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Hello HMB Family! I know it has been a while since I’ve checked in and it would take a lot more than one blog to catch up with my busy life. So let’s start with one of my more exciting adventures, The Arnold Classic Africa! I traveled across the world with Team Jan Tana to this inaugural event and let me tell you, it was absolutely amazing. As a competitor as well as a fan of bodybuilding and fitness, it was an honor to meet athletes from all around the world who feel the same passion for this sport as I do. It was so interesting to learn about the traditions and practices of different countries and how they conduct their shows. Similar to the original Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH; there was an expo, bodybuilding show and a variety of other sports and games. The expo showcased mostly South African companies, with a few American names making a presence as well. I am always on the hunt for new products and unique swag, and this expo did not disappoint.
The bodybuilding and fitness finals kicked off in true South African style featuring native dancers and musicians. After a motivating speech by Arnold it was time to watch the routines and crown the champions! At this point I was backstage tanning and glazing the professional competitors, getting a true behind the scenes look at the production, and of course some pretty amazing selfies! And YES! I did get to meet Arnold (again) and shake his hand!
The African experience continued for us with two full days of touring and safaris. I can’t express how truly amazing this was. No, this was never on my bucket list because I’m not generally an animal person. Witnessing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat was mind blowing and a true once in a lifetime experience. And let’s not forget the food. Yes, I was on contest prep and following a strict diet, but I was still able to experience the culture with lean cuts of meat like ostrich and venison. Oddly enough, ostrich (or Big Bird as my family teased) tastes like steak, not chicken! And it was delicious! I can’t say enough good things about this entire adventure, especially that I was able to stay on my contest plan. Thank you a million times for my PEAK ATP starting me off every morning and my HMB throughout the day helping me hold onto my hard earned muscle as I continue to lean out for my upcoming show. “This time for Africa!”
- Danyelle Mastarone