Friday, September 6, 2013

Competition Wrap-up - IFBB North Americans

Oh my goodness - where to even begin when describing my experience at my first National competition last weekend in Pittsburgh - the IFBB North American Championships. Ha! I guess the best place to start would be with saying what an overall amazing experience it all was!!
 
I boarded my flight on Thursday morning, prepped with my sweet potatoes and chicken for the ride and feeling kind of rough. When I say rough, the night before I had a total melt down. I felt overly thin and was completely flat. My body just looked depleted and wasn't full, not at all what we planned for but my body was just sucking up the carbs and not making any change and instead was just burning them all off like it was nothing. I was eating a full sweet potato every two hours, along with chicken and saw absolutely no change. As I sat there waiting for my flight all I could do was ask myself "what am I going to do?". My coach mentioned eating throughout the night if my body still refused to fill out, so of course I thought to myself that I was in for a long night, lovely.  Once I landed in Pittsburgh I met up with two other competitors, Wanda (physique) and Sabina (figure) and we grabbed a cab together to make our way to our hotel. I learned a lot from these two ladies - all about cooking collard greens. :) Gotta love southern girls!

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don't mind me looking like a hot mess. 

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First thing was first - check into the hotel, followed up by checking into the show.  I was so pleasantly surprised on how organized everything was with the show check-in process.  With 840 competitors you'd assume everything would be crazy and a total mad house, but no - I was checked in within 5 minutes, had my number, my height checked and was heading up to my room with a goody bag, no lie. Now, upon check-in to the hotel we were informed to grab some stained sheets that were from previous years in the lobby, along with towels so not to incur any additional charges in the room due to our spray tans rubbing off, this cracked me up - changing my hotel bed sheets, but hey it makes perfect sense. With a few minutes to spare before my spray tan all I could do was stretch out on my bed and just relax, soaking it all in.

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goody bag items.

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 room service menu. i lived on this!

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the buffet menu.
 
Next up - spray tannn. Whoo! Once again, completely organized and a super speedy process.  Every person had their own little tent to stand in while waiting in the nude to be up next to get sprayed, which was nice so we weren't all in a naked party with total strangers.
 
After tanning I headed back to my room and devoured more sweet potatoes and chicken, and sprawled out on my king size bed for a nice nap. I woke up just in time for my meal of the day which was 4 pancakes with maple syrup and some egg whites. All day I was super pumped up for this meal, and when it came time to eat it I wasn't disappointed in the slightest, to say the least. With that said - I hit the sheets and dreamed of trophies and orange bodies... :)
 
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all tanned up with my white face.
 
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yummmmm.
 
Friday morning - wake up call at 5:00am, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, I began to get ready for the day. Spray tan touch-ups at 7:15am, the competitors meeting began at 8:00am and prejudging beginning at 9:00am. It may have seemed a bit early for me to be getting up at 5:00am, but I was super excited and wanted to take my time, as well as eat a good meal before I headed up to get sprayed, and to continue my carb loading. After fixing my hair up, and preparing all my makeup for later I shoveled down another sweet potato and a 6oz piece of chicken.  Delicious.  Looking in the mirror - I was finally happy, actually over-joyed, with how my body was filling out, at last I felt great! 

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Spray tan touch up - check. Competitors meeting - check. Over the phone prayer with my coach and fellow teammate - check.  Hauling butt upstairs to touch-up my hair and apply my show makeup - check.  Arriving downstairs in the competitors holding room - 9:45am - check.  Ahhh.  Relief.  Here I was - at last, ready to get on that stage.  I must say it's one of the coolest experiences to see all these people in the room, ready to strut their stuff on stage and show off all of their hard work. No one is against one another, yet everyone is there wanting one thing - to do their best and hopefully bring home a trophy.  Every which way you looked there was someone standing in their posing suits, fixing their hair, fixing their makeup, practicing posing in front of one of the million stand up mirrors fixed against the walls with plastic sheets hanging in back of them to assure no stains would be on the walls, even people sleeping on the floors just awaiting their class to be called out.  Then you had people getting butt glue for their suits, individuals from the tanning company rubbing peoples bodies with glaze and touching up spots within their tans, the list goes on and on.  One can really not describe the experience - it's something that is just amazing.  It makes me smile.  This is why I love the sport so much, just seeing how so many people can love something so much, spend weeks upon weeks prepping their bodies for 8 seconds of individual stage time and maybe 5 minutes total on a stage and for what? Money? No. For personal perseverance. Absolutely amazing.

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 a bomb hit my bathroom. hahahaha. (note the sweet potato in the background! lol)
 

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another bikini competitor I met, Bree.
 

