Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust...

So, another contest has come to an end.

I didn't actually see any of the show, but faithfully manned the ticket table the entire time.

Though I did get a couple minutes on stage reading a tribute to our long-time MC, who is retiring after 20 years. He will be greatly missed.

From my perspective the contest went well. We had a great audience turn out Saturday especially. Bodybuilder Hubby had been a little concerned about that. Online ticket sales were much lower than last year, so it sort of felt like we just had to hold our breath and hope people would show up.

And they did.

My favorite parts of the weekend were cuddling with the ridiculously adorable 4-month-old son of one of my favorite competitor/trainers, meeting some of Bodybuilder Hubby's extended family for the first time, and getting to see and have a few minutes to chat with an old friend - one of those people whose memory always makes me smile.

I got the contest results and score sheets posted online last night. (Yeah, me!) I wanted to make them available as soon as possible, but mostly I just wanted to cross that last contest-related task off my list so I could do a bleary-eyed dance around my office to celebrate being done. I love when things are done.

Because after weeks of minimal sleep, all-night work sessions and ignoring everything else, I'm very ready to get back to my own life. And to clean up the gunk that has accumulated around this house while I've been too busy to clean it.

Bodybuilder Hubby is down in the garage right now collapsing countless cardboard boxes to take to the recycler. Between the trophies, tshirts and goodie bag contents, we are left with enough cardboard boxes to help a small family move across country.

I have my annual list of things-I'd-like-to-do-differently-next-time.

I'm making changes to the website later this spring and looking for more and better ways to make things more efficient. I want to be able to spend fewer hours on contest prep without sacrificing the quality of the show or putting too much work on anyone else. A lofty goal?

So, congratulations competitors. Thank you for getting up there and making it a good show.

Thank you audience members for the energy you bring.

And thank you calendar that we're done. For now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Goodies for the Goodie Bags

Bodybuilder Hubby and one of his good friends are downstairs right now filling up goodie bags for the 111 competitors that we have signed up for this weekend's competition.

Every year, Bodybuilder Hubby worries about getting enough stuff for the goodie bags, and every year, the sponsors do a fantastic job of supplying a variety of things for the competitors to take with them.

This year is especially good. There are two tables and the kitchen counter completely covered on boxes and containers and all sorts of random assorted goodies.

Now excuse me while I sneak downstairs and attempt to pocket a bottle of Vitamin Water and some packages of fat burner...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th - Our Lucky Day!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Friday the 13th is a lucky day in our family. I met Bodybuilder Hubby on a Friday the 13th!

It was December, 15 years ago. I had to go to a Christmas party for my job, but was planning to leave as soon as possible to get to another party with friends.

But when I got to that first party, there was this cute guy there. He was with a friend of his - the guy who had first introduced him to the world of competitive bodybuilding.

I sat near them during dinner and had a chance to start chatting with Cute Guy. I thought that maybe, just maybe, he was interested in me, so I took my paper plate to the trash to see if he would follow me. He did.


I never did make it to the other party.

But I did get to marry Cute Guy seven months later.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Registration Update

According to Bodybuilder Hubby, as of last night we had 61 competitors registered for this year's contest, which is now just two weeks away. Last year at this time we had 56.

So, since registration usually doubles during the last two weeks, we're on track for another Biggest Show Ever.

So, here's my annual plea to those of you who are planning to register but haven't yet actually done so.

Please, please, please register soon. Like now, preferably.

I'll be spending the better part of next week working on the contest program, including the list of competitor names that will be included. If you're not registered by next weekend, your name will not be included, even if you call Bodybuilder Hubby at 11pm two nights before the contest and beg.

So register now! Or at least this weekend. Especially since late fees kick in next Tuesday, April 17!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

T-shirts and Programs and Posters, Oh My!

I’m a really good planner.

After the first contest year, when so much of what had to be done came down to the last minute, I came up with a list of tasks and assigned due dates so that the work would be nice and spread out, done a little bit at a time, in a logical, efficient matter.

It was a really great plan.

Unfortunately, I’m not so good at actually following through with the plans I put together.

So, with less than four weeks to go until the contest, and that bit of panic setting in, it’s time to actually get some things done.

This week: The Contest T-shirt Design

I’m taking a different approach this time around. I’ve found a couple amazing websites that offer a huge variety of graphic designs created by random people. Most of the time, graphics available online have all sorts of copyrights attached. Some can be used for personal use only. Some require that the designers’ logo or copyright line is included in the final image. But, I think as more people learn to create digital designs, just for fun or practice, there are more and more designs that are available with no restrictions. So I can take a great image someone else made, make some tweaks, and end up with something original and interesting for the contest. Perfect.

After that, I’ll start work on the program, though Bodybuilder Hubby hasn’t gotten any of the ads from sponsors yet. The program is one project that always seems to come down to that last week.

Bodybuilder Hubby finished getting the sponsor logos on the poster and has had a lot of requests for copies, which is great. He was up late last night assembling packing boxes, addressing labels and getting more posters ready to send off. He told me this morning that he’d run out and had to get more printed, which is the kind of added task that’s welcome.

