Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Recap of Show Day #2

Ever since Saturday’s show, the final show that Chris is competing in (for at least 3 years he tells me), Chris has repeatedly told me that he feels like he’s just been let out of prison.  “You don’t know what freedom is until you’ve followed a strict schedule of eating and planning eating and exercising for six months and then suddenly all restrictions are lifted!” says Chris.

Initially this immense feeling of freedom was incredible and joyous and Chris was so excited to be able to not worry about sticking to an eating schedule of specific foods, but this morning, as we were about to leave for work, I encountered him in a near panic muttering to himself in the kitchen.  He said he had been so excited to eat whatever he wanted at work today but now he didn’t know what to choose!  He still wanted to eat food that would make him feel good and be nutritious throughout the day but it had been so long since he’d made food decisions based on hunger and feeling good throughout the day that he was at a loss for what to do!  I calmed him and assured him he could eat a variety of foods and it would be OK and finally he calmed down and packed his lunch box.

When we rehashed this brief food frenzy as we drove into work together, Chris again brought up the “released from prison” analogy and told me that he believes he is now having trouble “reintegrating into society.” You can’t make this stuff up folks.  That’s what he said.  Perhaps we should find a bodybuilder-now-eating-normal-food-quantities-and-variety-and-is-overwhelmed reintegration social worker for him?

So now to recap the events of Saturday.

The day started around 6:30 am with coffee; Chris felt good.

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We then drove the hour or so to Amherst and found the venue on the UMass Amherst campus which was in what appeared to be the plant science department.  There was a sign for “Turf-grass physiology” next to where we set down all our stuff.  At one point, a plant professor came down to his lab and when we apologized for being in the way (and Chris being tan and nearly naked and eating rice cakes in his hallway), the professor smiled and said something like, “Oh, we’re used to you people; we see you ever year,” and then he offered to take our picture.  What a nice plant professor!  (I loved the phrase, “you people.”)

A bikini competitor was getting ready in the lab behind Chris.

A bikini competitor was getting ready in the lab behind Chris near the beakers.

Chris went on stage around 11:30 am.  He looked amazing.

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However, the other guys on stage looked amazing too.

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Chris had the conditioning (meaning he was definitely lean enough), but these guys just had more muscle; they were huge (see pictures below)!  The winner of his class was the champion of West Africa who actually came from West Africa to compete; wow.  (The winner of his class is 2nd from the left in the picture on the right).

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So look at how massive these guys are and then picture then posing to, in order, “California Gurls,” “Call Me Maybe,” and “Oops, I did it again,” because those were the songs playing the entire time these humungous manly men were out there flexing.  When “Oops, I did it again” came on after those other two songs had just played, I believe I actually laughed out loud. Interestingly, Chris said he hadn’t even noticed the music.

After this time when they compare the competitors side-by-side (called “prejudging”) it was time to hang around and wait for the bikini and figure competitors to finish their posing routines.  As soon as we got back down to our plant lab hallway, a show organizer came and told us we needed to move our stuff to an area of the plant department where there was paper on the walls (to protect against the tanner).  The hallways were pretty crowded with competitors so we got the last choice location which was on a ramp by the door to outside.

Chris is sitting weirdly because he is trying to not get tanner all over things.

Chris is sitting weirdly because he is trying to not get tanner all over things and because the chair is on a slant.

As there wasn’t much to do while waiting for Chris to go back on stage to do his posing routine, I amused myself by taking close-up pictures of his muscles which I think will now become a fun “guess the body part!” feature of this blog.  We can start with the picture below.  Who knows what that is?!

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Around 4:30 pm or so, Chris went on stage again and did his posing routine.  Around 5 pm, they announced the top 5 giants (no breath holding for Chris here; we knew he wasn’t placing) and then got ready to leave.  Chris, brilliantly, decided to wipe off most his tanner with a towel this time before getting in the car to drive home.

