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I'm finally home and rested from my competition. This will probably end up being a very stream of consciousness-style entry since the whole experience is a blur, and I was dehydrated and carb depleted for part of it.

Friday afternoon was the last time I had water before my competition, which wasn't so bad after that evening.

Saturday morning, I made the batter for overnight waffles so I could have something fun to eat the next day. Naturally, I couldn't resist tweaking the recipe, despite never having made it before, and turned them into overnight ginger waffles. More on that later. (They passed one critical test, though. Eating them didn't make me go blind.)

While part of my waffle experiment was cooling, my trainer arrived to help me put on my competition color. After putting some extra color on the front of my shoulders (they peel like crazy for some reason), finishing up my waffle batter, and giving the cat some extra food, I gathered up my stuff (carbs, a towel, directions, extra clothes) and we were off.

The trip out to Saginaw Valley State University was interesting. We intentionally left early since the rules made it clear that I needed to be on time for the weigh in. That extra time ended up being badly needed. Google's directions were a bit off, and the exit we needed on northbound I-75 was closed from that direction for construction. After wandering a bit, we made it to the theater exactly on time.

The first thing I noticed about this competition was that there was an absurd number of women. Apparently, the women's fitness portion of this competition was an Olympic qualifier.

The weigh in went pretty quick, and there was definitely some nice eye candy. Surprisingly, there was even another guy with long hair, and I need to figure out how he tied his hair up since it looked much nicer than mine. There was also a guy who had a lot of courage just participating. He had lost over a hundred pounds, and his skin was very loose from the weight loss, but he still tried his best. The other surprising thing about this competition was that there weren't any heavyweights.

I came in at 118.8, a bantamweight. Next time, (yes, I've already decided there will be a next time), I need to come in heavier and a bit leaner.

The men's facilities for changing was pitiful. It was just a spot backstage with some stage lights shining down. Meanwhile, the women got a nice, brightly lit room with lots of mirrors, probably because there were so many of them.

It took a while for my turn to come up. The women, the teens, and the masters men all had to go before the men's open, which started with my weight class. The whole experience had me feeling very Zen at the time, and it was over pretty quick. (My posing needs improvement, especially getting my left lat flared). Naturally, we forgot the camera so I don't have pictures of the morning show.

Once the morning show finished, the trainer and I went out to get a burger, waste some time before the evening show started, and wait for the trainer's girlfriend to arrive with a nice camera for the evening show. We also picked up distilled water so I could drink a little bit of something without getting too bloated before the evening show.

The evening show went in the same order as the morning show, so I had to wait a while before doing my routine. I got a little bit concerned when the show took an intermission and the organizers decided to play music from competitors' routines during the break. They apparently liked the song I chose since it was one of the ones they played, which left me a bit confused since I was nowhere near the stage at the time.

My routine went well. I chose Yoko Kanno's "Too Good, Too Bad" (I hated having to trim it down to 90 seconds) for my music. Pictures will come once I get them from the trainer's girlfriend.

Now for the part I know people are waiting for, how I placed. I was a third place bantamweight. There is a catch to that, though. There were only three bantamweights in the competition. I still got a trophy since the organizers always have them for first, second, and third if there are at least three competitors.


Next, came more adventure. It was pitch dark when I left for home, and I ended up getting lost when I got off of I-69 too soon. I wandered on the backroads for an extra two hours trying to figure out where I was while moving south or west, knowing that I'd eventually hit Grand River, US 127, or I-96, which I could use to reorient myself and get home.

Finally getting back to my place, I had a sports drink to replenish my electrolytes and some quick carbs before showering a couple times to wash off my color. It came off really easily from most places.

My cat was happy to see me again, and annoyed that I'd left him alone for so long. He took a swipe at me!

This morning, I checked out my waffle experiment. They were still edible, but need more, and fresher, spices next time. (Ginger-flavored food should have and Adam West's Batman-styled KAPOW! to their intensity.) I also had my usual trouble with accidentally killing my yeast, so they weren't light and fluffy like I wanted.

It's so much fun being able to cook/bake again; although, I am a bit rusty. I'm going to have to get back into practice quickly, too, since I'm making a caramel cake for when my family celebrates my grandfather's 90th birthday.
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