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Each class was lined up, competitors arranged by their numbers and led to one room after another before we hit the stage. We were all sweaty, hot, nervous, anxious and ready to do this - but stood patiently and chatted with one another. I loved the girls within my class, everyone seemed to really love the sport and were equally as excited as I was. One of the girls was just like me, her first National show, and second show ever, so we instantly were pumped up for one another, and couldn't wait to get out there and do our thing.

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SHOWTIME - My class was seperated into two groups of about 10 girls, one with 11 I believe, and brought out onto the stage in a single file line to hit our front poses and back poses, then arranged at an angle on the side - each group on each side. At this point we were called out to do our individuals and then placed back in line. I must say I was super bummed with my individual, as I stumbled in my back pose and then immediately went rigid because I was thrown off, however, it is what it is and I can't go back and change it. However, I don't doubt this docked my score. No biggie though - I've got it next time :)

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After we all did our individuals first call-outs began. I remember standing there on stage with my mouth quivering from smiling so hard and my legs shaking from arching my back so hard and trying to maintain perfect posture. As I heard each number being called out I repeated my own number over and over again in my head, praying I would hear it next. I didn't get first call outs. My heart sank a little, but at the same time, it was okay. Second call outs - at last, my number was called. Whoo! I remember my heart jumping immediately and strutting out on that stage being super proud to be in second call outs for my first National show, especially after stumbling on stage. I really couldn't ask for more :)

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Immediately after leaving the stage I headed back to the holding room to grab my things and noticed my phone going crazy with texts from my coach, friends, family and Facebook comments, etc. all asking how things were going, and others screaming in excitement that I received second call outs. All I really could think of at this point though was just being EXHAUSTED and wanting to lay down.  I popped back up to my room and laid back down, set my alarm and just dozed off, along with responding to people here and there on my phone.  Finals were next and I wanted to make sure I was prepared for that.
 
I won't lie I did indulge in some cookies and chips in my room before finals. I didn't get crazy, but I definitely had a few. I knew I wasn't going to be in any big photos, so I figured, why not? Ha!
 
I headed back downstairs a few hours later, I'd say at about 8:15pm and was in the mix of the Men's Physique group. Bikini open was the last division on the showcard, and with being in Class F - we were the very last class to come out - besides bikini open overall placings. We were each brought out onto the stage individually, did 1 front pose, were introduced and then made our way off the stage and the top 5 were brought back on. Ahh .. it was bittersweet. After all my hard work - I was done. It made me sad, but at the same time I was ready to EAT something utterly disgusting.


 
I raced up to my room, took a quick shower to get rid of my crazy dark tan so I wouldn't get a side-eye out on the town and then jumped in a cab and made my way over to Primanti Brothers.  I planned this out literally 2 months ago.  Thank you Food Network, Diners Drive-ins and Dives - you didn't steer me wrong :) I devoured the most amazing sandwich - pastrami, swiss, an egg, french fries, coleslaw all on Italian bread with a dash of hot sauce, and licked my fingers clean. Amazing. Simply.





 
Now - this is the part where my trip became real - and when I say real - I mean I thought I was either a.) being punk'd or b.) was in a movie. Seriously. After leaving Primanti Brothers I ventured out onto the street looking for a cab.  Immediately I was approached by a man standing on the street whom introduced himself as Eric and proceeded to inform me he was in from out of town. We chatted shortly and then both caught glimpse of a taxi driving by and waved our arms. Eric ran out into the street and jumped in the cab and I thought "hmm, guess I'll wait for the next one". Quite the contrary. Down rolled the window, and it turned out to be the same cab driver that took me out to Primanti Brothers to begin with. I hear him yell out to me "COME ON GET IN!!!". What else would I do? So, I did just that. I jumped in the backseat, and Eric moved to the front. Eric insisted on heading to his location first (quite the gentleman as you can tell), and so I was brought along for the ride, which turned out to be about 15 minutes away. The entire ride consisted of asking my advice and thoughts on "Insanity" and how Eric could get "fit" without hitting the gym a whole lot. Good times.
 
Now this is where things get interesting.  Upon arrival to Eric's bar hopping spot, with millions of drunk people wandering around he jumps out of the cab and up come running a couple at full speed trying to jump in the backseat of the cab with me.   I inform them I am staying in the cab and they would need to find another one.  Out from the front seat I hear the driver yell "get up front, they can ride too!".  Of course I instantly go in panic mode thinking - ummm it's like 12:30am - I'm beat, and I have a flight the next day - I cannot be riding around in some cab all night in Pittsburgh. Ha!  I was informed I would be dropped off next, and so I obliged and jumped in the front seat. (just a side note - I can barely write this next part without laughing hysterically and I can only hope I portray it as well as it all played out.)
 
