I posted yesterday with Ankhjii’s announcement that she will be competing in the 2013 Natural Universe competition and promised I’d have those details for you soon. Here is the full detail post with everyting I can think of right now. Many more posts will follow. It’s just over 9 weeks away and it will be very trying to pull everything together for this huge step. Read on for the details of what’s going on and how you can help.

We were amazed at the amount of support we received for the Glass Scepter. Our friends helped us to manage the huge expenses that came with that event. It’s hard to believe that was Ankhjii’s first competition, she looked amazing and came home with every possible trophy. You can check out a lot of photos from that event if you follow the links I’ve posted here. We’ve found out that as you progress in this sport, the associated costs increase quite a lot. Thanks to your generosity, she has a fantastic suit and the shoes for this event all ready to go. But the cost of supplements and food leading up to the show are quite staggering. This show also has travel expenses associated with it, the entry fees are considerably higher as is the association membership, and we have to figure out tanning and other details like that – things we had available to us locally for the Glass Scepter aren’t there for us in Chicago. I will include a donation link at the end of this post for those who would like to help us out financially. This is obviously something we do not expect, you were all so generous already – truly I can’t thank you enough. Finances are just one piece of the puzzle though, we really need your support in many other ways.

Do you guys remember the Team YEO shirts we had made up for The Glass Scepter? You best believe that I will be wearing mine to this show as well. Well, you can still buy one at this link! I know the price is a bit high there, it’s because the shirts are made to order right now. I’d like to buy a box of screen printed shirts in the future to bring the cost way down, but that’s not feasible right now. These are soft American Apparel shirts, and the colour is amazing. I love the shirt! Now over on Zazzle you can totally customize the shirt, you can change colours or even use the design on a totally different shirt. It is possible to have that design on a less expensive shirt costing under $20 if you’d like. I think we make about a buck on the shirts, this isn’t about the money for us at all. This gives Ankhjii a sense of pride and confidence knowing her friends would proudly wear a shirt that she is on! That is one way to show a tremendous amount of support around town!

One of the most important things you can do for her doesn’t cost you a dime. There is going to be a lot of workouts over the next couple of months. There is a lot of sacrifice, a lot of commitment, a lot of soul searching. There will be ups and downs, moments of clarity, moments of doubt. This is going to be one of the hardest things Ankhjii has ever done – in the end it will also be one of the most rewarding things she has ever done. This is a one woman show – no gym, no coaches, no nutritionist, etc. Ankhjii does this at home on her own. But she relies on her support system. I do everything I can for her, and you all do too. Over the next couple of months, anything you can do or say to show her support would be endlessly appreciated. Text messages, suggestions, Facebook messages, comments over on her own website, whatever you can think of – all of these gestures, no matter how small, add up to keep her going. You are all a part of Team YEO and we need whatever you can offer!

2013 Natural Universe Competition Details

Now that I’ve asked for all of your support, let me tell you about the show. It’s over a long weekend for many of us, maybe you were thinking about taking a trip to Chicago anyway? You could stop by the event. The majority of the excitement happens in the evening so you could stop by and show some love without taking up an entire day!

First up, here is a link to the event announcement. The page is a bit confusing to navigate, every event for at least a year is listed on one page. The link should take you to the August 2013 section of the page, if not scroll until you find it. You are looking for the Natural Universe section on August 31. The show will take place at the Guerin College Prep High School, 8001 Belmont Avenue, River Grove, IL 60171. Here is the breakdown of times and costs to attend the show.

Prejudging – The cost to attend this portion is $20 and it takes place at 10am

Main Show/Finals – The cost to attend this portion is $35 and it takes place at 5pm – a VIP ticket for the main show is $45, but I don’t actually know what VIP gets you.

There is also an all day VIP pass available which costs $60. Finally, a backstage pass is available for an additional $10.

Unfortunately, there is conflict with the times and costs between what is posted on the website and what is posted here on the entry / order form. I will try to get everything straightened out and posted here. If you want to attend I would recommend you call the number on the order form or ask on the Facebook page. If you don’t preorder your tickets, it is cash only at the door.

This is a pretty unique show – it is a novice, an amateur / pro-qualifier, and a pro show. Ankhjii is not eligible for the novice portion because she absolutely rocks and owned at the Glass Scepter. But she will compete as an amateur. If she wins her class (women’s figure short) she moves on to amateur open. Just like at the Glass Scepter, everyone competes in their class and then all the winners compete against each other for the overall championship. The overall amateur winner will be awarded a pro card. The difference here is that if she wins that pro card she can immediately compete in her first pro level competition that same night! Of course this means having to register with the pro federation and in the pro competition – a good deal more expense, and a good deal more stage time and effort.

As Ankhjii stated on her own website in her announcement, she isn’t going into this competition expecting to win that pro card, or anything at all. This is a life experience, and the only competition she has is against herself. Can she improve from the last show? Can she reach her own personal goals? Can she break through any mental barriers she runs into on the journey? That’s what this is all about, the show at the end is a culmination of all of that.

So here we go! The journey has begun anew. I look forward to the support that I know you all will provide for my wife, we appreciate everything very much! Each of these competitions is another step on a path – a path that we don’t even know exactly where it goes. I think it’s about the travel more than the destination in a sense, eh?

And of course to Ankhjii – I’m super proud of you, what you’ve already accomplished is pretty unbelievable and I think this experience is going to blow your mind! I’m here for all of your sweet potato, brown rice, and chicken grilling needs!

Now, here’s that donation link I promised a while back!