Once there, I weighed in at 175 lbs which put me into the Men's Open Light/Middleweight category. The weight classes had to be combined into just two weight class categories separated by a cutoff of 180 lbs, due to lack of interest. Surprisingly for a pro-qualifier, there were twenty-four Novice competitors as opposed to only fourteen in the Open weight classes. The promoters, James and Bianca Purtell, of Utah, gave us a walk-through tour of the facility, the direction of the stage events and the schedule for pre-judging and the night show. We were given full useof the school's weight room, which was by far the largest and nicest of all thirteen bodybuilding shows I've competed in. It became very obvious how serious each competitor was early on by the way everyone quickly scattered to their own little corner of the room to warm up, pump up and oil up. As eyes danced around the room at all the other competitors, only muttered and sometimes whispered words could be heard. Everyone had their game faces on, including myself.
I am second from the right.
As always, the Open Men's division was the last to compete. But when the time arose, I felt ready for the challenge. Our Light/Middleweight class consisted of nine guys, which made for a grueling thirty minutes of hardcore posing. It was obvious that the judges were having a difficult time coming up with the top five by the way they kept moving guys around. It was reassuring that the judges never moved me, but I have to say that I already felt completely prepared and relaxed the minute we stepped out on stage. I felt poised and confident with the improvements made this year through my consistent heavy training in the gym, my discovery of proper supplementation and my experimental dieting process. After what seemed like forever, the judges finally let us file off the stage and come back individually for a sixty second posing routine to complete our division of competition. The decisions had already been made and all that wa left to do was wait.
By the time we left pre-judging, it was around 2:00 in the afternoon and we were tired and starving. We ate lunch and tried to get a nap to get rested for the night show. I took another shower to get refreshed before heading back to the school for the evenings festivities at 7:30 p.m. We decided to watch the first thiry minutes of the show before going outside for one more coat of Dream Tan and a little posing oil. I started pumping up about thirty minutes before the Open Women's division began. Unfortunately, that caused us to miss the intermission entertainment performed by Pro Wrestler, Pro Musical Artist/Violinist and International Bodybuilding Champion, Lynette Thredgold. We did get to see her practice her performance briefly, earlier in the day, and she was quite impressive. I'm sure we'll be glad we ordered the videotape of the show so we can watch her under more relaxed circumstances.
That's me in the middle.
I am third from the left.
While continuing to pump up in the weight room, I was mentally going through each mandatory pose and repeated steps of my night routine to music. It had already been announced earlier that morning that everyone competing would be performing their night routines during the show instead of just the top fiv place winners. Before I knew it, they were escorting us back down the long hallway to the stage. They introduced us as a weight class to show the audiences a few mandatory poses before filing us back off the stage to come back individually for our sixty second night routines. It wasn't long before the top five were announced for a final pose-down. It was obvious which guys were the home crowd favorites, but what mattered most was who the judges favorites were.
My wife had shared with me earlier that it would probably be close between myself and one other competitor from Utah. When the announcer got down to 1st and 2nd place, my wife's prediction had been proven. My competitor's name was Chris Butt. He was about 5' 6" and was said to have weighed in at around 167 lbs. He was definitely shredded and had great symmetry. Although we were very close in comparison, the judges gave me 2nd place. In the end, it was Chris and the Heavyweight winner, Aaron Schow (another Idahoan), competing for the Overall title and the Pro Card. Ultimately, it was Chris Butt who took it all home. I must say that I had some disappointments about winning second place, but I can use the experience to get refocused and train even harder for the impending Northwest Natural Bodybuilding Pro-Qualifier coming up June 2nd, here in Boise, Idaho.