Fiona Harris Fitness

2013 Arnold Classic Brasil Recap!

Posted May 20th, 2013 in Competitions


My Experience at the Inaugural Arnold Classic Brasil

 Arnold Brasil 2013

It has already been one week since I returned home from Brasil, so I thought an overview of my experience to the first ever Arnold Classic Brasil was well overdue!  I had such an AMAZING time during my trip and I am still blown away by the fact that I am able to experience these once in a life time opportunities competing in a sport I love!  My husband Steve and I spent 5 days in Brasil, trying to soak in as much of the culture the country had to offer.  Of course with competing as my primary reason for the trip, we were limited in how much travelling we could do, but that didn’t stop us for immersing ourselves in the day to day life of the Brazilians.  For me that meant a lot of people watching, for Steve it meant a lot of eating – lol! 

The people, language, food and beaches were all incredible.  From the moment we arrived, the people could not possibly have been more friendly and accommodating to the athletes.  The hotel had all the amenities we needed in terms of refrigerators, microwaves, custom athletes menu and a beautiful welcome basket in our room.  There was a fully equipped gym just steps outside our hotel that I took full advantage of.  It is always interesting to see the response you get from others while training in a different country.  They definitely weren’t used to seeing women of our level of conditioning training in their gym which made seeing their reactions highly entertaining.  The hotel was even so kind as to give me my own private space to practice my routine in – clearing away all the tables and chairs to make space for me to work my skills.  Talk about going above and beyond!  From start to finish, I could not have possibly asked for more from all the staff that organized the event.  Given that this was the inaugural event, I was blown away by how much organization and attention to detail was given to each aspect of the event. 

Leading up to Saturday, the fitness competitors were able to spend time together catching up.  Since so many of us are from different countries, it is rare we all are able to get together and share stories, find out what each other has been up to, etc.  People can never get over how well we all get along and how much we respect and admire each other.  My philosophy is that all the hard work and effort is done in the weeks and months leading up to the competition.  Once you arrive, there is nothing more you can do but show off all your hard work and perform to the best of your abilities.  So why not make it as positive an experience as possible and enjoy the moments you get to spend with these amazing women who share the same love and passion for your sport!

The competition on Saturday went off without a hitch.  Both the Male Bodybuilders and Women Fitness competitors brought an elite level of performance to the stage.  The Brazilian audience was amazing and were so appreciative of all the hard work and dedication the athletes had put into their physiques and performance.  The sport of bodybuilding and fitness is definitely alive and well in Brasil!!!  I was happy with the physique I brought to the stage.  I wanted to bring a harder physique then I had at the Arnolds in Ohio given that we were outside of North America and they tend to favor this look more.  I had made some changes to my routine in terms of skills and music and really enjoyed performing for the audience.  I wanted to make it fun and entertaining and I think I was able to accomplish that.  In the end I was awarded 5th place amongst a highly competitive group of athletes.  This was an improvement on my finish from a few months earlier at the Arnold Classic in Ohio and from last year at the Arnold Classic Europe in Spain.  I continue to look for ways to improve my overall package and hopefully climb the competitive ranks of the IFBB Fitness division.  I want to congratulate each of the athletes on their amazing performances – it was a fierce field of competitors!

On Sunday we had time to relax and take in the sights.  We started out the day with a small photoshoot with the other fitness girls which turned out to be so much fun!  From there we went to Copacabana where we walked for miles along the white sand beaches, drank from coconuts and indulged in some tasty treats!  It was the perfect day and the perfect end to an amazing trip!  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  Unfortunately it was time to head home on Sunday night, as I had to be back to work the next day.  These adventures are always a blessing, but often short lived so I can get back to my responsibilities of life and work here at home. 

As I said, from start to finish this was an amazing trip.  And of course NONE of it would have been possible without some very important and special people.  I have so many people to thank and acknowledge for all of their support.  Thank you to the IFBB, Arnold Sports Festival and Bob Lorimer for putting together this amazing event and for supporting the Women’s Fitness Division.  It is events like this that make all the hard work and sacrifice worth it.  To my coach Mindi O’Brien for her continued guidance and support.  I would truly not be where I am today without you.  To Peak Performance Products Inc. for providing me with the supplementation needed to push me through my grueling training regimen and allow me to perform at my best.  To Sassy & Fit Boutique for my beautiful two piece suit and costume.  Monika, you help me to shine on stage and bring the characters of my performances to life.  To Pro Tan Competition Color for supplying me with my tanning products and helping me to look my best on stage, as well as to Suntastic Tanning.  To Gymnastics Energy for allowing me to train at their facility.  This is a major element to my training and without this I would truly be lost and I am so grateful for their ongoing support.  And to those who keep by body healthy and functioning at its best – Dr. Tony Galea from the Institute of Sports Medicine, Serena Miresse, my athletic massage therapist and Jeff Aird, my physiotherapist from Niagara Orthopaedic Institute.  And last but certainly not least, to my husband Steve and family and friends for all of their love and support.  You see how passionate I am about my sport and the joy that it brings me.  You support me every step of the way and for that I cannot thank you enough!

Next stop is the Toronto Pro Supershow.  Be sure to stay tuned!



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