Monday, August 27, 2012

Meeting Jay Cutler

This past weekend was so. much. FUN!!! It was the weekend of the Jay Cutler Baltimore Classic show in Maryland, and even though J and I weren't competing, we were still looking forward to this show for two big reasons:

  1. Rich Siegelman, the Maryland NPC Chairman and promoter of the show, asked J and me if we could pick up Jay Cutler from the airport on Friday night and bring him to the host hotel. Um YES!!
  2. We would be working with our sponsor, Big Big Formula, at the show expo. FUN!!
The weekend was shaping up to be an awesome experience!

Star Struck
As J and I sat listening to the live band at the Baltimore airport (weird, right?!), we both admitted that we were really nervous to spend some quality one-on-one time with Jay.

"Cruise" band playing at BWI
We both agreed not to ask a million questions so as not to come across as annoying fans (which we totally are!). While J worried about what to talk about, I worried about all the dog hair and glitter on the seat in my car. I hoped Jay wouldn't mind a little dog hair and glitter on his butt. I decided that since he has dogs, he'd prolly be ok with it.

When we saw him enter the baggage claim area, we both pretended to be really cool and calm (I think we hid the spastic-ness fairly well). Jerry wanted a pic of them together to post on the show event page on Facebook, so I snapped their picture as we headed to the car.

Jerry and his Idol, Jay Cutler
I discovered that Jay Cutler takes up 1.5 seats in my little Jetta. He and J kept bumping elbows over the center console because apparently Jettas aren't designed for 225+lb bodybuilders. It turns out that since Jay is also from New England, he and Jerry had a lot of acquaintances in common. They talked non-stop about people they knew from "back home" all the way to the hotel. I thought it was so cool that the top bodybuilder in the world was chatting with my boyfriend like he was just another guy from home. My already high opinion of Jay increased exponentially.

Big boyz!
When we got to the hotel, we got Jay checked in, then went out to eat with Rich and a few other people who were also working at the show.

Big Bitches
On Saturday, we arrived at the venue early and hung out at the Big Bitch Formula (BBF) table all day. We got to know the rest of the BBF crew and had a blast together! Everyone is so nice! Jerry and I feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group of people and to support a product we genuinely believe in.

BBF Table
BBF Girlz
Jerry and me
Our table just happened to be RIGHT NEXT to Jay Cutler's table! What are the odds?! So we basically got to hang out next to him all day. So. Cool.

Me and Jay
Shawn Ray and Jay
BBF Crew and Jay
It was a long, hot (AC was broken at the venue) day, but so much fun! When we headed out, we said goodbye to Jay and he kissed me on the cheek!! ZOMG!!! Best. Day. EVAR.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Obnoxious Neon

I've written several times about my tendency to resist trends until I absolutely can't resist them or my curiosity gets the best of me. Just recently, I jumped on the headband bandwagon and discovered an easy (yet cute) way of keeping the fly-aways off my face when I train. Back in 2010, I finally jumped off the all-white running shoe bandwagon and expanded into the black running shoe. And now, with the trendy colors of summer harkening back to 1992, I decided I needed to jump on the bright colored shoe bandwagon.

Hence, I purchased the brightest possible shoe I could find!

I really really really wanted the Tiffany blue color, but couldn't find them and didn't want to spend a gazillion dollars special ordering them online from Nike.

Obsession with Tiffany Blue
So I settled for Obnoxious Pink.

Obnoxious but oh so cute!
I get lots of comments at the gym about them.

"There's the bright shoe girl!"

"You can really see ya coming from a mile away!"

"Cool shoes!"

My official response?

"Thanks! I'm trying to be trendy!" Which I realize makes me completely NON-trendy. It's like if you have to tell someone that you're cool or a badass, you really aren't; you're just a poser.

As I've mentioned before, I have a difficult time finding shoes that actually fit my feet correctly. I even went to the running store to get properly fitted. And guess what fit me best? The ugliest shoes in the store. The sales guy didn't understand why I kept asking him if they had any "cute" shoes in the store. I decided to save my money and instead buy some "cute" shoes that aren't appropriate for cardio. Yeah, smart, I know.

