Universe Day

OMG it’s 3am – I haven’t slept a wink despite being completely exhausted – I’m so wound up and tense about whether I’m going to be able to get my hair and makeup done, what time I need to get the bus, whether Jo is going to be there, my timings – I’m a bit nervous about things running early believe it or not – the other 2 shows have run very late so I’m not sure whats worse?

Anyway so much going on in my head I can’t even get into my meditation – I’ll give it another go, I do need some sort of rest!

4am

I can’t stay in bed any longer!! just too keyed up – I’ ve got the alarm set for 5:30 so I’m going to start my hair and makeup, I want my hair done at least by 5:30, that will give me 3 hours to do my makeup – and plenty of time (I hope!) do re do it in case it goes wrong!

I’m aiming to get the 8:30 bus so I can get to the venue, pitch my spot and then take photos – I really want to take in as much as possible of the day, this is my biggest show yet and I’m sure it’ll be a real eye opener with lots to learn!

I really want a drink – sooo thirsty! I stopped drinking water at 7pm yesterday, I thought I’d make it a bit earlier this time, I want to come in really dry – am feeling really dry right now thats for sure!!

figure check…back is looking good, biceps and chest looking good, abs…yep can pop those out. Lats…yes! huge and my shoulders are looking good

legs…how have my legs come up….

hmm…I don’ t think my legs have come up….hope thats just me being paranoid…ok calm down and focus and start doing hair.

4:30am

Ok got my hair all sectioned and it looks pretty straight, now I’ve got to try and get the twists into each section and put in the bling… tracking quite well so far…

5:15am

goddamn how do I get the bloody twists into it??? sod it! I’ll just put in the invisible elastics and bobby pin it

eek! there’s the alarm!

I need to eat!

ok calm down, focus – get the last bit of bling in!

5:45

cool! done…I’ve done a really good job! All the sparkly hair clips are completely straight and placed correctly so they will frame the pony tail

phew! that took forever…ok time to eat and I’m going to have 100ml of water + 100ml of tea (do like my cup of tea in the morning!)

6:00

ok now for the final bit of the ‘Jeannification’ process – the makeup!  I’m quite confident that I can get this done fairly quickly, as Giselle at the Illamasqua stand inMyer, Melbourne very kindly wrote down each step when she created my ‘look’ and I’ve practised a few times now. The fiddly bit will be the false eyelashes – trying to stick those on with these claws on without poking my eyes out is probably going to be the challenge here!

alright lets do it!

:-)

7:15

All Done!!! and it looks really good! I’m pretty chuffed with my effort – it even only took 1 go to get the eyelashes on! and no eyeball stabbing :-)

good job! :-)

you know theres been plenty of interesting learning experiences that I never in a million years thought I’d ever be exposed to in my life – stripper heels, sparkly bikinis, chocolate coloured fake tans, false nails, false eyelashes, doing stage makeup, wearing fake hair, wearing more bling than at a Mr T convention to name just a few areas of my new found expertise :-)

I’ve now got plenty of time to kill as I wasn’t planning on getting the bus until 8:30, but I just can’t relax, so I re-pack my bag – do I take after comp outfit? I’m meeting a friend but I’m not sure if we’re going to come back here after the comp or go to his house…I’d better take it just in case. I also pack skeleton makeup for touch ups during the day, food is all packed, towels, camera, lens, heels, spare bikini, pump up bands, pashmina in case its cold…Top Coat….I think I’m good to go

I might as well get on the 8am bus, get to the venue and get all set up. I’ll also be able to see all of the Physique category and take photos.

8:30

I’m here!

The Chandler Theatre at the Sleeman Centre and OMG! its an AUDITORIUM!

Its a HUGE, proper, conference type auditorium…you could probably fit 1000 people in here!

Wow…Yikes!

And the stage is nice and big…its going to be my stage today…I can feel it…I’ve tweaked my posing again – I can pop out my lats really well now so I can look massive and I also realised I was doing my side chest incorrectly and wasn’t showing my bicep properly – I’ve fixed that as well so I’m looking forward to putting it all together…3rd time is the charm…

:-)

lets go and check out the backstage area, then I can get my spot, check in with Jo Rogers – she said she’d be in early setting up her stand, so she’s probably here by now somewhere – there were a number of stands at the front, mainly supplement stands, but I didn’t see Style On Stage – never mind, I’m sure she’s here, it sounded like she was looking after a couple of people today.

