I have been thinking of competing in the INBA, the International Natural Bodybuilding Association. I thought it could be interesting to compete where I knew the playing field was even (it is drug tested).
I heard that they posed completely differently and the criteria was also different so I had to go check it out for myself, before I entered a competition.
Unfortunately the show was in Fairfield, about an hour and a half away. I planned to go by myself, with the top down and listen to music and think about things as I drove. I don't get a lot of time alone, and I do like to be alone, it's peaceful.
David was feeling a little sorry for me I think, he didn't believe I wanted to make that drive all by myself, but I really didn't mind, it was my deal, I wasn't going to drag anyone else along for my research project!
Then we worked out a deal! We would head over to the show and then on the way home, drive through Berkeley instead of the way we came, and we could stop and David could eat lunch at Provence Day, an annual event held by Kermit Lynch Wine Shop and Cafe Fanny.
Everyone would be happy today.
We arrived at the competition about 15 minutes after it started, It had to have been the smallest one I had ever attended, I was in the second row! I could see up close and personal, and if anyone missed a spot shaving, I could easily point it out.
This was actually the very first competition I had ever attended as a spectator. I have always participated and never watched from the audience. I never realized how hard those bodybuilders work to hit those poses.
I found that I was a bit confused by the many different categories that the INBA has for women, there was bodybuilding, Classic Figure, Ms. Figure, Sports Model, Divas and Fitness. Whew! That's an awful lot. I had difficulty discerning what they were looking for in some as there were so many cross overs too.
It was good to see, the posing is much more relaxed, they put more personality into the event I think, I just couldn't quite tell who belonged in which category though.
It's almost like the start of the "Bikini" category with the NPC and how some gals could be in Bikini or Figure, the judges were not always quite clear on it. I think they are getting it dialed in now though, the Bikini look is definitely softer, rounder, higher body fat, not ripped. You can easily tell a Figure gal from a Bikini gal now.
After the show we bombed down I-80 to Berkeley where Kerimit Lynch had the parking lot closed down, tents up, communal tables everywhere with red checkered tablecloths and a great live band.
The sun was shining, a rare occasion for Berkeley and I sat in the sun and soaked it up.
The were serving bouillabaisse, a heady shellfish stew with mussels, clams, calamari, white fish, fish broth and rouille. Served with garlicky toasted baguette, it was a meal I would have enjoyed; however, it's not in the plans right now, I have a competition in 14 days. I brought my own lunch, salad and vegetables with steak and beans, all in a big bowl.
They were pouring french wines too, David enjoyed a white then a red, I stuck with spring water.
Then back in the car to drive home, the top was down and the sun was still shining.
I have added Bouillabaisse with Rouille to my "Good Eats" list that I will be posting soon, I make a mean one, in fact, it is the same recipe that Chef Christopher Lee used at Kermit Lynch, it's from my Chez Panisse cookbook.