Yes yes, it’s Tuesday now, and show day was Saturday, and I’ve left you hanging… unless you’ve been on my Facebook or Instagram feeds, then you know what all went down! But I’ll break it all down in excruciating detail for you now that I’ve had some rest- I was just exhausted after the show- I couldn’t even finish the piece of pizza or beer I’d decided on before I had to come home and pass out for 14 hours.
Let’s start at the beginning, yes? Oh gosh, this is going to be long… ok you get two posts. Sorry. I have so many words.
I took the day off work on Friday, because I felt pretty stressed with the schedule of things I had to accomplish before getting my first coat of spray tan. I’m glad I did. I had a pretty stress-free day, got my hair cut, did a little shopping, cooked some delicious food, which I later ate in a parking lot out of Tupperware like some sort of clean eater, ate some doughnuts…what can I say, I woke up
flat!- and made it to check-ins on time, got measured (dude insisted I was 5’2.5″ tall, but I know and my doctor knows that I have NOT grown half an inch. I’ve been 5’2″ even since, like, the eighth grade), and was assigned my competitor number- 17. And I did all of this with no makeup on, because you can have NOTHING, not lotion, not makeup, not perfume, not deodorant, nothing, on your skin on the day you are to be tanned. So I hoped my lavender Dr. Bronner’s was all I needed to look and smell beautiful all day.
Tanning. I know you’re dying to know. Goodness me, I walked in the door and was instructed immediately to get naked, after which a woman with a spray gun painted me like a house. NAKED. “Bend over like you’re going to touch your toes, stick your booty out, great!” And that body paint is quite chilly, I’ll have you know. By the end, I was chin to toes yam-hued and glittery, which was a fun surprise! Twenty minutes standing in a tiny tent spread-eagle in front of a fan- town front, ten back, shivering all twenty- and I was cleared to put on my jammies. As I headed down to my brand new 2014 Honda Civic, I lamented my lack of planning ahead- I should have brought a sheet for the seat! Luckily I was covered up enough and didn’t get anything in the car, but as a precaution next time, I will cover it up.
Once home, no matter what I WANTED to do, there wasn’t much option. Once the tan is on, you can’t sweat, or move around too much so your clothes rub on you, or anything. So I settled in for some nail painting and a small pour of wine to relax. I also learned how to use my pee cup. Note to self: the assigned pee cups are only for the girls who deplete water and probably don’t have to pee anyhow. Those of us still drinking a gallon a day or more should just go straight for the Big Gulp to avoid an awkward and uncomfortable stop-and-pour routine…
Sleeping would pose yet another challenge. Some people apparently sleep nicely in one place. I like to feel things out in as many sleeping positions across the bed as I can until I find just the right one. Additionally, my internal thermometer runs at approximately Inferno as I sleep. Are you feeling sorry for my poor husband yet? Well neither of these things are conducive to keeping a layer of gunk nicely on your skin, so I set myself up with an old sheet on my side of the bed, cranked the AC, took away the duvet and replaced it with a thin fleece blanket, and propped myself up on two pillows nearly upright- much like I slept the night I got my boobs done. I knew it was the only way I stood a chance at keeping my tan nice. I didn’t sleep particularly well, whether it was the tortures I was inflicting on myself or the excitement and anxiety for morning, but I managed to keep my tan absolutely perfect!
I was up bright and early as always, but my husband was unexpectedly called in to work for a few hours. I had to make a hard decision: I could make coffee, which would make the whole day run a LOT smoother (I’m a three cups a day kind of girl), or avoid water at all costs as I had been instructed, as splashes could potentially ruin my tan. Care to guess which I chose?
This girl can’t live without coffee. No splashes!
So I headed to the doughnut shop, looking like a ratchet mess in my jammies with a crazy spray tan and picked up my special order from the day before- a dozen mini doughnuts- tiramisu custard filled- to share with the team after the show as celebration. All of the girls but me had been on meal plans their entire prep, so they were all craving hella junk food, and I thought I’d bring something special. Of the five boxes of doughnuts that were brought to the night show, mine was the only one that didn’t have anything left over inside at the end…
Quickly off to makeup, then another coat of tanning- more lady bits being glitter sprayed, more fan-powered naked drying. I made a similarly naked and brown friend, and we decided to carpool due to a lack of parking at the venue.
And then it was time.
When I got home from tanning, my bestie and my husband were just ready to go, so I grabbed my food for the day, double checked for my shoes, suit, and number, and we headed over.
Immediately I was gripped with crippling anxiety. While I had been confident and excited all day, and the day prior, as soon as I slipped on my suit, I felt it coming. I couldn’t even say words to my friend or my husband- I shooed them away to find seats. I looked at the team’s nutrition coach, the coach I chose not to utilize for my prep, and tears welled in my heavily made-up eyes. “Oh no, no no no…” I felt myself losing it. I didn’t know what to do. Was I flat? I couldn’t tell. Was I bloated? I suddenly couldn’t tell. I could not see my body objectively at all. I needed help.
Help came in the form of Oreos. A red velvet one, and a Reese’s cup one. And a brownie. And a bite of a turkey sandwich, because that’s what I actually wanted- though not what my glutes needed, apparently. My posing coach distracted me with some last minute posing practice, and all was right again. Turns out it just takes a little distraction and Oreos to cure my anxiety these days.
A quick butt-glue application, and suddenly I was in the pump-up room, laughing and making
friends with some really incredible ladies. You hear stories about catty competitors spilling water on one another to ruin your tan, or otherwise sabotaging one another, but I found just the opposite- I was so happy to find myself surrounded with positive, energetic, and funny women. They put me immediately at ease, and I know I walked onto stage feeling more confident as a result of the time I spent with them!
The moment I stepped on stage, any negative feelings, any anxiety, and fear, any worry… disappeared completely. I couldn’t see anyone in the crowd, the lights were so bright, but I heard my name, I heard yelling, cheering- so many people! How could this be?! I brought only my husband and one friend! But there were yells all over the room! I walked to the marked box on the floor and my poses came, naturally, without overthinking. I smiled and smiled, a true, genuine smile- I was having so much fun! It was like slow motion, I swear. Every pose, I thought to myself “nailed it!”
I took my position on the side with the other ladies, and they began first call outs. I stood and smiled, and listened… WAIT SHIT THAT WAS MY NUMBER! I looked down to make sure- indeed, 17 was me! Nearly taking out the girl they called after me, I headed to the dot marked “2.” And I smiled, and I smiled, and I smiled…
As I came off the stage, I was met with so many congratulations and hugs, strangers telling me how incredible I looked- many telling me they followed my blog, or my Instagram!, how lovely my posing was, how poised my stage presence… I couldn’t believe it! People were saying it looked like I might have won my class- the girl they had called first and I were very different in terms of physique- she had a much wider back, but I was much more conditioned. Our shapes totally different, we both had qualities that could be first-place worthy, and only the judges could decide…
And riding on that high, I went home to eat. And pace. Hurry up and wait…