Bananas, Bikinis, and 6 inch high heels – INBA Natural Physique Titles 13th Oct 2007 PT 1

PT 1.  Morning Preparation

It was a 5am start with 3 herbal diuretics, a breakfast of dry oats mixed with a thick protein paste, and a tar like syrup made of 2 teaspoons of dry black coffee and only 100ml of water. Yum Yum!

Next was stage makeup and hair. Using hemorrhoids cream under my eyes for any dark circles (received a few sideways glances upon the purchase of that one) and a concrete trowel for the correct application of stage makeup, the finished product actually looked really good.

My hair appointment took longer than it should have; travelling to Portugal Joondalup and back, but nevertheless it had me on my way to looking stage ready for the comp.

3 more diuretics later and it was 8am and we’d picked up my workmate and friend Tess where being in such a rush led to an unfortunate accident involving my mobile phone sliding off the roof of my car. However, a last minute dash to save it from being crushed was successful, and from there we reached the Embassy Ballroom relatively unscathed.

We spotted my coach Firas and found a table near the middle and I had just enough time to fit in a banana before we were instructed to head backstage and tan up. Strictly girls only on the left, and boys only on the right.

Tess and I soon found that the ‘female only’ change rooms backstage were unbelievably ‘open’ when faced by naked women everywhere, accompanied by a few male backstage helpers who seemed unaffected by the overload of naked breasts surrounding them. Uncomfortably, I shuffled my way through and awkwardly kept my eyes on the roof so as not to be seen to be concentrating on any of my competitors that bit too much.

All tanned up and ready to go, I pinned my competitor number 29 to my barely there costume of blue dental floss and diamantes, and my transformation into figure competitor was complete.

First to come was our symmetry and compulsory muscularity posing rounds. I started to become nervous, and was flooded with ideas about the huge possibility that I may trip trying to wobble my way up the steps to the stage in the ridiculously giant, yet apparently necessary 5 inch high heels I was wearing. Being used to wearing flat comfortable joggers 95% of the time, the inevitability of the situation weighed heavily on my mind. This thought was quickly counteracted by the idea that perhaps (with any luck) some or even all of my competitors could also trip and fall, and while I was surrounded by so many other cut, ripped and muscularly lean bodies, this may be the only chance I realistically had at a place. ‘Snap out of it’, I told myself and then suddenly, as if from god, a long forgotten treasure appeared in front of my face.

It was a delicious square of heavenly fudge brownie dessert chocolate that Tess was feeding me in order to keep my sugar levels up and energy high. Before I knew it, without any hint of hesitation, I instinctively gobbled it up like some kind of savage animal, and, it was gone almost as if it had never been there in the first place. Oh sweet sweet sugar, how I had missed you.

Back to business and Firas ran me through a few resistance exercises to get the blood flowing and veins large. Meanwhile, Tess quizzed a bystander as to which category she was competing in and we quickly exchanged doubtful looks when we were so confidently told ‘the sexy one’.

This ‘sexy’ category turned out to be the sports models, where contrary to initial beliefs that sports models would be sporty, slim and toned, they all seemed to be ridiculously fake breasted, big headed, and of course, perfectly totally beautiful.

Trying to stay focused, and calm, we were all lined up in our numbers and I nervously wished everyone the best of luck as we were cued to make our way onstage.

This was my big moment, the one all my hard training had been for, ‘just don’t stack it in your high heels, concentrate’ I thought, as I began shuffling my way forward and up the stairs.

I heard my name get called and surprisingly managed to stride my way on stage rather confidently, and it wasn’t until I stood in my initial stage pose that I realised all those people who had told me I wouldn’t be able to see the audience through the stage lights, were utterly wrong!

Panic! I could see all faces leering up at me, judges included as my legs started shaking uncontrollably and my nerves started taking over. I tried to smile and thought to tense my thighs, hold them tight, stop the shaking, but then my whole body just started shaking too!

Relax! Just relax, I willed myself and relaxed my legs a little, hoping to reduce the shaking back to just my lower body. The move was successful just as it was my turn to come forward and run through my symmetry poses.

So far so good, my symmetry poses felt like they went reasonably well as I was instructed to step back into line as they called various combinations of girls forward to repeat their symmetry poses for comparison.

I’m sure it was another ten minutes before we got to the muscularity poses and I finally began to relax into it. I kept thinking of all my friends and family to keep the smile on my face, as well as the very butch ‘go Jamie’ that was being belted out from the crowd every five seconds by Firas.

My turn came again and although I felt a little short and small in comparison to some of the other girls, the fact that I was one of the only two to correctly perform each pose boosted my confidence. I kept remembering Firas’s advice to wait and perform each pose when I’m ready, no rush, so by the time I calmly moved into my last pose (abs and thigh) I realised I was the last person to tense up and that it generated somewhat of a cheer from the crowd. Woohoo! I had a big smile on my face. This is what it had all been for, and I finally was able to fully appreciate the pleasure in being up on stage.

Old Photo from INBA Natural Physique State Titles 2007 – Standard posing round.

We all exited the stage after a good 30mins, relieved that that was the end of the hard part. The only thing left was our dancing/posing routines to perform later that night (minus the heels, thank goodness!) which I was sure would go well from my previous experience as a dancer.

We stayed and watched a few other categories and I came to the conclusion that this must be about the only place a man can get away with wearing gold sparkly spandex underwear without being harassed about their sexuality. Mind you, with the mammoth men on stage before me I didn’t think anyone would be silly enough to fling a cheeky comment their way, let alone stay within such close proximity to experience the reaction that might explode from a huge muscly bodybuilder who was angry.