A year ago next week, I penned my personal feelings on the death of Sam Foltz, unofficially marking the start of my time as the Orchard/Antelope County News sports editor. I just want to take a second here to thank you, the reader, and the team that has made it possible to give you the most thorough sports coverage in Antelope County.
The whole year has been a learning experience for me, and it wouldn’t be possible to have done as well as we have without a team effort. I’m fortunate to have a great group of people to work with that are willing to help out where they are needed and some incredible parents that are willing to step in to make sure the students get the best coverage possible. I try my hardest to be at as many events as possible, but when I can’t be there, its great to know that people are willing to fill in.
I also appreciate the reader. Half the fun of this job is hearing how much people enjoy what we do. I aim to celebrate the accomplishments of all the talented individuals in the area. It’s great to hear the parents, grandparents, siblings and other family talking about our work. It makes it worth the time we put in. Again, thank you.
Finally. After 14 weeks of charging through the mental and physical struggles of prep, its show time. Everything you’ve worked for will be on display for the judges, your fellow competitors and the audience.
The day is a bit of a chore from start to finish. Just to get to the show, get checked in and get any tan touch ups done in time, you have to be up at 5 a.m. All the competitors showed up with the same three things - a cooler full of food, a bag with a change of clothes and confidence that the show is theirs to win.
What I found interesting during the whole ordeal was just how varying the bodies were. In the physique class, for example, there was a man that maybe struggled to top 140 on the scale but he was ridiculously lean. There were guys that looked like your prototypical linebacker. There were guys that clearly hadn’t stuck to their diet well during prep that were going to struggle on stage.
The whole day went by like a blur. You’re constantly eating and always thirsty. Once you hit the stage, any nerves you had are gone. As a matter of fact, all I really thought of up there was how sore I was getting from the constant posing. Then, at the end of it all, everyone went their separate ways in search of their favorite junk foods.
Overall, the experience was incredible. It really rewired my way of thinking when it comes to my health. I’m more lax on my eating, but still very conscientious on what I’m eating. I’m more deliberate with my workouts. Most of all, I’m just hungry to get back on stage next year.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Jason Gutz situation.
I didn’t know the man, but many did. The outpouring of love from the area for the family was outstanding. I was fortunate to see it at the baseball tournaments this weekend. Nobody wants to have to deal with a tragedy like that, but it is comforting to know the community has your back every step of the way.
Good on you, Northeast Nebraska. You make me proud to be back in small-town Nebraska again.
There may not have been a more mentally challenging time during prep for our bodybuilding show than that last week before show time - peak week.
After 13 weeks of prep, you are just ready to be done. You are ready to step on stage, find out your placings and then gorge on food. However, before you get to that point, you have to lock down and finish strong.
Ideally, at the start of peak week, your body looks like it is ready to go on stage. The whole week is meant to be used as one big maintenance week. You maintain a high amount of cardio, focus even more on eating properly and control your water intake in a way that gets your body looking even more lean on show day.
As a side note: for something that is as masculine-sounding as getting shredded and muscular, it really is quite contradictory to have to shave your legs, exfoliate and spray tan during peak week. But, whatever it takes to be ready for the show.
Anyway, once you power through peak week, Friday comes around. Its time to check in, get your tan and rest up before the main event - show time.
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