Somewhat de-tanned

Somewhat de-tanned

Once home, he showered with the loofah and baby oil (and some new “exfoliating gloves” he had found at the store which he told me about very excitedly and with a completely straight face), and then we jubilantly celebrated his ability to eat food at restaurants now by going to Texas Road House for dinner and Friendly’s for dessert.

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That ice cream delight you see if called a “Cone Head” and yes it’s from the kid’s menu and has a smiley face made of Reese’s Pieces on it, but ya know, you diet for 6 months, you get whatever bizarre dessert you crave.  (He did ask the waitress for “an adult sized” Cone Head.)

Also, at Texas Road House, we were given this form with our check:

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At the last Texas Road House I went to, in Texas, I was not given one of these…  A bit ominous as winter approaches if you ask me…

To conclude, now that Chris is done dieting, there has been some voiced concern over what will happen to this blog.  Well, he’s still “my bodybuilder” and I still live with him right?  Right now watching him “reintegrate into society” is pretty awesome so I’m going to write about that.  If life with him ever gets boring, the blog will stop, but as long as he’s being his bodybuilder self and giving me things to write about, the blog continues.

Show Day #2

Chris is done dieting!!!  Hooray!!!

He is currently in the shower loofah-ing off the tanner.  He, uncharacteristically, switched his plans and we did not go for wings in Amherst but instead are going to the local Texas Road House.  We are going out to dinner!!! Hooray!!!

Thus, this post is brief.

The show was excellent.  Chris did not place, but he did not expect to place.  He looked better than two weeks ago and came in the best shape possible.  He left contented and really, really thrilled that he can eat anything he wants now.

As a teaser for the upcoming show recap post (which I’ll do in the next few days), here are two pictures from today.

His back looked like this (that’s tanner mixed with sweat bunching up at the top; it’s not some skin disease, don’t worry):

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And I wore a t-shirt all day with a picture of him in his posing trunks on it.

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And that is all I am going to write today because I have to get to a dinner date with my fiance at a restaurant where we are both going to eat food together and we are not going to count its macros and then afterwards both of us may eat ice cream!!!  Hooray!!!!!!!!

The Day Before Show #2

As this second show is only about an hour’s drive from our apartment, we are leaving for the show tomorrow morning.  Chris has his bags packed and food organized and we are ready.

There are 30 professional men’s bodybuilding competitors at this show, something like 10 professional women’s bodybuilders, and a gazillion bikini and figure competitors so the show is supposed to take all day.  It’s on the UMass Amherst campus and the show promoters sent Chris an email saying that this weekend is UMass homecoming so alumni may be around popping their heads into the auditorium; that should be interesting.

Chris woke up this morning weighing 187 lbs.  It is kind of crazy that he’s still losing weight. As I’ve stated many, many times before, he looks so lean.

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That’s him in a side chest pose and a farmer’s tan.

Today was a much calmer day before the show than last time.  Chris’s plan was to calmly get things ready for tomorrow and to focus on relaxing.  He was doing well staying calm until I left to run an errand and when I returned he was out-of-it and not talking much and clearly agitated and when I asked what was going on (assuming he must be getting stressed about tomorrow) he told me he was working on addressing reviewer comments to a paper he’d submitted and I told him that was the most ridiculous thing to do ever the day before a big bodybuilding show when you weigh 187 and have stated that your objective on this day is “to relax” so then he said something like, “Oh right, addressing reviewer comments on papers is stressful!  Thanks for reminding me of that!” and then he stopped addressing the reviewer comments.  He spent the rest of the day watching “Pumping Iron” and ESPN jabber, and lying flat on his back in bed, which is what he is doing at this moment.

And because it’s Friday night and it’s looking like it’ll be a me-and-my-laptop kinda night, as Chris is still lying flat on his back in bed, I decided to compose a short poem:

Twas the night before the second show

Of men cut like sculptures in galleries.

The lean, yet massive, creature was not stirring

Because he needed more calories.

