Arnold Fitness International Recap

The Arnold Fitness International has come and gone. This has been one of the best experiences I have had at the Arnold to date.

I shot some video on Thursday and Friday however, after the show – I stopped shooting as I was quite tired, and worked the rest of the weekend.

Friday I was able to sleep in a bit until 7am. I got up, ate, and went 2 doors down to get my makeup done by Elaine Goodlad. Oxygen magazine happened to be there to videotape the process. They were doing some video footage for “how to” for competition/stage makeup on the day of the show. Elaine has a long history of doing makeup for shoots, and stage, and knows how the lighting plays on the face. She is able to create effects so that the parts of the face are highlighted, and will not get shadowed out of the photos. The lighting of the stage however is another story.

Here is a quick picture Diane took of me getting dolled up for the day –

Then, I was off to the Expo for the physique round on the main expo stage.

I did not feel nervous before going onstage, however, when I finally stepped onstage, the nerves kicked in. The amount of people watching the event was much larger than in year’s past. It just seemed like a sea of people, that stretched out for hallway through the main part of the expo.

I was in third callout. AKA – ‘the rest’.

With that many very good competitors and bodies, bringing you’re A game is a must.

I was happy with what I had presented.

The round did not last very long – maybe 8-10 minutes and we were done. I decided to walk around the expo but soon, felt that it was time to rest, and headed back to the hotel room to relax for the night show.
Having not slept the night before, a nap was on the horizon.

I started over to the Veterans Memorial around 5:30. To my surprise there was carpet on the stage, and I was glad. I had like the carpet they put on the stage at the Flex Pro, and felt comforted when I was able to practice on the carpeted floor. Usually it is a plastic stage, and since the female bodybuilders were going first, I was more relaxed about doing my routine after them since we had the carpet. It can be a bit slippery after the bodybuilders due to the oil, however, this year, no worries.
All the girls were amazing at their routines. I think the key is the carpet to help pad the flips and tricks we have so we are able to ‘give’ more during the routine.

I was #14 so had a bit of time to wait. I always have a go to song – a song that gives me energy and keeps my spirits high – I listened to that repetitively. When it was my time to go, I felt relaxed, and not scared to be onstage, but inspired and motivated to show the crowd (of which most of them I considered my friends and family) what I can do. I felt the warmth of the crowd as they were already ‘warmed up’ from the previous 13 competitors – they were in it, and so was I. I managed a perfect performance.

I love performing my routine. I am ‘in it’. And it feels really good to be in that space.
I have always feared being great. My goal now when I compete, is to be my best self; the self that I am capable of being. I believe that I self sabotage at times, and don’t always believe that I am worthy of what might be on the other side of being good. Although I have placed much better in the past, I was not consistent in my performances. I am striving for consistency right now.

Here is a replay of the fitness routines – They will be available for about 2 weeks.

The results of the show placed me 14th. Not super sure of my routine placing but it was low. I cannot explain why. Sometimes it is just like that. I am sure where I performed my routine (the order of performance) plays a role, but regardless of the outcome/final result I was a good that day. I was as great as I was supposed to be in that moment. I would not change anything. I liked what I did and I am proud of what I did. I am still on one of the biggest stage’s in the world for fitness, and there are times when the judges get you and others when they don’t.

After the show the only thing I wanted to do was the #1 thing on any competitors mind post show = eating. Tamee Marie (suit designer and sponsor) and I were out quite late, and luckily many of the restaurants are open later during the Arnold weekend. After a large salad, some bread, and water, I was officially in a food coma. Saturday I would find out I forgot my wallet at the restaurant, but I recovered, and did retrieve the wallet after trying to buy coffee with no money.

Saturday came way too early – and I was up and off to get makeup done by J Zubire. She is super gentle with my eyes, and since I had many applications of makeup over the last 3 weeks, this was the girl for me.

Overall Thoughts:

I am very happy with my body onstage and in the off-season. I compete about 3-4 days out of the year, and the other 361 days I am not competing, I love being in my body. Sure, there are moments when I would like to be in first callout, but the trade offs might be a little high for what I want for my family or myself.

Just because I don’t have the genetics, that does not stop me from trying to change my physique. I like trying to find a balance between what I like (which matters most), and what the judges like. I always welcome feedback post show.

I love performing this routine. The shoes – ah, some people don’t get the shoes, but I tried bare feet, and it hurts like hell. My feet are not rough enough to be performing in bare feet. If there was always carpet it is possible to do on carpet in bare feet, however, there is one problem – there is not always carpet on the stage. The shoes don’t exactly go with my costume, but they allow me to do the routine without being too heavy, or killing my feet. They will stay. And I always get questions about the shoes –they are a dance boot by Brian Freidman. They are very hard to find as they are not produced anymore however, I believe many sites from England sell them.

Next up: St. Louis Pro – March 17 in St. Louis.  
I will try to add some more strength to my routine, and work on my posing a bit more. Yes, I do read all the blogs/message boards, and know what is out there. ;)

I really am enjoying competing this year, even though my placings are just maeeh. It makes me work harder, and try to be better.

I am half Irish so maybe I will get ‘lucky’ on St. Paddies Day and get a better placing.

9 days and counting….

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