The last show I did in 2011 left me saying "I swear I'll never compete again". I ended up driving myself mad, spent a majority of the time miserable, and started adopting new ridiculous habits that were borderline disorders. After losing first place to a woman who looked like she had locked herself in a closet for 3 months and didn't eat a single thing, I packed up my toys and said "F**k this sh*t. I quit!"
Kortney "Thigh School" Olson can think of a few reasons for not competing, her previous experience just one of them. They include damage to your self-esteem, and the possible effects preparing for competition can have on your health and mental well-being in general. Then there's the cost, which, for the women especially must be paid with absolutely zero expectation of any reward for their competitive efforts. Some federations put on well-run shows but their judging is ridiculous. Others might have more consistent judging, she says, but lack the event promotion know-how.
And yet... KO is kompeting again.
110% in love with my body, she said of the above picture, taken 7 days before her first show back. All I've wanted to chase over the past 12 months was the image of beauty that I've created for myself in my mind. And that's Kortney's own bold.
Yes, it's all about body love, about achieving 'the latent image in her mind’s eye' that Dr Tanya Bunsell refers to in her wonderful Strong and Hard Women. And you can't help but be struck how similar KO's description of her own 12-month dream is.
This time around when it comes to competing it's different, Kortney said before her show. ZERO f**ks given about "winning" [her capitals]. This time it's about me.
Well, in deference to the amount of f**ks Kortney gave about winning, I have made absolutely zero effort to find out how she placed. But I can tell you she was 110% happy with her hair. The make-up though, it's fair to say she wasn't so 110% happy with.
Don't judge my face. Just the body! she pleaded with her Instagram followers/ disciples. I'm hiding because I straight can't look at it any longer today! But as always, Kortney was able to turn a negative into a positive. Think I learned my lesson this show, she said afterwards. Natural looks way better when your face is depleted! Which is a fitting conclusion for a woman who once called herself "All Natural KO".
But apart from the neck up to just below the hairline, it was all kool, especially those fabled quads. FINALLY see my legs get lean but yet still hold muscle, she said, indicating what an important part of her self-created "image of beauty" this was. And she looked amazing up there. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. You were simply incredible to watch yesterday! Amazing! one of her fans told her. Thank you again for doing such a unique, inspiring routine. LOVED it! Best I've seen.
Words, I'm sure, that will mean so much more to Kortney than any prize or placing, or even any new cut emerging on her quads. I want to be the Female Kai Greene, she said. The Woman who entertains and leaves people feeling ACE!
And after having had 4 years off, she's kompeting again within a month. Another 28 days to get these legs peeled, as she puts it. She'll be entertaining that crowd, no doubt. And no matter how she places, she'll be in love with her body all over again, perhaps closer than she has ever come before to achieving that personal "image of beauty".
Don't fall behind at Thigh School now.