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:
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