Whilst I was aware that I had made the top 20 finalists prior to arriving, I had no idea which category I was nominated in. I suppose this kept the suspense building to see if it was for the bog prize. Ultimately though it didn't matter, as being chosen as a top 20 finalist out of a rumoured 12000 participants was something that I was extremely proud of even if i did not receive a prize.
The weekend began at a function on Friday night arranged by the Perth crew which allowed us to meet up with some of our 12WBT family and cyber-friends. This was a great experience as it allowed us to actually meet and talk to people we had built up friendships and support networks with over the 12 weeks and supported each other along the way. One of the people I had arranged to meet was the winner of the last round and her daughter Heidi and Alicia (aka toughmudder and baby_toughmudder) and their husband and partner. I also met up with one of the few guys in the round, Patrick (aka imajica) whom was a huge support in the forums for me. We then had a few other ladies from our Victorian facebook groups that we joined up with to head out to dinner afterwards.
Needless to say it was a big night with many laughs and good company but it also meant a sore head the next morning and a group workout to go as well. Not a good combination. Heading to the group workout, which was in Langley Park along the Swan River, Perth had turned on an amazing morning. Not knowing what to expect other than a lot of people I commented to my wife Julie, that I had never seen so much lycra in one place. The pleasing part of the morning workout was that there were people of all shapes and sizes and athletic ability there from all age brackets and each one of them was enjoying themselves and cheering everyone else along. We all had a great morning, worked up a sweat, had Michelle walk up to both myself and Julie and pat us on the shoulder and tell us well done, as she did for so many others and after a hour in sun it was all over for the morning. People all went off on their own separate ways, many of the women going to get hair and make up done for the night, Julie off to bed to catch up on some zzz's and I watched the footy on tv.
Finally 6pm rolled around and we decided we would head down early to the finale party as I had to be there by 7pm to meet with the production crew and other finalists. We were told how the awards would take place and that we would have to walk solo down a catwalk. Hang on no-one mentioned this in the emails!!!! I was told I was going to the third person on stage and first male, of which there was 3 of us, but only 2 could make the night. I was asked a number of times in the lead up if I was nervous and I honestly was not but prior to leaving my wife and her friend Jenny to go on stage I told her this was the most nervous I had ever felt in my entire life, even more than the day I got married. Butterflies were doing cartwheels in my stomach and swimming in the couple of quick glasses of white I consumed prior to going on stage. When we were finally all on stage there were the obligatory thank you messages from Michelle and a video on the big screen.
Then Michelle start with the awards for the night. First up was Blogger Award. We had a sneaking suspicion that I might have been nominated for this as Michelle had highlighted my blog on twitter and facebook a couple of times, but with so many good blogs out there you never think yours will be the one chosen. As soon as she started to talk about the winner I knew that it was ME!!!!! I looked over to my wife whom was standing at the front of the stage and gave her a smile and then after my name was read out I froze. I didn't know what to do. Michelle was standing there waiting for me and then said come here. I just didn't know what I was to do which is very unusual for me. I was fortunate enough to get s brief chance to chat with Michelle and in that time I was oblivious to what was happening around me. I didn't even realise that they had announced the prizes I had won or anything. After the rest of the awards were given out and the remaining finalists were given a medal for making the top 20 we all had an opportunity to get a photo with Michelle. I also managed to get Julie on the stage so she could have a photo with Michelle, which will be great to have at home when we get them on Tuesday.
After leaving the stage there were a number of people that came to congratulate me and mention they had read this blog, which I found extremely humbling. Why would anyone read this let alone award me a prize for it. You will all have your own reasons for doing so and that is humbling to me as well. If anythign I have done or achieved is in some way helping you with your journey I am just happy to be of assistance. We all look to different people for different things and I know I have been lucky with my wife, family and now my new family, the 12 WBT family. I mentioned to Michelle on stage that if it wasn't for all the support that is shared around this would not be the program it is. She agreed with me 100% and thank you to those special people that have helped me through. You know who you are.