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NPC Team Universe

Well, my experience at the 2008 NPC Team Universe in NYC was a very good one. It could have been better if I had won my class….and much better if I had won the overall, but it was still a good experience even though I finished 2nd.

First of all, I need to thank my sponsors. Without the financial help from Ironman Magazine, David and Max Schuette of Austin Exploration, my client John Latouf, and last but certainly not least, my girlfriend, Diana, I would not have been able to compete on the

national level this summer! Thank you all so much!!! Because of your generosity I was able to do what I love to do!

On Thursday Diana and I got up at 3:30am to make our 5:45am flight out of Austin. We had been up until about midnight packing so there wasn’t much time for sleep. My home scale had me at 167.5 lbs so I didn’t think it would be as difficult to make weight (165 lbs) this time. The only thing I ate or drank was about half of a tall red-eye from Starbucks at the airport in Houston. We arrived in NYC about 12:30pm and were checked into our room by about 1:30. We went down to the hotel fitness facility and I got on the scale to find out that I was still 2 lbs over my weight. I was hungry, thirsty and drained, but I struggled through 10 mins. on an exercise bike and a 25 minute full-body workout. Back on the scale I had only dropped .2 lbs. It took me nearly an hour in the sauna to lose the rest of the weight before we walked down to the Embassy Suites hotel to weigh in. After a couple of bottles of water and a meal of baked fish and rice I was feeling much better.

Friday morning we walked for about 45 minutes and then did a light full-body workout at the Gold’s Gym in the financial district. I wanted to simulate a prejudging pump-up as much as possible without wearing myself out. Then it was back to the hotel to start applying the Jan Tana Show Tan. Prejudging flew by and the next thing I knew I was back in the audience getting congratulations on what appeared to be a class victory. Several people told me that I would win the overall. Diana felt that I would win my class easily and had a great shot at winning the overall. Back in the room after dinner we looked at the photos online and I could see that Bill Moshelle was more ripped that I was. It looked to me that it would come down to whether this judging panel preferred a more muscular look or if they would go for more of a total package. I was hoping for the total package preference!

Saturday morning I woke up early. After breakfast we again walked down to the Gold’s Gym for a good pump up. After a little strolling around town it was back to the hotel to reapply the Jan Tana. The tropical storm hit NYC sometime during the early afternoon with high winds and torrential rains. My only concern was getting a cab to the theater in a timely fashion. That didn’t end up being an issue. The show started promptly at 7pm, but it seemed that the Figure and Fitness would never end! Never the less, it was fun hanging out back stage talking to the guys, watching the women, and taking photos with people until it was time to pump up. I think I finally hit the stage about 11:15 pm. It was extremely disappointing to go on for my posing routine only to see that at least 75% of the audience was already gone. We were posing to an almost empty auditorium. From the backstage everyone looked awesome in their posing routines, especially Bill. Still when it came down to the last 2…Bill and I…I was hoping that my name wouldn’t be called out for 2nd. But, it was.

Having studied the photos from the show, I can see that I was a little bit sharper in 2007. I think that with just a little more hardness or a little bigger thighs I would have prevailed. It would have been a much better story to come back from rupturing a hamstring tendon just hours after the 2007 Team U and winning the 2008 show, but it was a pretty damn good comeback regardless!

I still have a guest posing appearance at the NPC Natural Crystal Cup in Anchorage, Alaska on October 25th. I wasn’t planning on competing in anything other than the IFBB Amateur Worlds, but at this point I’m not ruling it out. Maybe I’ll take a shot a becoming the first person to win the NPC Texas State Overall 3 times (I won it in ’88 and ’90…yes 20 yrs ago the first time). So, stay tuned!

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