The backstage area is right at the bottom of the auditorium and…its not very big! Compared to the area we had at Moonee Valley for the Vics and Nationals, this is not a very big area at all – and by all accounts its going to be a really big show, so I suspect its going to turn into bedlam very shortly once the main categories come in to get ready – good idea getting here really early methinks!

One thing that has impressed me so far is that INBA QLD certainly seem to have their act together – all the walls are covered in orange plastic sheeting! How smart is that!!

One of the complaints of venues appears to be the amount of cleaning required after an event to get all the dream tan/top coat smears off the walls – well thats not going to happen here!

There is a long table full of lollies and bowls of fruit  for the competitors to eat and theres about 10 hair/makeup desks with power sockets and mirrors – great idea!

Already its a hive of activity – people pumping up, people slapping on top coat, last minute advice being given, helpers, friends, hangers on milling about – no wonder we’ve been restricted to only 1 backstage helper…

Most of the mirror spots are taken – as you can imagine, but I finally manage to find a spot by one of the mirrors and as it turns out its right by the exit to the stage! excellent – I’ll be able to hear what category they are calling – and even better, just above me is a TV showing whos on stage and I’ve got a running order taped to the wall just behind me…I think I’ve just about got the best posy in the house! awesome!

:-)

I pitch my little patch of turf – towel out, food out, bit and pieces out on towel – heels strewn haphazardly on towel – make it look like ‘home’.

how are we doing time wise? its about 8:50 – plenty of time! Ms Physique isn’t due to start for another 10 minutes, so I think I’ll go and find Jo…back up the many stairs to the top of the auditorium to where all the trade stands are, and i ask at one of the supplement stands if Style on stage is here…the person obligingly points right opposite where I am standing….doh! I walked right past Jo’s stand!

Jo is tucked away behind a wall of Pleaser thigh high boots and a couple of racks of bikinis and she’s bent down completely focused on sticking sparkles to a really beautiful bikini – no wonder I didn’t see her! I wonder whose bikini that is? I don’t know if I could stand the stress of having my bikini delivered on the day, glue still wet! We have a quick chat and agree that Jo will come backstage at 10:30 to get my body shimmer put on.

phew, I feel a little more relaxed now that I know Jo is here and she’s all good to do my tan – I think thats what has been preying on my mind and why I’ve been a bit tense. Now I can get on with watching the show on stage and getting some good photos – I’ve decided to be Melita AND Matt today…

right…as if! Nobody can even come close to Melita and Matt when it comes to camera art! :-)

Ms Physique short class has just come on stage – they’re bang on time, and Jason Woodforth has this event running with military precision! there’s no messing about – Jason calls out the symmetry, approx 5-10 seconds for each turn then straight into the compulsories, 5-10 seconds for each, then everyone steps to the back of the stage, whilst Jason finds out from the judges who they want to call out, then repeat – its done in about 3 minutes!

wow – super efficient.

interesting observation….only 5 or 6 get called, and it looks like there’s only one call out…so, if you don’t get called out, it appears that you’re not going to get a call out and thats it for your show…note to self – must be on my game then, no room for error here.

Ms Physique is all done – some fabulous looking bodies out there – the 2 overall competitiors obviosuly know each other very well – they’re having a blast up there laughing amongst themselves! thats good to see

time check….9:45

plenty of time!

I amble on backstage – time to be a bit of Matt! :-)

who am I kidding – there IS only one Matt… :-)

time check…10:40

wheres Jo? I know its at least an hour to go before I’m due on stage but they’re rattling through the program and are a little bit ahead of schedule – I didn’t believe Jason when he said that, but now I understand his confidence!

INBA Victoria…pay attention..!

I can’t find Jo so now I’m getting tense and a little anxious – I really wish Aiden was here.

Just having his presence there is reassuring – we know how each other works and I now know that I can depend on him – I’m going to have to do everything myself today which requires thinking – what category is on, how the timings are working out, which category I need to get my tan done by, which category I need to eat by, which category I need to start my pumping up  - at the Nationals, we discussed our game plan and then I let Aiden handle it all which meant all I had to do was focus on being on stage –  its playing on my mind a more than a little bit now.

Jo is back upstairs! damn now I’ve got to go up and down stairs – this is not going to help my legs…and I’m already unconvinced as to whether they have come up.

Dream tan is banned at this show, so I’m using Body Shimmer – its a really red sort of colour and definitely not nearly as dark as Dream tan. Jo smears this stuff all over me and pats it down – just in time! Figure International Masters has just been given the 5 minute warning – I’ve got to get pumped up yet!

