The drive to Burlington, VT was approximately 3.5 hours from the Boston area. We planned and prepped our meals for the next two days, loaded the car, and began our road trip around 10:30 on Friday morning. The drive was a beautiful scenic route. I wouldn’t say we were nervous, but there was much conversation on what to expect in the next 48 hours.
We arrived at our host hotel, signed the mandatory waiver (if you get your tanning mess on the sheets/towels… you pay!), and made our way to our room. We immediately got settled in – replacing the hotel sheets and towels with ours from home. We actually had a lot of time to spare. So, we decided to take a drive and see the distance from our hotel to the actual venue… and by venue, I mean high school. School was just getting out so we were able to sneak a peak at the stage. We then decided to head back to the hotel to try and relax. The weather did not allow us to hang outside and we obviously could not go out for a quick bite/drink.
After hanging out for a bit, the check-in began from 6-8 PM at the host hotel. So we headed down there, not sure what to expect. Now, if you have ever ran a large race, you know when you go to pick up your bib and usually they have a huge tent with vendors and you can eyeball your competition? Yah, that was nothing like this. No tents or vendors, just a small table in their “conference area” for check in. We waited in line for about 15 minutes, and when we finally got up there to do our full check-in (which included registering for our NPC card) – we were told it was cash only. No communication was provided for this – and of course we love earning our points, so we didn’t have any cash on us. So we had to go and try to find a bank for cash…
During check-in, I ran into a few girls I knew were competing and they told me to go check in immediately with the tanning people. I was a bit confused by this as I had set up an appointment a few weeks in advance. We continued down the hall to “check-in” and we walked into a hot mess. The “appointment book” was supposedly lost and they were literally just writing names on a sheet of paper for those that came to check in. As much as you would like to think that these things would be organized after years of competitions, it is not. Yet again, this has been my only experience, so I cannot account for all venues.
So, we went back to the room for another one of our scheduled meals until we were called for our tanning appt. There was a lot of waiting around time. Our original spot was for 8 pm… we were not seen until 10 PM, and we did not get back to our room until 1130 PM. Not much time for the most uncomfortable sleep you will ever have. You are a sticky mess, you can’t touch skin on skin, the air conditioning needs to stay on, because if you start to sweat, you are going to have some gnarly sweat marks. Needless to say, I got zero rest, and I still looked like someone did a horrible paint job on me throughout the night.
Needless to say, my hair and make-up “appointment” at 4 am, could not come soon enough. Thank goodness mine was set for an early time, because, as you can guess, they (the same tanning people) were running late. I went from gross to glam real quick, and had some spare time to take some selfies:
Mike and I headed over to the venue to get our tan touched up and go through the event check-in process. Basically we were sitting in the school auditorium for a long while, because they did not start on time. (no shocker) Made some friends and ate some fish.
This whole event we didn’t really know what to expect. There was a lot of down time before pre-judging. So we just hung out in the back. Walked around. Sat and stared. Looked in the mirror. Practiced posing. Tried timing when to eat and when to pump up. The Men’s physique and Women’s Bikini classes go on very last. We were finally called to the stage.
Unless you have been on a stage before, I don’t think much can prepare you for this. I did hours of posing practice, and my routine was still flawed once I made my way on stage. Although, many probably wouldn’t know i messed up my routine, it definitely will throw you off, and you don’t have a chance to redo it. When standing on the line, holding my biggest smile ever, I couldn’t get my lip to stop quivering. After both of my classes went on stage, the biggest breath of relief was released from my body.
I thought I might be the only one with this feeling: but after pre-judging was over, I was over it. I felt I had accomplished my goal. However, there were still finals to come back to that afternoon. And the part that kind of bites you in the butt, is that the judges basically know who they are going to place before finals. So some don’t return if they are not top three. But ultimately you have to think about your goal. What did you originally set out to do?
So, Mike and I were on the same page. We shared a burger, tried to rest, ended up taking some selfies. And then headed back for finals.
It was the same hurry up and wait for finals. But for once, during the whole weekend, everything seemed to go smoothly and we could see that finish line (glass of wine). It was the same scenario for finals as earlier in the day. However, as soon as I exited the stage, I took off my heels and we hit the floor running! We were completely over it. We changed and headed to our hotel bar and restaurant. Loaded up on Nachos and wine. It was heavenly.
To say we overindulged that weekend would be an understatement. But we definitely enjoyed ourselves and have no regrets.
As stated in one of my earlier posts, you should have a clear reason as to why you are entering a contest like this. It should be for you alone. That is where you will find your motivation to complete your goal.
I have no regrets. I found the whole process very empowering and I truly appreciate my body more. Would I consider another? Yes. Anytime soon? No.
Hope you also had a good laugh at some of the pictures above 🙂
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