean Bodies Consulting
Cathy Savage & the Savage Team
Mike Davies Fitness Camps
Slimquick Extreme & Explorex
Bodybuilding.com & Bodybuilding.com Team
Elaine Goodlad - Makeup, JanTana - Tanning
Friends, and Family for their continuous support and encouragement

Talk soon,

A.

05 March 2010

Arnold Classic - Thursday

Good morning everyone
Yesterday I did not do too much. Lazed around watching housewives of orange county all day on Bravo.
Ran a few errands, went for a walk, ate, and that is about it.

Everything really did not get going until the afternoon. I had tanning at 2:30, then back to the room to eat and watch more TV. I have been relaxing way too much. Tanning did not go well. Same issue that happened last year happened this year. I will discuss later when I am on a full keyboard.

Athlete meeting was at 6:30 for the fitness gals and 7pm for the figure. It is so funny meeting all the fitness gals cause I already know who they all are. I am really a huge fan and watch them all online. I love the Internet for this reason as I would never have been able to see shows if not for the internet.

Then we all went over to the convention centre and then the Veterans Memorial to see what would be the for the night show.

The whole process took about an hour. I did not bring food with me and aS ready to eat, tan and sleep.

I am excited for tommorrow (today). I have to get more tanning, get my makeup done., do my hair and be over at the venue at 11 ish.
I am ready.

Talk soon,

A.

A

04 March 2010

Arnold classic weekend - Wed

Hi Everyone-

I am here in Columbus. The weekend has officially begun.
Preparing for the last couple of days has not be as stressful as it has been in the past. Usually it feels like I am feeling like a chicken with it's head cut off. Perhaps it is because I am familiar with the packing, and cooking so I don't need to think as much on how to get it all done

I left home feeling ready and prepared. The drive to the airport was uneventful. I did have a delay out of Philidelphia but that is par for the course nowadays when you fly. I was still able to make my supper with fellow fitness competitor Cara Thien.
I returned to my hotel to go and get a few items at the grocery and met up with J and met Myriam Capes. Myriam and I live in the same province. We have heard a lot about each other but never met.

After shopping we went back to the hotel and met up with Tina Durkin and Nicole Duncan. The time has begun and I am sure I will be slightly star struck over the weekend.

Did I mention what an honor it is to be competing at this show?

I am typing on my itouch so each update will be short. Although I am familiar with technology I don't have the latest gadgets. You should ask to see what my cell phone looks like.

Talk soon,

A

25 February 2010

VI days to go!

It is almost here! I can feel the emotions starting to well up inside me. It has been an extremely long journey this time around. When I returned from Sri Lanka, I had only 52 days to get ready. Some girls start dieting before the Arnold invite lists are announced. However, all that is behind me now, and I know that I am ready.

It is funny when things finally start to take shape. You get smaller, and your clothes get much, much bigger. When my undies start hanging off I know things are going well. Plus the veins start to pop all over, especially after a meal with any carbs in them.

Today was routine practice. I dread routine practice, but love performing the routine. Once I get to the point where I run the routine through without my lips turning blue is a good day. Today was a good day. I practice in different shoes than what I perform in as they are a bit heavier and have much more padding on the toes. My other performance shoes, are more dancer shoes, are lighter, and well there is not much padding in the toes or support, as they are a soft sole in the arch (to make pointing your toes look like pointed toes). Not something that I recommend, but due to the pounding on the wood floor over cement, it hurts my body much less.

Here are a few new songs that I am completely in love with to get the motivation flowing.

Kesha - Blah, Blah, Blah



Imma Be - BEP



Telephone - Lady Gaga



Replay - Iyaz



_______________________________

Body wise I am think I am ready, ok, maybe the judges will say something different ;) I really cannot ask for more. I just have to go out there and do what I have practiced to do. I will be practicing more routine, and more posing before I leave on Wednesday for Columbus but it is a comforting feeling knowing that I am ready to go onstage. I just need a few beauty moments, and well things are good to go.

What am I expecting from this competitive experience? I would like to be able to go out there on stage and represent myself well, and represent Canada well. I want to remain competitive. That I look like I worked hard to be there, and did not just 'show up'. I want it to be evident that I prepared for this show.

In Canada, we do not have that many active pros right now. I understand that it is very hard to compete, especially after you spend much of your amateur career trying to reach the top and a pro card, only to hit the pros, and then spend more time working your way back up the ladder. It can be very frustrating. I have lived many frustrating moments in my amateur career, and hopefully will be able to transfer this understanding to my time in the Pros. I just need to be patient. Patience is a virtue, and I am willing.

In my routine, I just want to perform well, so I am proud of what I presented.

____________________________

I am not getting any younger and there are other things that I do want to be doing. Competition prep is time consuming and really I have not realize it until this year. After this show, I am not sure if there are other shows on the horizon. I say this as I have spent more time with my son in the past few weeks, and do see a difference in my mindset when I am preparing for a show, vs when I am not.

In the past few weeks many things have changed like I mentioned. What I have not mentioned is that I took a break. I had to go. I had to leave. January was a huge month for me. After much discussion...actually 7 months of discussion...I decided to take a break from teaching. Yes, I did it. I felt completely guilty for leaving my students as they were wonderful, but I was not in a position where I was happy. My family was unhappy. I was unhappy. I was working 50+ hours week for a part time job. My son was going to daycare all day and I was teaching once 75min class. I spent more time with these other children than my own child. It was a scary decision but I knew when the principal told me what the workload was going to be next year, on paper it looks like 50% but in reality it was not. I could not do my best work, and do my best work at home, so I had to leave. And the best part of it is, all of my co-workers said, 'good for you'. I was surprised, as I felt really guilty & shameful for leaving mid-year, but there was no way I could survive or else I would have been on stress leave. Maybe they knew what a raw deal I got this year, and were happy that I wasn't just putting up with it. Either way I really happy to have these people in my life. They are immensely supportive and encouraging.

With my leave of absence my job is still protected for next year.....ahhhh...next year. I have to put in my request for what I want to teach for next year by the 16th of March. So after the Arnold I will have some really hard decisions to make.

But, I do have some ideas of what I would like to do with my "in the meantime". Personal train others, and prep girls for shows. I am also preparing a 'coach for a day' service. Basically I would be your personal consultant to the stage & cheerleader for the day for your show. It would be more local to the girls around my area, unless there would be a demand for my services elsewhere. I am also preparing for an exam in June which is in line with personal training services. I have many ideas and cannot wait until everything is in line, and ready to go. I will post what shows I plan to attend on my website. And I am free to travel as I need to. Something I have not been able to do since my college days.

I can say that I am in a really, good place right now. :)

___________________________________

This weekend is filled with:
  1. packing.
  2. cooking, lots of cooking, to do for the week. And freezing.
  3. routine practice, and posing.

Did I forget anything?

See you all really, really soon,

A.