My First NPC Bikini Competition – Part 2
This weekend hundreds of competitive fitness athletes came together for the 2019 NPC Europa Games in Orlando, FL. Promoted as one of the biggest shows in the industry, I knew that I was in for a very stacked class of girls. I did not go into this weekend looking to win. In my heart, I knew I already accomplished everything I wanted to.
My first tanning appointment was at 3pm. I swear I thought it was 3:30pm and so when my calendar dinged with my 10 minute notification I RAN to the Orange County Convention Center. I had no idea how big the convention center was and there were also four other conferences happening at the same time as the Europa Games so it took me 45 minutes to find where I was supposed to be.
Standing in a pop up tent, being sprayed with what I called my warpaint, it finally sunk in that I was here. This is it! OMG! It’s really cold. Refreshing, yes that’s it, it’s REFRESHING! HA! Mind over matter.
Then it was time to dry. They bring you around a partition with industrial fans where you stand completely…ahem…exposed with a group of other women. The only way to face this is to be real. I was able to meet IFBB Pro Danielle Rose, who is so funny and I had immediate shoulder envy. I also met Orsi and we became instant friends. I am so impressed with how kind everyone is. Thank God!
My final check in with my coach earned me some pancakes I could have after the athletes meeting! Yay!!!
Finally, all 300 competitors were in the same room. Looking around, being in a space filled with athletes of this caliber was inspiring. I can’t believe that I get to share this moment with people I have been in awe of for half of a decade. I kept telling myself: I belong here too. I earned this too.
Luckily, I had Nichette Ayscue and Colette Bowlbey. I had reached out to Nini and Collete on Instagram last week. I figured it would be helpful to connect with a couple girls who were also first time bikini competitors so we could all build each other up. I am so thankful they were there!
During the competitors meeting, we were organized by height and class. I competed in True Novice (First Time), Novice (Never Won), Masters (over 35 years old) and Open (Overall). I was actually the shortest person in the room and so I expected to be first on the stage. Here we go!
My alarm was set for 6:00am but I was up and wide awake. Coach said no more pancakes or water. I was supposed to eat rice cakes and 1.5oz of chicken every 2 hours until just before the show. Then I would get rice cakes, peanut butter & honey (which is delicious btw).
Second round of spray tan for this little Avocado! Then it was time for me to do my own makeup. I brought EVERYTHING! I had a blanket to sit on, my entire makeup case, a mirror with lights, a ring light, tripod to record it and cups to separate all my brushes so I could stay organized. Not to forget my growler of Lucky Goat Cold Brew that I could share with the other competitors. Let me tell you, a packed makeup case and coffee will make it easy to make friends backstage!
My biggest challenge was getting my eyelashes to stay on. My eyes would not stop watering but luckily I had my girl, Allison, at Pro Tan put them on for me and I was gold. Next, I was able to do some of the girls’ makeup which made me stay happy and calm.
While the backstage coordinator called everyone’s numbers to the stage, I took a moment to read letters friends near and far had written me. I was overwhelmed that many of these letters spoke not only to my dedication to my fitness & diet but my heart for people along the way. This stuck out to me because I feel like many people think prepping for a Bikini Competition is all about the physical. But doing this changes you on the inside as much if not more on the outside. I could write an entire blog on it, maybe I will…
The wait is over! They called Bikini True Novice Competitors to get our tans touched up and glazed. This is where they glue (yes, glue) your suit to you and oil you up. Dear God, please don’t let me fall on a slippery stage!
Finally it was time to line up and get a pump (grab your resistance band ladies. It’s time to AMRAP *as many reps as possible* until you go on stage). This is when it hit me. This is when my heart started to race and I thought: maybe I should practice my routine one more time. I spent the entire 5 hours backstage doing makeup, playing games, taking pictures that I forgot to actually prepare!
As you line up, they tell us we only have 10 seconds. Front pose, back pose, front pose, go. My coach, Katie Kopfle told me “don’t let them rush you. You prepare 5 months for this, take your time” I told the other girls, “Hey! I’m not going to rush you, you earned this, enjoy your moment.” We all agreed that we were going to take our time. Then we high-fived and reminded each other that we look amazing and we’re already winners.
I’m first in line. They’re calling competitor 129. That’s me! Here we go! Suck in your tummy, hold your glutes up, smile! Make eye contact with the judges. SQUEEZE! Oh gosh they said Next and I’m not done. Take my time. Oh no, they’re literally pulling me off! Okay, I think I finished. Stand here. Hold your pose. Smile! Breathe!! Squeeeeezzzee!!!
Everyone went and did so good! Ok, make eye contact with the judges. Did they just call my number? 129 to the center of the stage. What does that mean? Did I get first call outs? Omg I’m in the middle!!! Ok, switch with this girl. I’m not on the end though so that’s good. Face the rear, squeeeeezzzeee. Ok turn around, smile! Breathe! Ok, off the stage. Whew!!
I was in four classes so these were my thoughts each time I went on stage. By the end, the announcer and I were friends and I was enjoying myself the whole time. I waved and laughed and when the girls and I faced the rear I said “Ok ladies, squeeeeezzee!!” and we all were laughing. This. Was. So. Fun!
To be continued….