|Claudia Murray Photography|
It’s been an exciting few weeks for me and I would absolutely do it all over again in a heartbeat. Luckily, I have the opportunities to do so! Another photographer reached out to me and wants to shoot with me soon. I definitely plan on doing that, but first I wanted to recover from my show and enjoy some treats before going back to a strict diet to prepare for that shoot and my next show!
My fitness shoot with Claudia Murray Photography was an absolute blast! I felt extremely comfortable in front of the camera with her – I wasn’t nervous at all. She was very impressed with how well prepared I was for the shoot.
If you’re planning on doing a photo shoot, show up prepared. I (over)packed my bag the night before and Claudia was grateful. I packed several outfits with shoes that matched, brought along my makeup for any touchups needed, and brought along some fitness equipment for props.
The pictures came out amazing and I’m excited to do my next shoot.
The 2012 OCB Pine Tree State Championships was an awesome show. It was held at a beautiful venue and the show’s promoter, Scott Fleurant, was extremely organized and helpful, which made things easier for the competitors.
Friday, April 13
I showed up at the host hotel at 3pm to take my polygraph test. I passed with flying colors – phew! Next up was my first round of airbrush spray tan. I stripped down to my birthday suit in front of Paula Harrison. This wasn’t her first rodeo and she didn’t seem worried about it, so neither was I. I woke up the next morning looking blacker than most black people. I’m not even joking.
Saturday, April 14
I barely slept a wink because I was so excited. I was able to “warm water rinse” and wash my hair, but I could not apply any deodorant. They tell you not to because it can turn your armpits green – and, who wants green armpits?
I packed my bag with all the essentials needed to get me through the day: snacks, makeup, hairspray, suit, shoes, Bikini Bite to keep my bottoms from giving me a wedge while on stage, Vaseline, Muscle Sheen, resistance bands, OCB membership card, my numbers (#7) for my suit, a silky robe, and gum.
I ate breakfast with extra carbs to help fill out my muscles and I left the house in baggy sweats, a tank top, and flip flops. I arrived at the venue at 8:27am. I had to get another coat of spray tan applied at 8:30.
When they say to get dark for your competition because the stage lights will wash you out, they aren’t kidding. I thought I was too dark, but I spoke with the judges after and they said my color was perfect. I think the only thing I saw when I looked at myself in the mirror were the whites of my eyes and my teeth. Other than that, I couldn’t see myself.
To clear up any confusion or questions that people have asked me regarding my tan: 1) No, it’s not permanent and yes, it washes off. 2) No, I didn’t go tanning repeatedly in a UV booth or bed. 3) Yes, it’s all airbrushed.
I had my hair and make up done in the next room by Vanessa and Shelbie from Salon Haute Couture. Vanessa curled my long locks and Shelbie perfected my makeup – making sure my face was a shade or two lighter than my body. I felt like a rock star! They made me look beautiful!
Finally, it was time for our athlete’s meeting. All the competitors gathered in a room and were given a pep talk by the head judge, Sean Sullivan. This was when I started to get nervous. My heart literally felt like it was beating out of my chest, and I started sweating. Not good – my tan was smudging!
After the meeting I went back in for a touch up spray tan and quickly dried off. My trainer, Jamie Marsh, was backstage with me the entire time and she applied Muscle Sheen to my entire body to give it a bit of an oily look. She also applied the Bikini Bite to my butt. She was a very lucky girl that day!
From the room I hear someone yelling for competitors “6, 7, and 8!” Oops, I’m #7! I have to go! Wait – I forgot my numbers! I have to pin those on me! Wait – I didn’t get to eat any Sweet Tarts and I didn’t get to pump myself up with my resistance bands!
“Competitor #7! We need you!”
“I’m coming! I’m right here!” I shouted back.
I ran backstage and all the bikini competitors were lined up for our 1pm pre-judging comparisons! Holy nerves. I was COMPLETELY fine until our athlete’s meeting.
I am not that girly, but I turned it on. I walked as sexy in my clear stilettos as I could across the stage and put on my sexiest posing stance. I felt on top of the world. I felt the most confident I have ever felt – all my hard work in the gym, my clean eating diet, and my posing practice had finally paid off!
My only regret on that stage was not being able to fully smile, but I seriously physically couldn’t! I laughed about it after because every single time I tried to crack a smile up there, my nerves took over and my lips were quivering to the max.
And, in a matter of five minutes, it was all over! We marched off the stage and that was it.
The next time I’d take stage – solo – wasn’t until 5:30pm for finals. What on earth was I going to do until then? After all, it was only 1:05. Jamie and I decided to grab some food where I allowed myself half a cheeseburger. Wow. I was in heaven. That only wasted about an hour-and-a-half. Luckily, I had friends and family show up early (best support system and cheering section ever!) so I chatted with them for a while.
I made my way backstage around 4pm so I could prepare for my next time on stage. By this time I wasn’t nervous at all. I knew what to expect, so I was just super excited to rock that stage once more.
Competitor #6 took the stage just before I did. We had 60 seconds on stage. Most people didn’t use that whole time, me included, but I wish I would have. When you’re out there though, you don’t have much concept of time.
The emcee of the show announced competitor #7. Then, my music started playing – Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied”. I took center stage, flashing a huge smile to the crowd. The cheers from my cheering section completely floored me. What an amazing feeling to be up there with all that support backing me up!
I strutted toward an “X” in the center of the stage and held a pose. Walked right, struck another pose. Walked far left, turned around, stuck my glutes out, gave a little wink to the crowd, and walked back center stage. I blew my fan section a kiss and walked off. WOW! What an experience! That right there made me want to compete again and again and again and I didn’t even know what place I came in yet.
Awards were given shortly after and I placed 2nd. Not bad in my first-ever fitness competition. I even struggled with personal obstacles and I still stuck through it to the end!
If you’re seriously contemplating competing – stop thinking about it and do it! Such a great experience. I look forward to my next show, the OCB Yankee Classic on Saturday, July 21 in Newburyport , MA .
Prep for that show begins today as I’m 12 weeks out. Here we go!!
|January 1 (left) 134lbs.|
April 14 (right) 119lbs. - 2nd place at OCB Pine Tree State Championships