 

Tomorrow is the big day

The day he will compete

And we cannot wait for tomorrow

Because finally, lots of food, he will eat.

 

 

 

Thursday of Peak Week #2

This afternoon, I pinched Chris’s fat and measured its thickness at various locations on his body.  This is the kind of date we go on these days.  Ha!

Back to seriousness, this is called taking skin-fold measurements.  We were doing this to see how lean he is.

Skin-fold measurements are decently accurate at estimating percent body fat if you know what you are doing and have had sufficient practice.  Being amazing, as I am, I do know what I’m doing and I have had sufficient practice.

I pinched and measured Chris at 7 different sites.  We then put the numbers (in mm) that I got into 3 different equations which are all meant to estimate body density which can then be used to estimate percent body fat.

(I say “estimate” because no body composition method can exactly determine percent body fat; almost nothing irritates me more than someone bragging that he is exactly 7.52% or 9.43% body fat.  No, you’re not.  That is an estimate and you are in that range.  Ditch the decimals.  While we’re on the topic of body comp related things that irritate me, the phrase “lean muscle mass” is way up there.  Think about what you’re saying you ridiculous supplement company or new workout fad promoter!  There is lean mass and there is muscle mass but there is no “lean muscle mass.”  Is there fat muscle mass? If I didn’t do your workout or take your supplement would I develop fat muscle mass?  I don’t think so.  So don’t ever say “lean muscle mass.”  Ever.  Or I will throw messy bodybuilder tanner all over you.  Now, back to Chris and the skin-folds.)

It is stated in textbooks that the density of lean mass is 1.1 g/cm^3 while the density of fat mass is 0.9 g/cm^3.  Using three different equations, we calculated Chris’s current body density at 1.089, 1.094, or 1.092 g/cm^3.  Although of course those numbers are not his exact body density, the range of them all is pretty close to 1.1 g/cm^3, meaning, Chris is extremely lean.

When we calculated percent body fat from these numbers, Chris came out at 4.54%, 2.22%, and 3.31%.  This means he does not have much body fat.  (Again, it does not mean that he is exactly 4.54%, 2.22% or 3.31% body fat).

As far as taking his skin-folds went, it was interesting to see that I could get a good fat pinch from the subscapular site (on the mid back) but was clearly measuring just a double layer of skin thickness at the chest and midaxillary (under the armpit) sites.

Chris weighed 189 lbs. today.  He is, once again, clearly the leanest he has ever been.

After we took the skin-folds, on the way home from work, Chris told me I smelled like salad dressing.  I hadn’t eaten any salad dressing.  Or even been around salad dressing today. The man is so hungry.  Well, with his testosterone levels like they must be by now based on my previous case study of him, at least him thinking I smell like salad dressing could finally peak some interest in me maybe…

Oh, were you wondering if Chris had created a new spreadsheet to track changes in his skin-fold thickness measurements, body density, and % body fat in the off-season?  Come on, you know the monster we’re dealing with here.  Body fat

Please note that he titled the spreadsheet, “Offseason.”  I thought spreadsheeting was ending with the show this weekend.  I really thought that was the goal.  But this is clearly a new spreadsheet and it appears that it will be used in the “Offseason.”  I now think Chris may have an addiction to his spreadsheets.  Along with the cinnamonologist recommendation for Chris that I asked for in a previous post (to cure Chris of his excessive use of cinnamon), I think I now need a recommendation for a good spreadsheeters anonymous group for him…

2 days!

Wednesday of Peak Weak for Show #2

Chris just returned from the grocery store and excitedly displayed for me all the foods he bought for next week when competing will be over (for a few years at least), and he can stop spreadsheeting everything he consumes.  The exciting diet-breaking foods he bought were the following:  pistachios, cheese, and a different brand of peanut butter.  Wow.  Don’t go too crazy there buddy.

