2016 NPAA Magazine 2016 - Volume 1 - Page 52

STEPPING ON by Alison Ludovici Competing for the first time is an experience I will cherish. I discovered more strength in myself and learned how to surpass perceived limitations. My confidence and self-love expanded expo-nentially. I felt I had won, before I had even been handed a trophy, just for succeeding in prep and stepping on stage. I want to share with you my experience as a first time competitor with the NPAA. I hope it inspires and motivates you in your journey. The Day Before Sitting down at the Athlete’s Meeting, it became very real; I was about to compete. The energy in the room was thrumming. Dr. Kevin Ashby and his wife, Wendy kept the meeting fun, while also being informative and reassuring. By the end, I was excited and eager. Next up, spray tan. I entered the tanning room to find it closely resembled a kill room from the show Dexter. The tan lady, thankfully, was so professional, I completely forgot to be nervous about getting naked. The spray tan is cold, standing in front of the fan to dry, is freezing, seeing myself transform in colour, worth it. The rest of the day was pretty relaxing. I did a short posing practice, enjoyed my dinner and dessert, read a book and hit the sheets by 9pm. Photo Credit: Skazka Images The Big Day 46. I awoke at 4:50am feeling determined. My second tanning appointment was at 6am, with hair and make-up afterwards. It was a bit of a mad dash to throw on my suit, take a few photos and get to the venue in time. I was thriving on the rush of adrenaline. Backstage The energy backstage was incredible! The camaraderie amongst the competitors was far from the catty horror stories you hear. My coach and I ran through my posing, after which, I did a quick pump up routine. I ate a few cherry blasters and a cookie for a hit of carbs and