Greater Gulf States Recap
July 7, 2010 Leave a comment
I’ve been remiss in getting this post up. No excuses other than it took a bit of time to recover from the show and, of course, I’m knee deep in getting ready for Masters Nationals on July 24. Nonetheless, I want to make sure I give the highlights of the Greater Gulf States show and share my learnings along the way.
When we arrived at the New Orleans airport we met up with my bikini competitor friend, Jen, who was arriving at the same time, to share a cab. It took a good 15 minutes until we got one. He stowed all our luggage in the trunk (about 6 bags) and we all piled in. We went no more than 50 feet, telling him where to take us, when he pulled over and said he wasn’t going to take us there, something about it was too short of a drive (20 min) with that much luggage. What?! Yep, I kid you not. We all piled out and he set our luggage on the curb. We had to wait for another cab – another 10 minutes or so. That cabby took us to our hotel but unceremoniously dumped our luggage on the street. My husband had to put it up on the sidewalk and load it all up on a cart. Welcome to New Orleans!
We were concerned that this was going to set the tone for the entire weekend but luckily we were wrong. Everybody else from that point on was super nice and hospitable. This was a FUN show! Check in went smoothly and quickly. All meetings were on time and short and to the point. It was the fastest prejudging ever. The night show was a little slow at times, but really, in comparison to other shows, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I believe we were finished before 10 pm (with 189 competitors, that’s pretty darn good). The only negative comment I have is that in order to hasten things along, the competitors didn’t get to do their individual posing. In figure, we each came on individually and struck one model pose and then as soon as the full line of girls was on stage, we went into quarter turns. This was especially a bummer because some of us paid for photos and we won’t get any individual shots, it’ll all be comparisons. (
The stage had a huge step that we had to navigate in our 5 inch heels. We were concerned about that at first, but they had expeditors who were wonderfully adept at giving us a hand each and every time we had to go up or down that big step.
The competition was tough. I think a lot of people were surprised at the caliber of the athletes. I love it when it’s a challenge so I was in my element. I placed 2nd in Masters 45+. The girl who won first deserved it hands down. She has a beautiful physique.
I was a little bummed at first since I was hoping for 1st place, but my disappointed was quickly replaced with elation when I won 3rd place in Open Class D. The girl who won that class was the same girt who beat me in Masters and the girl who came in 2nd is one of my teammates (Oddo’s Angels) and she is 15 years younger than me and absolutely beautiful.
Especially sweet is the fact that due to my placings I have qualified for Nationals at all levels!!! I’m still in shock! I’ve qualified for Nationals before but who would think at age 51 that I’d qualify for Nationals in the Open Classes. Rock on!!!
Following the show I indulged in champagne and jelly beans – my favorite post competition treat. We then went out and I had some shrimp and bread – yummy! We spent the next day in the French Quarter and although I was careful to keep my tastes of local fare to only tastes rather than large helpings, I enjoyed a bit of gumbo, jumbalaya, red beans and rice, and then a wonderful salad with shrimp and crawfish. By mid-afternoon I was feeling a bit odd. I looked down at my feet and found my ankles were HUGE! I had edema big time. I texted a picture of my feet to my friend. Her husband’s a doctor and he immediately called me and told me that I needed to watch out for deep vein thrombosis, a potentially dangerous condition. He told me to put my feet up, put warm, wet compresses on them and drink water. He said that if the swelling wasn’t gone by the morning to go to Urgent Care and ask for a venogram. Potentially I wouldn’t be able to fly home if I still had swelling. Who knew?!
Luckily, the swelling was almost gone by the morning. After talking with my trainer, I was reassured that the swelling was most likely a combination of sodium intake in my very clean body, humidity, lots of walking and perhaps the plane flight too. I’m happy to say that I’m back to normal and will be extra careful with my post competition treats following Masters Nationals in July. )