I still can’t believe it’s all over. Today is 2 days post show and it’s the first second I’ve had to sit down and reflect on what was possibly one of the best days of my life. Never have I been prouder of myself or been so appreciative of achieving a goal that I set so long ago…

Show day was an experience. An experience filled with sparkles, rice cakes, bikini glue, pick and mix and giggling girls doing lateral raises in high heels and bikinis. I almost don’t know where to start, but I’ll try with the beginning.
First up, meeting my bikini bestie. This girl I met 9 weeks out on Instagram. We had spoken every day, supporting each other through the hardest workouts or picking each other’s naked bodies off the floor when we were crying over bikini fittings (ok well that one was just me). And it was the morning of meeting her. Lesson one, there are amazing girls in this industry, you just have to find them! Joanne ended up exactly how I thought and it was like we’d known each other forever. Life friend from the journey? Tick.

Next up was a morning of naked tanning (no dignity spared), having make up painted on (“don’t freak out it’s for stage remember”) and my first official ‘ukbff athletes meeting’. Yep, officially a bikini athlete now. Tick.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching some of the other incredible athletes and introducing my friends to the world of body building and fitness. No matter the class, the athletes on stage always inspire me and fill me with pride and excitement. I was joined by the rest of our team, Sam (my coach) and Emma and their arrival made me more psyched and confident than ever to rock the stage. I really wanted to do them proud. Do it for the team. After a half hour of Emma gluing my bikini bottoms within an inch of their lives I was officially stage ready. Bikini idol becoming bikini sister? Tick.
Best part of the day. All of my friends arrived! I had 8 friends front row for the show. Safe to say they made my day with their excitement and support. Proud friend? Tick.
Standing backstage waiting to go on and the atmosphere was too good. Lots of nervous girls and I was too busy pretending to be Adriana Lima (my friend Benoit was in the audience and she’s his favourite sporting VS angel and so my goal for today’s show). I had no nerves at all. Just pure excitement to show my friends what id been working towards for the last 10 months. Show Sam and Emma that I was worth the ‘occasional’ moan. And we were off!!
The next 10 minutes were a blur. I remember seeing my supporters and smiling like crazy (as you can see from my photos) and being so genuinely happy to be there. I remember saying ‘pull it in, suck it in, tense it, stick it out’ over and over in my head. And then first call outs and I hear it. 103. That’s me?!? I made first call outs! That’s top5 and I made it! Anyone who follows my blog knows this show was purely an end of a personal journey for me. Once over this whole year I thought of the competition and that swiftly deleted from my mind. Now I was top 5 and I was so proud! We did our comparisons as did the other girls and we were off. First call outs in my first show? Tick.

I literally ran off that stage and ran to my friends after that. First up Emma. Tears. Next up the home lot and I was passed home baked treats and cuddles. Blinking back tears I enjoyed the rest of the show with my friends, happier than I can remember being. After receiving some great feedback from a judge I know and respect so much, I was on cloud 9. Successful show day? Tick.

And then this happened…

First pizza in 3 months? Tick.
And the happiest day of my life was complete! I have never been prouder, never cried so many tears of happiness or never felt more at home than I did on the stage surrounded by like minded people and more importantly, by my favourite people. I can’t believe I’ve done it! And now I’m about to start it all over again. Except this time, minus the hernias, minus the phd and with the knowledge that I can do it, healthily and happily. I’ve found my place and could not be happier. Never let people tell you you’re crazy. They might never understand but the true friends support you anyway. 
Ps a special shout out to those few people who made the hardest parts of this easy. Even the worst experiences in life have a purpose and this has finally become clear in my life. Thanks to you few shady people over the past few years who pushed me through those final leg extensions, squats and curls when I was at my weakest. You made my day that much sweeter!

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