Earlier this week I read there are more than 18,000 athletes from 80 nations competing in 70 sports and events. If you have never been to Ohio for the ASF there are no words to paint a picture for the 1,000+ booths and over 200,000 attendees that wander the streets of Ohio. For many competitors in my industry the Arnold Sports festival #ASF is the proverbial "kick off" for the competitive season with the Olympia being more of the season ending Superbowl. However you want to look at it the season is officially off and running!!!
I attended the Arnold Classic for the first time back in 2005. At that time I was a "rookie" in the competitive world. I had just competed in my first show a few months prior and ON FIRE!! I wanted more and couldn't seem to get enough so where else to go than the Arnold Classic in Columbus Ohio. I wasn't allowed much time to wander as I was working a booth all four days I was there. Its coffee and in the morning to get myself going and ibuprofen for my aching feet and back come days end. After maneuvering though the jam packed expo while avoid the "clouds of death" generated by the thousands of crop dusting patrons sharing their post consumption expulsions it was it was off to eat, sleep and repeat.
Personally I have attended the event as a competitor, employee and business owner. Sometimes wearing more than one hat at the same time. More than once I've laid naked in a hotel room waiting for my tan to dry (on my dark blanket of course) answering emails from clients, altering suits, or more than likely stoning my own suit as its always the LAST one I do. The air filled with the smells of asparagus and thawing fish while the water for my oatmeal gurgles through the coffee machine for a quick heating. I have memories of sitting back stage and walking through my routine with my headphones in and eyes closed watching myself execute each and every move with precision. LOL Kind of like singing in the car or shower.....always seems better in those moments than it turns out on the actual videos from stage. And last but certainly not least the moments where my heart POUNDS though my chest waiting and waiting for those words that will slay or celebrate the blood sweat and tears of the tiring MONTHS of prep. After what seems like an hours of standing there (real time under 2 minutes) you finally hear those words "the judges would like to see number......”
For the first time in a while I will not experiencing the smells, sights and sounds of the Arnold Classic. This year I sit in Omaha Nebraska at a stoning table putting the final touches on the next round of suits. My lap top by my side and occasionally, often more than needed, I reach over and press F5…..F5…..F5. For the love of $&#$@% why isn’t this updating!!!!! No I am not at the Arnold but a HUGE part of my passionate heart is. Yes I may need an intervention for my unhealthy relationship with the stage. It has provided me with tears of joy and tears of pain. But even with my absence this year it still continues to provide for me.
Best wishes to all of you competing this weekend at the Arnold Classic! Thank you for allowing TMarie to be the bow on the package you bust your tail to build and grace the stage! I am forever grateful for that opportunity from each and every athlete rocking a TMarie! As you jump on your plane and head home later this weekend and over analyze the pics (you know you will) please tag me on your post so I can continue to follow your journey!