Alright, so here’s what happened yesterday.
At 3 am Saturday morning, Chris awoke and microwaved several sweet potatoes. He then returned to bed until 5 am when him and Jeremy exuberantly woke up and made loud noises, thus stimulating my grudging emergence from peaceful slumber.
We had a brief panic around 6:45 am when we couldn’t find the competitor-identifying number buttons (like running race bib numbers) to pin on his man-bikini but, after dumping out all our bags several times, we found them. We stopped briefly at Dunkin’ Donuts and made it to the venue, Cape Cod Community College, by 7:30 am, just in the nick of time to sit there and wait for an hour.
The show staff weren’t even done covering the floor with protective paper at the time we showed up.
Why do they have to cover the floor with protective paper?
Because of this:
That shiny brown paint is called “Dream Tan.” As far as I know, it is made specifically for people in bodybuilding-type competitions. No normal person-around-town would wear this.
It’s incredibly messy and hard to get off. The bodybuilders wear it so all those worked-hard-for bodily features will not get washed out by the bright lights of the stage; the tanner is similar in function to the exaggerated stage make-up worn by actors under bright lights.
Applying the tanner and eating foods to make himself appear “full” but not “bloated” were the two main activities to do at the venue before Chris went onstage. The show officially started at 9 am, but, based on the number of other classes before him (women’s bikini, women’s figure, women’s bodybuilding, and men’s lightweight bodybuilding), we guessed that he would go on stage around 10 am. This is a tricky part of a bodybuilding show; it is hard to know exactly what time to prepare for going on stage because there is no way to know exactly how long the judges will spend looking at the competitors in other classes.
We chose to apply the tanner starting around 8:30 am which was a good decision as it then took us 30 minutes to fully cover his body with it and it is supposed to be on an hour before stage time. Applying tanner is like applying very thick, messy lotion-paint (as can be seen in the pictures above). Once the tanner is on, Chris can’t sit down and has to be careful about what his body touches because he becomes a giant stain-creating monster. You haven’t kissed a man until you’ve kissed a man covered in clothing-staining paint, I say.
So after tanner-time, Chris ate peanut butter and jelly on rice cakes frequently to ensure his muscles looked “full”:
Unfortunately, rice cakes are crumbly and the tanner never fully dries so he ended up with some very fine rice cake crumbles sticking to his chest. We thought about trying to get them off, but the tanner was finally looking smooth so we didn’t mess with things. Below is the picture I posted yesterday of Chris’s pecs:
Look carefully and you can see little white rice cake crumbles stuck to them. Awesome.
Chris then ate some of that jumbo pack of Reese’s I had been coveting, pumped up briefly (push-ups, body-weight squats, etc.) and was ready for stage. At 10 am exactly, Chris’s class, men’s heavy-weight bodybuilding, was called to the stage. (This was a very, very well-run show. We were really impressed with the organization.)
Ready for some stage-Chris?! Here he is!
Chris was on stage for this part, called the “pre-judging” for about 20 minutes. He told me later that my cruel game during posing practice with him, of seeing how long he would hold a pose that I called out, actually paid off and he felt totally energized on stage flexing for the judges. I’m a good posing practice pose-call-outer. Yep.
I loved watching Chris on stage. He smiled a lot, hit his poses well, and really looked like he was enjoying himself. I felt vomit-nervous before he went on stage, but once he was out there, it was fun. Everyone in his class looked amazing. (He is a “pro” which means that Chris and everyone he competes against has won an amateur show at some point. Thus, they are all experienced and tough to beat.)
And now, in the interest of not writing a 500 page post, that’s about where I’m going to end today, with what would be a cliff-hanger had I not already posted yesterday about how Chris placed. I will continue the story of “Saturday Show Day” in a post tomorrow.
I did say “about” where I will end because I absolutely must mention something that happened today. As we returned to my grandpa’s house this morning (where we stayed all weekend) after going for breakfast, I went to pick up the newspaper in his yard. With excitement, I noticed the cover of The Cape Cod Times was about the bodybuilding show AND THEN, I may have screamed, as I noticed Chris was in the front page photo!
He’s not the featured competitor and the photo isn’t exactly focused on him but hey, front page of the paper, above the article about the Red Sox playoff game?! Wow. As if it wasn’t a good enough weekend already, that made our weekend.
(Yes, we then ran out to a gas station and bought five copies of the paper and when the gas station man asked, “Why are you buying five copies of the paper?” Chris told him it was because he, Chris, was in the cover photo! And as, by this morning, Chris was no longer shiny, and is actually rather pale, and clearly Caucasian, we’re guessing the gas station man assumed Chris was crazy and is laughing heartily, right this moment, with his gas station friends about the crazy non-shiny pale man who thought he was in this cover photo of today’s newspaper.)