This is my story of my Peak Week and day-of-show fun in my NPC Figure journey for the summer of 2014. I started training to compete in Figure in the spring of 2012 and had three shows in my first competing season in 2013. You can read my 19-week documentation to that first season HERE!
From June 2013 until March 2014, I was in a building season with my then Coach Shala Singer. We worked closely together to make changes to my physique and strategically watched my macros for an entire year. I started my contest prep in March 2014 and my show was June 7, 2014 at the NPC Indianapolis in downtown Indy. The journey was a blast, super hard, but I would not trade it for anything. I’m hooked!
The top left is where I started in 2009. I was bringing baby #4 home from the hospital that day on my 35th birthday, weighing in at my heaviest at 225 pounds. He was my best birthday gift ever and in second place, my choice to start on a mission to get me back, physically and mentally. I pressed go for the last 4.5 years!
My new red suit came from Suits by Amy and I had to get my nails done with some nail art to match. This suit was about $380 and is custom designed and tailored to my body. I chose the fabric and design and believe it or not, this is an entry-level price. They can range as high as $1500. This one does me just fine! As pictured in the green top, this was a few days after we carb loaded and exactly three days before the show. I love wearing tops to sport the girl muscles!
Posing. Posing. More posing! I practiced every AM or when I could get it in during the day. I posed with another competitor many times before the show and also had another national-level gal do some consults to guide me. You can have a rocking bod, but if you don’t know how to present it on stage, you will not do well. Posing is where it’s at!
All year long I sent progress pictures to my Coach on a biweekly basis. The week of the show, I sent them almost daily so she could analyze my body’s response to the changing macros. Hands down the best decision I made was hiring a Coach. I tell any gal or guy looking to get into bodybuilding to go get a Coach. You don’t know what you don’t know. Let them lead you. Listen, learn, activate the plan.
All year long, water is my friend. This great find comes from a Speedway Gas Station. I found it by accident and love the handle that hooks easily onto my purse. I’m happy to be sporting the #juglife!
The Friday before the show my crew and I headed into the Fishers YMCA for a light training session. I had no cardio and did a 20-minute circuit. It’s so much more fun when the fam is along! My husband is my favorite training partner!
I usually warm up with some air exercises. I block out all the people around me and focus on my form.
Stretching on the Smith is usually my habit mid and post workout. My muscles get pretty tight and I can’t open up my form without a nice stretch session. I don’t do as much Yoga as I would like, so stretching is my best friend!
Just a tad bit of cool down and the crew was ready to hit the road!
This is more than just a hobby. This lifestyle is part of my make up. I made the decision this week to slow my housing life down (we’re in Real Estate) and pick up my Fitness life. In addition to my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physical Education from Indiana University, I’m going to study this fall to get my Personal Training certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and also get a Sports Nutrition certificate. I’d love to coach non-competitors online towards balanced diet and nutrition. I’d like to have my Nutrition Coaching up and running by late fall to early 2015. I see such a need to help people understand how get to know their body’s best nutritional system and how to navigate the crazy food world we live in. The teacher in me is ready to have some students. That’s the goal!
We prepped all my Saturday food on Thursday night. I had a nutrient timing plan my Coach suggested and I followed it to a t! My husband is a doll and supports my journey 110%. He shopped for my food and helped me prep it. We measured, organized and labeled my food and water for the day of show. I got a snazzy pull-behind cooler on wheels and it was packed and ready for the big day.
What you don’t see in this sport is what goes on behind the scenes. No one can really highlight all the measuring, tracking, shopping, training, hydrating, sleeping that is involved. It’s day in and day out. And then there’s the shaving. You have to get the hair off or it WILL show up with that spray tan! As a former swimmer, we used to shave all the hair off our bodies, so I was used to this. My husband helped me get my hard-to-reach spots on my arms and back and he said, “You’re not hairy at all. But when we’re trying to get every last blond hair, you’re like Chewbacca!” At some point we just gave up and called it a day.
I’m always amazed at the human body. When your body fat is low enough and the muscle bellies are full, lines and indentations appear that you never knew you had! For those of us that compete, many of us feel like artists. This is a hobby, but we use our bodies to work a plan and see what time, nutrition, discipline and hard work in the gym can produce. I think God’s a bodybuilder lifting weights up there. I really do! He made our bodies and they are His work of art! Taking care of it and fine tuning over time is just my way of taking care of His temple!
We headed downtown actually AFTER we hit some home tours. As I mentioned, we’re in Real Estate and it was Realtor Day at a local home show. After getting my housing and design fix, it was time to get spray tanned, all before hitting my kiddos’ track meet later that evening! As a family, we hit the venue and found out the stage was open. I got some posing practice with my crew running circles around me!
Tanning time! In like a ghost, out like an Umpa Lumpa! For those that don’t know, I use Liquid Sun Rayz to get my spray tan. It’s $120 and they get you super dark. You get down to bare bones, stand and turn in a tent, dry in front of a fan, pop on some lose clothing and walk slowly to your car like a robot. Touch ups day of show are included, so no worries if something rubs off or smudges! As I write this one week later, my tan is just now starting to fade. It sticks around for quite a while and I enjoy being a few shades darker in the summertime!
Spray tan and suit on with a progress shot the AM of show sent off to my Coach.
Abs the AM of the show! On stage they don’t always reveal as I want them to and throughout the building season I’ll carry some inflammation and water over top of them as I eat foods that help me build. But when it’s time to lean out, I love a trim midsection!
Meet Lily, owner of About Mei Salon in Carmel! She does my hair and make up for the day of show and here she’s styling my Halo Extensions that I like to wear for my competitions and dressier days. I have very short natural hair, but love my long “added” locks! I’ve been using Lily since I got started and she always makes me look polished and stage ready!
and we’re ready. Thanks a TON, beautiful Lily!
