Friday, January 22, 2010

Figure Competition Revisited by Request

I have had several requests to revisit my Figure Competition. These are the pics. The following is the e-mail I sent out to friends and family after the event took place. IT’S CRAZY AND HILARIOUS AND HUMBLING!!! The e-mail is long but worth the read. Trust me! Enjoy!

PS  For the record I never ever want to be this skinny again.  It's UGLY! I prefer soft, feminine CURVES, baby! Bones are for the birds.

Hey there everyone!

I have finally recovered from the self-imposed torture of preparing for my figure competition. I must say, it was the experience of a lifetime! Had I gone even one more day consuming only lean poultry and egg whites, I might have actually sprouted feathers and laid an egg. Luckily, I got through the ordeal fairly unscathed. Below you will find some highlights relating to said competition. I have exaggerated nothing.

The boredom of running 4-5 miles daily on a treadmill drove me to find a sport that would spark my enthusiasm. My thirst for originality was quenched only after meeting the woman who would soon become my personal trainer.

Enter Iryna: One look at her massive shoulders and pectoral muscles informed me she would be the perfect mentor. Iryna, a Russian bodybuilding champion, introduced me to the masochistic and fascinating world of body building and figure competing. Although knowledgeable, she was far from professional. I was daily assaulted by sordid stories regarding the two lovers she juggled expertly. “Would tell you more but you Mormon,” she taunted. Her thick accent rendered her virtually impossible to understand. “Gross!” I grunted between reps. In the beginning I found her honesty refreshing and her personality entertaining. By the end she was, in my mind, unbearably rude and hopelessly crass. (Unprovoked, she once flashed me body piercing I hoped I would never see first hand.) I had, however, set a goal and was determined to succeed.

Iryna trained me so intensely I sometimes hurled my breakfast into the nearest waist basket as evidence of over-exertion. I began to see results quickly. I was shocked by my own strength. My lanky arms soon filled out impressively in the bicep area and a nice cap topped my normally boney shoulders. I loved watching the veins begin to surface as I “pumped up” my muscles. I shamelessly became the gym rat I had always mocked.

While my muscle growth had me grinning like a Cheshire Cat, Iryna was frustrated with my progress. She often encouraged performance enhancement in the form of steroids. “You only will have one injection every week and WOW! Your muscles grow will be HUUUGE! Everyone do the steroids. You not can win without them.” I did not intend to win. I only wanted to accomplish the task at hand. I politely declined her offer and told her I would continue to train naturally.

I visited my doctor in order to verify I was healthy enough to continue my course of action. I mentioned to him my trainer’s suggestion to partake of the forbidden fruit. He scoffed and responded, “By all means, do steroids if your goal is to grow a penis and facial hair.” Hmmm…. Tempting….

Six weeks prior to competition I began the strictest diet known to man. Looking back now, I feel it a miracle to have got through the ordeal. I love food. I was hourly tempted to eat what was forbidden. It was horrendous torture to prepare snacks and meals for my family and not be able to indulge. I discovered a mental strength I had not known existed. I found myself dizzy and weak from hunger multiple times daily. I found that on my high protein diet I felt ill often and even my eye sight suffered. I quite easily could have ended my discomfort, but I never cheated.

In addition to the strict diet and heavy weight lifting, I was told to add two hours of cardio. I woke up early every morning and jumped rope for an hour in my garage. At 11am I met Iryna for serious training. In the evening I battled the Stairmaster for the final insulting hour. By the end of everyday I literally prayed to get through the next five minutes of muscle burning endurance. Five minutes later another prayer followed to the same effect. The exhaustion was like nothing I’d ever experienced.

Five days prior to competition I cut all salt out of my diet. Eighteen hours prior I cut out water. I had truly entered hell.

Competition day I arrived at a beautiful antique theatre in downtown Phoenix armed with two miniscule bathing suits and 5 inch platforms. My competitors were divided by height. I was in the tallest group of women. We were all herded backstage to fend for ourselves by finding our own dressing rooms. (Did I mention my trainer bailed on me the day before, informing me she would not be available to attend? Yeah. ) Being one of the tallest females I was nearly last and found all dressing rooms were already packed with jittery girls in various stages of undress. I finally found a men’s bathroom with a handwritten sign allowing my entrance. Six girls and I shared the converted bathroom for the duration.

Four of the girls were particularly muscular and clearly friends. At one point, an angry looking beefy lady with a gallon of Pro-Tan and a sponge showed up and began smothering these girls. Like the idiot novice I was, I said with a bright smile, “Oh! I didn’t know there would be anyone to help us apply Pro-Tan.” I stood around until one of the girls asked, “Are we in your way?”. “No,” I responded cheerfully. “I am just waiting my turn.”

A snotty brunette retorted, “Are you one of Eddie’s girls?” Dumbly, I asked, “Who’s Eddie?”. The angry beefy lady had just finished the last of Eddie’s Girls. She turned to me meaningfully and said, “So that’s everyone, right?”. I looked down at my skin which was ghostly pale in comparison (even after four coats of tanning product applied earlier.) She turned her back on me to spray Eddie’s Girls with Pam cooking product.

I involuntarily scooted backward in order to be removed from the uncomfortable situation at hand. I found myself literally up against a wall in between two urinals. I felt so confused and out of place. I hung my head slightly to the right and saw that one of the urinals had not been flushed by it’s prior user. I shrugged my shoulders slightly and not knowing what else to do I reached over and sadly flushed the yellow liquid myself. With that action I suddenly realized the hilarity of what had just occurred. I looked down at myself, then left, then right. I was wearing a sparkly purple bikini and heels. My hands and feet were bright orange due to self-tanner. I stood between two urinals. I was on the verge of tears because a few meatheads refused to share with me. I felt as though someone were tickling me mercilessly. I wanted to laugh with wild abandon. I felt insane and elated. I had arrived! There is no crying in Figure!

I befriended the nasty Eddie’s Girls by sharing my Bikini Byte. What’s Bikini Byte, you ask? Bikini Byte is a product used to glue tiny bathing suits to toned bottoms. After I applied Byte to my tush and adhered my suit properly I noticed Eddie’s Girls looking aghast. No one had remembered the bum glue! No need to fret. Mrs. Incredible to the rescue! “You may use my Bikini Byte,” I offered generously. They accepted my offer. After they had all sufficiently secured their suits in place I noticed I had missed a spot and needed to reapply. I realize now the practice of sharing such products may not be sanitary. In the moment it felt like the honorable thing to do… Turn the other cheek, if you will. J

My number was called to stand in line with my competitors. I began to notice how enormous many of them were. I was David among the Philistines. I busily sprayed myself down with Pam cooking spray. A girl with shoulders larger than those of most men asked if she could borrow my Pam. We made small talk and began discussing our training routines. “I only meet with my trainer once a week,” she said. Bells went off in my head. I remembered Iryna’s thick Russian accent trying to convince me to get injections “one time only every week and WOW!”. I had entered a competition with the word “Natural” in the title. I had not understood the term was actually short for “naturally steroids are allowed”.

I decided that given the circumstances I would not win but I would enjoy my moment of glory. I stepped out on stage swinging my hips like the brilliant Salsa dancer I am. I winked at the judges, flashed sassy smiles all around and waved to the cheering crowd. I heard my name screamed wildly. The moment was everything I hoped it would be. As I flexed for the judges my muscles shook like leaves on a tree. I was dizzy, dehydrated, starving and exhausted but I had never felt better.

Would I consider doing it again? ….Only if I could join the ranks of Eddie’s Girls. But I hear they are quite exclusive…