NPC Big Sky Championships: Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone
Last week my running took a huge dive, while I had plans to still get in about 30-40 miles I am not totally sure where that all went. As I ended up only completing about 16 miles. I would love to say that it had to do with tapering but in theory I believe I just gave into the fact that I was an aching, unmotivated mess when it came to running last week. Tuesday's track workout of 10 x 1000 m at marathon pace was a fantastic workout, with me hitting all my splits about 3 seconds below goal pace and consistent throughout all ten intervals, I finished feeling strong and confident. Yet, as you can tell that apparently went down the toilet after Wednesday's morning run in which I turned what was supposed to be 8 miles into 4 incredibly painful and depressing miles. With stabbing pains in my pelvis and a deep ache in my left leg I just could not motivate for the rest of the week, so I gave in and took some serious running time off.
Another truth, the time off of running also came from the fact that on Saturday April 18, 2015 I competed in the NPC Big Sky Championships as True Novice Bikini Class B (5'4'' to 5'6'' height class).
Participating at this competition was an incredible step outside my comfort zone for many reasons, as it is just not something that I do. It's not that I was afraid to be in a bikini, as I love bikinis especially when I by the ocean, sipping a margarita in the sand. But the idea of getting up on stage, in what I can only describe as stripper heels, with an extraordinarily fake tan, and having to pose while being judged was just something that made my stomach turn over.
Being graceful has never been one of my strong suit, nor has being flirty and those are two very important aspects to bikini competitions. In truth, or rather the blunt truth, is you pretty much have to sell yourself on stage. The first couple times I practiced posing I looked like a horse walking around in heels. Not that it got much better as time went on but practice did help, and thanks to both my dear friend Christine and Jessica Rundle with Workout Anywhere Fitness I slightly decreased my horse walking, increased my grace (only somewhat), and was able to get across stage to hit my poses without falling on face, something I was seriously afraid would happen.
Fitness competitions are an event to say the least. What I figured would be maybe about a half a day venture turned into a FULL day of hurry up and wait. There are two stages to a competition you have the morning show known as pre-judging, which is an extremely false name as it is actually where your place is determined, and then the evening show in which awards are given out. Needless to say it was a long day.
Got one last quick workout in with the fiance before heading out for Montana.
We arrived in Missoula in time to go check into our hotel before going off to the host hotel for check-ins and my first spray tan appointment. At this point modesty had to be thrown out the window as spray tans are done all natural. You are then left slightly sticky and a bit on the cold side. Check-ins went smoothly so we went off to go find some food before having to go back for my second appointment.
It was a very long night on Friday full of not much sleep and an extremely uncomfortable stomach due to nerves.
Early rise in order to get my hair done, dressed, and headed over to the venue for make-up, tan touch-ups, and competitors meeting. As someone who does not wear much make-up having stage make-up put on you was very new. I have never worn fake eye lashes, they are very heavy, and I know that I have never worn that much eye shadow in my life.
Once again there was a lot of hurry up and wait, as the show started at 9am and I did not go on stage until around 11:30 am.
Nerves are something I am used to, as they hit me every time I am about to step up to a start line and leading up to a race, however the nerves I felt while standing in the lineup ready to go on stage where nothing compared to those when getting ready for a race. Everything was shaking from my smile to my legs, standing in 5'' heels with sewing needle lack is not the easiest to accomplish.
I ended up making first call outs for my division which according to those who had done it before that meant I was going to be placing in the top 5, but I would not know until the night show when they give out the awards. That meant I had about 9 hours, as I did not end up going back on stage until about 9 pm, to wait to find out my placing.
Not going to lie all I could think about is how badly I wanted to go for a run but with about 6 coats for spray tan on and trying not to ruin it that was not going to be a possibility. Instead we drove around town, did some shopping, got Brandon some food, and went a took a nap (yes I am aware of how old that makes us sound).
Finally it was time to line up for the second go around back on stage. Nerves had not settled down much though I didn't feel as if I was going to throw up this time. Awards went out and I ended up walking away with a 3rd place finish for True Novice Class B division complete with Tiara and statue.
I am very happy with how the show went as while I had high expectations for myself, I believe in going into things with high goals and being prepared to give it everything you got, I was not anticipating much. The goal was to step out of my comfort zone and take a chance on something I have never done before.
Marathons and Triathlons are still more my thing than figure competing ever will be but that is not to say that I will never compete again (in fact I will be competing at the Empire Classic here in two weeks). I have learned a lot through this process about my body, what I am capable of, nutrition, lifting, increased my stretching, and met some really awesome people. Life is a crazy journey and I want to experience all aspects of it, even if that means parading around in a bikini in front of people. :) Don't be afraid to take a chance on something as you never know what you'll experience from it and who you'll meet along the way.
You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable while trying something new
When did you last step outside your comfort zone? What did you learn from that experience?