I grab my bag, which I had pre-packed last night. I check over my cooler one more time just to make sure nothing is missing. In this depleted state I feel I might die if I forgot one piece of food. I kiss my wife and kids, who are still in the bed sleeping, and off I go. It's about a 30 min drive to the show, which seems like and eternity for me. I keep going over and over my posing routine...Am I in good enough shape to win? Will there be some freak that no one has ever seen mysteriously show up and ruin my day, or will I be that freak that shows up and ruins some one else's day? I am constantly checking and rechecking my bag for my posing music, my headphones, my food, "damn Mike snap out of it" I am at my best and I am going to win this show regardless of who shows up.
As usual I am one of the first to show up. The parking lot is nearly empty when I pull into it. As I am gathering up my things from my car I glance around the parking lot to see the competition. Gladly I see that no one yet can touch me. These guys must be the lightweights or at most middleweights. I grab my headphones and get into my own world and will stay in my own world until the meeting starts in one hour. When I walk into the auditorium I am pointed to the meeting room, which will also serve as the backstage and pump up room. Good there is a seat in the corner away from everybody and it will allow me to check out the other bodybuilders as they enter the room. One by one they enter, some wear shorts and tank tops, some wearing warm-ups, some wear whatever will show off their best body parts. I choose to come to shows fully covered, the only thing you can see is my hands and head. I like to keep the other guys mind working as they try to imagine how damn good I look under my clothes. So far around 50 total competitors have come in, including men, women and the fitness ladies but still no real competition for me.
Well it's about ten minutes until the meeting starts, which I hope doesn't last too long because these things are so boring it's like watching paint dry. Then as I turn around to the door, my worst fear for the day comes true, a genetically gifted black guy is coming in the room. As he walks through the door eyeing the other bodybuilders in the room I know that he is looking for his competition too. He is wearing a tank top and the baggy gym pants so I can't get a good judge on his overall body by my GOD his arms are perfect and are ripped to shreds. His back is not thick but has the shape that we all long for. His shoulders are unbelievable. He sits down with his buddy that came in with him as his backstage support for the day. He still hasn't noticed me yet but that's because I am completely covered. I get his name when they are handing out numbers: Anthony Jackson and he will be wearing number 24.
Then they call my name, Mike Jones, as I am walking up to the front to get my number, 30, I can see him checking me out, even being totally covered up there is no doubting the amount of muscle mass I have. Now we both know who are main competition will be, each other.
"Anthony Jackson." He gets up from his seat and walks up for the weigh-in. I watch closely as he removes his top and then his pants, you could hear the other bodybuilders in the room comment on this guy and make him the guy to beat. His legs aren't great but they are shredded beyond belief. This guy has more striation on his ass than anybody I have ever seen.
I can barely hear them as they say his weight "231lbs". This guys bone structure is small because I would have bet my life that he was 240 at least. One by one other bodybuilders' weigh-in, none that are all that impressive, then I hear "Mike Jones". My turn now, I can see a lot of people watching as I approach the scales. I remove my pants first, then I can hear, "Holy-#%&^", "Oh my God", "Look at that guy", I knew that my legs would draw a lot of attention. They are one of my best body parts. I go to remove my shirt and as I do the same reaction is heard throughout the room. "Mike Jones weighs in at 242lbs". So that puts Mr. Anthony and myself in the super heavy weight class together to battle it out. I can see Anthony looking at me as I return to my seat, but as I expected it's a very arrogant look; of course he has no real reason to be worried because the dude looks great. I could hear some of the other bodybuilders in the room who where talking about how they would have a shot at the overall title but now they know that who ever wins the battle between Anthony and myself will land that top prize.
As everyone is putting the last bit of oil on themselves and getting ready for prejudging I notice Anthony looking my way. He has that "This show is mine" look on his face. As I look at myself in the mirror while I am putting the finishing touches on my pump up and making sure I have just the right amount of oil applied when I hear "Hey bro, why don't you just quit and save yourself the embarrassment of me beating you ass" I look up to only see Anthony walking off. Ah, you got to love it when people try to play mind games with you.
When they call for the super heavies I head for the stage. When I arrive I am standing right beside Anthony. He leans over and says, "You look a little smooth. I think you are retaining to much water". I lean back over and tell him to "kiss my ass". There are a total of ten competitors in our class. Most of which really belong in the heavies and some in the light heavies but they didn't want to shed the excess weight, to bad for them because this is a two-man race. As we go through the comparisons for a few minutes, which seemed like days finally it happened. "Competitors number 24 and 30 please come to the front". Now it's show time. We go through the mandatory poses. I whip him in all of them except front double biceps and rear double biceps. Although I have much more mass than he does his arms are perfect in every way. As we stand there relaxed I get the worse cramp in my hammy that after a few moments it works it's way up to my glutes. I stand there trying to keep a smile on my face and not hit the floor in pain. My muscles feel like they are tied up in a knot. "Damn, will they please hurry this up" I say to myself. After a couple of minutes of this I am just about to collapse in pain and if I do I know that this prick beside me will take advantage of it and the points. After what seemed like hours they send us backstage and they let us perform our posing routine. Thank God I am last, I go as fast as I can to the back and try to keep from falling flat on my face. After some stretching the cramps finally subside and I can get focused on my posing. If the cramps come back that will be all I can take, the cramps took a lot out of me. I sit and go over my posing, thinking about the music, thinking about Anthony who is out doing his routine right now. I eat a banana and sip on some water in hopes that the cramps wont come back right in the middle of my routine. Luckily I have about fifteen minutes until I am up.
