Fear of failure. Sometimes that is the only thing that holds people back, not talent, education, or skill…just fear. I know I am afraid to put myself out there, for fear of judgment or failure. In late June, I decided that I needed to start taking some risks in life if I wanted to get anywhere in the fitness industry. I mean, I have a ton of fitness certifications (including my CSCS, CPT, TRX, Schwinn Cycle, Weightlifting, etc.) I have a great job with the Marine Corps, and I am a decent NPC Figure competitor. But I want more, I want to be a staple in society. I want to live and breathe this industry, including starting my own fitness business, modeling, and progressing in Figure competitions by hopefully picking up a sponsor. Well, as many of you know, this requires all requires a certain amount of…self-promotion. You have to get your name and face out there! As someone who loves the spotlight, but doesn’t love blatant self-bragging and promotion it takes to get there, this is a difficult task.
Well, Myotropics held a Facebook Photo Contest this last June, so I decided I would enter. I actually had some hope in this one, as it wasn’t a contest purely based on votes. The top 5 females and top 5 males with the most votes would move on to round 2, in which a panel would choose the winners. Well, I am not loaded down with Facebook friends, so I knew I could never get TOP votes, but I thought I might have a shot of making it in the top 5. So I appealed to friends, family, Facebook and Twitter followers to help me out, and I secured the #4 position!! I was so stoked! My goal was to make top 5 and I did, and to me that was a huge success. I didn’t think I would progress any further. The other women in the top were amazing, beautiful, and with plenty of fitness and personal achievements that would make Myotropics proud.
Imagine my surprise when, Monday July 2nd, the CEO of Myotropics, Vince Andrich, Facebooked me and asked if he could call me. He asked me a few questions and my background in fitness, and told me that I was chosen as the winner. Seriously, words cannot describe how ecstatic I was! I wanted to ask why, WHY ME? But, I didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth or appear to be fishing for compliments, I’LL TAKE IT!
That week I also got in touch with Brant LaRose, who was the male winner of the contest. He is a genuinely nice guy, so I was glad I got to share the experience with him. He was already planning on competing in the USA’s to try and win his Pro-Card, but imagine his great surprise when he won it 2 weeks before the USA’s at Team U! Congrats Brant, IFBB Physique Pro!
My main concern was that the prize package included a photoshoot with renowned fitness photographer George Kontaxis at the NPC USA’s in Vegas at the end of the month. I started my off-season 3 weeks prior, so food was my friend! I had 3 and a half weeks to get myself photoshoot ready! I basically went back on the competition diet for 3 weeks, peak week included. I was proud that I managed to enter the photoshoot about 5 pounds heavier than stage weight, not bad!
THE VEGAS EXPERIENCE
I have never won anything like this EVER, so I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t have any expectations, other than I knew, pretty much no matter what, that I was going to have a good time. Your experiences are what you make of them, and I was going to make this awesome! I flew into Vegas from San Diego on Thursday the 26th. I took a cab to the hotel we were staying at, the Extended Stay Deluxe, which by the way had its own kitchen! That was ideal because I did not have to worry about my food for my stay there. On a side note, it was obvious that competitors had taken over Vegas. I went to Albertsons to buy food, and they were almost out, if not completely out of asparagus, tilapia, halibut, eggs, yams and rice cakes. But I am good at improvising, so I made it work. I met the other sponsored athletes at Myotropics, who were all amazing.
Being able to go to USA’s was a great experience. I hope to compete at this show in 2013, so it was a great warm-up for me and gave me some insight as to what to expect, how things work, etc. I met so many amazing athletes. I met people that I have been friends with on Facebook, but never had the pleasure of meeting. Plus I was there representing a product that I fully believe in. Our job at the USA’s was to work the Myotropics booth, hand out samples, and educate people about Myotropics Physique 2.0 and ThermiCarb. (more later on that). The Friday and Saturday morning shows were all pre-judging, and therefore were pretty casual. The Saturday night show was more formal, as I got to wear a cute mini-dress and my fake eyelashes :).
