Show Day; the day we work tirelessly, day in, and day out for. The day where all our hard work comes to fruition. You made it. So take a deep breath, and let me shed some light on how amazing this day can be, but also what to be aware of.
Here are the best and worst things about stage day:
The hard part is over! You struggled months for this, and now you get to relax and let it ride. You will be doing your best to manage your stress throughout the day, but everything you had to do, you’ve already done, so find peace of mind in that. There is no more cardio to do, there are no more lunges or split squats today, it’s just you and your meals getting through the day.
The waiting game…………….
If you’re a male bodybuilder, congratulations *eye roll*, y’all are normally first on, and first out the door before the ladies even get their first glaze. As for my bikini girls, find a comfy spot back stage, you got some time. At most shows, bikini will be last on the schedule for both prejudging and finals. And if you’re 5’7″ or above, welcome to Team Tall, and the last of the last. 😦 It’s fine. I’m fine. We’re placed last at most shows because the crowd tends to stay to see the Bikini classes. It is what it is. Some shows are more generous, and allow Bikini to go earlier in the rotation. But if you’re the real MVP like North Americans, everyone gets their own day! 🙂 If only every national show was this way…
The people you meet! The back stage comradery is one of my favorite things about today. Until I did Jr. Nationals last year, I went into each show I’ve ever done without knowing a single person back stage. Every show I make a pact with myself that the first person I meet is going to be my new best friend, and to this day, it has never failed me. Everyone is always so nice, and just as eager to make new friends as you are. You may be nervous if this is your 1st show (or 7th), but honestly, the other girls who have a little more experience will take you under their wing no problem. First timers tend to be the jitteriest of the bunch, and since we’ve all been there, we just want to put your mind at ease. Obviously, there will be catty bitches from time to time, but in my 3 years, I’ve honestly never come across anything like that. I’ve met some of my best friends back stage, and always look forward to seeing them again at upcoming shows! Never be afraid to ask someone for help back there either! If you need lip gloss, a cup to pee through (you’ll see), super glue, water, or a band to warm up with, I guarantee someone’s got your back. I think the reason everyone’s so nice and welcoming is not only because they could be genuinely nice people, but also just the fact that we are all in the same boat. We all went through the struggle, and now we’re here. We made it. It’s just a sigh of relief to be around an entire group of people who know exactly what you went through, and isn’t questioning you, or judging you for a second. It’s an immediate acceptance of everyone that put in the work to be there.
Circling back around to the waiting game: This particularly sucks for the ladies because not only do we go last, but we have to be ready just as early as everybody else. This means getting up around 5-6am to do hair and makeup, even though you may not go on for another 8 hours. We also have to KEEP our hair and makeup on point all day long. We normally have to have multiple tan touch ups throughout the day from either sitting and smudging our butt, lying down, sweating back stage, or the best one, peeing on ourselves. <– This is where using a hollowed out Dixie cup or a funnel of some sort to pee through will help you not fuck up your tan (be aware, this is not a fool proof system). You know what else sucks about not going first, or even close? Your meals for the day still need to be planned to a T. Because we go last, stage day really is just one more day of prep. Your meals need to be on point so that you can peak perfectly. Constant checkins with coach through out the day, waiting on the green light to eat that pump up candy you’ve been staring at since you packed it 4 days ago. And God forbid, you get the red light, and don’t even get to eat it anyways! HA! The worst!
Pump Up goodies! Its about 15-20 minutes until stage time and You get the green light to shove a handful of sour patch kids in your mouth. You’re giddy, your mouth is all watery because “once it hits your lips, it’s so good!” Everyone has their own go tos to pump up before stage. From sips of wine and rice cakes, to reese’s and sour patch kids, the influx of sugar and carbs help fill out your muscles and get the veins poppin.
A CARPETTED STAGE.
You may have never come across this bullshit yet in your bodybuilding career (did that sentence even make sense?). Most local shows don’t do this, and everything’s great, but at the national level, lots of the stages are carpeted. So you go through prep practicing in your heels in the group fitness room, in your kitchen, on the hardwood in your hallways, all that. And then you get to show day and SURPRISE MUTHERFUCKER! There’s carpet up there! Da heck? Why would you betray me like this? So you go out there semi confused but still confident as shit. Then you go to transition, and BAM! Your heel grabs the carpet and your transition is no longer a fluid motion, and your glute did not pop the way you had practiced it 9342x before. Pissed.
