The Arnold Classic 2012: Details Behind and Beyond the Scenes

It was a long day as I did my first figure competition yesterday in The Arnold Classic. I was too excited to sleep the night before because I couldn’t believe that I made the top ten to advance to the finals in one of the biggest bodybuilding championships in the world. Intimidated to see thousands of other athletes pour in from around the world, and many of them didn’t speak English. It became very real that I just jumped into an ocean without dipping my toes in.

All of us girls rush in and get ready like an assembly line being put into individual tents for spray tanning, then standing in front of fans to dry, then running around with robes on to not smear the tans, touching up hair, making the hair bigger, girls fighting over mirrors, putting loud stage make up on, fixing our suits perfectly glueing them down to our bodies, glueing on false eyelashes, glueing on nails while walking towards the stage, and getting glazed a moment prior to stepping on the stage to reflect the lights for better judgement of muscle definition and physique.

It blows me away to be so focused on the details that go into competing in a show like this. What blows me away even more is the identity these men and women have found in doing shows and being on stage.  I found this to be quite sad as even photographers that flew in from around the world to woo us girls and spoke seductively taking advantage of their accents. It was sad to see the self-made identities as competitors broke down emotionally when they either didn’t qualify for finals or if they even earned a placement.

Although preparing, training, and competing in shows takes a great deal of sacrifice, commitment, and discipline, this is not a place to find my identity or purpose in life.  I mentioned this before as I talked about being a successful massage therapist and a professional snowboarder; that these are things that I do, not the purpose or identity of who I am.

It was quite intimidating to have all sixty of us finalists parading in a single line from the second floor of the Columbus Convention Center, down the escalator, through the major hallways while thousands of spectators stepped to the side allowing room, with their cameras to take photographs and to record video’s of us in our competition suits and five inch heels. It was not a short walk to get to the other end of the building to get backstage of the main EXPO stage. I prayed that my recently crushed ankles would survive the longest walk in heels to be able to actually stand on stage once I got there.  Hundreds of flashes were going off as we walked through, and I couldn’t help chuckle, knowing that I was one of the very few without breast implants.

Proud of you Tia Trent! Arnold Classic Figure Amateur Champion!

However, I made it on stage, pain free, praise the Lord.  With more cameras flashing, standing before a panel of international judges, I became more and more humbled, so much so, that it became difficult to hold that confident pose for those professional shots.  I looked out to see supportive friends wearing the love146 shirts we had made by to bring awareness to stop child sex trafficking.  I became even more humbled to be awarded the fifth place trophy at my first figure competition, at the largest bodybuilding show in the world. When they awarded me, I had to look at my competition number to make sure I was hearing the right number because surely they weren’t choosing me. But they did.

Evelyn and Dolly who were the first to encourage me to do Figure Shows. Wearing our love146 tee shirts at the Arnold!

Its easy to make dreams and goals an idol, like the people I saw that broke down whether they made it or they didn’t make it.  However, my identity and passion is found in my relationship with Christ.  Without my freedom by knowing him, I could have never done this, or more importantly, be in-the-making of who I am.

My purpose in life is to serve God and love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind, and to love and honor others above myself.  My passion is to be used to point people to Jesus and leading a life lead by the Spirit of God to live and experience a freedom they are meant to live.   Freedom from the past, freedom from the trauma’s each person has walked through, freedom from pain, freedom from the confusion, freedom from the bondages our minds easily bind themselves to like a chemical component, or freedom from slavery in our spirits that such chains hinder us from moving forward not just as a person, but as a relational being and not for selfish gain.

Thank you friends and family for cheering me on and supporting love146 to end child sex trafficking as my motivation for competing in this event.

Here’s a youtube video captured by Cammy Strickler on the prejudging. I am the first one on the stage.


5 thoughts on “The Arnold Classic 2012: Details Behind and Beyond the Scenes

  1. Congrats on the result at the show! Interesting to hear how seriously people take it. How did you manage to make the Arnold your very first?!

    1. Well thank you! I’m still in disbelief I was chosen! I got into shows because I was in a bad accident and spent mostly 10 months of 2011 in wheelchairs an crutches and realized that could be the only physical thing I could train for. I needed to make a somewhat negative year into a breakthrough and positive year, so I started training when in the wheelchair. I tried a bikini show and decided to do figure… An the next figure show just so happened to be The Arnold! So I jumped in.

  2. Great stuff Bailey. As a male in the sport its awesome to hear your perspective. So many people classify competing in this arena as a stroke of ones on ego. That is so far from the truth for some myself included. Keep allowing Christ to lead your steps.

  3. This was an introspective and well crafted piece. I always knew there was more to you than what met the eye…from our first conversation. It was great to see you again at the Masters Teen Collegiate… I love your perspective as well as your writing…. And if I told you that was Peter in Romans I apologize… It was Paul…I must have been a little distracted by the tan mist 🙂

    I am disappointed it took me this long to go and read you…. But you did leave enough of an impression that I will not forget our conversation…

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