There were two extra-notable stand-up experiences I had there. One, I got to step on the National Stage as a trophy presenter (representing Myotropics, of course) for Women’s Physique. That was so much fun! Two, I got to be present when Myotropics own and my old high-school cheer buddy Francine Sablan, not only placed first in Figure Class B, but also took the Figure overall. (goose bumps!)It was great to see all her years of hard work pay off, and in such an extraordinary way.
The Myotropics sponsored athletes are some of the coolest and most accomplished athletes I have had the pleasure of meeting. I have some HUGE shoes to fill, but it is so motivating to me and I am determined to do this company proud. I got to meet IFBB Physique Pro’s Matt Christianer, Angel Cordero, and Brant LaRose, National NPC competitors Tommy Reynolds, David Lamb, Ian Lauer, Adelfo Cerame, and Raymond Querido. Of course I got to spend more time with Francine Sablan and fiancé Jason Tweed, two of the most welcoming and motivating people I know. It was great hanging out with former bodybuilder turned Olympic Coach Erick Minor, who writes articles for Myotropics, and I loved picking his brain about athletic training. Meeting Vince Andrich was surreal, for he has been a staple in the industry for 25 years. He is a genuine guy who really has a passion for the company and its athletes. And of course Don Aspinall, who made me laugh and still owes me a cupcake. Everyone was cool, very welcoming, and a lot of fun to spend all that time with. More info on these accomplished people is found at the Myotropics Athlete page
I have never been in a professional photo shoot before. I have paid for a photoshoot with the awesome and talented Casey Withers of C Withers Media, however those were just for fun. My friend Lisa has taken some pictures of me for fun as well, and they are lovely photos, but I have never actually been in a shoot where the outcome mattered. I was so nervous, especially because I was technically in off-season! These athletes have had plenty of experience in professional settings. Not I! That being said, the photographer, George Kontaxis, was very professional and had a lot of ideas. We shot at Gold’s Gym in Vegas the Sunday following USAs, and it was a grueling 12 hour shoot! There were all the Myotropics athletes to shoot, as well as some female models who had competed the day before at the USA’s that joined us. Everyone remained in good spirits, joked around and kept the atmosphere light.
Myotropics currently has two supplements: Physique 2.0 and ThermiCarb, both of which are revolutionary in their own rights. Physique 2.0 is a complete meal replacement protein, which I love. I train at really random times per day, so trying to figure out when to work out, take my protein, and plan it perfectly in between meals was really hard. Plus, most proteins only fill me up for maybe an hour. Physique 2.0 keeps me full for the 3 hours until my next meal. It contains ThermiCarb, a high molecular weight -resistant starch that does not cause the insulin spike that normal food does, helping me to keep burning fat and stay satisfied longer. Plus those carbohydrates help fuel and build my muscles. I tend to take it post-workout or as a breakfast, but it can really be taken any time. Myotropics also manufactures the ThermiCarb as a separate product, so when you need extra carbs in your diet, or post-workout, you can just add more! It is completely flavorless, but is really thick. When combined with Physique 2.0, it turns it into a kind of pudding, which is just like a dessert! YUM. Anyway, I am no scientist, I just know what works and what I love. For more detailed info, check 'em out at www.myotropics.com.
From my initial decision to enter the Myotropics Photo Contest on Facebook, to returning home from Vegas to my super-supportive husband and son, the whole experience was remarkable. I loved being thrown into the mix, representing a company that I thoroughly believe in, getting to know so many people in the fitness industry, and making new friends and professional connections. This experience has re-inspired me to continue 100% in NPC Figure to hopefully grace the National Stage next year. I want to continue representing Myotropics Physique Nutrition as best as I can, as well as continue improving myself, my education, my physique, all while helping and inspiring people to do the same. There are no limits.