To accompany these crazy foods, Chris also bought many of the exact same things he has been eating during the diet but, after the diet, he will get to eat them in larger quantities. Gosh, I just don’t know if I can marry a man this CRAZY. 

As a man delighting in preparation, Chris has again pre-selected the wing place where we will go to after the show on Saturday and, of course, he knows exactly what he will eat there (25 hot wings).

In other news, last weekend, we went to Chicago for my friend’s wedding.  There was serious talk of photographing Chris in his posing trunks in front of The Bean, but, much to my dismay, at the last minute Chris decided it was too cold out.  This would have been an awesome blog post if I had a picture of Chris in his posing trunks in front of The Bean (probably with large numbers of people gawking in the background).  Alas.

In Chicago, on Saturday, we made Chris walk around the city for hours in the morning, watch us go out to lunch, and then stay up well past his 9-10 pm eastern timezone bedtime. Saturday was Chris’s planned lowest food intake day of the week so this was tough for him. He was quite the trooper though and powered through although he does look like he might eat someone in this picture taken at the wedding:

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“Soooo hungry!!!” – Chris

We got back to Massachusetts mid-day on Sunday which meant Chris had just enough time for some high-intensity intervals.  As his gym was closed, this meant running hills.  As I love running and love Chris running, whenever Chris runs hills, I feel obligated to run with him.

Chris told me we were going to run “the hill by our apartment,” and, as there are many hills by our apartment, I assumed we were going to run up the closest hill to our apartment which is very steep.  Chris, however, meant that we were going to run up the absolute steepest hill you have ever seen ever, that is also sort of near our apartment.  This is the kind of hill where it looks like cars will topple over backwards when driving up it.

Pictures don’t do it justice, but we took some anyway:

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There’s Chris!  (taken from the top of the hill)

And that's me!

And there’s me! (taken from the top of the hill again)

Note the distant background in the picture; that is the bottom of the hill.

What? Pictures aren’t enough?  You want to see video footage of Chris running up the hill? Well, lucky day for you, I have video footage of Chris running up the hill!  I think the video does a better job of showing the hill’s grade.

I have no idea what those weird noises in the video are.  My breathing maybe?  That at the end there was, “You can stop recording,” as in, “Lindy, I will throw-up on you right now if you do not stop recording this instant.”  He never did vomit.  (Neither did I).  We call that a successful hill workout.

Three days until show number 2!

Sugar-Free Syrup and the Columbus Day Flood

On Sunday morning, after the show, Chris had another “exciting” meal.

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I was pleasantly surprised that, even though he qualified for the Yorton which was two weeks from this show (one week and a day from today), he still decided to eat two “fun” meals (chicken wings on Saturday and breakfast out on Sunday).  Chris still qualifies as a crazy diet-robot in my book though as, for this second “fun” meal, he still asked for sugar-free syrup and would not eat his potatoes.  Why even eat pancakes if you’ve going to sugar-free syrup them?  Gross. Things like this are why I scoff when he tells me excitedly that he’s going to order a giant McDonald’s combo meal when he’s done dieting.  Maybe he will order one but then he won’t eat the fries, will throw the bun away, and replace the ketchup with broccoli florets (or something similarly distorting of the generally implied meaning of “going to eat a McDonald’s large combo meal”).  Anyway… by Sunday afternoon, Chris was back in the contest prep diet swing and, in the American Airlines departure drop-off lane at Logan airport, after we said good-bye to Jeremy, Chris assembled and consumed his yogurt concoction.

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Yep, giant cinnamon container had come on the trip with us too.

On Monday morning, still running on the adrenaline of qualifying for the Yorton show, Chris woke up early, grocery shopped, artistically organized his food, and sent me pictures.

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We’ve got apples,

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and lots of broccoli and beef bags and some almonds,

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more giant cinnamons and Equal,

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some eggs (those are my baby cheeses and jellos),

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and many egg whites and a few large yogurt tubs arranged with almost creepy artistry.  That centerpiece egg white container contrasting with the curvyness of the yogurts?  That took thought.

