I hope everyone has had a great week. I have been continuing with my green smoothie frenzy! I have also had one of the most stressful weeks at work which has been tough but I have got through it with some nice relaxing baths at night and by laughing with my friends, laughter really is the best medicine!
Gemma Dawson has written a few words below about her experiences at the Nationals. Gemma’s bright and happy face was a real stand out on the National stage this year and she shares her story below.
‘To compete in a Sports Model Comp, to see the possibilities of my own body and mind, learn what the body can do and how it responds to training and diet, to be able to look back and inspire not only others but myself. To lose body fat and get leaner. ‘
Gemma Dawson declared her goal to Amelia Ricci June 2010
I commence the Living Beauty program Amelia designed me on June 20 2010, and my competition results were as follows:
- 1st World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF) Best Body Swimsuit SA September 2010
- 2nd International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) SA Sportsmodel September 2010
- 4th INBA National Sportsmodel October 2010
- 4th WNBF Asia Pacific Championship Best Body Swimsuit October 2010 (tall class)
During my 12 week program (which turned into a little extended assistance due to the National competitions) I was provided with support from Amelia, not only with my amazing food & training program, but also stage presence, beauty contacts, tanning advice, make up assistance and bikini fittings. Updates to Amelia were made weekly and as she is an online trainer, if I needed anything from her she was always available via email with advice I really needed to hear.
My motivation to do the competitions is from my need to have goals in place. Since 2006 I had been running the city to bay, which is a 12km fun run held in September, and thought after the 2009 city to bay, it was time for a change. As I was a lover of the training and admired the fit women in my magazines I decided I would see if I could get up on a stage in September 2010.
I was very committed to the program from day one, having the attitude that if it is not in the program, it wasn’t happening. The food Amelia recommended was so good, full of fresh ingredients, that I loved each and every meal. The people I am around at my work can support me on this statement, as I had a smile on my face for the whole time. If there was any complaining it was from some of the boys because I was eating all the time and they wanted in. As I have always been a lover of fresh food the transition from what I was doing and the program was not that hard, however I learnt that being prepared and consistent will really bring the results.
With training, I can now appreciate that my body needs rest and to schedule rest into the week. This allowed me to go harder when I was at the gym or training outdoors, making each and every session count. As I was not wasting any of my precious time, I could spend more time with the people I loved.
My perceived expectation of what my body needed to look like for the competition was way off, and was probably not very realistic. I was so happy to have Amelia as my coach to give me the advice I needed to keep me in check with the reality of what we were going for.
I was very naive in the possibilities that were open to an individual when stepping on stage in their first competition. Whether the goal you have set is just to get up there, to place or to win, it is very necessary to be prepared for the different outcomes rather than just one.
Each federation has its own judging criteria and culture, and you may have a hot body however it may not be in line with the federations requirements and therefore you really need to do your research. The winners of the local comps will have the chance to go to the nationals, and then these winners will go to the worlds. The judges will pick who they want to represent the federation at the next level.
With the two federations I competed in (WNBF & INBA), they were worlds apart at the National level in criteria required for the posing. I cannot say that either are better than the other, as I respect both for being Natural competitions with a great environment. For athletes that want to compete, I would recommend watching a recent show from the federation you want to go in and decide which federation your physique will fit best into.
Stage presence is very important, so not only is there all the diet and training, there is the preparation to grace the stage and your chance to show off all you hard work. The camera will pickup of you are unsure or scared, and this is what the judges will see. Being on stage this year I learnt so much and it really comes down to having the whole package and not just a hot little body. You need to remember that you deserve to have your place on that stage, you earnt it and there is no reason in the world that you can not just bring it when they call your name to step out there!
The one thing I did notice was the support that came to watch the shows. In Adelaide there was a true feeling that the place was packed out and the support was amazing. Friends and family really came to support all the athletes. In the National comps the atmosphere was not the same, it did have the same amount of people watching, but I guess because we come from all over the place, it wasn’t like the feeling of a local show. For those family and friends (aswell as Skype feeds) that were present at Nationals, you really bring joy and motivation to the competitors on stage.
At the WNBF in Adelaide we did a fantastic entry to the competition, being able to strut down the isles and party it up on stage in a lil’ black number and lots of bling before heading on stage in our bikini and sportswear.
Two weeks later was the INBA SA competition, with an 15 girl line up, it was an amazing turn out. No evening wear, there was a sports inspired theme wear round. I loved the sportswear as it was really reflective of what we were competing for – to be a sports model.
After the local competitions in September, I decided to drive to Melbourne with my sister for the INBA Nationals. I thought if I had the chance, why wouldn’t I go and there was no reason not to. I booked accommodation in St Kilda and made sure I was close to the venue on the day. I registered online and was advised to pay in cash for registration the day before at Bell Fitness. I would recommend a search of all the locations you need to go to so you can make sure you leave plenty of time to get everywhere and keep in mind the traffic that could be around, especially at peak times.
For the WNBF, which was held 10 minutes from Manly, I flew over and travelled with the team from Adelaide. I could not imagine going over by myself after spending the 4 days with SA best. This experience was truly amazing and there is so much love for each athlete and the support team.
I had the packing for the shows down to a fine art by the 4th comp. I remember having so much stuff for the first comp and all I took to Sydney was my handbag as carry on and one WNBF competitor bag, filled with all my stuff for the 4 days plus my food. Good effort for a girl I was told by one competitor!
With the travelling that came with doing well at the local competitions, I was able to see my family from interstate, which was such a positive experience. I was able to see my brother in Sydney, who I haven’t seen for two years, and also my auntie and my two cousins in Melbourne, one being a new addition to the family, only being born this year (she is SO cute!). Spending time with my sister for three days was also so much fun and I think we both came away with killer abdominal muscles from all the laughing fits we had.
A special mention for the support that came with being a Living Beauty. Amelia has past and present clients all over Australia and it was amazing to be able to support interstate girls as well as being able to meet the Living Beauty clients from South Australia. There were 5 of us competing in our first comps in September and we met regularly for posing and walking classes. I don’t think one of us would change the fact that were part of a little team, sharing our thoughts, feelings and that amazing pink lipgloss. We all arrived at the competitions together with Amelia, after having our hair and makeup done, and had each other to get through the day we were working so hard to get to.
All I have taken away from the experience was all achieved with the guidance of Amelia. I thank her for the advice and service she provides, and I know the Sportsmodel category in the Federations is set to take off for years to come.”
Reading this incredible journey by Gemma certainly made me incredibly proud to be involved in her journey. Gemma is a true Living Beauty athlete and represented our team interstate with a high level of conditioning but also a great attitude! Nothing was too hard for Gemma and she took everything in her stride. We can all learn from this – when the going gets tough just smile big and bright!
Love and Light