The feeling from this past weekend has been so surreal… Being at the INBF Hercules in the heart of New York City, back stage in the trenches with the Sci-Unison Fitness team, many of whom I was able to meet for the very first time. Taking a back seat to help out my fellow teammates and acting as a back-up in whatever capacity was asked of me. From touch up tans, to tracking the timing and amount of water/food intake, resting, pumping, posing, bikini bite applications, or simply just encouraging. I couldn’t help myself. I got the itch that I needed! Seeing all of the competitors backstage, conversing with the athletes, catching up with a fellow pro figure friend from the 2013 World’s, a mini impromptu photo shoot in the hallways of Murray Bergtaum H.S. with professional photographer Reggie Bradford, enjoying a celebratory dinner with the team in the city, sharing that moment with the shows promoter and INBF/WNBF federation owner Nancy Andrews, and lastly, another great posing session with Pro Figure World Champion and official stage coach and guru/friend Janet Marsico! This is the fuel that I needed to start my season.
Team SUF!! Say no more… This team as a whole took home some amazing memories this weekend that will be hard to replicate. 7 competitors and no empty hands. 3 Pro Card wins AND Overall?! 1st in Novice Bodybuilding, 2nd in Figure Tall, 5th in Figure Short, and 5th in Masters Bodybuilding. How does that even happen? The personal pleasure of being featured on this year’s poster and given the opportunity to be an award presenter. The best part? Crowning our men with the infamous Hercules helmets and presenting the Figure trophies to our gems… embracing each of them as they stood there in awe trying to soak up everything that had just happened. Watching three of our SUF men battle it out for Overall Bodybuilding win. The pose down! It was epic! Each of those men stood proud and put on a tremendous show for the judges and audience to always remember!! What most people don’t know is that two of those men are training partners and best friends. So seeing the two share that stage was magical. Then witnessing the 2013 World’s Bodybuilding champ Shevon Cunningham present the Overall trophy to our Team SUF Heavyweight, Brandon Barrow… it was bone chilling!
Big congrats to my team and most importantly to our coach, mentor, and friend, Ryan Sullivan!!!! The passion and the heart that goes into your craft does not go unnoticed! The professionalism that you embody is highly respected and the team comrade that you have created is a hard one to match!! You deserved this win! Ok… enough of the gushy stuff. Now it’s time for this team to get even more serious. Truth is, we all want the best. But to have the best, you truly have to live and breathe that mindset! There will always be someone who is more prepared, more serious, and putting in more work than the next. That little taste of success is no free pass to ease up on consistent hard work. If anything, it should create a little bit of scare factor because ego can easily destroy all of that. And that is not what this team is about or represents. Yes this excitement is there for now, but in the meantime, we have to put in the work!
Couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this legacy and greatness! This team has grown exponentially since one year ago in June. From New York, to Ohio, to Virginia, and more! And now a new line-up of more competitors coming on board, a few of which are Pro’s! Wow! I’m just happy to have been allowed to be a big part of this. The support of this team is solid and no one is left behind or neglected. A coach who genuinely wants the best for ALL of his competitors no matter what circumstances. No pettiness and absent of any personal vendettas. That’s what it’s all about and people will magnetize to that! It feels good to be a part of it. Best continued wishes to Team SUF!
Special thanks to Nancy Andrews and Doc Brown for allowing me to be part of such a great and memorable show.
– Heather Drake WNBF Pro / Team SUF