Original Post April 2013
Not long after I competed in my first IFBB competition, I received a phone call from Carol Graham (IFBB President Aust) to compete in the next Arnold 2013! Overwhelmed with excitement I screamed yes through the phone!
Fast forward 12months and I’m getting ready for what will be the largest competition Id ever competed in.
15 weeks out
My husband Chris writes my diet and together we plan the next few months of training and dieting around our extremely busy schedule.
6 meals per day consisting of oats, chicken, steak, veal, green veg, sweet potato, rice, egg whites and essential fats. I don’t mind the diet so much, my meals are descent portions and I’m rarely hungry. The general perception is that a dieting bodybuilder is starving and cranky, but during the diet I eat more than most people would on a daily basis. My diet starts at about 2000 calories and I have weekly cheat meal up until 2 weeks out! A lot of people will ask what I have for a cheat meal; lets just say it’s not small! I have entrée, main (usually a full rack ribs) and dessert! And ill tame them, as I get closer.
I contact Justin Wessel’s to help with my training; I need to bring up my legs to balance my symmetry. Justin’s style of training is nothing I’m used to; he trains high volume, super sets and giant sets. My typical training session would be single sets with heavy weight. So you can imagine my first session was a train wreck! He had me do super sets; 4 sets 15 reps with about half my max weight, I was not even half way into the session before I was off to the bathroom throwing up, I couldn’t talk because I was so out of breath and never felt so unfit! I was to visit the bathroom 4 times before the session was over, but I never gave up. The next week driving back I was anxious and terrified, Justin says, “we are going to do a giant set” 6 exercises and 6 rounds!
I spent the next 3 months training weekly with Justin and was the most intense training Id done.
Before I knew it I was at the airport about to leave and thought how fast the entire prep had gone by, I usually count down the weeks till I get on stage but this time I was wishing Id had just a few more weeks to get ready. Chris and I head to LA for a week to train and get in a routine before heading to Ohio to compete. No better place to train then the famous Gold’s Gym Venice, it now feels real! I spend the week training and doing my cardio along the beach, even snuck in a trip to Disney Land.
The week in LA is over and I’m off to Ohio to meet up with my friend and fellow competitor Asher Prior. It’s freezing cold here and on the verge of snowing. We head straight to a grocery store and get all our food that we need and a few extra things for post comp! We get to our hotel and there is no cooking facility and no fridge! So I bought a $20 George foreman grill and set it up in the bathroom. I cooked all mine and Asher’s food on it every night, was so quick and easy! I took my own steam veg bags and had to head down to reception every time I wanted to heat something, annoying but you do what you have to. Breakfast every morning was a 2 min drive and they cooked anything we asked for, I will say hospitality is amazing here.
So it’s the day before we compete and we start the tanning process, I took my own spray machine and spayed not only myself but also many of the other Australian competitors. The best part about this night was having a couple shots of vodka while playing cards in the Lobby of our hotel with Asher and her husband Lucas, mind you a card game that I believe he made up and the rules as we went.
So its morning and Asher heads up to my room where Chris is cooking our steaks on our little George foremen grill in the bathroom, and we order hot chips from room service! We do our hair, make up and final coats of tan before heading to the Veterans Memorial to register for the Arnold Classic event. We arrive at the venue and line up…3 hours later we are still standing in line on the day we are to be competing, this was stressful and I think Asher and I were on the verge of tears. All we could think was we should be relaxing with our feet up. Finally we reach the front of the line and register and get measured for our class. We then head back to the hotel and return almost immediately for an athlete meeting.
Backstage we have plenty of time to relax and think about hoping on stage. Our category was going on stage about 10pm. After one long day we finally start to get ready to go on, we head back stage and start pumping up and getting our final touch ups of tan and gloss before getting marshaled and filed out on stage. I cant even explain the feeling of standing on that stage, 15 weeks and half a world away I was standing on a stage I could only describe as unbelievable! I made the first call out and for what felt like 30 seconds it was all over and we left the stage. Waiting backstage to hear top 10 get called was torture, but with out a failing thought my name gets called. So I now have a day in between competing in the final.
With only a day in between which Id never encountered before and we had no plan for, what do you do?? Drink water? Eat carbs? It was unfamiliar territory.
One day later I was back doing it all again, tan; hair; makeup; buffet breakfast this time and head to the exhibition center for the finals along with Asher Prior. We are walked through the crowd to a stage and with no time to pump up or take a deep breath and are immediately brought on stage. Standing on stage all I could think is that I cant believe I’m standing here right now and no matter what happened Id accomplished more than I could imagine…but I still wanted to win!
In a flash of events I hear my name for top 5, and file back on stage for the presentation. 5 th place is called, and then 4 th, 3 rd and I stand…the final 2. All I can hear is Chris calling out to me, and our Australian photographer Rob from Ampt cheering and snapping shots. And finally 2 nd place is called and it is then apparent that I am left standing as the winner of the Amateur Arnold Classic and now I’ve been catapulted into the Pro league. By far the greatest and most satisfying win of my life so far. I’m then presented with a trophy and Arnold Jacket which I wore everyday from then for the rest of the trip.
I’m extremely grateful to Carol Graham and the IFBB in Australia for believing in me and offering me such an amazing opportunity.