Quick pump up – just shoulders, lats and then we’re lining up!

here we go….there’s some very familiar faces in this lineup – people I’ve been watching on my DVD’s and practicing my posing against! I’m actually going to be on stage with people I’ve spent the last 3 months pretending to be on stage with…

how trippy is that ??

‘Representing Victoria…number 91..Sarah Taylor!’

and up I go….

head up, shoulders back, wave to the crowd, confidence! and into my relaxed pose and…

Bugger!!! I forgot my rings and bracelet!!

I’m on stage without my bling…I feel naked!!

keep smiling! can’t go back and get them now!

show must go on! remember they’re only doing one call out – you’ve got to be in it!

I’m shaking like a leaf – this is odd, I have no strength in my legs – and its HOT up there, I’m already sweating and we haven’t done anything yet!

this body shimmer stuff is really pale and shiny – and its beginning to streak where I’m sweating….

keep smiling!

ok, front pose – butt out, back bent, big lats, big shoulders, rounded soft elbows and hands, squeeze glutes but not quads…smile look at all the judges in turn…am very relaxed up here can’t you tell? got it – this feels good

1/4 turn…feet are a little unco – am not very balanced on my heels – unusual….never mind – focus have 5 seconds to get this right…butt out, back bent, legs straight, glutes tight, quads relaxed, torso twisted as much as I can, arms rounded and soft..smile! good this is feeling good as well.

1/4 turn…ok BIG back…hmm… not much room – is a big lineup.. take a teeny step backwards out of the line so I can spread my back, hair off back, back bent, squeeze calves, but not glutes…this one feels good as well…I think I’ve got these down today

1/4 turn to front…same as last one – really feeling my lats popping…this is excellent…smile!

ok we all stepto the back of the stage – this is it…the call out…

Susie Calcino…

Donna Mcinnes Irons…

Helen Longmuir…

Terry Anne Grey…

pleeeease call me out!!!

number 91!!!

YAY!!! Thats me!! I got a call out!! WooHoo!!

ok, focus…legs are really wobbly, and am wobbly on my heels – hold it together!!

1/4 turns…all feel good – think I’ve finally got the hang of these – I can’t see how I look on the big screens, but I just feel that my form is good today.

Ok we’re back in line while they tally up the scores…and we’re holding…

and we’re still holding…

how long is this taking? I have to change my relaxed stance to the other side – my lead leg is shot…

top 5 in no particular order….

I’m 5th!!

5th!!!

thats awesome! and in such a high quality lineup…BIG smile now! can’t wait to tell Aiden – shall I tell him now or wait till i’ve done all my categories…?

FOCUS!! we’re not quite done yet

I get my medal – they’re heavy! I like heavy :-)

now we’re done…head up, shoulders back, wave to crowd (even though there’s noone I know!) walk off stage.

Phew! I’m so HOT and am really sweating – this body shimmer stuff has run everywhere!

We get backstage and there’s lots of chatter and excitement – I head over to Donna and congratulate her on her 3rd place which she’s thrilled at, then I head back to my spot – I really need to eat something – I can’t believe how I had no energy up there and how shaky I was, my balance was off as well – very odd.

shall i call Aiden??? no I think I’ll wait till I’ve done all my categories – if my posing is as good as I think it was just now, I’m really hopeful that I’ll have some other good news to report! Mind you everyone here is in incredible shape and looking in really top form – there’s going to be some really tough competition!

ok, so on current progress, I’ve got about 1 3/4 hours before my next category – I really ought to relax and put my feet up – but I also want to get some more photos of the other figure international classes – its a bit of a whos who in some of the lineups – I’ve seen Temeka Hyndman – who I’ve totally modelled myself on after seeing her at the All Female Classic in July where she came 2nd to Janet Kane, and there’s Michelle Fuller – in that beautiful bikini that Jo was finishing. Michelle always has the most beautiful bikinis – dread to think how much they cost, she must trust Jo a lot because she always seems to get them at the very last minute before she goes on stage!! Waay too much stress for me :-)

Photos it is.

I stuff my medal into my bag, wrap my pashmina around me so I dont’ smear all over the seats, grab my camera and head back out into the audience. In the short class theres only 7 competitors – hmm… maybe I should have entered that! And this is the thing that I just don’t get about figure international – all the competitors are really well defined and muscular – I really tried to focus on my symmetry and not flex, but some of these girls you can really see the separation in their legs..interesting.

