You mentioned that you took a break from competing and fitness when you got pregnant. Describe your relationship, how you met, what his background is, how that fits in with your life.
Yes, I actually competed in the Flex Bikini Model Search at the 2010 Olympia and placed 7th out of 98 girls. After that decided I wanted to try out the NPC stage so I started to get ready for the Las Vegas classic. One week before the show I found out I was pregnant. Not knowing much about pregnancy I decided not to compete.
Jorge and I met when I was 17, the start of the summer before my senior year. We were boating at a local reservoir with friends that we both mutually knew, ended up on the same boat. We were wake-boarding, I love to wakeboard and he was doing it for his first time. He was trying to get up but couldn’t so I started to flirtatiously make fun of him and he said if I didn’t stop he would throw me in. Well I didn’t and ended up in the water! Since then we’ve been together. It’s kind of crazy the first time I went to his house I actually recognized it because like 3 years before that I was at a Spanish fair at his school and missed my bus to go back home with another girlfriend of mine. We were freaking out because we had no clue how were going to get home, we were about 20 minutes from our town. Then walks up Jorge and a couple of his friends he asked what was wrong and we explained that we didn’t have a ride. He then offered a ride but I’m super shy and kept saying no. When I finally realized it was the only way home I agreed. He had to stop back at his house for money and that’s when I’d seen it. He then took us to my house and told me to text him but I was so shy I never did! It makes me think fate brought us back together!
Jorge is very athletic, taking state in wrestling 2 years in a row junior year and senior year, he got a scholarship for football and is currently a professional MMA fighter. He has a lot to do with my fitness career, his dad and him are the ones that pushed me to step on stage when I did and if I never did I doubt I would be where I’m at now. I love that he is so athletic, I think that is why we are so close.
Your return to competition is a great story. Describe your win in San Diego in detail. When did you start training for it? Did you think you had a good shot? Was it a surprise when you won?
I started training about 8 wks out from the NPC Gold Coast. That is when I started with with my trainers and nutritionist Ingrid and Joe Discuillo. From start to stage they helped me in every way possible! They pushed me and taught me more then ever before and that is exactly why I needed them! I try and tell people trainers are key not only for the correct posture etc… but for motivation! They sent me weekly diets and exercise regimens and I sent them pictures of progress. They lived in LA so everything was over phone and email. But I tell you, the meal planning and exercise routines all planned out is such a time-saver, I don’t even know how to explain. With a brand new baby, a brand new way of life and Jorge getting ready for a fight it was crazy in our household. I look back and wonder till this day how I did it. Finally, the show was approaching and we went to San Diego the day before and settled in. I got my tan, went and met with Ingrid and Joe and we went over posing and my suit and then we had an athlete meeting with everyone that was competing. After that it was bedtime.
Stryder, my 7 month old son, was with me as well as Jorge and my mom. I was actually nursing which made it difficult with my tan since it is water-based and it comes off and messes up with any kind of water or moisture. So I was a little nervous about what I was going to do with Stryder. He is a huge mommas boy so even holding him, I’d sweat and my tan would ruin. He got whinny and all he wanted was me after struggling with him for a little bit I finally said whatever! I fed him and he ended up sleeping with me. But when we got up he had tan all over him and I had white spots from him sweating on me. It was pretty funny! Jan Tana did my tan and they were awesome – fixed me right up before I hit the stage. Definitely will use them for every show I do!
I went on stage for my class which was C. We all walk on one at a time and then they call us out for comparisons. The way the fitness world works, they usually compare the people that will place top first and it depends where they place you on the stage as well. So they call out all the numbers for first comparisons and I was in it! I walked to the center of the stage with the five other girls and they tell us turn to back, turn to the front, turn back. It felt like forever and then they asked for me to move to the center of all five, putting me in the 1st place spot. Then they had another quick look, front and back, and then thanked us and we walked off. I couldn’t believe it. I almost wanted to cry but my make up would ruin and tan and then I’d have a bigger mess so I contained myself. Prejudging was over so we went and got some food and took a quick nap then it was off to finals.
I had huge butterflies and was going crazy hoping for 1st place after like 2 hrs of waiting I finally hit the stage. They once again announced us one by one and then it was time for trophies – 5-4-3-2 and then 1st. They called my number and name – I was ecstatic. The feeling was so amazing – I did it! I was so proud of myself and couldn’t wait to see my family and show them all the hard work paid off! The gym hours and crazy dieting, the occasional mood-swings! It was all worth it – I took first. I walked off stage and got so many hugs and high fives it was amazing and then they told me to wait for overall. It surprised me I was waiting to go for overall. Something I had wanted and worked for but it was all becoming surreal.
They got done announcing the rest of the 1st places for the other height classes A-F and then we went back on stage for overall. We had a ton of front and back all over again, it felt like a half hour up there my body is shaking my mouth is shaking and then they finally call it out. “Number 39 Michelle Ulibarri.” The whole time I was thinking about a different number so I didn’t even realize they called my number until I recalled them saying my last name! Then it hits me, its me, I WON I did it! I got off stage and ran straight for my family!