So Monday was going well; Chris was relaxed and surfing the high of having qualified for the Yorton until all of a sudden, around 1 pm, the fire alarm in our apartment building blared.

I’ll pause here to mention why Chris and I were at home at 1 pm on a Monday: in Massachusetts, we get ALL holidays off work.  I have never in my life gotten Columbus Day off.  This is exciting.  I feel sorry for people who move from Massachusetts to the mid-west and realize with dismay that “Patriots Day” is not something the rest of the country actually observes.

So this Monday was Columbus Day and we were home “observing” it and I’d made some awesome jokes about how we should celebrate by dressing up as the Santa-Maria and the Pinta and walk along water-ways and discover things and I then learned the hard way that you should never make boat and water-way related jokes because then your fire alarm will go off and the sprinkler system in the hallway will be activated and not shut off for almost 25 minutes (!!!) causing the hallway to be several inches deep in water and some of this water will get in your apartment and you will know logically that you are not in a boat in the mid-Atlantic in the poor passengers’ quarters where the mean ship-worker has locked you below deck but, really, you saw Titanic A LOT in high school because you had a thing for Leonardo DiCaprio back then and it’s really hard to get the image of the water rising and rising and you drowning in your apartment out of your head.

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Trying, in vain, to stop the rising waters from the hall sprinker

(I should mention, for those of you concerned, that there wasn’t any fire; a mover had hit the hall sprinkler with a couch.)

Once the sprinkler stopped down-pouring (it was definitely NOT “sprinkling”), the electricity went out.

All calmness left Chris.  It was almost time for him to eat.  And he needed a microwave.  And we no longer had electricity.  And, as the hallway looked like a disaster zone, it looked like electricity could be off for a while.  (In Titanic, if I remember correctly, once the electricity went off, the ship sank pretty quickly.  Would our apartment sink, forcing us to utter corny yet compelling love lines to each other while clinging to a one-person sized board?)

I believe Chris estimated at this point, in a panic, that, based on the circumstances, the electricity would probably be off for the next 5 days.  I told him this was unlikely, but understood that he was hungry and illogical and very worried about future food.  I had to go into work for a bit anyway (as professors even when we are “off work” we are of course not really “off work”) so Chris went in with me and microwaved.  When we got home, two hours later, there were six men in our apartment ripping up our soaked carpet, but, joy of joys, the electricity was back on.

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This was the work order that maintenance filled out for our apartment that day.  It’s a bit hard to read but it says, “We came by for the following:” and the “other” box is checked and written in the blank is “flood.”  Nice.

That same day was also apparently the day that the city opens up all the fire hydrants causing water to gush all over the streets.  To prove I am not making this up, please see the following “Hydrant Flushing Notice.”  Water on the streets wasn’t a big deal but it caused our toilet water to turn brown and Chris swore our drinking water tasted contaminated.  Thus, on the day our apartment flooded, we went out and bought, what else, more water.  Water water everywhere…

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That is a fully flushed toilet.  I was going to call maintenance about the toilet water color until the sprinkler thing happened and then, rusty brown toilet water just didn’t seem like a big deal anymore.

So life continues.  Chris is back on his diet plan, feeling good during his workouts but a bit hungry and tired during the day.  I can’t believe we’re about to get back into the “peak week” deal again.  Didn’t we just do this?

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Yep, this happy man is ready to compete again.

Show-Day Saturday Recap: Installment Two

Yesterday’s cliffhanger post ended with Chris on stage at prejudging.  We will resume the story of “Saturday Show Day” there.

Following prejudging, Chris had about two hours to hang out in the getting-ready area until it was time for his posing routine.  While waiting, he ate more carbohydrate-rich food and tried to relax without actually sitting down (and thus messing up the tanner and staining things).

