Monday, May 24, 2010

Hard Work

It’s not glamorous; I am referring to a Figure competition.

There is absolutely nothing about it that I would even consider glamorous other than the gorgeous custom made suits that most of us wear. Those are pretty flashy, covered with hundreds of Swarovski crystals, all sparkly and glittery, but that’s it, the rest of it is stinky, painful, boring and expensive.

We sit around in the dressing rooms of auditoriums, convention centers, colleges, high schools, often on the ground, without heat, eating peanut butter out of a jar, licking our fingers, telling stories about our families and friends to pass the time.

There are no perks or trimmings; everything is run on a tight budget, profit is all important.

Sometimes I feel like a part of a herd of cattle, being moved and maneuvered to the choicest location, only to be profitable for the owner. When those thoughts enter my mind I start second guessing my actions.

Then I start interacting with the other women, we quickly become fast friends. Don’t we all look great?! I think so, and we have worked really, really hard. This is what makes it fun.

And those suits (the ones with crystals) cost hundreds of dollars and are custom made.

Most people don’t realize that to get here, women need to lift and lift heavy, lots and lots of weights. We need to diet; drop calories down so that we lose all of the excess body fat yet still maintain enough to keep a feminine figure.
It’s quite a balancing act. A balancing act with our diets, our families, our jobs, out lives, our psyches.

The preparation leading up to this type of event can be very stressful for the athlete, family and friends. Although many people have no idea what this competition is comprised of, even those who have some involvement probably think it is frivolous and not serious at all, probably because of the obscurity of it all.

Seriously, what athlete is required to wear 5 inch Lucite heels in their event?

What athlete has to train so meticulously that all food is weighed and eaten according to the timers set?

What athlete has to try to sculpt their body to meet certain visual standards?

Figure- we really are athletes, although we don’t get the respect we deserve. We all work very hard, train very hard, live life balancing on a high wire.