Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NPC USA's, I Have Arrived

by Kris Pitcher

What a season! Whew! I owe a huge thank you to those of you who have supported my efforts this year. Thank you for helping me take my competitive spirit to a higher level. And higher it was!

The NPC USA's in Vegas were big. The kind of big where you are issued your competitor number and it's in the high 600's. There were close to 1000 competitors, the best of the best. Things are organized, efficient and timely.

I was one of 3 competitors my husband had in the show, and he did a great job keeping track of us all, keeping us all eating the right things at the right times, and getting us to the right place at the right time. All the while, he was doing his cardio twice a day, getting his lifting in, and all his meals too. He's in diet mode himself. But this is about ME!

There were 22 ladies in the Figure C class. We presented in line ups of 7-9 doing quarter turns, then came out for our individuals doing front/model/back/model...then to the diagonal for call outs.

It was kind of like waiting to be picked for a kick ball team at recess in the fourth grade. Excruciating. You smile and pose with your hip positioned so the judging panel can see your number. You smile, and you smile. And you wait. Not in first call out.

Still smiling. Posing, waiting, smiling. The head judge calls out numbers, not mine. Not in second call out. Smiling, turn my hip...see my number, smile. Third call out, pass my number. No disappointment on this face. Buck up. Smile. They're done judging.

Final call out. And like fourth grade, I'm finally picked. But I present myself as though it were the first call out. Quarter turns, they aren't really even looking. But this is my moment. I've worked hard, and I take it, and shine.

And we're off stage. I text Jacques, "Oh well. :)" I'm happy inside. In that moment I'm feeling proud of my accomplishments, of my progress. I'm thinking, I met my goals of maybe posing better, and I'm pretty sure my color was darker than at Jr's., I knew I hadn't gotten any bigger ;)

I put my dress on, took my shoes off, grabbed my bag and went out to the lobby to catch up with Jacques. A competitor could at that moment feel a lot of things, she could feel a number of ways. I felt primarily excited about my impending off season.

Knowing what I need to work on, I'm ready to get to it. A competitor could feel she wasn't judged fairly, she got lost in the crowd, or she wasn't connected to the right people. None of those things crossed my mind.

What crosses my mind is, I need to be bigger. I need bigger shoulders, a thicker back...bigger glutes. It's time to grow! When I look at myself against the first place winner, now an IFBB's pretty clear what I need to work on.

The other thing that crosses my mind is, I deserve to compete at this level. Meaning, I looked like I belonged there. It's just that of those 22 (best in the nations), I was in the bottom half. With 8 other deserving ladies. We'll work hard and be back to compete next year.

When you compete at this level, there are only 5 who will take home a trophy, only 1 will win, 2 will earn their pro card, 15 who will "place", and the rest of us go home with work to do. We choose how we see ourselves in that moment, in the moments following. We decide what we do with that energy.

I've seen people get really, really upset. You must have objectivity in this sport. You must be able to see yourself amongst your peers and recognize the differences in where you are and where you need to go. You have to be able to see the big picture, and yourself in it.

Finals came, and I glazed up just as if I'd be called out in that top 5. I took my 8 seconds of fame on stage and presented myself as they read my name. It's the national stage, and I have arrived. See you next year! 
The Figure Class C winner, and's grow time!

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