So I wear my trendy shoes when I train, and then switch to my practical shoes for cardio. Totally inefficient and ridiculous - I agree. But that's the price I'm willing to pay in order to join the neon colored shoe trend.

Do you have shoes in any of the latest, trendy colors? Do they actually fit your feet?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Peek Into the Day in the Life of a Bodybuilder

When you watch a movie, a tv show, or a bodybuilding show, do you ever wonder about the personal lives of the people on screen or on stage? Do you ever wonder what their day looks like? People are nosy and curious by nature, which is why gossip magazines rake in so much money every year. I want to know what Jennifer Aniston's kitchen looks like. I want to know which fitness classes Jessica Biel takes. I want to know what Nicole Wilkins' diet looks like.

There's a new video out by the talented videographer, Mike Pulcinella. He's the force behind the famous Raising the Bar series, which featured his brother, Dave Pulcinella. (If you haven't seen these videos, I suggest you do so immediately!) This new video focuses on the day in the life of IFBB Pro Kai Greene.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Kai's physique. But there's no denying his work ethic, his intelligence, and his drive. Here's Part 1 of the video. I posted some of my favorite quotes from the video below.


This is the work, though, that will produce the desired end result. It's being able to climb into the trenches now when it's not convenient. When it's not comfortable. 
It's very, very important to get these meals and have them with you. Once you cook these meals and pack them up, now when you leave the house, you have now eliminated the possibility of being stuck without your meal and having to go 2, 3, 4, 6 hours before eating again. 
There's a certain amount of work that we really do have to take on ourselves and not expect for someone to do for you. 

The best coaches, the best supplement company, the best product you can ever have available to you will be of little resource to you if you're not able to do what work is required of you when it's time to do it
You have to be inventive. You have to be a problem-solver. You have to be able to troubleshoot because at the end of the day, it's your responsibility to stay on target with your goal. Your goals, your dreams are important to you. Your dream is YOUR dream, so it's up to you to cultivate that, to protect it, to nurture it. So it's your responsibility to come up with ways, to find out how you can eat every 2.5-3 hours without incident. You gotta develop your tools.
Development of character, which speaks to your ability to follow through and start streaming together days of efficient action at the most basic level. If you are still working without the strength of character, without the ability to follow through, then all the complex conversation about the sciences will mean very little, will mean nothing to you if you're still not able to get up, cook your meals, pack them, and follow through with eating them every 2.5-3 hours. 
You gotta be willing to bust your ass and get it done. You do the things that you can do to the best of your ability. 

The idea of developing yourself in gaining mastery of these skills, your discipline, time management, those things are critical. without those in place, even the great supplement companies with the great powerful supplements will be of little support to you without some basic fundamentals that are required of you to already have possession of. 
No one should have to stand over you all day every day. 'Did you eat? What time's your next meal? Hey man, are you on top of your schedule? Are you staying true to your path?' Cuz at the end of the day, it's just not that important to everybody else. And if it's more important to other people than it is you, then there's a large part of your better potential that will not be tapped.

Basically, what Kai is saying is that there are NO excuses. Do the work, even when it's not convenient, even when no one is looking. When you're prepared, you've prepared yourself to succeed. No one else cares as much about your goal as you do; it's YOUR responsibility to do the things necessary to achieve your goal.

What do you think of this video? Do you agree or disagree with what Kai says?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Obsessed with the Olympics

I'm so tired this week! And it's all the fault of the Olympics. I'm obsessed!
Olympic coverage on the East Coast lasts until midnight, so I've been staying up late every night, glued to the TV, in awe of the amazing athletic feats the Olympians are performing. I find myself cheering for people I'd never heard of until five minutes before their event. And the stories! It seems like so many of them have stories of overcoming obstacles of one kind or another. It's inspiring, humbling, and motivating all at the same time.