My Figure friends Lisa, Nicole and I are geared up and ready to take the stage. Life is so much more fun with friends along!
We all checked in and attended the competitor meeting. Lucky #80 is ready to go. Is 80 lucky?!
As I waited through the meeting, I watched the clock for my meal timing. Sweet potato was filling me out!
And I’m a VERY happy girl here. This rice cake, jelly and almond butter combo was making me feel like I was getting away with something. Hey, Coach’s orders!
I got my suit checked by Suits by Amy, who had a booth onsite. I so feared a strap popping off while I stood on stage and I had her make sure it was as tight as can be. Thanks for the adjustment, Amy! Prior to going on stage, we also have our suits glued to our tops and bottoms with a product called Bikini Bite. We need those straps of fabric to stay in place!
About 75 minutes into the show I took the stage in the Masters class. In this group we are competing based off of our age, no focus on height. All competitors are 35 and over. You’d be amazed at the gals who are late 40s and 50+. I’m so inspired by them! This was a HUGE class of 16 gals and I got first call outs. When I first competed in April 2013 I placed 7th….out of 7. I know what it feels like to NOT be called out. But press on and in time your number WILL get called!
Second time up on stage was in the Open Class C. This competition is based off of our height, so any age competitor can be up there. I’m 5′ 6.5″ , so I tend to be in the taller classes and with my heels on I stand at 6′ tall.
My cousin Sarah caught these shots. I’m so thankful for her! My husband was with our kids at a track meet, so these photos and her support are a gift to me! In all honesty, this shot looks effortless, but a competitor is thinking about so many things. Flexing, turning, smiling, calming the nerves, chest up, booty out, back arched, hair movement, a nice walk….to name a few!
My people arrived mid-afternoon to spend time with me before the night show. We hit up Harry and Izzy’s in downtown Indy and I pieced on some of their eats, but stuck mainly to my packed food. I love this sport, but their faces fill my heart with joy! I’m so honored to be their Mama!
The night show arrived! At this point, each Figure competitor gets 10 seconds to do their model poses alone on stage. You’re focusing on smiling, flexing, turning, more smiling, walking in 5-inch heels and still more smiling…..all in 10 seconds! My gal Stephanie caught these shots.
Back shot…Months, years worth of work and a few seconds on stage. This is SO much more than just the show or the placing. I do this for the challenge, the thrill of the journey!
So the good news? I ended up getting 2nd place of 16 gorgeous women in the Masters. My goal in all this was to be competitive. I’m not one to rant and rave, “Here I am. I’m gonna win.” To me, this is about me vs. me. I said all along I wanted to be competitive. I wanted to be noticed and acknowledged for my daily efforts. Mission accomplished!
The Masters’ gals!
I love when we get to do this. A line of hard work!
This is one of my favorite poses and shots from the weekend. The look on my face says it all, I’m happy. This is truly me being me. I’m home and I’ve found my fit. My message is for anyone reading this to press on and find their fit as well. It may not be fitness related, but there is something out there that really makes you tick. And when you find it, you are so fulfilled. You feel at home in your own skin, you love the daily grind and it brings you joy to live the life that you feel called to live. Fitness and weightlifting have really pulled the inner me out. I’m more in tune with my Creator, my family and my calling in this crazy world. I’m forever grateful!
I ended up with 2 second places from my June 7th show and I couldn’t be happier. I’m Nationally qualified and as I told my new Coach Brooke Erickson, “Getting to Nationals is my goal. That’s the level I want to compete at. When you think I’m competitive enough to go, I’ll go!” Stay tuned…I’m a work in progress!
I was SO good on my contest prep diet to the stage. I kept it pretty straight and narrow and what I was really craving was pancakes. Bob Evans multigrain pancakes are number one on my list, but at 11:30PM at night, IHOP is all that is open! Our kids thought we were AWESOME for being out to eat that late. We even had one kid asleep on the table! We were surrounded with other families, a wedding party and post-concert goers. It’s a whole other world in IHOP at midnight! My strawberry-topped buttermilk pancakes were going, going….gone! As soon as we left, our kids said, “When can we go back?” Looks like Mom found a new post-show tradition stop…pancakes at IHOP!
I give thanks for the healthy body to carry out this journey. I set out in 2009 to “Get me back” and I did so and then some. In the meantime, I discovered my God connection, part of my calling and unlocked my innate wellness passions. I give thanks for these little people and my husband who support my efforts. I’m so blessed and I look forward to where I’ll go in this sport.
All along I have had visions and those visions keep me on the path. I don’t know your story, but we each have one. If you can see yourself doing something, you CAN do it. Not many people will compete in bodybuilding, but we can all be great competitors in the game of life. Showing up day in and day out to try, fail and try again is the name of the game. Lean on the One who made you, present your dreams and goals to Him and in due time, your efforts for your destiny will be made known and blessed!
What’s next? As of today, June 13, 2014, I’m heading back into a 12-week building season with my new Coach and will prep for a few shows in October and November out of state. I want experience in front of a mix of judges and competitors and I’m aiming for that National stage for 2015.
Here’s my story from 2013 on the From Fit to Figure website. Remember, it all starts with a vision. YOU have to see yourself doing it and then believe you CAN. Ultimately, you have to be your number one fan!
To YOUR journey!
Got questions, comments or want to know how to get started in bodybuilding?
Email Mindy Irish at firstname.lastname@example.org
Online nutritional coaching for non-competitors will be starting up in early 2015. I’d love to come alongside you. Please email me for more info and watch my website under Services for updates and pricing.