What an incredible day again!
After breaking a ceramic nail and having another tanning nightmare, I was a bit nervous at how the day was going to turn out, so trying to keep myself calm and relaxed, I figured the best thing to do would be…nothing!
I decided it would be best to do exactly what I did last time, it worked then so there was no reason to get myself into a tizzy and try and change things now. I guess the familiarity of ‘routine’ – can something be routine when you’ve only done it once before? – would act as a natural calming influence.
so brekky was chicken and about 50g sweet potato at 6:30 ish which is very late for me, but the timing worked well because it meant that I could have my tuna salad at 9:30 before switching onto comp day carbs. Having eaten I felt a bit better and although I was very thirsty, I stuck to 100ml of water with brekky which would allow me 150-200ml when pumping up prior to getting on stage. I think the only thing that I’ve found a bit uncomfortable is the thirst factor – you often don’t realise how much you actually do drink – for example theres my cup of tea with breakfast and then I probably get through another glass of water when taking my fish oil, multi vits and moo poo capsules, then generally another glass with breaky to help the dry chicken go down, but I can’t have any of that on comp day. Then at the venue there’s water dispensers EVERYWHERE – even right by the steps to get on stage!!!
now thats just cruel! :-p
but like with everything to do with competing, you just have to do what it takes and that means absolutely minimal water so I dry out during the day and come in nicely ‘shrink wrapped’ and vascular.
After brekky, I decided to go back to bed to try and get in a good deep meditation – I didn’t sleep very well, so I really needed the down time and brain rest, but it didn’t really work becuase I was a bit too anxious about how the day was going to work out and what I needed to do, so I got up again about 7:30 and went to get the paper – again comfort in routine.
I’d just read the stars – always read them 1st and this year they’ve been very prophetic all year, really wish I’d cut them all out and kept them, never mind can’t do that now. Anyway I’d just finished reading the stars – nothing in particular to think about so that was good – when Sam texted me to say she was downstairs – shes’ EARLY!! This is good.
By now, we’ve got the ‘Jeannie’ look down pat – this is the 3rd time Sam has done it, so she just got on with it and got it done – we were all finished by 9:30, well ahead of schedule! so by now I’m beginning to relax, I’ve got time to sit down put my feet up – literally – and wait for Aiden to show up at 10:30.
Mind you I couldn’t settle and focus on reading the newspaper, so I went through my bag again to make sure I had everything:
2 pairs of shoes – check
spare bikini – check
makeup – check
hair stuff – check
towels – check
dream tan – check
bikini bite – check
camera – check
phone is charged – check
water for afterwards – check
strawberries – check
rice cakes – check
chocolate – check
almond paste – check
jam – check
all good, and theres still 25 mins before Aiden gets here! So I try and settle down to read the paper again…
About 10:25 Aiden calls – he’s stuck in traffic going nowhere because of the Melbourne Marathon!! Oh bugger – completely forgot that was on and he has to go through the route along Alexander Parade to get to my house – damn!
This could throw a bit of a spanner in the works, and I start to get a bit edgy. Aiden reckoned he’d be 5 minutes and he would meet me outside the building so we could just head off – I figure I’ve got time to touch up my hair and put my lippy on, when all of a sudden Aiden calls again – he’s here! Yay! we’re still on time!
So I grab all my bags, and camera, check I’ve got the show tickets, show running order and directions to the racecourse and juggling all of this head out the door.
We’re in the jeep today, no fancy cars this time, just the beast, no time to be pretty so I just throw everything in the back, Aiden pulls a kamikaze u-turn across City Road, nearly throwing me out of the car and we’re off!
Today he’s got some very mellow tunes playing – including one of my all time favourites, ‘Hallelujah’ Jeff Buckley – this song gives me goose bumps! I love it
Avoiding Elizabeth Street this time there is no traffic at all and green lights all the way – yay! love this and it only takes us 25 mins to get there! Very pleased now we’re ahead of schedule
Arriving in good time, we’re both much more relaxed, we’ve gone over our game plan and are comfortable with how we want today to pan out, so we’re both in a good positive space – old hands at this game now!
As we enter, I notice that they’ve changed the stage around so it covers the whole of one wall – its 3 times the size of the stage they had at the state titles! its going to be a huge show, and judging by the category we saw as we entered they’re going to need every bit of space because there were a lot of people on stage! Yikes – wonder if my groups will be so big?
Backstage there’s people everywhere, people arriving, people pumping up, the sound of dream tan being slapped on, people heading off for their turn, categories being called, out names of late comers being called out, people lying on the floor with their legs propped up on chairs, tables against the wall whatever they can find to make sure they don’t hold any fluid in their legs. There are people getting changed – no room for shyness here – its just clothes off and bikini or posing trunks on who cares if anyone is looking!
Its a hive of activity, trainers encouraging their competitor, last minute instructions and posing practice in front of the mirrors positioned around the room. There are 2 small partitioned off areas one for men and one for women ‘changing rooms’ for those who do want a bit more ‘privacy’ and thank goodness its a bit warmer than it was last time!