As the couple closed the door to the backseat and I climbed up front I hear the man yell to me "you are beautifullll!!! your body is AMAZINGGGGG OMG!!!".  At this point I am literally shocked and in disbelief. Here is a man with a woman (whom turned out to be his live in girlfriend) saying this stuff to me, right in front of her.  I turn around and simply say "my someone has had a few drinks, huh?".  The girl coos out to me that apparently this was the norm and she was fine with it, because at least it was the truth.  I couldn't help but just laugh.  Onward continues with the comments of how I look, and I sit there just laughing to myself in disbelief.  As we drive further the man in the backseat, obviously belligerent, is screaming at every car we pass telling our cab driver to race them, which in turn the cab driver fed into and would nail the gas and give us all whip lash.  All the cab windows were down, the wind was blowing, the guy is randomly screaming in the backseat and then hears Phil Collins on the radio and screams to the cab driver to crank it.  Here we are driving through the streets of Pittsburgh - Phil Collins cranked, windows down, our cab driver driving like a manic, a drunken man in the backseat yelling and singing Phil Collins at the top of his lungs.  We approached a stoplight shortly thereafter, and three men came running down the road attempting to jump in the cab with us, hanging their head in my window and being saddened we wouldn't let them jump in but then instead start telling me how "beautiful" I was (apparently I was on my game that night!).  On that note the cab driver cranks up the windows and catches the mans head in the window and he bumps it on the roof to get out, with our tires screeching off from the stoplight, total disaster.  At this point the man in the backseat yells to the cab driver that if he reached 125mph he would give him $125.00.   On that note - the cabbie FLOORED it and off we went screeching down the highway.  Myself and girl in the backseat screamed in horror.  I think I even saw my life flash before my eyes.  With the girl in the backseat practically in tears, me screaming profanities and yelling "STOP THE CAB I WANT TO GET OUT!!!!" we finally halted to a stop and reached our exit. Phew. Another day to live.  I could not get out of the cab fast enough.
 
So, overall - what an absolutely amazing trip. A trip of a lifetime - and who would've thought? As cheesy as it may sound, I feel so blessed to have been able to do this and really cannot say enough to all those that have helped and supported me along the way!  A huge thank you to my prep coach, Craig Gorham, my posing coach Nicole Duncan and my friends and family for supporting me during all of my crazy carb deprived days and tolerating me, as well as keeping me motivated in my times of weakness.

I'm so super excited for the next show and have a pretty good idea of my the line-up so far.  I'm hoping to do the Arnold Classic at the end of February, followed up by the Junior USA's in South Carolina in May, the USAs in Vegas in July (for my bday) and then on from there.  I can't say enough - but I can say - I LOVE this sport, and I'm not stopping anytime soon.  My final placing came in as 11th, and you know what - I'm stoked with that. Next go round - I'm hoping to be in the top 8. Let's do this :) <3 Nicole

"npc" "npc news online" "ifbb north americans 2013" "npc bikini competitor" "bikini competitor" "bikini competitor class f" "gym girl" "fitness model" "nicole kubon" "nicole markovic kubon" "fitness" "fit moms" "female fitness competitors" "bikini model" "bikini competitions" "npc national bikini competitor"

"npc" "npc news online" "ifbb north americans 2013" "npc bikini competitor" "bikini competitor" "bikini competitor class f" "gym girl" "fitness model" "nicole kubon" "nicole markovic kubon" "fitness" "fit moms" "female fitness competitors" "bikini model" "bikini competitions" "npc national bikini competitor"
 

5 comments:

  1. Way to go! If you do the Arnold Classic, we can get a group of Ohio girls to come watch and do a meet up!

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    1. That would be awesome!! I'm definitely planning on it, but just have to wait to see if the approve my application. They pick who they want to be in their shows based on the applicants :) I will let you guys know.

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  2. AWESOME Blog post!! You go girl! Loveeee reading all your posts! Keep up the hard work!

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    1. Thank you Stacey!! I need to get you up here next. :)

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  3. Just the other day I was thinking to my self "I hadn’t read anything nice in a while' sheer coincidence that I find your blog! Thank you for the post I enjoyed it allot. You made the sport sound like allot of fun! [I personally am not in to all that hard work, but the way you talk about it and the pictures made it seem like a lot of fun and I enjoyed the story, thank you. good luck withit

    Mendi Patsi
    South Africa

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