Next week starts prep and after watching a few prep series vlogs on YouTube, I thought creating a category for this season wouldn’t be a bad idea. I’ve been asked when my next show is and I actually have two in mind for the fall season. The first is the New England Championship in Boston on October 29th – this was actually my first show in 2014, so I’m pretty excited about this one. The second show is the Eastern USA’s in Teaneck, NJ on November 5th. So prep timeline to start in less than two weeks, the first show would be a 12 week prep and the second to be a 13 week prep. Like I said, New England’s was my first show, so I thought it be fitting to call this series Coming Home.
My strategy behind picking these two shows is I don’t believe I need a 17 week prep like I did last time, but if we don’t think I’ll be ready for Boston, I have an extra week to be ready for Eastern USA’s.
Both of these shows are in the NPC, the National Physique Committee, which is an amateur league, if you win a pro-card then you go onto the IFBB Professional League.
I am a natural competitor, but I compete in the NPC for a number of reasons. The first reason I chose the NPC in 2014 was because of the lack of quarter turns in the stage routine. In the natural leagues here, you can be judged on your side profile during the stage routine, which has you turn in 90 degree turns. In 2014 at 150 pounds on stage that wasn’t something I was willing to put myself through. 1. I was heavier than the other girls and 2. I was starting to having loose skin in my middle. I felt and still feel that judgement on a side profile for bikini with my body the way it was would actually make me reconsider the sport. I said in April that it’s not the judges fault that they can’t tell loose skin from fat. It’s not their fault that the angle of their seat to the stage paints a different picture – I didn’t want to have more counting against me by having a specific turning style.
The second reason I compete in the NPC is because of opportunity. While the day of show is very busy and sometimes seems and is slightly disorganized, when you look at the show line up for the year – it’s packed. Just in the greater New England area I could’ve competed in at least 8 shows – if I was ready and comfortable – for calendar year 2016. Two shows were in Boston – hopefully, I will be doing both. Boston is a 45 minute drive for me. Easy peasy. Though I typically drive in the night before and stay in a hotel – it just makes it easier and less stressful than getting up at 5 am on an already long day.The two shows that I have competed in were HUGE. I mean a few hundred competitors. My classes were between 22 and 34 women. THAT’S A TON OF BODIES. That was also just my height division. There’s definitely pressure at a larger show. You NEVER know who will show up to any competition for any league, but when you see 33 others in your height class all you can think is “shit, it’s anyone’s game.” That’s why I have a list of reasons to compete, it can’t just be about winning. I’ve tied in last place at both shows, I wasn’t expecting a higher placement, but the women I tied with all looked amazing, which means that those who placed high truly deserved it. It also means that I’ve tied for last place with at least 12 other women, so I’m not alone. Bring your A game and because it’s not just about ranking five or 10 women on stage, it’s about 20 or 30 who are as hungry as you are – literally, you should see the post-show cheats that happen.
The third reason I compete in the NPC is that natural is a relative term. There is a list of substances that are banned from the natural league in my area, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that competitors can’t or don’t use alternatives that aren’t on the list. There’s also a lie detector test and urinalysis that are conducted to ensure that competitors are compliment, so trust me when I say they’re looking for specific things. In my head, at least, since I only drink protein powder and use BCAAs, I figure if I can compete and place against women who are using fat burners and other substances, maybe I am bringing a damn good package. Is it harder to win, sure, but that’s also something to strive for.
I’m excited for next week and wish it was already here, but I also am excited for my last week of cupcakes and I’m even celebrating with my co-workers on Wednesday night. Before prep comes into full swing and I feel the struggle that is taking myself on dates that interfere with my bedtime, I’m going exploring every day this week and I’m going to write about it. This week, I’m going to practice my other adjectives and “come back home” for a few days. You can follow me here and see what I’m up to. You have my email in the About section of this blog. You can check out the Facebook page too, but this week, I’m going to disconnect from Instagram and I’ll be back Saturday in time for my check in and for prep to start on Sunday.
We all need a mental break and this last week before prep seems like the most perfect time to reset and recharge before I bring my A game this fall.