Warning this is long read if you like or skim or ignore. I just want to have this in writing in the history books (my blog - until something happens to it at least).
It has been a little over two weeks since the competition already. It is kind of like Christmas, you pepare for it for months before hand and you get SO excited then it is over in a flash like Christmas morning/day is.
First, I want to say that this is the hardest thing I have done to date physically and mentally FOR SURE. Harder than a 4 year college degree (that took me 10 years to get) and harder than the marathon, not that either one of those accomplishments were easy by any means though b/c they absolutely weren't.
Second, I want to say that I AM SO GLAD that I DID THIS and I would have always regretted it if I would not have went for it.
You guys know how I felt through the process from reading my journal for the past 28 weeks. It was a roller coaster with so many ups and down. Thankfully, I think the majority of the days I felt good and positive but when I was down it was rough but again, thankfully, those times quickly passed.
I am ABSOLUTEY AMAZED at what I was able to accomplish. I never really thought I would be able to stay that dedicated to the exercise THAT LONG and I never thought I would be able to stay THAT COMMITTED to the food THAT LONG...BUT I DID!! It just proves the point that you don't know what you are capable of until you actually DO IT and see what you can really do. We all TOTALLY UNDERESTIMATE ourselves, even me.
As far as the actual competition goes it was just GREAT. I really tried to soak it all in, kind of like my rehearsal dinner and wedding day when I got married. I really wanted to always remember that day and that weekend that was so special to me and J and the competition was a lot like that. I knew like a wedding event that this might be the only time that I ever do this so I wanted to lock it up in my memory for safe keeping.
Getting to Corinne's and seeing her and Joni first just warmed my heart. It was so great to hug them and see them in person. Then later Caroline and Bobby showed up and then Maggie and Jane and it was just GREAT. It puts a smile on my face thinking about it. Then the next day I get to see Lisa when she comes to pick up the crew then we get to the hotel in Chattanooga and we see Roxane and David. Let me tell you this, you think all of these women look AWESOME in pictures well you should see them in person. They were TINY!! All just SO SO SMALL and SO BEAUITUFUL. The pictures just don't to anyone justice in my opinion. I just kept staring at Joni and saying how small she was compared to the last time I saw her a year ago at Phat Camp. I just couldn't get over it. (All of the above people are members of Phit-N-Phat.com and we all did the competition together. 4 of us did the bikini division and 2 of them did the figure division)
Friday night we went to check in at the host hotel and that was our first glimpse of some of the other competitors. I don't know if I speak for everyone but I am pretty sure I do when I say we were in "awe" of so many of the women. When you know what it takes to do something like this and make it to the stage you just have a new respect for those women and men of course and you see their muscles and their physiques. It is just amazing.
To top it off, you won't believe this but when I was sitting there completing some forms I look over to my right and I see two girls that look VERY familiar and to my amazement once again was Becca and Jessica. Becca who is my trainer for this bikini competition with her husband Tim and Jessica who is her friend who are both from Michigan who I have gotten to know through their blogs and e-mail. They drove ALL the way from MI to support me and 2 other competitiors. I could NOT BELIEVE IT. Tears came to my eyes as I was thinking how supportive they have been and how they took time out of their life to come support me and they have never even met me in person until this exact moment. WOW! What good friends. I am SO BLESSED.
Then it was time to head back to the hotel to get our tan on. You guys the tan is so wicked dark. I think I stood there with my mouth open in amazement at how dark it was when sweet Maggie and Jane were painting it on. Bless their hearts they were just so awesome. They did everything for us and got up very close and personal with us. I told them I have never been up this close and personal with my lifetime friends but I felt totally comfortable with them. It was a funny moment for sure.
I forgot to mention that my parents had arrived after we got back from the check in and it was good to see them. I am so truly blessed to have such wonderful parents that drove so long to support me. They could not get over how good I looked and they kept telling me so. They are both just full of compliments which is always nice to hear. They were proud to say the least.