Ticket sales and competitor registration always come down to the last couple weeks, so we’re looking forward to seeing how many people will be involved this year. Can’t even really guess at this point, though it’s looking good.

The area’s NGA season starts this coming weekend with the NGA Grand Teton competition. Our contest registrations always jump after the other contests start. Maybe competitors want to see how they do on stage before committing to another show, or maybe they just focus on one competition at a time.

Whatever it is, best of luck to those of you competing this weekend, and we hope to see you on our stage in less than four weeks!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Here We Go Again!

Only six weeks left until the 2012 spring competition!

We’ve gotten off to a bit of a late start this year. We didn’t have a venue until about a month ago. After some “issues” last year, we didn’t think we’d be able to use the same place again, but Bodybuilder Hubby worked it all out, and now we’re ready to go.
This will be the fourth time that Bodybuilder Hubby (with my help, of course) has run this show. It’s a bit amazing to look back and see how much has changed.

 In 2009 there were 84 competitors. Last year we had 116, with more expected this year.

 In 2009 we had a one day event. This will be our second year with a two-day event:  Amateur Figure on Friday night and everyone else on Saturday.
 We added Bikini in 2011. Probably my least favorite category, but it did give a large new group of competitors a chance to get on stage. Bikini is back for 2012.

We’ve added a Figure Novice category, and - after a year with 17 competitors in one Figure division (I promise that will not happen again!) - we now won’t decide on the Figure divisions (which are determined by height) until right before the competition. That way we can make sure the groups are fairly equal and not too big. More groups means more first place trophies and a better battle for Overall!
In 2009 we had two toddlers and I was working multiple part-time jobs from home with the kiddos here with me. Now I work full time while they are at school all day. 2009 was Barney and diapers. Thankfully, 2012 means both of those things are distant memories. If nothing else, I’ll look at least a little less sleep deprived at this year’s contest.

 Another change for this year is that Bodybuilder Hubby is helping with some of the graphics. I put together the design for this year’s poster (Flames! I can make flames in Photoshop!) but he’s taken it and added in logos for all 24 sponsors that we now have.

 We’re off to a good start.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Websites and Memory Lane

For most of the competitors from last weekend’s show, the work they put into the show was over sometime Saturday evening.
For me, the work ended about ten minutes ago.
I took over the contest website almost a year ago. Initially I changed and updated only the pages related to the upcoming contest and left the rest alone. My plan was that someday, when I had time, I’d get the older pages updated too.
But, as those of you with jobs and kids know, there is no time. So when I went to add the scoresheets for the Fall Show (currently posted on I decided I might as well take the time to update the older scoresheet pages as well, so that the pages would be more alike and easier to update in the future.
I took a lot longer than I expected, as most projects do, but looking back at (and in some cases typing) the names of the former competitors brought back a lot of memories of those shows.
It’s interesting to see how many people compete almost every year.  And it’s interesting to see how competitors’ placings change from year to year. Like the figure competitor who had 5th place one year, 1st the next, and competed as a Pro the year after that.  There’s a story there.
There are competitors who were last one year and first the next, and vice versa. One of the things I like about these contests is that, while there are winners who have a streak of several years of 1st places, no one wins every time. The rankings change, sometimes quite significantly from year to year.  There are stories there too.
I remembered the year that Bodybuilder Hubby won his Pro card, read back over the names of the others who competed that day.  That was an amazing night. He won his weight class and then was back on stage for the Overall at the end of the show – 17 minutes on stage, guys dripping sweat under those spotlights, showing off for the judges.  In the video that I took of that time, you can hear me occasionally yelling encouragement and a good friend of mine – who was watching a bodybuilding contest for the first time – yelling too.  Then they announced his name, and all you can hear is us screaming like crazy people, and you can’t see anything because I was waving the camera around, also like a crazy person. Even now when I watch it I get a little choked up and feel so much pride in what Bodybuilder Hubby accomplished.
I was also reminded of the show two years later – Bodybuilder Hubby’s first as a Pro.  We had a baby girl, just six months old, our first.  That spring I was back at work full-time (which was really hard for me – I hated being away from her during the day), and she was going through this spurt when she never slept for more than 3 hours at a time.  I was so exhausted that at one point I dozed off standing in front of a soda machine trying to decide which can of caffeine to buy. I wanted very much to be at the show to support Bodybuilder Hubby, but the Pros went on last. It was such an incredibly long day. Hours of pacing the hallway with the baby, trying to find quiet places where she could nap.  Eventually I ended up sitting in the very back of the auditorium, holding a sleeping baby with her ears covered so the audience screaming wouldn’t wake her up. I even dozed off for a bit myself sitting back there.  Fortunately, I woke up in time to see Bodybuilder Hubby win 3rd place. Not bad at all for his first Pro show!
There will be new names added next spring, new memories made. The spring competition is tentatively scheduled for April 21, 2012, which – according to the newly updated website countdown – is only 184 days away!