Finally, around 12:30 pm, Chris was called on stage.  As you watch this video, and judge Jeremy and I harshly, please keep in mind that, although I was holding the camera in my hand with the “record” light on, we were completely focused on watching Chris, and thus were not thinking one bit about our audio also being recorded.  If you are sensitive, you may want to watch the video on mute. Also, the announcer (not Chris) messed up my name. Here’s it is:

After all the competitors completed their routines, the judges announced the top five competitors.  The top five competitors would definitely go on to compete in two weeks at the natural bodybuilding championship show, the Yorton.  Now here’s the catch:  the judges had told the competitors prior to the Cape Cod show that one of the heavy-weight men had already qualified for the Yorton, and thus, if this man placed in the top 5 at the Cape Cod show, the 6th place contestant would also qualify for the Yorton.

When the judges announced the top 5 competitors, they did not announce if one of these 5 had already qualified and they did not announce who had come in 6th place.

When Jeremy and I reunited with Chris backstage, he was doing the “I’m disappointed but trying to not act disappointed because this was a good experience and now I can eat again and blah blah etc.” and we said he looked amazing on stage and I thought he should have been 5th (because I’m an entirely unbiased judge on where he should have placed) and as we were leaving, Chris said, “I’m going to just check with the judges about where I placed, just in case maybe I did qualify,” and Jeremy and I sat in the back of the auditorium with Chris’s stuff while Chris talked to the judges at their table in the front of the auditorium and Chris must have talked to about 4 judges and was up there for maybe 10 minutes while Jeremy and I stared at them all in angst trying to read the body language to see if the judges were telling Chris, “Nice job, but better luck next time buddy-pal” or if they were saying, “Way to go, Yorton Qualifier!” but we couldn’t figure out anything until this face skipped down the aisle towards us:

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Yes, he really did skip.  There was a hop-step in there.  And he had reason to skip-hop-step, because, he had placed 6th, and a guy in the top 5 had already qualified, which meant that Chris also qualified for the Yorton.  That was some intense suspense.  Being with Jeremy, who is not known as the King of Calm, made it all the more crazy.  Seeing the excitement on Chris’s tanner smudged face was awesome.  Experiencing this joy with him was one of my favorite moments of the whole weekend.

And then we went out for wings.

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Possible caption:  “The starving coal miner finishes off the bones of a mine squirrel”

And then we went back to my grandpa’s house so he could remove the tanner from his body.

What does a bodybuilder need to remove his tanner?  Why baby oil, a loofah, and towels of course!

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Ready for removal!

How does a bodybuilder avoid messing up Lindy’s grandpa’s bathroom?  By showering in the outdoor shower, of course. (It was about 60 degrees out).

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Shower time!

What should a bodybuilder do before getting in Lindy’s grandpa’s outdoor shower?  Why, flex in the backyard of course.

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Is the next picture of Chris quite possibly my favorite picture of him ever?  Why yes, yes it is (of course)!

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“I’m a bodybuilder, in a backyard, in front of this clothesline, and it’s 60 degrees out, and I don’t have any clothes on, and I look like I’m singing!”  -Chris

Once Chris thought the tanner was all off, it wasn’t really all off:

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There’s a bit in the center and on the left side of his back.

We stood in the backyard and I rubbed off the rest of his back’s tanner with a towel, and we hoped the neighbors had stayed inside and away from all windows that day.

We ended that triumphant day with a relaxing bonfire on the beach.

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And then we ate some of Chris’s Reese’s.  And we noticed, that Chris, in his candy-inexperience, had accidentally bought the “snack size” Reese’s when his pre-contest plan had called for standard sized Reese’s.  Oh Chris.  We’ll have to re-enroll you in candy school so you don’t make foolish mistakes like this one.

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And that was show day.  There’s more to tell about the day after show day and what’s to come now with the renewed two weeks of contest prep, but I will save these for a later post.

I want to end with an amazing picture of Chris’s parents in Florida on show day:

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Those are ultimate Chris Fahs fans!