The one common thread throughout all events and athletes is the shared sense of pride in their accomplishments while remaining humble. So many of them have dedicated their performance to friends, family members, or their religion. It's moving to watch the raw emotions on their faces ... the nervousness, the ear-splitting grins, the heart-breaking tears, the disappointment, the pride, and the relief. There's nothing rehearsed; it's true reality TV at its most basic core.

Being a Figure competitor, I'm always noticing different body shapes and levels of conditioning. It's intriguing for me to see the different physiques of the athletes; their bodies are perfectly developed to excel at their chosen sport. It's fascinating to see the impact that particular sports have on the development of physiques, and the types of genetics that are inherent in each different sport.

Gymnasts are usually compact with thick shoulders, necks, and traps. Some have a longer, more sleek physique, but all are fairly lean.

Gabby Douglas

Swimmers all have very broad shoulders, narrow waists, and thick, high lats. They aren't extremely lean; they have a layer of fat over their muscles, which most likely keeps them insulated in the cool pool water.

Ryan Lochte
Sprinters have very thick, muscular, lean physiques, and most seem to have very well-developed abs.

Sanya Richards-Ross
Long distance runners are tall and very lean.

Mo Farah
Volleyball players are mostly tall and fairly lean.

Kerry Walsh and Misty May-Treanor
The human body is capable of so much! I love watching these world-class athletes show off their skills, talents, and abilities.

Another common theme I've heard over the past week is the responses of the Olympians to the question of "now what?" The answer? "Enjoy life!" I draw parallels between the training of bodybuilding competitors and elite athletes. We all train hard, live a disciplined lifestyle, and give 100% for our moment in the sun. When the competition is over, it's time to relax a bit and enjoy life before jumping back into training again.

I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the Olympic Games this week. I have a feeling I may go through withdrawal when they're over!

Are you watching the Olympics? What are your favorite events to watch? Did you notice some of the same things I did about the athletes? What else have you noticed and find interesting?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Beautiful Swan to Ugly Duckling

You know the story of how the ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan. But have you ever considered that it's not always possible to feel like a beautiful swan all the time?

I use the analogy of the ugly duckling and the beautiful swan as a metaphor for how I feel during prep, at the show, and then post-contest. I've written about the post-contest blues several times, and it seems that no matter how many times I compete, I experience them every year. This year is no exception, despite my best efforts.

It's been about 4 weeks since the Maryland show, and in that time, my tan has faded, my roots are clearly visible, my arm hair is growing back in, I've popped off all my acrylic nails, and I've put on a few pounds. While all of those things are perfectly normal and expected, it sort of feels like reverting from the beautiful swan back into the ugly duckling. I'm not calling myself "ugly," so don't get all worried - it's merely a metaphor. It's just that when I'm on stage, I feel like the most beautiful, proud woman in the world. Then after the show, when it's time to go back to real life, the glamour fades and reality sets in.

How I feel when reality sets in.
I don't need the trappings of the beauty industry (hair, nails, makeup, tan) to love myself, but I do feel more beautiful when I'm all groomed and polished to a high sheen. Every year I have difficulty settling back into my everyday normal without feeling lost and a bit sad.

I've been feeling out of sorts the past few weeks, which is why I haven't been blogging much. I simply didn't feel like it. For the first 2-3 weeks after the show, my emotions were all over the board! I'd go from happy and smiling to sad and crying in the time span of a half hour. Poor J didn't know what the heck was going on with me! He reacted in typical guy fashion: he tried to hide. And when Ms Kari Grumpypants cornered him, he'd crack a lame joke to try to get me to laugh. Poor guy. I kept telling him to just give me hugs and don't even attempt to understand and analyze the female mind.

Now that more time has passed, I'm feeling balanced and sane, in control of my emotions and actions once again. (Phew!) I'm following a structured training and diet program and am slowly losing some of the water retention gained from the plethora of cookies and M&M's I'd been shoveling into my (very unhappy, very angry with my actions) body. I'm on my way to feeling like the beautiful swan again.

Competitors: Do you get the post-contest blues? How do you feel? How do you handle it?