Two weeks before the competition ... Holy cow, it's almost here!
It was about this time I was feeling the heat. I decided I would shave my whole body to get used to the feeling. Yes I did cut myself a few times. One morning I went out for a bike ride, and oops, I wiped out. Yes, I totally skinned my knee bad! This would never heal before the competition. It really turned out to be no big deal. Right now I was worried about my tan. I spent every day with my shirt off. At night I would try the tanning products. I remember the first time I tried Pro Tan. It worked great! I was so dark. I also tried some Jan Tana products. The sunless tan worked all right, but not as good as the Pro Tan. Then I tried the Competition Tan by Jan Tana. It turned me black! Luckily, it was only on my chest.
Is that really what I will be wearing on stage?!
One and a half weeks out, I finally got my posing trunks. I had no idea the would be so small. I took them home and looked in the mirror. They weren't so bad ... for french-cut underwear! I chose a red color for my blonde hair and skin type. I wasn't sure I wanted to wear those. Oh well, no turning back now. By this time I was totally stressed out. My love handles and stomach were still there. I never told anyone that I would awake in the middle of the night to grab myself a bowl of ice cream. It was really hard to sleep on this diet! So, what I did was pick myself up some WaterShed dieuretics. I will never know if they worked. About this time I decided to register for the competition. I remember how nervous I was to go to the sponsor of the competition. I did not want them to see how small I was. So I wore a lot of clothes. I ended up paying 45 dollars. Had I registered months before, it would have cost twenty.
Two days before the competition ...
Up until this time, I had not been able to get ahold of Mitch. Finally, out of desparation I called his work one more time. I left him a message and he called me back. He had been trying to reach me for some time. At this point, I was scared off my butt! I literally had no routine put together, had no idea how to pose, and had no idea what to expect. Mitch made an appointment for me to visit him that night so he could help me. I did have a song picked out, and up until this time I had been studying a couple of videos Bodybuilding.com had given me called Perfect Posing and Perfect Routine. I highly recommend those. That morning I painted myself with the competition paint. I was very black! The funny thing is, I went in to work that day. I really had to do a lot of explaining. Also, I got my haircut that day. My barber was suprised. Also I went to the grocery store in my tank top and shorts because that was all I could wear. I explained to the cashier what was going on.
Time with Mitch ...
I think Mitch was a little suprised that I wasn't prepared. I didn't know anything! So he started my from ground zero. He took me through all the mandatory poses and had me practice them. Then we put my routine together. Then I went home.
One day before the competition ...
This day was great. I worked all morning, and then I came home and posed all day. Interestingly enough, the more I posed, the more ripped I got. Mitch was suprised by how good I looked yesterday, and he promised me that if I practiced a ton, I would be totally ripped. I got pretty good. When I went to see Mitch that night, he was astounded. I looked good. We recorded my music and finished working out the kinks in the routine. He told me what to expect and sent me on my way. When I got home, I visited with my dad and had him paint me one more time with a mixture I made of Hawaiian Tropic dark tanning oil and competition paint. Then I went through my routine a couple of times for him. Then I went to visit my friends, the Turner family.The funny thing was I knocked on the door and the kids wouldn't let me in because they didn't recognize me. So, I entered through the side and visited with the kids. The parents arrived and I showed them my routine. They were excited for me. Thank you to the Turner family for all your support. That night, I put my trunks in the wash ... big mistake (you'll find out later). I went to bed and slept pretty good.
Boy oh boy was I pumped and nervous. As I admired my body all painted to perfection, I noticed that I still had some hair left. So, I decided to try the Jan Tana hair remover ... BIG MISTAKE! OK, so picture this, I'm all painted up ready to go, I have white hair removal lotion on and I'm sitting in front of the t.v. To my great suprise, my paint starts coming off! Not only that, but my skin is turning green!! I was freaking! I quickly jumped into the shower to get it all off. It did remove the hair, but that's not all it removed. I was as white as I could be! I had to start all over. In the morning, my sheets were brown (for the obvious reason). I woke up two hours before weigh in and woke my dad up to paint me one last time. I practiced my routine a couple more times and then I was off. I of course arrived at the competition a half hour early. When I got to the building it was nothing I had ever expected. Scared off my butt, I went through the doors and entered the hallway. I looked around and had no idea where to go. I wandered over to the "no admittance" hall and casually passed through. I guess I was in the right place. There was Bryna and a bunch of fitness girls warming up. Boy was I relieved to see someone I knew. I quickly went over and talked to her. I could see no registration table, no weigh in, no nothing. Heck, I was too scared to ask anyway. As time passed a few of the competitors showed up. I said hi to them but it was so weird. On top of that, I was the only competitor all painted up. I felt so alone. Finally, they started setting up registration. I excitedly went to the bathroom to change and I noticed that my posing trunks didn't fit me anymore. I was ready to die!
