In September of 2020, I knew it was finally time. Time to get serious about a bodybuilding competition. It is something I have wanted to do since 2015, and the time just never felt right. Life’s obstacles often make us feel like we have to put off the things that we feel are important to us. But last year I knew in my heart it was time and that regardless what happened I needed to see this through. After a very long, slow, and patient prep, I competed in two shows back to back.
I had the opportunity to work with an amazing natural bodybuilding coach. I did a ton of research on coaches. I wanted to make sure I was working with someone who’s coaching style aligned with my goals. I came across 3D Muscle Journey (3DMJ) through Layne Norton actually. I own Layne’s books and have followed him on social media platforms for a long time and really always respected and appreciated his knowledge on health and fitness topics. In one of his books there was a review from Eric Helms. I looked up Eric Helms on IG, and realized his wealth of knowledge was as resourceful as Layne’s. Then I learned he had a natural athlete coaching team, a whole bunch of endless resources such as books, wedbinars, social media Q&A’s, podcast, etc. I reviewed the 3DMJ pages, and learned about their team – the coaches, director of operations, registered dietitian, mental health consultant, injury reduction & management specialist… Just a well rounded group providing quality coaching for natural athletes! I was so excited and knew this was who I wanted to work with. I began listening to the podcasts, and I got my application submitted. I started working with Brad Loomis in my off season at the end of 2020 and we started prep earlier this year.
For those of you that don’t know, I have always taken a lot of pride in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and I knew that competitions may pose additional challenges because I choose to be a natural athlete. I have always felt that the true competition is only between me, myself and I. So I did this for me. To prove to myself I could push my body to new levels, to see something through, to tick off the check mark on my bucket list.
During my prep I worked quietly. I don’t post a lot on social media or discuss with people openly when I am working on personal goals. I have always found that I am more focused when I can tune out the noise around me. My goals are my own and I don’t need the distractions. That’s why I waited to post about it. I believe that goals should be personal, and sometimes when we allow people to have too much input into them, the haters and naysayers will cause us to veer off the path we believe or know is right for us.
*My first show I placed 2nd in Figure Open.
*My second show I placed 3rd in Figure Open (and 3rd in Bikini Short – to elaborate, they needed someone to volunteer to cross over so they could have enough competitions for a pro card. I am definitely not built for bikini lol but I said what the heck, and got up there to help out my fellow competitors.)
Overall my physique was a little tighter for the second show and my posing improved based on feedback from the two panels of judges. But the second show my competition was just a little more experienced. Could I have done better? Absolutely. But am I disappointed? Absolutely not. This is the leanest I have ever been and I retained a great deal of mass. If I compete again, I know I need to come in a little leaner, and dig a little deeper. And I am good with that.
Figure might be where I stay for future competitions, or I may consider another division (not bikini, lol). I was told I have great muscle bellies and really should consider a few other classes.
I don’t think I would do back to back shows again. I think one week in between two shows made it difficult to improve on the feedback from the judges. I did my best to do so, but a few more weeks could’ve really made a difference.
Overall this experience has taught me a lot. For starters, I reduced body fat by over 5.% and gained 3lbs in lean body mass during this prep. I hit new PRs, and improved my form on certain exercises. I learned additional methods for diet/food manipulation. I learned new methods for coping with stress, hunger, irritability, etc. I leveled up in patience.
I met so many awesome people! Other competitors, sponsors, judges. Although the shows were small due to COVID restrictions still making things difficult, I really had such a great time.
I want to give special thanks to:
*Brad Loomis for being such a great coach! He has been great to work with. Super knowledgeable and patient and efficient. I improved on so much with his help and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
*3DMJ for proving quality coaching, and amazing podcasts and online content! I am so beyond grateful to be a part of the 3DMJ athlete team. And I would highly recommend to anyone.
*Black Paw K9 Solutions for providing quality dog boarding and a place my boy Walter feels safe and at home while Mama traveled for her shows.
*Savanah Sharp and Angel Competition Bikinis for helping my create an amazing suit for my first year. If you didn’t notice, I picked black and blue because those are 3DMJ colors! 🙂
*I want to thank my friends Brody, Frank, and Russ for being the best gym buddies and cheer leaders a girl could ask for. You guys always believed in me and it helped me keep pushing forward!
*My boyfriend for learning and trusting the process and being supportive.
*My sister and my mom for being there when I need someone to talk to, and equally understanding when I just need to be alone.
*And my dog, Walter for being my best boy. Always being right there when I needed him. Late night or early morning walks, sleepless nights and extra snuggles. And for being a good boy for Black Paw while I traveled.