So where to park our stuff? – it seems like every spare bit of wall, window or boarding is taken and nobody wants to set up camp in the middle of the room where everyone can see you – and I’ve got to keep my award winning legs under wraps for as long as possible! can’t give away my secret weapons!
Matt Nicholson is looking a picture of sartorial elegance as usual :-p as he wanders around taking photos of Anna and Skye sticking bikini’s or slapping dream tan on someones bum with one of his interchangable lenses (including the big one that Melita likes…)
Its about 11:15, we have loads of time as I’m not due on stage until 1:20 according to the running sheet – so I send Aiden off to find out the scoop – who is on stage, what are the timings like, is Wendy (friendly judge!) here and can he get to talk to her to find out what the judges are actually looking for in the figure international i.e pumped or not pumped!
While he’s gone I amble around the backstage area and head over to talk to Nikki Croft and Donna McInnes Iron who were 2nd and 1st respectively in the figure international at the vics – we’ll all be doing the figure international class again together and they’ve both backed up from the Vics in shows every week! I’m glad I havent’ done that, I think the 5 weeks I’ve taken just training has really helped my physique, I feel that I look the part now and theres actual substance to my muscles. I’ve certainly had a number of people saying I’m looking good, but I’m thinking thats just what people say – we’ll find out when I get on stage, after all its the judges I have to impress!
Aiden reappears so I head on over to get the gos. It looks like they’re doing they’re best to keep on time by making sure there are always 2 categories assembled in the staging area and as a result are only running 20 mins behind at the moment, its 11:40 so we’ve still got about 2 hours to kill. If they’re calling out categories early we go through the running sheet and decide which category I’m going to get dream tanned and then which category we’re going to pump up. We’ve decided that we are going to do a pump – shoulders, chest and back only - just to make sure. There’s some really good looking physiques here so I can’t take anything for granted, I have to present in the best state that I can.
Right, Plan made…now what….?
The thing is, unless you’re getting ready to go on stage and tanning up or pumping up there isn’t anything to do really except wander around and chat to people or sit with your feet up trying to relax – there’s plenty of poeple lying with their feet up listening to ipods and I wish I’d brought my headphones so I could do some meditation. I’m a little bit lacking energy, so its probably a good time to have a nibble on a rice cake or 2 and a few strawberries – Aiden tried to pretend to be a food nazi and make sure I wasn’t pigging out and ruining my nice definition, but he knows he doesn’t have to worry, so that didn’t really work as I just took the piss out of him
The trouble is you can’t really eat either – a couple of rice cakes and jam or a few strawberries and thats about it because you don’t want to overload on carbs or get a bloat happening. The idea is also to stay as relaxed as possible because if you stress you could get cortisone build up and everything will go flat. None of this is very conducive to being able to do anything.
so thats exactly what I decide to do – nothing, makes Matt happy!
Aiden decides he’s going to watch a few categories and try and catch up with Wendy, as long as he’s back in plenty of time to do our thing thats fine by me, I’m just trying to stay relaxed.
Theres always a sort of tension in the air – with people about to go on stage watching whose just come off to see who has the trophies and what sort of condition they are in to try and gauge what the judges are rewarding. Then there’s the quiet talking amongst groups about who should or should not have actually won – everyone has an opinion!
Bored now. I amble around with my camera a bit but nothing really grabs my attention. Its about 12:15 so I ask Anna and Skye if they would mind plastering the dream tan on me – I know its very early but then its one less thing to worry about just in case…don’t want to get caught out like we nearly did last time!
here’s me getting slapped!
time check…12:45 ish still got about an hour. now what to do…
few more strawberries and a rice cake with jam…
I can’t sit down because I’ve got the dream tan on…bugger.
so….I amble downstairs and have a peek at whats going on, I’m not particularly interested on who’s on stage, so I head back upstairs. I’ll get my heels on and do a bit of posing practice – remember not to flex my legs! I’ve got the front pose for symmetry sorted now – somehow in the last few days I’ve cracked how to pop out my lats and shoulders – as Wendy said think like a coathanger – and I look huge! Awesome, I’m really going to give this a good shot!
Aiden is back, now we’re starting to get close and I’m starting to get a little nervous – anticipation rather than omg nervous.
Our target group get called so we know we’ve got about 20 mins and its time to do an initial pump up – shoulder press, bicep curls, lat raises, press ups and t baggers – inverted rows. Just one set of each and then I slurp a few teaspoons of honey for a quick hit of energy.
We’re just done with the initial pump up when the figure international group gets called to assemble at the foot of the stairs. This means that I’ll be on very soon and it looks like we’ve got our timing spot on which is good so both of us are feeling pretty good about this.
