National NPC Bikini Athlete
In 2014, just before my 38th birthday, I decided to enter my first physique competition as a way to challenge myself and work towards a new goal. I really knew nothing about this sport before I decided to compete in it. My main motivation was to have something to train for and focus my attention on. After having spent the past few years completely focused on opening and growing a gym, I now wanted to focus on something solely for myself.
Since that decision I have competed in a total of seven shows, in the Bikini category (this category goes by many names – bikini fitness, bikini physique, or just bikini) with top 10 finishes in each – including a 1st place, three 2nd places, a 3rd place, and top 5 in the 2015 Collegiate Masters Nationals.
Most recently, in February 2016, I competed in my first competition overseas – La Copa Independencia in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where I placed 2nd in the masters division (age 35+) and 4th in the open (18+) category.
What I Love
I really enjoy the training and competition prep, as well as the personal challenge of “performing” on stage, which was always one of my greatest fears. With each competition I feel more relaxed, and am able to be IN THE MOMENT more.
That feeling of having to breath deeply, and focus all your energy and attention on that particular moment – to be completely in your body (but not)…that feeling is almost god-like. It’s the feeling that I have always relished in past sports and athletic competitions. It’s that zone.
In the bikini category, athletes are scored on their muscle balance and shape, and overall look including complexion, poise, and overall presentation. It’s more or less a “fitness beauty pageant”. Sounds a bit superficial, I’ll admit. But really, everything in life has to do with our perception.
My perception is based on my experience – that the physical training, commitment to diet and lifestyle, hours of posing practice, calculated prep time, and psychological preparation that goes into competing (particularly on a national and professional level) puts this sport on par with any other. It’s not something you get ready for in a few weeks or months. For those who take the sport seriously, and who excel at it, it is a daily commitment to training, diet, and lifestyle.
The things I have learned so far (both good and bad) throughout my experience in this sport, have made me a better coach in so many ways. And for that I am eternally grateful.
For the rest of 2016 I am taking a break from competing to focus on other things, most importantly my family, and my work.
I continue to train as a physique athlete 5-6 days per week, mainly because I enjoy the training so much, but also so I will be ready to step on stage again when the time is right. As of now, I have my sights set on winter 2017.