Week 6: Behind the Bikini

Instead of my normal weekly bulleted recap, I thought I’d share a game-changing observation I’ve made since my very first week of joining Team Chrome and formally preparing for my first competition season.

Ladies, picture this: you’re standing in a bright, mirror-lined section of your local gym in nothing but a border-line thong bikini and clear skyscraper platform heels. And you’re not alone; there are 10-15 other bikini-clad girls right there with you. Half have done this before, the other half are all newcomers like you. Next, you are tasked with posing, positioning and contorting your body to make it look as attractive as possible in front of everyone. PAUSE. Now tell me this, have you ever, EVER, been in a room full of women with almost every inch of your body exposed in a presumably competitive fashion but not felt a single ounce of insecurity, judgment or “are they looking at my cellulite” thoughts? Be honest. I’m totally expecting a “no” here because for me and my 27 years, I could never have answered this question with a completely positive, 100% “yes” – that is, until I joined Team Chrome.

There is simply something special about being a part of this team. Every single woman, from the trophy veterans to the first-timers, genuinely encourages others, congratulates when others are making killer progress and volunteers to work with each other like study-buddies outside of posing practice to perfect our stage presence. Every time I have a question or fear or doubt about what to expect, a teammate generously lifts me up with stories of their experience or words of wisdom. And from what I hear, the sense of team only gets better as we prepare for the competition together, bond on the road and lean on each other backstage. I’ve recounted time and time again how much value I see in hiring a coach for training, nutrition and posing practice during this process but I want to be sure to highlight how much I cherish the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from a team of incredibly strong and admirable women along the way.

What else has Team Chrome taught me about competing? Behind the bikini lies the guts and grit of an athlete. As an outsider, its easy to take one look at a competition day photo and think, “wow, this is a highly sexualized beauty contest,”. And I get it, the women are gorgeous, the suits are tiny, the shoes look like “stripper heels” and some of the poses can be a bit provocative to say the least. In fact, one of my biggest hesitations to competing initially was the thought of having photos of me in a bikini searchable via Google! But with 6 weeks of Team Chrome under my belt, I can tell you with absolute conviction that the reason we wear what we wear, pose how we pose and show off our bodies the way that we do is because we’ve busted our asses to sculpt and define them to the best of our ability. It takes pure athletic guts to push our bodies to the brink of failure every single day. And for that, I am proud. I am proud to be a part of this team and I am proud to show every square inch of muscle that I’ve earned with sweat and tilapia.

And for funsies, here are some progress photos that Brooke took of me today during training. Getting tighter and leaner each week! 6 weeks out!

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