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From Dreams to Reality: Savanna Takes 4th Place at NPC Nationals!

Savanna, enter stage left...

Competing at my first ever NPC National Show was the experience of a lifetime and surpassed my expectations!!! I was lucky enough to have my husband Donny and coach Kiki and close friend/posing coach Beckyn all there with me through the entire process the day before the show leading up until the final moments of going backstage for prejudging to soon celebrating my placing! Traveling with them for the 7 hour drive was such a fun trip.

I enjoyed this peak week so much due to being off work from Tuesday to Show Day - aka Friday, with being able to really focus primarily on myself and wellbeing. Coach paid close attention to all the details such as post-workout bikini pictures. I was able to VLOG my entire experience to share with others for motivation and inspiration on my YouTube channel @SavFitness as well.

Show #3 in the books

This was my third ever NPC Bikini competition. For my first show last October, I won 1st place in my novice class, 1st place true novice class and 1st place overall in my open class, which set the bar super high and showed me what I'm truly capable of.

I took a year off to GROW. I competed two weeks prior to the show at a regional competition on November 4, where I placed 2nd in my class. The feedback I received from the judges was to come in a tad leaner in the legs while keeping my shoulders nice and full for NATIONALS!!

I competed in the Ben Weider Natural Nationals Nov 17. The venue was BEAUTIFUL. Our Airbnb was so nice and seven minute drive to the venue. I was pampered all the way around, and my makeup turned out STUNNING. We decided on a DIY Pro Tan and my husband did my first coat on Wednesday, and my coaches did two more coats leading up to show day. I exfoliated well, and didn't use lotion or deodorant for 5 days.

The day of the show

Show morning went smooth. I didn't go backstage until 3-4 pm (Pros went before Amateurs), and went on at about 6:00pm for prejudging. Backstage, all of the girls were SO NICE.

Before hitting the stage I had cream of rice, wow butter, nutella, a bunch of sour gummies, rice crispies, Poptarts and FIREBALL SHOTS. I also pumped up until I was told to leave my pump-up bands 10 minutes before hopping on stage.

I felt calm heading into this show because I knew my coach was there with me. Stepping on stage was a different story... I FELT THE NERVES INSTANTLY!

To my surprise, everything went off without a hitch, and it was a blast to be on stage again! I felt confident about showing off my physique because I had practice my routine SO MANY TIMES.

Placing 4th at my first Nationals

As I stepped off stage, I thought I had placed 5th. I never thought I'd place in the Top 5 at my first National Show. I was soo emotional and happy.

Becky Clawson made eye contact with me countless times during the comparisons while I was in my front pose too!! It was a fairytale to be noticed and to be in the center #1 spot at a National Show.

Finals was a dream!!!!! I got 4th place!!!! I had to hold the tears in while they placed the medal around my neck. I couldn't believe it! I got off stage and instantly chugged Gatorade. My husband and coaches had the champagne ready for us all to celebrate!


How I met my coach

I met my coach Kiki at the 2022 Arnold Classic after sliding into her DMs on Instagram. Kiki was someone I had been following for a long time and had looked up to. I was seeking someone who was experienced in the sport and could guide me into the right direction. I needed someone reliable that I could get advice from because I didn't know if this was something I could actually do or have a future in.

Kiki was the SWEETEST and KINDEST with taking her time to voice memo me soooooo much advice prior to even meeting her. Here I could tell she was a coach I wanted in my life because she genuinely cared about me. From this moment on, and after meeting her in person at the Arnold, has taught me so much.

For example, how to track macros accurately, understanding nutrition/meal timing, how to be confident, and how to navigate hardships and be a better me in all aspects of my life.

Kiki changed my life for the better, no doubt about it.

Hardships leading into the show:

This show meant so much to me because of what all I had to overcome in this 17-19 week prep. Life threw countless challenges at me and I JUST KEPT PUSHING. I set out this prep to do the impossible and I DID JUST THAT. I had to have a toe procedure done where I had to get ½ of my big toe nail removed due to it being literally embedded into my skin from cardio, lunges, etc.. This caused me to have to wear open toed sandals/slip ons for 2 months on top of working full time as a PTA in large oversized crocs to allow it to heal. I took one day off and went right back to cardio on the elliptical where it was painful and leg days in my sandals… BECAUSE I HAD GOALS.

I also had to navigate through being a part of/planning three weddings (being one maid on honor) on top of two bachelorette parties... all the while traveling with containers/meal prep and staying on top of my lifts. Even if that meant waking up at 4:30am some mornings to knock out the lifts/cardio sessions on top of working.

I had some GI issues where coach helped me through by cutting out basically all “fun” foods (meaning NO EGGS, NO GREEK YOGURT, NO RAW VEGGIES, NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS, only salt/mustard for seasoning). Needless to say… I am so so proud to have made it through the hardships.

Why do I compete as a natural athlete?

Competing naturally is something I hold close to my heart. I love putting myself in situations where others might doubt me, just to show them I CAN and I WILL and to prove to myself that I CAN.

Being Natural in a sport that isn't in a drug tested confederation is oddly satisfying. I know that I can stand up there with the big dogs who (YES) most likely have taken PEDs one time or another to achieve growth or another level of leanness. I'm not one to judge others who take PEDs either. I'm someone who wants to see what the NATURAL body can achieve. In my opinion, all you need to achieve an amazing/lean/muscular physique is TIME.

People are very quick to seek other routes to achieve this look without first giving themselves TIME to achieve greatness. Being natural allows me to see what my body is able to achieve without enhancing it, it allows me to challenge myself, and it allows me to take time and enjoy this process.

What are my future goals?

My future goals in this sport are to KEEP GOING. My favorite thing about this sport is that everyone has a different concept of “hard.” Everyone goes through different “hardships” and everyone shows up with a different journey.

My goals as of now are to go into this reverse with my coach and work on BUILDING my all around hourglass dream physique. I am ready to go into being “uncomfortable” to achieve an ever better look next time I step on a stage to be UNDENIABLY BETTER!!

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