As many of you know, I’ve spend the last 6 months preparing for my first natural pro show, the IFPA International. The show was this past weekend and went extremely well. I weighed in at 196.7 on friday, putting me in the heavyweight class along with 6 other competitors with a total of 6 competitors in the lightweight class (13 pros total). I woke up on saturday at my absolute tightest I’d ever been, really making me feel confident about my chances. As I pumped up backstage I tried to visualize how I would look my best onstage and executing my poses correctly. As we strolled out onstage I could not help but smile as I knew no matter what the result I had achieved one of my life long goals of stepping on a pro stage. After one symmetry round I was moved to the middle of the line up and stayed there for the duration of prejudging. I felt very good about that, but being in the middle doesn’t always mean you are going to do well so I tried to keep my expectations down, but I was told by numerous people that I looked very improved onstage and my conditioning was the best in my class, which made me feel great.
After I got offstage my wife came running back to give me a hug. I could see tears in her eyes and I couldn’t help but tear up myself. We both put so much into this prep and to come back from such a long layoff and my torn pec to step onstage and be competitive in a pro class, I was overcome with emotion.
During the night show the pro men were up very early, so I was going to find out how I did pretty quickly. Backstage the expediter announced that only the top 5 would go out for awards. This got me pretty nervous but fortunately they called my number (14) as one of the top 5. As they read off the placings time seemed to slow down to a crawl. I felt I would be in the top 3. So when they announced 3rd place and it wasn’t me, I was overjoyed, I had made top 2 at my first pro show. It was down to myself and Joe Wilson for the class win. As they read the runner ups name I kept thinking “they are going to say Layne Norton, they are going to say Layne Norton.” they announced the runner up as Joe Wilson and I felt myself almost pass out with emotion. Unbelievable that I had won my class in my first pro show. This was beyond anything I had every expected or dreamed of.
It was unbelievable feeling and to share it with my wife and so many members of Team Norton in the audience (special thanks to Flynn, Jeremy, Chris, Lindy, Patrick, Mina, Aaron, and Kayla for driving so far to support us!) was just unreal.
Thanks so much for all your support!