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2011 Arnold Figure International

Just last June I had the chance to meet the girl who caught my eye on the cover of Oxygen Magazine. I was still an amateur and was preparing for USAs. Erin Stern attended a health expo I was working for Gaspari here in Houston and I was so excited to meet her. The thought never crossed my mind that 9 months later I would be on stage next to her at the 2011 Figure International!

After winning the overall title at the USAs in Vegas I strategically planned my pro debut for the Houston Pro. I wanted to be in my own environment. With all of my friends and family seated in the 3rd row I was quite comfortable on stage. Last weekend in Columbus was quite different.. I had never competed at this level, much less on stage in the middle of an Expo.  I was already more nervous than usual when I was told even the turns required of us on stage were different..help!

Luckily all of the girls I competed with were helpful and even comforting. I was so excited to hear about the prayer group held before prejudging. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it due to hair and makeup but was able to self sooth with a short prayer with my BFF before stepping on stage..

Here we go! The lights were bright, the crowd was loud, and word was my mom was there but I had yet to see her.. I walked out on stage and did my best to steady my shaking legs.. (everyone says you cant tell but it feels like an earthquake beneath me!) I headed to the front of the stage to perform my model turns in front of the scrutinizing glare a few familiar faces and many new ones on the judging panel. Were they pleased? Did I pass?? Poker faces…all of them! Then, above the hum of the expo I heard, “GO COURTNEY!!!” It was my mothers voice.. Breathe… Done. I went and took my place in line on the side of the stage. I’m sure what felt like an hour was maybe 10 minutes on stage.. but I definitely never held my poses this long on stage.

Then came call outs.. number 2.. OMG that me!! then number 4 Ava Cowan, number 7 Erin Stern, number 13 Nicole Wilkins, number 3 Felicia Romero..holy crap.. I was up there with the 4 girls I have followed for years.. Words cannot describe the overwhelming sense of excitement..accomplishment..pride.

That night I took 6th place and could not have been more ecstatic. I was in the top 6 among the very girls who had inspired my journey as a competitor from the beginning. Everyone always has their opinions on placing but I have always said that no matter what I place I win just by making it to the show. Sure I had never placed below 4th in my competitive history but for me it is all about the journey… I learned more about myself than ever during this prep and have joined an amazing sorority of women of the IFBB. Mission accomplished.

Thank you girls for welcoming me and a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way.

Until next time.. Court

courtneybwest @ 09:38  comments(2)  link to this entry 
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