The Open class 2 has Temeka Hyndman and Michelle Fuller in it!! Its like a whos who! And they come 1st and 2nd

The open class 3 (tall) has Nikki Croft and Amanda Francisty in it – I take about a million photos  as they both look so good and Nikki gets 2nd, and Amanda gets 1st – good work girls!

Unfortunately I wont’ be able to take photos of the overall, as I need to get ready for the Figure Masters which on current schedule will be in about 45 minutes. I’d better get some food into me as I’m going to need my energy.

Now where is Jo again? I’d better get my topcoat touched up – this stuff is really smeary and has run badly where I got sweaty on stage and where my pashmina has rubbed.

I can’t find Jo backstage.

Dammit that means another trip up the stairs. I go very slowly, I’m trying not to exercise my legs. Whilst I’m up top I decide it would be a good idea to find a bathroom – the whole 1 toilet thing downstairs is turning into a disaster when you’ve got 100’as of people all trying to use it!

Ok, Jo collected – she’s trying to finish another bikini! Back down the stairs and a top up of top coat. I’ve got about 20 minutes now so a few strawberries and some honey for instant energy, and round 1 of my pump up. This time I need to do the full routine – shoulder press, biceps, push ups, lat raises, rear delts and there’s a handy metal pole which I can wrap the band around and do rows.

yeah!!! Feeling the burn!! This is good, veins popping nicely…little rest then the 5 minutes call is given so just time to run through my pump up again.

Perfect timing! We’re lining up – another big group 14 of us and there’s faces I recognise from the DVD’s I’ve been practicing to! This is really trippy – I’m going to be on stage with people who have been doing this for ages and they’re all in great shape – you’d never know this was the over 40’s group – some incredible physiques!

I’m about mid group which is the perfect position to be in…I’ll be front and centre…look at me!

And here I go – again as I step on stage I wave to the crowd, although its such a strange feeling knowing that there’s no-one out there cheering for you – I guess that’s what you have to do, is to try and win the crowd over. I’m in my relaxed pose and I’m feeling incredibly wobbly and weak – what is going on? I’ve paced my eating well, I’ve had small sips of water at pump up – I’m probably up to 350ml for the day so I don’t think I’m any more dehydrated than previous times – mind you it is soo much hotter this time I’m really raising a sweat and we haven’t even started the posing yet!

Jason is running this efficiently as ever so straight into the symmetry and this time I focus on flexing everything hard as well as getting my form right – I’m really feeling good about my posing this time particularly my front pose and I’m also take my time just to make sure I get everything right. I do feel wobbly though, am bleeding energy and starting to get tired.

Next, into the compulsories…front bicep…good. Side chest…good – am so glad I figured out that little tweak that now shows my biceps better. Side tricep…get a good look at my back and calves – oops! Nearly over balanced there, my legs are shot!

Rear Bicep – BIG back remember to SPREAD not crunch, round into abs and thighs…breathe out, breathe out more…and crunch….I can’t hold this one so I throw in the Side abs quickly and grab a breath before moving back into relaxed pose – phew! Am glad that’s over, am breathing hard!

Keep smiling!

We all move to the back of the stage, its callout time….please let me get a call out!!

Number 91

That’s ME!! I’ve been called out 1st – yay!! Front and centre posy!! Wow.

project confidence – my smile is huge now – and its real! I’ve got front centre posy – this stage is mine today! this is a real confidence booster!

Symmetry all goes well, compulsories all go well – I’m really in the zone I can feel every pose just sliding into place – all that practice is paying off, the poses are beginning to pose me – and just as well – its a workout up here!

phew all done and back in line and relaxing – this time I am relaxing a bit more than usual, I can’t hold the flex and they’re holding us for ages again – I have to change sides twice to rest my legs.

Finally! top 5….

3rd…number 91..Sarah Taylor!!

3rd!!! I got 3rd!! in THIS lineup I got 3rd!!!

OMG!! thats huge!!!

I’m stoked and practically bounce off stage :-)

back at my patch the first thing I do is eat – I’m tired. I have a tiny sip of water as well – its hot backstage now with so many people milling around and the heat up on stage is really taking it out of me – I didn’t expect this at all. I need to sit down.

time check – 2:00

Jamie has just txtd me to say he’s here – I haven’t seen him for 8 years!! it’ll be interesting to catch up with him again – and this is going to be a bit of an eye opener for him, he’s never been to a body building comp and he’s not going to recognise me in all my stage finery!  back up the stairs again….I’m really not helping myself here…

and there he is!! yay – he hasn’t changed a bit! it so nice to see him! we head downstairs to my little home for the day – talk about baptism of fire – poor Jamie! he doens’t know where to look – there’s mostly naked chocolate coloured people every where – and even some guys just changing into their posing trunks…right in front of us!

theres no room for modesty backstage at a comp!

