So, like I said last week, I competed in Fitness New England on April 27th. I told you all about my journey there, but today I’m here to tell you about the actual day.
My cousin, Jenn, has been a big part of my journey from day one. We signed up together, we trained together, we texted each other whenever we needed motivation or support, and we competed together. It was amazing to have her by my side throughout the whole process.
We left for Foxwoods on Friday afternoon and managed to make it just in time to snag valet parking and run like wildfire through the hotel to make it to check-in on time! After changing into our suits we headed over to the check-in location. Basically, check-in consists of showing Mama Savage your stage walk and posing. She makes any changes she sees fit and then she takes a look at your physique and diet for the rest of the day. She wants to make sure you are in tip top shape come show time! No changes were made for Jenn and I so we were sent on our merry way.
We decided to head over to our hotel which was a few miles away from the casino (and much cheaper than staying on site!). We were both exhausted but knew we had a lot left to do so we decided to start the tanning process. The Thursday before we had both been instructed to get a spray tan as a “base” color. I got the Aloha tan #3 which is the darkest you can get. I already felt darker than I had ever been in my entire life and I couldn’t imagine getting any tanner! But the next task at hand was pre-show self tanner! We had been told three coats minimum. I had a feeling this would be interesting! I got to work. I pulled out the tanner and the applicator scrub and went to town on my legs! I wish I had taken pictures but, wow, was this stuff dark! I couldn’t believe I had two more coats after this! The tanner was great though and it dried within five minutes. Just in time for us to head back to the casino for our Savage meeting where we got a great pep talk and motivation from all the coaches and from Cathy.
After the meeting we went back to attack and conquer the last of our tanning mission. Two more coats and approximately two and a half hours later we both felt sufficiently tanned and ready for bed! It was 11:30pm and we had to be up at 3:15am for hair and makeup. I know, 4 hours of sleep?? What lazy bums, right?
Well when my alarm went off at 3:15am I thought I was dreaming. “There’s no way that’s my alarm! I feel like I just went to bed!” Well that dream was shattered when I opened my eyes and saw my phone next to me and I remembered what the day was! IT WAS SHOW DAY! I think the adrenaline kicked in real quick because I jumped out of bed and threw on sweats and we headed out the door. No birds chirping, so sun rise. Nothing. Silence. This was what 3am felt like.
Hair and makeup flew by and before I knew it, I was meeting Jenn back in the lobby and we were on our way back to the hotel for food, tan touch ups, and SLEEP! We managed to sleep for about half an hour with our heads propped up so we didn’t ruin our newly done up hair or our drag queen makeup! And then BACK to Foxwoods for one last time! This time we’d be there to stay.
The day started off with a meeting for the whole competition and the Media which was basically taking our group pictures outside the theater. We spent a couple of hours before the show started backstage meeting all the girls and getting ready. We met so many amazing women! Some we had known from Michele Welcome’s posing camp and some were new faces altogether. But every one of them was supportive and encouraging. We got lots of good advice from more seasoned competitors and we supported girls who were just as nervous as we were for their first time on stage! There was no competition backstage. Just camaraderie and friendship.
The whole day after the show actually started was such a blur…but an amazing blur! Stepping on stage for that first time was a strange feeling. I normally have this sense of excitement for the few hours leading up until right before going on stage or doing any sort of public engagement. However, right before I go on, my heart starts to race, I start thinking of the worse-case scenario, and I get so nervous I can barely concentrate. This time, yes, my heart was beating a million miles a minute but it wasn’t nerves! It was still that excitement. I was pumped! I was ready for this. I had worked so hard and I wanted to show off all that work. I find this to be a testament to how much I have changed in the past few months. I have the confidence to ham it up on stage without even thinking twice about the fact that I’m being judged. What if I tripped and fell? With my klutzy nature that was definitely a thought crossing my mind, but I knew that I had been practicing and I could handle it. Plus, even if I fell flat on my face, I’d just get up, shrug it off, and rock it all the way to the other side of the stage! No big deal! Who is this girl? She wasn’t in there four months ago, that’s for sure!
The competition started at 1pm and awards didn’t even start until 9pm. As we waited backstage in a long line of competitors, I got to thinking about what a trophy would mean. Would it validate everything I’d put myself through? Would it make it all worth it? No. It wouldn’t. That’s because the whole day had already done that for me. I didn’t need the trophy and the flowers to prove to myself that I’d changed my entire lifestyle, my entire outlook on life. If I was doing this all for a $40 trophy and a bouquet of flowers, that’s not a really good motivator for four months of working your ass off! The women I’d met backstage, the coaches I’d worked with, my beautiful cousin, the entire competition day itself…and the journey to that day. Those are the things that made it all worth it. Those are the things that validated all my hard work. I saw women backstage in their 40s and 50s with families and full-time jobs. They wanted to lead a healthy lifestyle for themselves, for their children, for their families. They wanted to be role models. And you all are! You are my role models! I want to grow up and be just like them. Empowered, strong, courageous, healthy, beautiful inside and out. It would have been amazing to place that day and have Michele Welcome hand me my trophy and give me a big bear hug on that stage but it wasn’t necessary. I had already accomplished what I’d gone there to accomplish and I wouldn’t change a thing!