This is it, the last day of Peak Week! Tomorrow is go time. Peak week is hard. Peak week twice in one month is VERY hard. I’m looking forward to reaching the far shore at this point. I’m tired of swimming. And I want pizza.
So. Day 7. What’s it like?
Peak Week Day 7
4:45 Wake up. Get out of bed because I have learned already that nothing will come of trying to go back to sleep. Sigh.
5:00 Water is super low today, so I’m having just a couple of sips of coffee. I sit outside and do my devotional. I also take some time to write down my thoughts about this whole experience in my prep journal. After yesterday, I’ve decided that the best way to reset my mind is to take the focus off myself and my whole experience at the competition. Instead, I’m going to try to focus on how I can be encouraging and supportive to the other competitors, especially, but not only, my teammates. This resolution immediately calms me and the pressure drops off. My mood lightens dramatically. Even without coffee.
7:30 I get to eat meal 1: 4 oz fish, 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, veggies. Meh.
10:30 Meal 2: Same, but without the coconut oil. Double meh.
11:00 Shower time. I speak these words: “Jimmy, I’m going up to shower and shave my legs. Give me a few minutes, then please come up and join me so you can shave my back.” Oh, the glamour of bodybuilding.
12:00 Whole-body defuzzing has taken place. I should mention that I’m not particularly hairy. Everyone–male and female–shaves their body in preparation for the spray tan. Hair on the surface of the skin will pick up the light weird when you get on stage. Thus, the shaving. It’s harder than you think, too. Legs are a nice smooth space to shave–delts, abs, pecs…not so much. Anyhoo. I get dressed without benefit of deodorant, powder, and lotions of any kind. All those substances have the potential to react with the tanning solution, turning the skin green. So, no go on the hygiene helpers we usually can’t live without. Again, the glamour of bodybuilding.
1:00 I start packing. Discover I need to do laundry (which I have fallen badly behind on during the past week) in order to provide us with underwear and socks for the weekend. I throw in a load of laundry and do some work while I wait.
1:30 Meal 3: Same as meal 1.
3:00 Time to head down and check in to the hotel. When I get there, I strip the beds and place the bedding–and all the towels–in the closet. I then put sheets I brought from home on the beds and hang my own towels. All these linens are dark-colored and old. Why? Because the tan is a like a living compound that spreads its influence everywhere it makes contact. I’ll be like the King Midas of bronzer after the tan is applied. And FYI, hotels charge you for getting bronzer on their linens.
3:30 I eat meal 4 in the hotel room. Same as the others, fish and rice and veggies. Two sips of water. It’s 118 degrees outside. Our hotel room is so hot, Jimmy goes to buy a fan. Sweating makes the tan turn green.
6:30 More fish. More rice. More veggies.
7:30 I go to get tanned. Tanning for a show basically involves checking all your personal modesty at the door. You stand around naked while someone sprays you with an airbrush machine, then you stand naked around communal fans waiting for it to dry, then you do it again the next morning. There’s a whole lot of being naked. The tanning solution contains a bronzer, which is thick and sticky and never dries completely. It smells weird and gets all over everything. The tan’s mortal enemy is water. One tiny drop and you’re back in the tanning booth. Just try not letting even a single droplet of water touch your skin for at least 24 hours. I’m not kidding when I say for me, the tan is the most stressful part of competing. (Not the most difficult, but the most stressful.)
9:00 Meal 6…you know the drill.
10:00 I’ll go to bed soon because the makeup lady will be here at 5:30. Tan touch-ups at 7:30, then off to the venue for a competitors meeting and prejudging. I sleep in yoga pants and a long-sleeved button-down shirt so the tan doesn’t get ruined by one body part touching another.
And that’s it for peak week!