The Decision To Change
I have been competing in The Fitness America Pageant for the past five years, almost six now. I began competing in "bikini" otherwise known as "figure" and ended competing in "Fitness". I never personally liked the term "bikini' competitor because when I told people my titles beginning with the word "bikini" I wasn't taken seriously.
I decided to go for Fitness to prove I was NOT just a "bikini" competitor and I wanted to be recognized for my hard work in another way.
In the past two years I have added a significant amount of muscle to my physique, which I am entirely pleased with and giving that I will no longer place where I am comfortable with in FAP, I decided it was time to move on.
I have had five great years as a Fitness America Cover Girl and there are no hard feelings, but the competitors that will place high in this federation will be a softer muscle tone than I. Seeing as I no longer resemble what they are striving for and have no plans on toning down at this time, it's time to take the titles I have won there and journey on...
Change In Physique, Change In Federation
Fitness America has recently added on "Figure" to their roster, which is wonderful for women who are not muscular enough or do not fit into the Bodybuilding credentials as well as those who are too muscular for the "bikini" competition and or model.
However, it is a new addition, therefore it still lacks in amount of how many competitors in a show. I believe Universe had a great first showing in this event, but at the smaller shows, it is still being slowly introduced and understood by those interested in what it is about.
The reason for myself not just going into the FIGURE competition in FAP is for one the lack of competitors at the moment as well as the fact that I want to progress with my career and have the option of moving up from the point of winning a show. I am looking forward to advancing in my knowledge of Fitness and nutrition as well as competing and making it my lifetime comittment, therefore, also striving for Pro status within NPC and IFBB.
Where To Go From Here?
I had thought about trying out NPC for a few years as well, but was well aware that my body was not where it needed to be at that level. After my last show in NY (FAP) I knew for sure that it would be my last.
I needed to be in a lineup with women who had similar physiques as myself, that to me was the only way I could feel I was being judged fairly. So, on November 4th, I entered my first NPC show. The Eastern Championships of Bodybuilding, Figure and Fitness in New York. It was a regional show and a national qualifier.
From the moment I arrived, I felt at home. Everyone there was extremely pleasant. I sat through my first NPC meeting nervously, but ready to get on with the show. I was lucky enough to have my friend Kenny there who has been my mentor through this experience. He helped show me around and make me feel more comfortable.
Even the people backstage were giving me tips on stage presence and posing. Once backstage, "Team Protan" was on hand to tan you up OR oil you down. They even helped me glue my butt! Yup, they were that good!
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The competitors were catered to in every aspect from start to finish. All of the people around me, Bodybuilders, Fitness and figure girls kept me entertained and made me completely at ease with my surroundings.
Stage Time Class B
So, keep in mind, I haven't the slightest idea as to what first call outs meant or if I was even posing properly. But, when I was told how great it was that I had gotten first call outs in both rounds and that my posing was terrific and feminine, I was a bit in awe.
The Long Haul To The Finish Line
Indeed, it was a very tiresome and long day of waiting. We went to lunch at a Gee Wiz diner in Tribeca and apparently the choice of competitors! My friend Rich had also recommended the diner telling me that it also catered to the competitors. That is quite impressive! Then, it was back to The Performing Arts Center for the pre show meeting and then on with the show.
The night show was the same as my entire experience, just wonderful. It ran as planned and the figure girls went on again in both our one and two piece suits. This time performing our "model turns" in the two piece.
We were all called out onstage to announce the top five, my heart could not possibly beat any faster, even though I was told I had good chances getting the first call outs, I still did not believe it. Then... #129!
That's me, that's me... I couldn't get to that lineup any faster. They announced fifth, fourth and in third... "ME," MOI. Yes! I got third place. I could not be happier at that moment. My competition was the best I had ever stood on stage with, I could not ask for more.
For the first time in my competitive years aside from performing my "Fitness Routine', I felt like an athlete. I felt very accomplished. I set forth a goal and achieved what to me seemed unattainable.
I loved the NPC. I am glad to be a part of the federation. All I can think of is what's next? I am after that pro card in full force! I want it. I am supercharged and ready more than ever to exceed limitations and to push my physique to its utmost limits and strive to be at the IFBB pro Figure status.
Photos By Rich Hasse. Thanks Rich!