So, everyone’s been asking what happened at the UKBFF British Finals in Nottingham last weekend, and I wanted to wait till I have photos to add to my blog/post, and I have now got all the photos etc to back it up.
Held at Theatre Royal, Nottingham, 700 competitors seen over one hectic and long weekend. You probably know by now that I didn’t get top 6, out of the 15 girls on stage, and I went there with the knowledge that it was unlikely. The UKBFF Woman’s Physique class I do believe is the toughest category in the toughest federation, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I prefer a challenge rather than an easy ride. And standing next to the finest physiques in the country helps me see what I need to work on, and what’s good about me too. But…friggin’ hell…what physiques did turn up this year!
The day I thought was super organised, Cheryal and her team at ProGlow tanning was bang on time with my tan at 8.30am. Bumping into Hayley Brylewski in the tanning booths, getting a glimpse at how super tight she was this year…and accidently getting a glimpse of the boys tanning area brightened up my morning too..DOH!
Then onto make-up, with the lovely MUA Donna, again…bang on time and ready to roll at 10.20am in a room backstage which soon became the place for us all to hang, chat, sleep, sip on our water, and munch on our rice cakes.
Bumped into Linda Gartside in the corridor too looking beautiful all dollied up, great make up! And my buddy Clare Ibbett joined us in the dressing room for the duration too, and we then sat giggling through silly stories, with the occasional sip of wine to boot!
Time for bikinis on, thanks to Muscle Dazzle again, for a fabulous suit, and a perfect fit all the way from the US. Amazing service. Then off we go after a call to back stage for pumping up, pinning on your numbers and getting glazed. Time for a bit of sugar too (and I don’t mean you Dennis!), it is supposed to make you veinier and help with your pump…but I just think really it’s a well-deserved treat before you go on!
Moving on to stage right, continuing to pump, a little dance to someone’s funky routine music, and a nose around at everyone’s bodies! You know it, course we all do it! And wow…what a bunch of women to be stood around. Women from 20 odd to nearly 50 odd years of age, who are mothers, company directors, PT’s, hard-working employers and employees and hard training girls in their physical prime at that very moment. All motivators, inspirations, super-consistent, driven ladies with hours and hours of weight lifting and cardio sessions behind them, clean eaten food preppers for weeks/months to get right here. Totally in control of their bodies and very aware of every muscle and ligament as they move. Amazing.
And we are on……
A long time being judged. Was a tough call. There were those that shone through, and those that were very good. No one was out of place. Everyone deserved to be there.
The top six 1st Donna Murphy, 2nd Andrea Corbett, 3rd Linda Gartside, 4th Ade Bishop, 5th Emma Gormley, and 6th Anita Tryc. An amazing top 6. Although I must be honest in saying I was pretty shocked that Hayley Brylewski wasn’t in the top line up. Her condition and muscularity I thought was the best I’ve seen her, so I was a little baffled. But I guess it would have been hard to choose.
I also am surprised Linda hasn’t got a gold medallion or trophy so far this year, so much work and improvements made! She’s looking phenomenal this year! Give her a bloody Pro Card for crying out loud!
Donna and Andrea…what can I say…I looked positively skinny next to these two spectacular bodies. Donna symmetry on stage was second to none, and Andreas legs! Jeez!!!
Time for treat bags back stage! Not sure whether I was more excited about doing the show or eating my treat bag? And a chat with some lovely new physique ladies met for the first time, like Nicky Glarvey (thanks for sharing your back stage photos!) Ece Kilkis…making me laugh with her 3-hour hair do! And meeting and chatting to the lovely Anita Tryc, and I can’t forget my lovely cuddle from Ade Bishop after show. To be fair, the comradery from all the girls made for a great atmosphere, and always enjoy and admire the maturity and mutual respect that comes with the Woman Physique category.
This year was always going to be my last show. Body building was always a hobby to me. And from being on stage this year, I see I need to add a hell of a lot of mass to get anywhere near the top spots, and at my age that doesn’t happen easy, and I have other things I need to focus on. Such as my telecoms business of 20 years, which I also love, my mother who has Alzheimer’s, and to whom I am her carer, along with my 2 sisters and one of her friends. More and more time is needed to be spent with her. I need a social life back too. I need to be around my friends and family more but I never say never. And I will NEVER stop going to the gym and training.
I want to thank all in the UKBFF, especially Sarah Bridges who’s always supportive, Paul Knight, who taught me my abs and thigh…which didn’t get called this year! Martin Kelly who’s always got a kind smile for me, and all the judges who’s paths I’ve crossed over the years. John Plummer for some lovely comments in his reports and always answers my questions I message him, and Chris Bailey for his beard, long hair and flip flops…oh and those stage shots! Eric Guy also for his photos and peculiar sense of humour? Liquid Sun Rayz, ShowTan and ProGlow for my perfect tans, Selena Bikini, Harlequin and Muscle Dazzle for my bikinis. All the gyms I train at where ever I lay my hat…for letting me pay to lift their weights, and sometimes do it for free!
I enjoyed every part of this year’s season, the prep, the qualifier, the training and the finals. I bought the best me to date for sure. I can also thank bodybuilding for fixing all the things I hated about myself in the mirror during my younger years, my wobbly bingo wings…gone…my tree trunk knees…gone….my flat granny bum…gone..(ish)..and giving me confidence in me. Making me proud of who I am, and giving me a healthy lifestyle and better understanding of food, and how eating right has improved my skin, hair and all that comes with a good diet and exercise. Bodybuilding and fitness made me a better person and more in control of every aspect of my life. So…better get off to the gym…before my next meal…and so life goes on.
Special mentions to those who have always been there for show support and advice – Mark Etherton, Danni Cage, Stella Milani, Antonietta Maria, Leo Johnson, Adam Howkins, Christal Cornick, Campbell Noon, Gareth Hicks, George Morris, Kendrick, Louise Beard, Matt Marsh, Spencer Davey and all those friends and my family.
And other friends and fellow competitors who have shared the stage, supported me and/or who understand and trust the process – Angela Kirkpatrick, Nat Simon, Douglas Lippingwell, Sandra Lippingwell, Fay Chester, Nikky Ricks, Gabriel Ogunmakin, Gemma Lancaster, Rosie Harte, James Perry, Jason Clare, Jodie Barrett, Karen Cobb, Kirkules Grimsley, Leica Geisei, Michelle Williams, Natalie Jowett, Nicki Chandraraj, Patrick Marshall, Zakos Pallikaros and my close friends and family.