So bed time came as I slept on my own sheets that I brought with me to put on the hotel bed. Saturday morning was going to come early with a 4:45 alarm set. I hardly slept as you might imagine.
Oh and my girls and my husband were so great through all of this they just did whatever I needed them to do and they stayed out of the way when needed. My girls just stared at me with the tan. They didn't know what to think. Jeremy said "don't touch me." HA!! Jeremy said this weekend is about YOU so don't worry a bit about me. AWWW, SO SWEET. I AM SO BLESSED!
Saturday morning I headed to Corinne's room where the lights were bright and the getting ready process had already began. You know I had on a layer of tan already and you can't get wet b/c it will come off so I bent over the bath tub and Sweet Maggie washed my hair for me then I blow dryed and put it up in my famous velcro rollers while Joni was getting her make up done by Corinne. Then it was my turn and Corinne turned me into a DIVA!! What fun that was. Seriously, I felt like a ROCK STAR!! Then the BIG HAIR came down. Oh and I got another layer of tan in there somewhere. I forgot to share that my Saturday morning breakfast was a double cheeseburger plain with no bun. J had bought it the night before when he was out to eat and we put it in a fridge. Even though it wasn't warm I actually thought it was REALLY TASTY!
So before we know it is time to load up and head to the Tivoli Theater for a quick meeting of the competitors and pre-judging. It was just so cool being there and being a part of all of it and seeing the other competitiors with their tans on and their make up done and their hair did. JUST SO COOL!! Words can't really describe it.
Then it was time for pre-judging to start and I still wasn't too nervous...YET. Oh, also I had learned that there were 5 people in my bikini short class (it was divided into 3 parts, short,medium and tall) and they give trophy's to the top 5 so I knew I would get one. WOOT!! What a great momento.
The other 4 ladies in my class were all so sweet and as excited and nervous as I was as we were getting ready to go on stage.
I was standing waiting to go on and I was slightly nervous but not too bad but as soon as I stepped out from behind the curtain and actually onto the stage and saw the thousand judges staring at you and blinded by the stage lights I was scared to death! My heart was beating SO SO SO FAST and my legs were shaking. It was one of those moments that I thought my heart would beat out of my chest for sure. I smiled the entire time though. I tried to concentrate on that. I could hear my fans saying "GO 40 (my number)" and "GO DAWN" and the best one "GO MOMMY GO". I teared up at first but I knew I didn't want to cry so I dried it up and just soaked in the moment. I looked at the judges and tried to look at my family even though I couldn't see them I knew they could tell I was looking at them.
Then I did my thing on stage and stepped off the stage and SHEW that part was done. I had done it. I WAS A FULL FLEDGED BIKINI COMPETITOR!! The funny thing is that I wasn't scared at all about being in my bikini out there. I didn't care that people were seeing me in it. I felt so good about how I LOOKED that I wasn't bothered by that. I think it was just the judges and the people and the event that made my heart beat so fast and my legs shake but not that I didn't feel good about me.
It took my heart a little bit of time to slow down even after I stepped off the stage.
Then we had some down time after everyone was done. We cheered the others on which was such a great moment as well to see your friends that you know have worked so hard do their thing and accomplish such an amazing goal.
So we ate some lunch, I had a hamburger patty again and a diet coke and then we rested at the hotel then it was time to freshen up and do it all over again at the night show. You would have thought I would have been less nervous and I was hoping that I was BUT I wasn't. Still nervous and scared but it was still SO WONDERFUL knowing I WAS DOING IT!! I got my 5th place trophy and I was so proud. I teared up again when I was standing there with it.
I thought to myself "I REALLY DID THIS, DAWN, YOU REALLY are standing on stage in a bikini at a competition...WOW" Shew, I am tearing up right now writing this. I still can't believe I did it. SO PROUD, JUST SO PROUD!
So I will end my recap there, I could say so much more but that was it in a nutshell. What a life experience that I will NEVER forget. I am so thankful that I stepped out on a limb and chipped away at it little by little and stuck with it and just WENT FOR IT!! I will always remember this moment in my life.