Monday, October 4, 2010

2010 NPC San Francisco Championship

Saturday I competed in the 2010 NPC San Francisco Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championships.
If you have been following me, you know this, you know all about the weeks of preparation, the diet, the weight training, the cardio. The emotional ups and downs. There is so much to say about the day, I cannot possibly do it in one post, but I will give all the highlights, and then elaborate later. This show was a milestone for me personally. It marks the very first competition that I have prepared for completely on my own. I stopped training with SC and FP back in May, and then had a show in July, but I had seen FP a few times so felt I wasn't really on my own at the time. 
This is really important to me not just because I want to do it on my own, but because, due to two different sets of circumstances, I was  not able to train with my two long time trainers and that can be a devastating blow for any athlete, and I was not going to let it get the better of me. I needed to learn that I could do it without them. 
I have learned that I can not only do it without them, but I can do it damn well!

This show was old hat to me, It was at the same location that I have done at least three other shows, so I knew the hotel, the road, the stage, everything. I was feeling great!

I checked into the hotel in the late afternoon, I didn't have to tan until 6:45 pm. I still had to put sheets on my bed, make sure I showered first and ate, so I got there early.
I am having fun posting on face book, I have cheesecake for dinner and also for breakfast, this makes other woman mad (understandably). Why am I eating this? It certainly does not make sense? But, there is so much to write about this that I will wait to do it till later.
I wandered down the hall to Jan Tana's room for my spray tan. I knock on the door and it is quietly opened, I slip in then it is shut quickly. They have four pop up tents set up and they are spraying two women at a time then two dry at a time.  We are all naked, save our plastic shower cap to protect our hair...I am talking with Christina, she is one of the two tanning technicians, I know her, we are jabbering away as she works.

There is a cute really outgoing girl in the tent next to me asking all sorts of questions, it is her first time. Christina tells her everything she needs to know, but it isn't enough, she is worried, it's all new, I pop my head over and say "don't worry, I will help you, I can show you whatever you need to know, I have been here a zillion times".  Off we go our separate ways, and I will look for her in the morning.
I get to the auditorium  early and all ready, I had awoken early and couldn't sleep, so why not get ready in the good light? Last show the dressing room had no light bulbs, today it was lit like the Taj Mahal!

Immediately I was greeted by other women coming in, excited voices, tentative whispers, so many different feelings and energies.

I knew that I would be seeing several other friends there, women I have met from competitions, and we now stay in touch on facebook. I am looking around, I am excited, yet a bit hesitant at the same time.

I connect with some wonderful new women, women that I can say will be in my life again, they were that influential. I will write about them later. 
I felt very much at home, I know this setting, I was just here in May at the Contra Costa Show.
I competed in the Masters 45+ and the Unlimited C division (5'2" to 5' 4") which means I am doing double time! Two "show times" and then two shows, so a total of four times on stage, it is stressful, exhilarating, tiring, exciting, you can name all of the high strung emotions, and it is there.
I felt really good, I felt good about my own personal preparation, training, conditioning, then I look around and see so many sleek, buff, cut, pumped bodies, I am blown away! Where are these women in my day to day life? They are no where around me that's for sure! I placed 3rd put of 11 competitors in the masters 45+ division, then 4th out of 9 in the unlimited "c" division, I was thrilled!
I have been in three shows each year for the last two years, and in every show (save one) have come away with two placings, one I only placed once. What's the significance? I will tell you, it is huge. Every single woman who even walks through the door of that auditorium has accomplished an amazing amount of personal feats. Every woman has trained harder than she wanted at some point in the last few months, she has ensured she has eaten only the best, most nutritious foods, at the appropriate times, forsaking treats, only because she had her focus here.

More women will walk away without a trophy than will walk away with one, more will go home without a symbol of their hard work, of their perseverance, of their commitment.That shouldn't diminish their  accomplishment, yet I am afraid it does. I know that most will carry it in their hearts, yet it must be difficult to feel that it wasn't enough when they have given every ounce of their being just to stand on that stage. 
Each has spent countless hours at the gym, past the point of exhaustion, because she had committed to this event, she has told herself over and over that she is looking great, she is on the right track, she is beautiful, she is strong she is capable, she will not fail.

I met wonderful women, touched base with others whom I had not seen since past shows, others I only see through facebook, I felt very much at home and among friends. I was pushed and cajoled about doing nationals- I have qualified every year- this is a level of show higher than the local level, but I have never felt that I was ready, either with my posing or with my conditioning.
I am thinking though, I have lots of things running through my head. I can do anything I want, yet I don't know what I really want right now.  I still think I am going to stick to my resolve about getting bigger, putting on as much mass (naturally) as I can, and then assessing my options.
But that's the beauty of being an independent, intelligent adult, I can change my mind if I want right?
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