The general consensus on the reasoning behind the carpeted stage is this:
The male and female bodybuilders who are NOT in heels, are oiled up just like the rest of us. But, because of the lack of footwear they are wearing, the oil and sweat can get on the stage causing slippery terrain for everyone. I understand that this could be an issue but hear me out, fam! With the amount of staff on hand, you’re telling me that there is NO FUCKING WAY for there to be either:
- A person who is hired to quickly dry mop the stage in between (similar to how they do at gymnasiums to mop up sweat at basketball or volleyball games).
- Or even just have a strip of carpet on the stage for the groups who are barefoot, and then, WAIT here’s an idea! Take the carpet off for figure and bikini. But I don’t know, whatever.
The Food! When I say food, I mean the food you may get in between prejudging and finals, and of course, your actual post show meal. Depending on your body, how you did at prejudging, and your coach, determines if you’ll get the green light to go out for a burger or something in between. This is an ahhhmazing feeling, and can help you fill out for finals. Just don’t over do it, or you could come in looking bloated from over indulging perhaps. Buuuut that post show meal though! I normally try to find a sushi place, or a cheesecake factory for post show, myself, but that’s up to you. Again, don’t go too overboard (especially if you still have another show coming up soon), but definitely order those sweet potato fries, and get ranch on your salad, and DEFINITELY eat that doughnut when you step off stage immediately, if not sooner. 😉 Enjoy yourself, because you deserve it, but be aware of your timeline and your threshold. I’ve woken up sicker than a dog from eating too much of a food I hadn’t had in awhile.
The Food! Yup, it’s on here for both. BUT, this is the food that may be back stage tempting you. Lots of girls bring homemade dessert concoctions backstage for “post show,” but most end up opening them and having a taste here and there, politely offering them to anyone around. DON’T FUCKING DO IT. It’s a trap. It may not be intentional, but just politely decline until you are done for the day. Others may be doing it, but guess what? If YoUr FriEnDs jUmPeD oFf a BrIdGe, Would YoU dO iT tOo? Just don’t do it. Wait for your time, and then enjoy the icing covered brownie cookies with rainbow sprinkles afterwards. You waited this long, you can wait a little longer.
You got about 15-20 minutes until stage time, and you’re cheering on your new bestie in Class D as she slays. Yes, THAT’S the best. Not the candy I was mentioning a few points ago, but the moment you get to see your fellow teammates, new friends, and sisters take the stage. While stage day is very individual, there’s room for us all to shine. And LOOOORD if seeing your best friend shine bright like a diamond up there doesn’t get your ass LIT with the fire of 1000 suns, then this sport does not mean as much to you as you think. A sport where your competition are also your biggest fans is a hell of a thing. It’s wild.
The smell. Yup, we smell. With the tan, you can’t wear deodorant or perfume or anything because it will react poorly with the tan and turn your armpits green! So, sorry about the B.O. but we all in this together.
Ooooook, obviously you didn’t think I would forget about YOUR ACTUAL STAGE TIME! This is THE best part, forreal this time! The moments leading up to the stage are a rush of emotions. You’ve gotten to see girls go ahead of you, and are getting anxious, but now it’s your time to shine. Or maybe you are lucky #1, and you’re the first in your class to grace the stage. They call your number, and you hit your stride across the stage. All eyes are on you, and it’s like you’re the only one in the room. You hit your front pose, your suit sparkles under the lights, your eyelashes are so long that you’re fanning the judges with every blink. You can’t control your smile because you’re so happy, and then in 8-10 seconds, it’s all over. Everything you worked for has come and gone, and now it’s in the judges’ hands. You’ve done everything you needed to do up to this point, you strutted your stuff, and had a blast doing it! But you can’t relax just yet. Everyone stays in their line on each side, staying tight, breathing through their teeth, waiting to hear their number called for first callouts. Now, this is where I am going to end this blog, because although placing or even winning is an absolutely amazing feeling and accomplishment, it does not define your competition experience. Placing anything other than what you expected will always be a disappointment, but it does not take away from how much fun you had, the people you met, or the things you learned.
Gosh, I love show day so much! 10 more weeks till I’m there.