"Contestant 30", my turn to prove to the judges why I am the best. As I walk to the stage I pass by Anthony and he says, "What ever you do don't do any back poses because its retaining way too much water." That does nothing but make me focus even more. As Static X's "Black and White" starts playing over the sound system I begin my routine. I start with a front double bicep that flows into the most muscular, then I become one with the music hitting pose after pose then as quickly as it started I hit my last pose. The small crowd that is there for the judging goes crazy. On the way to the backstage area I can see Anthony with a little more look of concern on his face that he had earlier. I go gather my things and I head back home for some rest, food and some final preparation.
When I get home my wife greets me at the door "Well, how did everything go?" she asks. I told her all about it for a few minutes then I go hit the bed for a couple of hours. When I wake I load myself with carbs. I am usually anywhere from five to eight pounds heavier for the night show because of the extra carbs and the water that my muscles absorb. I like to shock everyone in audience with my size at the night show, fuller muscles means more excitement. "Well it's about time for me to head back to the auditorium, are you and the kids going to be there around seven?" "Yeah, good luck baby," my wife says. Before I leave I make one more check over my bags. I grab my cooler and off I go. I am so nervous, which is not usually the case for the night show but I have never had to go up against a guy that looks as impressive as Anthony either. It's between him and me and the winner will be the overall champion so there is more pressure in this show than any of the others I have done.
As I arrive back at the auditorium I see the other bodybuilders arriving as well. I grab my bag and cooler and head in, as I look right and left glancing all around the parking lot looking for my competition. I stand outside for a few minutes just getting a little more fresh air before entering the building. As I am standing a few of the other bodybuilders walk by and wish me good luck, they tell me that it's my show to win but that is still not good enough to take the pre-game jitters away. After about ten minutes of standing outside I head in to the building, I walk to the main lobby where a lot of vendors selling bodybuilding merchandise are located. These are always the social spot of most bodybuilding shows. I see a few friends and chat a little with them but I have to cut it brief because it's almost show time.
Because I am in the super heavy weight class that means I will not go on until the very end of the show. So instead of sitting backstage and letting my mind drive me crazy I like to sit out in the audience at the very back all alone. I will get up and pace around, walk to the restroom to check myself out in the mirror, go back and sit some more. I will do this a thousand times until I have to go backstage for my preparation. After the light-heavies are finished I grab my stuff and head backstage. As I walk in I see Anthony, I swear he looks better tonight than he did this morning. I put my stuff down and grab my oil, as I stand in front of the mirror oiling up none other than Anthony comes over "You got way too much oil on man, you look way too washed out, he, he...I sure hope you don't cramp up on me out there like you tried to do this morning, I want to beat your ass so don't pussy out on me out there now." I was furious at this point and as I whipped around I got in his face "This is my show Mother F-----, you better bring more than a smart mouth on stage with you or I will wipe the floor with your sorry ass!" I turn back to the mirror and put the finishing touches on, after deciding everything looked good I head over to add the finishes to my pump up. As I am going through some of my poses I see Anthony mouth "it's on now" as he stares at me, I just nod my head in agreement. Ahh, the thrill of competition, isn't it just great?
I look from the side of the stage as Anthony goes through his routine, he looks great and he gets a very loud applause from the audience and he apparently had a ton of family and friends on hand because a section in the middle of the auditorium just went wild. After a couple of other guys finish with their routine it's now my turn. As I walk out to the middle of the stage I spread my latts in my relaxed pose. As the music starts I slowly cross my hands in front of me then raise them to a front double bicep, the crowd goes wild. From there I go to a most muscular, then to a front lat spread, then I got so wrapped up in the music I just went crazy. I went from one side of the stage to the other; I went to the very front of the stage right down in front of the judges so they could see first hand who was the best. I had the crowd on their feet, yelling and screaming for more. I stayed out on stage for a good sixty seconds after my music had stopped. When I finally regained control of myself I through my hands up in the air in a show of thanks to the crowd then headed back stage to wait for them to announce the top five in my class.
As they started to call out the top five in random order the only two names I heard was Anthony's and myself. As we stood out there in our relaxed pose they call out fourth runner up, third runner up, second runner up. Now it's down to Anthony and myself. As we stand there and the crowd is going insane, half the people were screaming for Anthony the other for me, it was crazy. Then the announcer comes on and tells us to do a couple of poses for the crowd. "And now, the first runner up for the super heavy weight class is" at this point every second seemed like hours or even days. I looked to the crowd and everything looked like it was going in slow motion or something. Then I here it "Anthony Jackson, and the winner is Mike Jones". I fall to my knees and damn near started crying. All this hard work has finally paid off. As I look back up I see Anthony's hand extended, I grab it and he pulls me to him giving me a hug "no hard feeling man, it's all about competition" he says. "None bro, thanks" I reply. I take my trophy and hit a couple of poses. I only have time to put my trophy backstage before I have to come back out for the overall posedown. I have always loved the posedown, it's just a time to go crazy and have some fun. At this point everyone in the auditorium knew who was going to win the overall so there was little excitement in the crowd. As a matter of fact most left after they announced the winner of the super heavies.
After the competition a lot of us bodybuilders and our family headed over to the Outback Steakhouse. It was a good time had by all and the food just hit the spot. I swear I ate ten thousand calories in that one meal. As I sat and ate I looked back for a few minutes on what I had accomplished but then I turned my focus to what I wanted to accomplish. At that point I put the win behind me and knew that first thing Monday morning it all started over again, training for the next show in less than nine months, the Nationals.
To Be Continued...