Brooks is on the far left
I've been to quite a few shows over the past 5 years, and I've seen some big cheering sections. But Brooks had the largest cheering section I've ever seen before. It was truly a moving experience to be a part of Ninja Turtle Green Team Brooks. His fans cheered so loudly, he had a difficult time hearing Jerry in the front row, shouting posing prompts to him! In the evening, he had twice as many fans cheering for him.
Seth Feroce was the guest poser. Very nice, personable guy!
Not only was it a thrill to be part of his team, their innocence and curiosity about the show and the sport was a good reminder of how many things I take for granted. I rarely stop to think about the reasons behind the things we do: tanning, shaving, posing, etc. I answered a bunch of questions and explained things as the show progressed ... and the more I talked about it, the more I realized just how passionate I am about this sport. I explained why we paint on such a dark tan (helps display the muscles better), why we shave our entire bodies (helps the tan adhere to the skin better and more evenly), why some of the competitors were dripping sweat on stage (the lights are hot, posing is really difficult, and they didn't nail their conditioning / drying out process), why some guys pose to a different side (shows their better side), why it's not ok for guys to bedazzle their posing trunks (not allowed in NPC), why it's called a "posing routine" instead of a "dance routine" (sounds more manly), why some guys are moved around in the lineup (the judges are comparing physiques side-by-side), what the difference is between figure and bikini (muscularity), etc.
Novice Heavyweight class
I wasn't annoyed by any of the questions, and really enjoyed answering them. I often don't realize how foreign the things we do seem to people outside of the industry. I don't think twice about carrying a cooler with me everywhere I go, shaving my whole body, getting airbrushed in a co-ed room, or standing on stage wearing less than what most women wear under their clothes every day.
Jerry and Brooks after the show
The whole experience renewed my enthusiasm for competing, and made me realize how strong my passion is for this sport. I love competing. I love the whole experience of being at a show. I was a bit burned out for awhile, but I'm relieved that my energy is renewed, and I'm once again looking forward to stepping on stage next year.
Jerry and me after the show
Brooks tied for 5th place in the Novice HW, and was thrilled. We all celebrated at our favorite diner after the show.
Post-show food bliss. Note the huge smile on his face!
A couple of our other friends (and M3World) members competed too. It was great to hang out with Jay, Alex, and their wives! They're all wonderful people whom I'm happy to call friends.
Brooks and his girlfriend, Katie, after the show
Saturday was a long day, but it was lots of fun! We all had a great time, and I was reminded again that competing isn't only about winning or advancing to the next level. It's about growing as a person, learning about yourself during the prep journey, and knowing that hard work does pay off.