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Making My Pro-Debut - A Rookie Once Again

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It’s 3 AM Sunday morning and I am unable to sleep due to the indigestion that I am experiencing after overeating after my pro debut at the Ultimate Warriors Pro Women’s Physique last night. I won’t document what I ate - I fear it will make me sick. I am still tingling with excitement though the big day has come and gone. Today it’s back to reality - no more diet as an excuse for unsavory behavior, dulled critical thinking skills, or anything else for that matter. It’s time to get back to life and business as usual.

Yesterday I competed in the Ultimate Warrior’s Pro Women’s Physique in San Diego by John Lindsay and Muscle Contest. This was my first time on stage as an IFBB Pro and it was an honor to be there. The event was top notch from start to finish. No detail was ignored, from the helpful staff at hotel check-ins to my fellow competitors bringing Halloween treats to share prior to the finals. It was truly a perfect experience that I shared with my husband in a city that has special meaning to us - our second date was here, it is where we first saw “our moon”.

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Though I did not finish as well as I wanted to, I was placed where I deserved to be placed. The caliber of the pro competitors was eons beyond anything I have seen before. This makes sense to me, this was my first pro show. These women brought their “A” game with spot on preparation. It was a sight to behold - also a wonderful opportunity to learn and make friends. I was better prepared and in better condition than I was for any of my amateur competitions. In the end I fell short of my competition. However I took my physique and my mind to a new level, I gained a little more insight to the process and I take enormous pride and satisfaction this. I am a rookie on the pro circuit - with that comes the opportunity to learn and improve.

The judge’s feedback to me was positive. I have the raw materials - I have the shape, muscularity, symmetry, and proportion to excel but my condition wasn’t there. I was neither “hard” enough (a word for lean) nor dry enough last night to be competitive at the pro level. Comparing myself to the other competitors the judge spoke the truth.

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I didn’t miss any steps. I didn’t cheat for a single bite or miss a workout during my preparation. I nailed every aspect of contest preparation and followed my plan, putting in effort of which I am very proud. There is nothing else that I could have done to prepare for this show. I adhered to my personal motto - bust my butt and leave no stone unturned. So what happened you ask? The simple fact is that I’m a rookie and have not been doing this long enough to express my full potential. Each competition I am a better than the time before, I am a little bit leaner, and my body makes changes in ways that I never knew were possible before.

I have had an enormously successful athletic career that has spanned more than 30 years, but I am new to physique competition. Just 7 months ago I stepped on stage for the first time as a physique competitor in the NPC North Carolina State Body Building Championships. Last night I stood on stage next to women that competed in the Olympia a month and a half ago, and it was a surreal experience. Growth and learning often happens in the wake of defeat.

I can’t say enough about the hard work and dedication that the other competitors exemplified. It inspired me to recognize that I have more to do, and to be reminded that greatness takes lots of practice and lots of time.

I’m going to wrap this up as my stomach is making some pretty scary noises. (Reminders to myself never to eat like this again in the immediate hours following a show.) For those of you curious about what is next, I am now headed into the off season. In 2014 I have competed 4 times and had a whirlwind first year from my first show done as something to check off my bucket list to my IFBB Pro debut. I look forward to being “present” again with friends and family and partaking in traditional cultural experiences like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am looking forward to attending the Marine Corps Ball next weekend with my husband and swapping out my gym shoes and Tupperware for a fancy gown, killer heels, and a glass on wine (white this time so that I don’t stain my silk gown like last time).

My next pro competition will be the New York Pro on May 9th in New York City. I have 6 months to improve and prepare, very little compared to the time my peers have already done, but it all starts somewhere. I do know that I will be better than before and can’t wait to compete in my hometown.

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