So In a panic, I rushed over to Bryna and asked her if I could use her Bikini Bite glue. I took the glue and rushed to the bathroom to fix my trunks when the sponsor of the competition came into the bathroom. I was so embarassed. I told him I had washed my trunks the night before and they didn't fit anymore. He pretty much told me I was screwed if I didn't get some more. So I rushed over to the Bodybuilding.com store where they gladly assisted me with some new trunks. This time they were blue instead of red. Just a tip for anyone... wear black trunks for pre-judging because your paint and oil gets all over your trunks. I then proceeded on to the registration table where I confirmed that I was there and also I got my number and weighed in. I weighed 171 pounds. Perfect! I was then informed that they had combined my weight class with the one above it. I was disappointed. After that I went to purchase my NPC card for $50. I then waited for a couple of hours before It would be my turn to pose. Pacing through the hallways and backstage seemed endless. I thought I would never get my turn.
I finally got a chance to pose. Some guy came backstage and told us (the novice men) to get ready. The first thing I did was check my paint and oil. Ryan DeLuca my good friend helped me out a lot. I then went over to the weight set they provided and started getting pumped. Then we all got in line and proceeded to enter the stage in single file. The first pose the judges called out was a side chest. Then they had us give a side tricep. Then they had us turn and give a back double bicep. Then we did a lat spread. Then we did another quarter turn and gave a side chest, then we faced the judges and gave a front lat spread and an abdominal pose. Then we divided into two groups and the first group posed. It seemed to last forever. Then my group was asked to come forward. I thought they'd never ask. The judges took us through all the turns and had us do a few poses. It seemed to pass quickly. Overall, I think we were up there for 20 minutes. It was difficult to stay flexed for that long. After that was over, I went and visited all the booths in the back and visited with Bodybuilding.com associates. I picked up some free protein bars and shakes. I was so hungry! Then I went home ad slept for three hours. I was at prejudging from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The night of the show ...
I arrived at the show at about 5:30. I had to pay for parking ... again! This time I wasn't so nervous. I knew the hard part was over. I went backstage and relaxed while going through my routine in my head. I'd made some friends in pre-judging so I didn't feel so alone this time. To make things even better, my dad showed up. You know, just about anyone could have come backstage without buying a ticket. If I had known that, I would have told more people. My dad gave me some encouragement and I went to watch the show. On the big screen, I was able to see a recording of the pre-judging. I looked suprisingly good. As the night show progressed, I visited with some of my friends and had a good time. I had a lot of time to kill because my group was the last to pose. To my greatest suprise, Mike Matarazzo was the guest poser for the night. Oh my goodness! He was HUGE! Seriously this guy was two of me. I watched him lift weights on the same weights I was using. I even lifted beside him a couple times.
Finally ... It's my turn!
Holy cow was I nervous. Before it was to be my turn we were all called on stage for everyone to look at us. I was behind stage waiting for them to announce my name. Finally they did, and I made my appearance. My routine went good. The hard part was trying to hear the music so I could do my routine right. I totally started at the wrong time because I couldn't hear the music. I had to improvise. The trick is to pose in circles, so I did. I tried my best to keep up with the music.
Overall, I think I did good. After everyone was done with their routines, the judges called us all back on stage. We then did a pose down for fun. It was great.
Pizza and beer for everyone ...
Bodybuilders are strange people. We diet like maniacs for 12 weeks then we eat like 10-year olds after the competition. I was suprised to see that Pizza Hut was sponsoring the competition. There was all-you-can-eat pizza for all the competitors backstage. Everyone was pigging out. At first I was hesitant, but after a while the pizza called my name. I ate and ate until I couldn't eat anymore. I didn't win anything at the competition. The thing is, I didn't really care. I had actually competed! I looked good! I was proud of myself. So, I ate a ton of pizza to celebrate.
After the competition...
Afterward I went home and relaxed. I was dog tired. For the next couple of weeks I didn't step foot in a gym or do any aerobics. I did some posing for my friends, but that was about it. I ate and ate and ate. Cookies ... hot dogs ... soda pop ... candy ... all that stuff. Then after awhile I started to feel gross. After gaining 10 pounds and going fron 4% bodyfat to 14% I felt a lot different. I don't take my shirt off willingly anymore, neither do I flex unless asked to. My muscles are bigger now because they are nutritionally fed, but once again, I have fat on my tummy. I am back in the gym now and am running regularly. It's quite the transition. Other things are more important to me now ... like my family and friends.
I would like to thank all those who made this possible. Especially God and Bodybuilding.com and my dad.
UPDATE! 08/29/00 - I just received a full scholarship to Southern Virginia College for baseball. I am also working on writing a book about my experience with a full guide about competing in bodybuilding.
I was recently the Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week. Check out my profile at http://www.bodybuilders.com/renwilk.htm
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