A Taste of Victory and the Morning After
The Texas Shredder
was my sixth competition. I almost dropped out. We found out my mother’s cancer had spread back to her lymph nodes and she had to get fluid on her lung drained. My brother got himself in a jam and I had to fix it. The last thing I wanted to do was eat clean and train hard; what I really wanted was to curl in a ball with a box of chocolate chip cookies and cry. Instead my trainer, Robin Johnson Jr., taught me how to box. That was helpful.
If I could just make it through show prep, everything would be better. I made post it notes with the countdown. I worked with Dave Goodin on my posing and made sure to practice my poses 500 times. Literally.
It took a whole village for me to get through this show prep! My husband put up notes on the mirror to encourage me. My friends and online friends sent me positive messages so I wouldn’t quit. #DoItForLisa. My kids did cardio with me in the garage. “Come on Mom! You have to win a sword!” (Side note: Most competitions give the winners medals or trophies. What makes Texas Shredder so cool is that the Top 3 Winners get to win samurai swords. #IWantASword)
The morning of the competition I packed everything into my 6pac bag and headed over to get my hair extension clipped in, because if you must stand on stage in a bikini, why not look like Rapunzel?
Backstage was fun. My trainer had four clients competing that day, but he was doing the commentary for the live streaming of the show, so his Mini-Me, Liese Scott, was in charge. (FYI – Thomas won 3rd place Teen Bodybuilding and Adele won 1st place Women’s Physique).
I’ve done shows where you are alone; being with a group is way more fun. Liese did tanning touch ups and oil for everyone before we went on.
Robin would text us telling us what to eat and when. I had ground turkey and asparagus. It was disgusting, but I can’t complain about my abs.
While backstage I ran into Heidi and her sister Audrey who read (and liked) my book, She’s Losing It! about how I lost 50 lbs. training for my first bodybuilding competition three years ago. That was really cool. (By the way, if you would like buy my book, click here: BUY NOW)
Everyone in the Bikini Masters division (that’s fancy for “Women in their 40’s”) lined up and Liese handed me a set of 5 lb. dumbbells to pump up my arms before I went on. “Lateral raises. 30 reps,” she said. “What?!? 30 reps???” I whined way too loud. “Whoa! Look at that hate. I’m just the messenger.” “Robin isn’t even here and I hate him!” #IHateRobin. I did my reps plus three more exercises. Five pounds never felt so heavy. (Don’t judge me by my backstage pumping.)
It was time for Bikini Masters 40+ to go on. There were 18 women in the division. The playing field was level: We were middle aged. A lot of us were mothers. We all had backstories. But none of that mattered when we walked on stage.
My back was arched in an s-curve and I smiled at the judges. My husband was in the front row reminding me to twist my waist and for the first time on stage I felt relaxed and was having fun.
My friends in the audience were calling out my number and shouting silly things like the name of my blog, “Hey, She’s Losing It! Whoo! Whoo!” and “Looking sexy 103!” How could I not laugh?
Individual poses were done and we waited in a V formation on the sidelines. (A brief history here: This was my 6th competition. The first three I came in dead last. Like Dead. Last. Last show I was 20th of 38.) But today?
I was the first person called in the first callout. I was beaming! This was my moment, the one I had been working for, and it felt so good to be chosen.
Ultimately, I won 3rd place and came home with my trophy: a samurai sword. I still have work to do. My glutes need to be rounded, my hamstrings tightened. But now that I have my first taste of victory I want more; I told Robin that I want to win the next show.
The Morning After
The alarm went off at 4 a.m. and happily I went back to sleep. There is no morning cardio today. But by 6 a.m. my body couldn’t stay still so I started cleaning the house.
You know you’ve put housework on hold when you clean for an hour straight and the rooms still don’t really look much better. My mom was like, “Did you finish my taxes yet?” and my husband was like, “Where are my keys?” and my kids were all, “Did you do the laundry yet? We don’t have any underwear or socks!” and I’m all, “Blah, blah, blah your needs. Look at my sword.”
Winning a 3rd place sword is not the same level of distraction of, say having a rock star put on your cowboy hat, hold your hand and sing to you kind of distraction, but it’s pretty close.
So, yes, I did do the laundry, found the keys, cleaned the house and am working on finishing up my mother’s taxes, but I’m also smiling during these mundane tasks.
Some people enter a competition and win it their first time. They have that Cinderella story that all the fitness magazines love.
I’ll never have a Cinderella story because my story is The Little Engine That Could. Starting from the caboose, she said, “I think I can. I think I can. I know I can! I know I can!” and made it over the mountain.
It’s taken me three years and six competitions, but I’ve finally won a trophy and it feels amazing, because I’ve worked so hard for it.
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two.
She offers some advice she learned losing 50 lbs. by doing a bikini competition, including the diet she followed in her new book.
Check out what the Statesman Social calls “The Best New Year/New You Motivational Book!” “She’s Losing It!” which is available at Amazon.com.
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