The Smell of Defeat is Pungent (or is that my B.O.?)
Alright kids, I’m back! And sorry to those who’ve sent me messages and I’ve yet to respond.
On Saturday June 28th, 2014, I competed in the BC Bodybuilding Provincial Championships– the very place where I was fast kicked off my supreme vegan high horse and mildly devastated after receiving not second but third call outs. “Third call-outs” (for any non-meathead readers) basically means there were 10 girls who impressed the judges before me. Good for them. Brutal for me!
I’ve been MIA because I needed some time away from the computer. I wanted to write a decent post about the experience but I had to go through some varying emotions first. Much like your standard breakup, at first I was devastated. Then I got drunk, ate two tubs of peanut butter, hated on life, hated on myself then accepted it, reflected on it, found some humour in it, learned from it and finally, got the hell over it and back to my old self.
I know how much you guys appreciate my “candidness” regarding the world of competitive bodybuilding (especially my gross competition “win” story) so now I’m going to share an equally honest recap of my recent “loss.” Here goes!
First, I’m totally one of those people who relates a song to everything and certain songs always attach to certain times and events in my life. This particular event of losing– feeling knocked down and getting back up– I’ve literally been listening to “Fall In Love” by Phantogram over and over and OVER. Please click here and listen for full sensory effect as you continue to read this masterpiece 🙂
Now then, flashback to Friday morning. I’m buck naked in some dude’s garage in a quaint, suburban neighbourhood getting spray tanned. Thankfully I was there with my competitor pal Dana (also stark naked) and a few male bodybuilders waiting for their turn. These untested federations sure do present some seriously JACKED competitors. And as we all stood there in the garage, awkward and bare-assed together, I was truly in awe of their bodies that literally resembled clouds… with socks covering their “junk.”
I’m always so fascinated by the various subcultures that exist in first-world society. And this particular orange & naked moment in bodybuilding history was one where I definitely questioned the subculture I’ve chosen to be part of.
After chilling naked for 45 minutes in random dude’s bathroom, waiting for the “paint” to dry, Dana and I were off to the athletes meeting, staining everything we touched along the way.
It was pouring rain when we got there but luckily we were early so we hid in the car and ate our next scheduled meal, praying for the rain to end so that we wouldn’t splash and ruin our new “skin.”
Once inside the building, as soon as the elevator opened, you knew you were in bodybuilder land. The smell of tanner was thick and the underlying air of insecurity even thicker. But nothing is more rank then the bathrooms at a bodybuilders’ meeting. I won’t go into too much detail but let’s just say when you have 300 athletes, eating nothing but protein and rice cakes, no water AND taking diuretics, the ammonia would make your eyes water. And it DID as I fumbled to put on my bikini as fast as possible.
Like cattle, we were herded to each “check in” station, first stripping down to reveal how appropriately inappropriate our bedazzled bikinis were then getting measured and weighed accordingly.
It’s both exciting and nerve wracking to be in the athletes meeting knowing that in a few hours, your body is going to be compared and scrutinized against everyone else’.
Competition Day arrived and I was thirsty for a win but even more so for WATER! I hate the water cutting part of competing. And for whatever reason, I just wasn’t as stoked to be there as I have been for my other shows. Maybe it was because I just didn’t feel “ready.” Or maybe it was because these back-to-back shows have been really hard on me. This prep was TOUGH. Breaking my wrist in January definitely put a damper on things. And I definitely used it as an excuse to be more careless with my diet.
According to the judges, my legs needed to be tighter and they didn’t like the colour of my suit. I admit that neon green did not show as bright and sparkly on stage as I thought it would. But I chose it because it vegan-spired me. My feedback was also that I didn’t twist my waist enough in “front pose.” Again, very true. When I see the photos, I also look kinda bloated probably because I needed to pee but didn’t care enough to run to the bathroom and risk getting “pee splashes” on my tan before stage time. Another dumb mistake on my part.
After I got third call outs, I was really over the whole experience. I hadn’t showered in days, was plastered in clown makeup and pore-clogging tanner, smelled like a latrine and just wanted to forget bodybuilding for a night and have fun with my friends. I was also dying to crack open the raw vegan treats I had bought as a post-comp reward. Long story short, I didn’t go back for the awards show. I didn’t want to wait around all day looking like a dirty clown only to accept 11th place. So instead I was a sore loser and drowned my sorrows in dirty vodka martinis and a whole lot of peanut butter. It was just what I needed even if the “wounds” were still visible…
All joking aside, I need not be so hard on myself. I’m far from perfect and it’s not healthy for anyone to try to be perfect. I like to think I’m a pretty “normal” person who doesn’t let this “sport” consume my entire life. But lately, I feel like it has. And I don’t want to be the girl who obsesses over her physical appearance until she hates everything about it.
“I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” – Jewish proverb.
The good news is that this loss really opened my eyes to what is important to me. And it’s not about winning a trophy or starving myself beyond the point of “healthy.” It’s about being human and realizing that if you truly want to succeed at something– anything in life, you NEED to put your heart and soul into it 110%.
When I look back onto this prep, yeah, I did half-ass it at times. In fact, there is a lot about competitive bodybuilding that I make fun of. I hate practicing my posing. I loathe doing cardio. Maybe I shouldn’t have competed last weekend because I knew in my heart I wasn’t ready. And maybe it’s time I take a break from competing and spend more time on my other passions like writing.
All this being said, I am still going to compete in Texas on July 26th with the PlantBuilt team. It’s redemption time, bitches. Time to temporarily close the vegan bodybuilding chapter of my life on a high note. And this time, it’s for a cause far greater than any rank backstage bathroom odour could ever hold a candle to. It’s for veganism and for all the animals who don’t have a voice. So for three more weeks, I’m gonna be more focused and determined than ever. And win or lose, I’m going to know in my heart that I busted my ass (literally) to bring my best package to the stage. I hope you’re ready for me, Naturally Fit Super Show! Let’s do this.
– Sam Shorkey