We do another run through of the pump up and then as nothing seems to be happening, so we run through it again. Just as we finish the 2nd run through we get called to the stage assembly area – this is it, here we go again. My veins are up, my tan is smooth and shiny and dark chocolate coloured this time, my definition has come up beautifully, I’m as ready as I can be. Aiden wishes me good luck and heads off to put the bands away and get the camera – I’ve got him well trained now!
So the figure International group all head to the stage area – theres about 40 of us!!! so this time round we’re in height categories which is a relief - it means I’m not going to be sandwiched between two giants getting elbows in my head!
When we get to the stage area theres still another group waiting to go on! Oh No! thats means we’re at least another 10 – 15 mins way from getting on stage! I’ll have lost my pump by then and Aiden’s got the bands its too late to go and find him because he’ll be in his seat.
And its cold!!! Thats odd last time it was nice to get the staging area because it was so much warmer than the backstage area – this time its the other way around. All of us are feeling the chill, which of course isn’t going to help any of us maintain our fullness!
Some of the more experienced girls have brought their bands or even weights and a few trainers have also come along to help their girl – damn, another lesson that comes from experience!
We’re all milling around aimlessly waiting to go on, a few people are chatting to each other, I don’t really feel like talking as I don’t want to miss any instructions or anything.
Finally the Figure Intermediate finishes and the guys get up on stage – surely we can’t be too far away now! I’ve been doing a couple of sets of pushups and some hard poses to try and maintain some semblance of pump, but I dont’ want to do too much in case I get cortisol build up and everything goes flat. Now that the guys are on stage, we get called into our height groups – I’m in Class 1 – short and we’ll be on first. I’m 2nd last inthe lineup which I’m a bit annoyed about because I applied 5 weeks ago so I should be much further forward, but when I went to register, there had been a stuff up somewhere and they didn’t even have me down for Figure International. This is going to make it much tougher to get noticed – there’s 21 of us!!!
Just looking at my group, I reckon I’m definitely one of the better looking, probably in the top 10, but its going to be close…
Ok instructions time – pay attention! Because there’s so many of us we’re just going to be called up and stand in line easy
it seems to take an eternity but I’m finally up there smiling and ‘relaxed’ and I’m looking out into the audience to find Aiden. I can hear Melita calling out my name so I look over her way she’s smiling so I think I’m looking good.
We go straight into the quarter turns – there’s not much room! I take a teeny step out of line just to give myself that bit more space – I learnt that from last time – no one is going to take my spotlight!!! :-p
I feel that I’m holding my poses well I really feel that I’ve cracked spreading my lats on the front and back pose, I remembered to squeeze my calves but not my butt – I can hear Aiden as well, this is good that my name is being called – I can hear Melita as well so I take encouragement from that.
Now they’re doing a call out – fingers crossed!!! they’ve called out 5 people….
and they’re calling me!!! yes!
so there’s 7 of us in the call out and I’m standing in my front pose when I notice there are big screens at the back of the room…and is that me??? surely not…that person has HUGE lats and shoulders….!
It IS me!! wow – I’ve totally nailed the front pose – I almost start to laugh but then I remember where I am and I’d better stay focused on the job at hand – but this is great, if I’m at this end of the stage next time I can sneak a peek at how I’m holding my poses and make quick tweaks if necessary – Excellent! I notice Wendy on the judging panel so I smile at her and she nods at me. I can hear whats being said by the Judges and Wendy has to explain to two of them that in figure international we only do the symmetry poses….hmmm…thats a bit of a worry…shouldn’t a judge at the ntionals know this????
ok Sarah FOCUS!!
Quarter turns again – side, back – feels good and Melita is calling out ‘great back’, Aiden is calling out ‘great back 120′, I think I’ve got the back pose down as well – this is feeling good and competitor who is still in the lineup and who I’m now facing is telling me that my back looked great when I was facing forward – thats so nice of her to say that!
And then we’re done and we move back into line. I’m expecting the judges to call out other competitors but they don’t – straight away they announce the top 5….
and I’m in the top 5!!! This is amazing…
so they call out 5th place….not me
OMG! I’ve come in the top 3 at the nationals!!!
thats incredible!!! There is an IFBB Pro in the lineup and she hasn’t even placed! the 2 competitiors who beat me at the vics….haven’t even placed!!!
I’m so excited – I can’t wait to get off stage and show Aiden the medal – its solid and its bloody huge
So I get off stage and hurry to the backstage area – Aiden is waiting he’s got a huge grin on his face and is just as excited as I am – I dont know what we talked about as we went back to our area its all a bit of a blur – talk about being on cloud 9!!! I’m blown away.
Once we get back to our area, Aiden manages to calm me down and tells me to start focusing on the novice category which is first up after the interval. I ask Aiden to find out how long we’ve got for the interval because I need to quickly stuff a bit of food, just a couple of strawberries, a rice cake with jam or two, get my other heels on and find Anna or Skye for a dream tan top up and then we still have to pump up – mind you I’m still on such a high I’m just pumped anyway!