I’ve got about 2 hours now before I’m due on stage again, so we decide to head out to watch the Open figure classes – this is going to be good.

The short class only has 6 people in it – including Janet Kane! I’m glad I didn’t enter that category – I wouldn’t stand a chance! all the ladies look incredible – they’re so much bigger than I am and their conditioning is perfect.

and the result….is an odd one…how come Janet didn’t win?? she came 2nd! thats interesting…

ok here comes Open class 2 – Temeka Hyndman and Michelle Fuller are both in this category – and again I go a bit click happy! I want to get as many good shots of these guys as possible!

and the result…Temeka 5th and Michelle 4th…well I didn’t expect that!

Open Class 3 – its a huge lineup this time and Anita Hearn who beat me at the Vics is in this lineup – she is in great shape  and I expect her to do well

Anita Wins! good work!

Now I must get back stage and prepare for my final category. I need to eat again, and i just have to have something to drink – just a little sip again, I’ve got about 100ml left now which I’ll save for when I pump up.

I’ve lost Jo again!! I head up the stairs but shes not at her stand…she’s backstage!

so I tramp back down the stairs – am getting a bit fed up now – I’m tired, thirsty, I have a headache – I just want this to all be done for me, I dont want to have to stress about finding people to put my tan on, I dont like this body shimmer its just so streaky and there are people using Dream Tan. grrr.

wish Aiden was here – am really missing him.

Finally I find Jo for one last pat down. Ok I’ve got about 1/2 hour – i tuck into a few rice cakes, some chocolate and a few more strawberries, then I need to get out of the backstage area – its just too hot. I find a nice cool dark spot just behind the stage and sit down – I have to get my legs raised as I’ve pretty much been standing up all day and I need to rest.

I’m getting nervous now – this is my main category, I so want to do well but physically I’m struggling.

Ok 15 minutes or so – pump up round 1 – looking good, veins popping nicely few teaspoons of honey and a sip of water, then back to my dark cool spot -I could really go to sleep right now – my mind is wandering I can’t focus…

I vague out…lights are on but nobody is home..

my reverie is interrupted by the 5 minute call

5 minutes…right focus…its showtime again

round 2 of pump up..I can really feel the blood pumping into my muscles…

ok get us on stage NOW – I’m ready…

theres 10 of us in the lineup and again I’m near the middle, excellent…

and here I go for the 3rd time today…this time it feels different – Jamie in the audience and he’s promised to take lots of photos - better give him something to take photos of!

I get through the symmetry and compulsories and I feel that I’ve hit my poses really well again – I’m exhausted though and I’m shaking like a leaf – my footwork is not good and I nearly overbalance in the side tricep pose again, but I just manage to hold it – I’m really having to concentrate hard on staying upright!

now to the call out…

ME again!! front and centre…this is great!

alright..focus…give it everything you’ve got…just one more time…

…and relax…phew…we’re done – I’m very pleased with my performance. I know I’m looking good, I know I’m not as big as some of the girls I’m up against, but I definitely deserve to be there and whatever result I get now is a bonus…I’m exhausted, I’m tired, and all of a sudden I just want this all to be over and done with…

keep smiling…and hold the relaxed pose…

come ON!! give us the result already – I can hardly stand up here!

and…here we go….

4th!!!

I got 4th!!! AWESOME!!!

What an incredible day I’ve had – I’m so excited, I can’t wait to tell Aiden now – I’ve held off all day – he’s probably itching to know

Finally I can relax, I’m done. Its been such a long day, its been the most stressful of the comps but also the best – I was up against some really good competitors and I did well. I’m very proud of myself.

now I just want to go home. I’m tired to my bones.

Jamie comes backstage and helps me pack –  I slip on my faithful blinged up trackies, stuff the heels into the bag, and guzzle a litre of water – boy did I need that!!

feeling a little better we head off to the car…I’m soo looking forward to getting to his place for a shower, a beer and my first post comp meal…

I feel incredibly light – like i’ve just woken from a long sleep, the sun seems to be brighter I can see everything more clearly..now is the start of post comp life…I briefly wonder how i’m going to adjust now that I’m not consumed by comp diet, training and preparation…but it doesn’t last long, for now I concentrate on enjoying the drive along the river on a beautiful evening with nothing more to complicated think about than enjoying some good food in good company.

cheers! :-)

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