(2004) I am so nervous about doing my first Bodybuilding show. I read stuff online about how the day is going to go but I’m still not sure what to expect. I get to the auditorium and immediately start looking around at the competition. Do I even belong here? It scares me to death that I might get on stage and have no idea what I’m doing. I register in the Teen Division and hand in my cassette of music. I go backstage and I see everyone working out so I start doing that too. My division will be one of the first on stage and I need to quickly get ready. I’m already wearing my posing trunks, which are basically speedos for the bodybuilding stage. I see that other guys are using Pam cooking spray to give themselves a shine for when they are under stage lights, so I start using it too. They call my name and I start to head to the stage. There are a lot of great bodybuilders here and I am happy to finally be competing. I do a 1-minute freestyle posing routine and then I listen to the Judges for what poses I should do. I read about the poses online and tried practicing them at home but I’m not sure I am doing them right because this isn’t the same as standing in front of a bathroom mirror. When the posing is finished we are all told to come back for the second part of the show which is at night. I am excited to perform my full posing routine for the crowd. I recorded my own music with a tape recorder I had. After my routine, they announced the winner of my division. I had won my first show! I got my first bodybuilding trophy ever! At the end of the show, I got to stand with all the winners for the group picture and as I come off the stage, the President of the organization Denny Kakos and one of the judges, Lorenzo Gaspar, come up to me. They tell me that I have what it takes to be a great bodybuilder and to keep competing. It was an amazing feeling to be recognized as having potential but am I ready to compete at the bigger shows? Book excerpt – if you want a copy, please help me figure out how many physical copies to print by pre-ordering! Link in bio

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