I promised I'd be back to re-cap finals today, and that's exactly what I'm going to do! =)
When we left off yesterday, I was thirsty and waiting for the night show. And that makes up most of the rest of the story. haha!
I left the hotel at 3:45 to get to the hotel for the 4pm athletes' meeting. This time, I did my hair and makeup in the hotel before I even left, which was a mistake. Since finals started at 5pm and bikini was after Men's Physique, Women's Physique, and Figure, I thought we'd be on stage at around 6:15.
That didn't happen.
We started late, there was an intermission with a performance, and a guest poser. I snuck into the audience and watched with Max & Grampa since a couple of people I knew were competing in Men's Physique. Plus, it was easier to stop thinking about how much I wanted to guzzle a gallon of water when I was distracted. ;-)
Bikini finally got on stage at almost 7pm. I think I did better with my posing during the night show...
...although I was flatter.
My hair and makeup were poorly done for both pre-judging and finals.
I could not believe it when I saw this pic on the photographer's website:
YIKES! (All my hair was brushed forward to show off my back, but uh, yeah, I missed a couple pieces with the flat-iron....)
One of my friends was supposed to come to the show to help with hair and makeup since I am woefully bad at both, but she ran into transportation trouble. I should have done a few practice rounds on my own, though.
Anyway, the head judge lined us up and the trophy girls came out. The announcer said "fourth place goes to..." and I immediately finished with "29" (my number) in my head, before he had a chance to finish - I knew.
I won't lie - I was a little disappointed. But I know why I got fourth place: my rigid posing (ya gotta be flirty, confident and sassy in bikini!), my hair (I'm still cringing) and the fact that my suit didn't fit (it was used and I lost more from the hips than I anticipated). I also wasn't able to pump up very effectively: I totally forgot to bring a resistance band so in a pinch I was using a 3/4ths-full gallon of water.
All in all, though, it was a really great experience. I learned a lot about the sport - things you don't even think of until you experience them, like the dehydration, the peeing in a cup so you don't splash water onto your tan, the complete and unique chaos that is show day - and, more importantly, I grew a LOT as a person throughout this entire process.
A little over a year ago I decided I would never be able to compete. I was sure of it. And last weekend, I proved myself wrong. I looked like I belonged on stage. My conditioning was on point. I was certainly lean enough. I even committed to manipulating my water intake for a week.
I'll talk about my plans for the future in another post, probably Thursday. I will say right now, though, that this will be my only show this year.
I also just want to take a moment to give a special thank you to Max. He was incredibly supportive, helpful, and (he's gonna kill me for saying this) sensitive all weekend, whether I was asking him to run and get me a gallon of water to pump up with (yep, I forgot resistance bands), forcing him to sleep in a 65-degree hotel room so that I wouldn't sweat and ruin my tan, or asking him to give me detailed and brutally honest feedback about how I did. I wouldn't have been able to diet for the past 16 weeks without his support & encouragement, and I am truly blessed to have him in my life.
I'll see you guys tomorrow for a food-porn-filled WIAW! <3