backstage photogallery:NOC 2004
Once NOC ends, mass amounts of people head towards the lobby and spill out onto the streets of New York. Most people are waiting to have their photographs taken with top champions and winners, others like myself are just hanging out trying to find their friends. Of course you always bump into people you have not seen in 5 years, which is pretty cool.
[photo by helen von mott] Sometimes it can take up until 2 hours until you can leave the block itself to move onto the next venue. Everybody wants to do something else, but we all know one thing, WE ARE VERY HUNGRY. Eating is a priority. Lauren grabbed me. told me she needed to use the ladies' room and needed me to help her put it back on. Just to get into the ladies' room took 35 minutes in between more random meetings with old friends. Finally, once we hit the bathroom, there were lots of other female bodybuilders crammed in there as well, one being the great friend of mine Heather Darling, another Kasie Cavenaugh, and a new friend named Dawn. It was great seeing my friends.
There was always one person that I really wanted to meet. I had heard so much about her, read so much about her, and since I studied martial arts and followed grappling, she was at the top of my must get to know list. She was tall, dark haired, thick, and strong looking. Some of you may even know her. I will give you a hint, she has won championships in Brazilian grappling nationally and at the Arnold Classic. Does the name Helen von Mott sound familiar? It was strange because once I was introduced I felt that I had known her for years. We had an immediate friendship and connection, which is very rare for me.
With Helen, Kenny Kassel, Gabe Nicander, Paul Goode, and George joining our group, we decided to head over to grab something to eat before going back up to hotel room. This is one time where I wished that I had my video camera. Too much junk to carry. I was surprised that the restaurant floor held up, considering that we had 8 or 9 huge female bodybuilders sitting crunched together at one table. Dexter Jackson stopped by to say "Hi" to me, along with many other top competitors. I did not know that I was such a slow eater, by the time that I was half way through my plate, I realized everybody else was finished with their dinner. I quickly shoved the food down my throat, paid the check and headed back to the Wellington.
We knocked on the room door and Mimi Bowman opened it up, wearing the wildest outfit I have ever seen. She looked like Pocohontas. One of her buddies was with her as well. I wish you all could have seen this as well. Actually I have some of it on video and I will add it this week or next. It was like people piling into a VW clown car, but all the clowns were female bodybuilders, most over 5'11" tall.
My back had been hurting me all night from standing, shooting, walking, and no rest since Thursday night. Helen von told me that she was a massage therapist as well as being the best female wrestler/fighter in the world. I was a little hesitant at first, but she was very insistent. So here you have me at 2:00 a.m., a overcrowded Manhattan hotel room, lying on my stomach with Helen sitting on my butt massaging my lower back. I could not stop laughing because the scene was so surreal. Then a knock on the door and Gayle Moher strolled in, wearing a track suit and rolling her mini-suitcase. If you could have only been there!
Half the crowd wanted to go the Craig Titus-Bob Bonham party, while the rest of us were still thinking about work and shooting more video. MY back started feeling better, as Helen can certainly administer a great back massage with such strong hands and in touch with my body. Then Paul said we should all head over to his house, get some equipment, and then go shoot more video in Central Park. Party or work? I already knew the answer.
The party split into 2 groups. I, Helen, Lauren, Gayle, Paul, Kenny, George all headed to Paul's place. 2 taxis later we wander into Paul's amazing apartment, full of photographs and kitty cats. It took a while, we got it all together, and headed out to Central Park sometime after 3 a.m. I was surprised that Gayle was hanging in, since she had just competed at NOC herself. She looked quite amazing. We bullshitted the whole way walking over to Central Park. The Park was beautiful at this time of night, perfect lighting, quiet, birds chirping, and not a soul in sight (so we thought). Lauren and Gayle began their posing and working the camera...wait until you see this video. I could not even believe it. Let us just say it was quite an interesting shoot. Judge for yourself.
One hour into the shooting, we hear police sirens heading towards us. Little did I know that the park was closed at1 a.m., news to me, since I have lived there most of my life. The cop was quite serious. He wanted us out of the park, ASAP, or we would be spending the night behind bars. Now that would have been fun, female bodybuilders in prison video. We chose to get our things together and run out of the park as fast as we could.
We went back to Paul's, shot more video in his elevator (nobody wanted to stop shooting), seems like bodybuilders never get tired. Finally Gayle and Lauren decided that they were finished, and hopped in a cab and headed back to their hotels. That left me, Helen, Paul and Kenny sitting around Paul's table. We talked for hours. The sun came up, Helen grabbed my foot and gave me a foot massage. MY feet were hurting also. Once that was finished, Helen, being a fighter, Kenny was teaching Helen how to pose. I grabbed my video camera and started shooting once again. All I can say is for someone who does not lift weights, she is a brick shithouse. Helen decided she would teach me some wrestling moves. I thought to myself, this should be fun. I will go to work Monday with a broken arm. To my surprises, she was quite gentle, flipped me around like as rag doll since I was too tired to fight back, not that it would have helped me. She had me in 2 positions, one where she could have snapped my arm in one split second, and the other where she reversed my scissors hold faster than the speed of light. OK Helen, enough, I know you can kick my ass, can I go to bed now. It was now 7:30 a.m., Kenny was falling asleep, Helen was catching a 9:30 a.m. flight to the West Coast, the kitties were even falling asleep.
This was one of the most memorable and enjoyable fun nights that I have eve experienced came to an end. I do not even remember falling asleep that night. I have a feeling Helen and I will be friends forever.
category: bodybuilding women