NATIONALS!

Alrighty this is long…

Aaron flew with me to Miami, along with my coach Robyn and her boyfriend Lyman.

Weather in Miami was not great, with most days rainy or at least overcast- we didn’t even go to the beach! But at least the temperature was a lot more pleasant than Utah.

During the trip, I was increasingly aware of how much effort goes into getting ready for a show. It’s the third time I’ve stepped on a stage to compete, but it’s a lot more of an ordeal when you have to fly somewhere else and make all those arrangements. Crazy expensive too.

Those few days before the show are so tedious- trying to get your body to look just right. Timing is huge and something I am still learning- trying to look dry and tight, but with your muscles still full. Carb and water manipulation. I was really grateful to have my coach Robyn with me to walk me through all of that.

There were tons of booths set up, where we met some cool peeps and got an awesome stash of free supplements!

  

Me and this Quest girl look like BFF’s. Not a clue who she is… lol

And on the right is IFBB bikini pro Yarishna Ayala. I love her because she’s not a stick. She’s got curves AND muscle (including quads) so it gives someone like me hope haha.

She’s from Puerto Rico and immediately started talking to me in Spanish… I am not Puerto Rican…

Nicole Wilkins.. love her

IFBB physique pro Steve Cook. He was seriously the nicest guy. It’s cool when these people actually talk to you instead of acting like they’re too cool, because really, outside of the fitness world- no one really knows who you are haha. But really tho..

He was awesome

Competing involves a LOT of waiting around. Friday was pre-judging, and I had to plan my tan, then my makeup and hair, then we had a meeting to explain the order and itinerary of how things would run. When they say bikini would be on stage by 6… I don’t think I actually went on til 9. It made for a VERY long night.

  

Final preps before stage with my coach Robyn. She’s so great!

  

Backstage can be awkward. Maybe because everyone is from different cities across the nation, you don’t really know anyone, and you know they’re your competition.  Luckily there were a few Utah girls there that I’ve met through previous shows and they are awesome! It really helps to see some familiar faces and people who know exactly what all this craziness is like!

It’s interesting to see in person a lot of those girls I’ve been following on instagram for so long. Actually it was a pretty cool thing that I was on the same stage as them- never really imagined that happening.

This show was one of the biggest national shows ever, I heard. There were SO many competitors! I was #314, and in Class B (That means between 5’1-5’2 ½”) and I heard there were 40-45 girls just in my class alone!! By the time they got to me, I was so tired, and I admit I just wanted it done.

I did not place, in fact I was in the bottom, and obviously I wasn’t thrilled. When it was my turn, and I did my posing routine, not a single judge was looking at me; they were writing notes. That was frustrating. I plan on getting feedback from them, but I’m fairly certain on what they’ll say…

I had WAY more mass than all of the girls. We knew that going in but were hoping it would work in my favor.  You never really know what the judges want, and when your physique is a certain way genetically, you just do the best you can- get lean, get proportioned, smile big 😉

I didn’t love the way I look in the official photos, and I’ve heard that NO ONE liked the photos. Too much light, and we all look washed out and soft, which is also really frustrating.

As far as my physique goes, I think I looked tighter and better in some areas (than my August show where I took first overall), and in other areas not so much.

But it’s been a learning process and I don’t have regrets.

(August vs. November)

I worked glutes A LOT this prep, and I could tell a big difference! A little different posing too.

I also had 4 more pounds on me at Nationals than from August.

  

I’ve learned that for most people at their first national show, it’s very common they will end up in the bottom placings. You kind of have to go in it for the experience, “pay your dues,” and keep trying. There are girls who have competed, I dunno..NINE times on the national level, trying to earn their pro card, and I 100% feel they deserve it, if they indeed look the part.

That being said though, there are always questionable placings, and inconsistencies about what kind of physiques end up in the top spots but that’s just what happens I guess in a sport as subjective as bikini competitions. You win some, you lose some.

I shed a few tears of disappointment after pre-judging was over because it’s a hard thing to swallow- after months of training and dieting and investing so much into 10 seconds of stage time, to not do well. But I try not to take it personally, and just be grateful I made it that far.

We went out for a cheat meal and to enjoy getting out and about Miami!

Raviolis and meatballs mmmm and then brownie and carrot cake sundaes. People always ask what the cheat meal is gonna be, and I really try not to even think of it til that moment, because I want everything lol. Everything sounds good!

Ultimately, I’m looking forward to this break for the holidays. I want to train the way I want to, and eat healthy and clean because I choose to, and it makes me feel good, not because I have a deadline of a show. I like having balance where I can stay relatively lean but strong, and eat well but don’t feel guilty for treats here and there. It’s a hard place to find but I’m pretty determined. =)

Back to the grind!

Also, although I may have too much size for bikini, I don’t want to switch to figure. I feel like I’m kind of in-between, and actually don’t even want to think about changing my body just for judges. I want to be happy with my body the way it is, for myself. Not to say that there isn’t room for improvements because there’s plenty! But I’m ready to focus on other people, and other facets of fitness besides aesthetics. =)

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