Rachael Schryer- @Sassy.classy.n.badassy
Why you decided to compete?
NPC Competitions came into my life shortly after having my daughter. What sparked my interest is when I went to watch my younger brother compete in one of his first bodybuilding shows. I saw the NPC Bikini girls up there and it looked like fun. Not only that, but their bodies were super conditioned and they all looked phenomenal. My competitive nature and demand for change in my life lit a fire under me. Soon thereafter I went to work. I had always been athletic through high school and very fit, but my body changed after having a kid and I wanted to feel like myself again if not better. Being fit and healthy and getting to compete as an athlete had every appeal to me that I needed in my life, especially at that point in time where I was feeling unmotivated and had low self-esteem.
How do you gauge how long it will take you to be ready?
Starting out I had no clue where to start or what to do, but I was able to train with a coach who had competed before, and I also had the help of my brother who had already done a show. With their combined experience I was able to come up with a good training and diet routine. It took me about 4 months to get stage ready and for my first show, it was a success. I placed 5th in novice and 4th in open. It was such a humbling experience and I also got to overcome some fears of being on stage in front of a bunch of people! Something I thought I could never do.
Prepare to have support and not have support
Having a support system in this sport is crucial. You’re going to be transforming your body in so many ways emotionally and physically. Your mental mindset is everything. Luckily since I have family that competes as well and my dad being a previous bodybuilder in his younger years, I had all the support I needed. However, many families and women who do this sport don’t get the same support. If I have one thing to say to them, it’s to do whatever makes you happy and to surround yourself with likeminded individuals that have the same goals and aspirations as you do. We only have one life and why wouldn’t you want to be the best version of yourself and push yourself to see what you’re capable of becoming and achieving. We are always going to have someone in our lives that screams negativity, but you cannot let it get to you. Haters are gunna hate! And when you do feel like it’s getting to you, go to the gym and sweat it out and have that one person you can go to vent.
Competitions are expensive! The suit, the hair, the make-up, the tan, the jewelry, the shoes, the entry fees, travel expenses, etc. So, if you can get a sponsor whether it be by your gym, a family friend, a fundraiser, then do it! Anything helps. I have been fortunate enough to make connections and be sponsored for my first 2 shows by my gym, Flex Appeal. And although they can no longer sponsor me for the 2018 season, Kytanna with Zozobeeflexwear is still sponsoring me and making my suits which saves me a ton of cost. Being able to work with people that see your potential and that you have a mutual respect and understanding for, is GOLD. Never let it go and never burn your bridges.
You’re always going to set you expectations high in this sport because at the end of the day, the result is a direct reflection of yourself and the work that you put in. You can physically see the work you did and the final product. We always want to strive for the 1st place metal, but at the end of the day we are being judged, opinions are biased sometimes, and not only that, but you must realize that other women may have put in more work that you at the end of the day and deserved the higher placing. Again, this sport is so humbling and the women I have met are all so supportive because we know what it takes to get up on that stage. If you don’t place how you wanted, then don’t get down on yourself. Instead you must take that as another stepping stone in your journey as there will always be another show to compete in and always more improvement to be made. Set your bar high and focus solely on yourself and not everyone else and what they think. At the end of the day being selfish in the right ways is what will ultimately make you happy and enable you to reach your highest potential.
This sport was an amazing segue for me into a modeling career. Since I was already getting myself out there in front of the public and modeling on the side, it has opened so many doors. With the constant use of my social media accounts and making sure those are up to date, I’m able to pursue my dreams and a future career as an athlete and fitness model as well as a personal trainer. I want to be a beacon for others wanting to better themselves, to be fit, for single moms who need some motivation… we can all do whatever it is we put our minds to and this sport will allow me to do that and make a living for myself.
After the show is over, one of the hardest parts is staying on track and not completely falling off the band wagon. All you want to do is eat everything in sight and not touch another weight for a couple weeks, but this is the worst thing you can do for yourself and your body. You must reverse diet. Trust me, after the Tahoe show in August 2017 where I placed first, I completely stopped eating healthy and stopped going to the gym for almost 2 months and BOY DID IT SHOW. I gained weight, started feeling sluggish, my skin changed, everything was awful! Lesson learned, I will not be being doing that again. It’s important to stay in a healthy state of mind and wellbeing, so take care of yourself before, during, and after your preps.
The first show I ever did I had my brother as my coach and it worked out well. Although he was new to the sport too, we were able to get advice from many different resources. I constantly watched YouTube videos on posing routines and taught myself and always looked things up on the internet if I needed. Although, I knew after that first show that if I was going to succeed at this sport, I would need a coach, so ever since then I have had one. You need someone to hold you accountable because there are going to be many times you feel like giving up. Many times, you need advice. Many times, you need direction… a coach is just that, there to motivate and push you to your full potential when you feel like giving up.
How has Competing changed your life?
I have the utmost respect for this sport, the women, the process, the coaches, the vendors, just everyone because so much goes on behind the scenes that nobody gets to see. It has given me life, meaning, purpose. It has made me feel alive, healthy, motivated, humble, privileged, independent, and confident. It’s all about self-love to be honest and when you end up finding yourself you’re able to appreciate those around you so much more and enjoy life. That’s what it is all about. Finding your passion. Although this sport is not for everyone, those who want to try it I say give it a go! You will know after your first show if this is something you’re wanting to pursue. It’s a sweet journey that has transformed me in so many ways for the better and has opened me up to the fitness world and other people I can share it with.
I don’t believe there are any secrets in this sport. The only secrets to be kept are usually your prep plan put together by your coach, but honestly a lot of us share the same diets, routines, and exercises and we are a tight knit community willing to share and get questions answered. Although it’s a solo sport, you have a huge support system.
Your Favorite part about competing?
My favorite part about competing, of course, is the final package I bring to the stage. I can see my progress, I can feel it, I can get up on that stage all dolled up with hair, make-up, and a bomb ass bikini by Zozobeeflexwear and even though I don’t have a million bucks, I FEEL LIKE I DO. I feel like a freaking super hero. It’s amazing. Adrenaline is going, I’m nervous, but I know I came to do one thing and that’s to show off the goods that I just worked so hard to achieve! And what woman doesn’t want a bunch of people gawking at her and saying how amazing she looks? Ummm duh! That’s just a confidence boost at it’s finest. You feel good, you look the best you’ve ever looked, and you get to compete to find out just how hard you really worked in order to WIN.