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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.