After two days of inspiration and learning it was time to let our hair down and 'Party Like a Rock Star" with the awesome Pilates Anytime crew. We were so lucky with the weather as the party was out on the lawn at the resort. With Halloween just around the corner the theme was to dress up as your favourite music star. Not having gone to a fancy dress party for a few years, I was super excited. Put it this way, I had decided on my party outfit before I even knew what I was going to wear for my filming! I've always been pretty inspired by the resilience of Cher to really succeed in her field. Coupled with my hairdresser's inclination to tease my hair to make me look like Cher from Moonstruck it was an easy choice. Thanks to my lovely client June, I got to rock out in a vintage outfit by renowned Australian designer Carla Zampatti. In combination with my column heel suede platforms (that I actually wear quite often), false eyelashes, a ton of eye shadow and my wig I was all set.
I got to see the party set up for the first time alongside Kristi and Amy and I was blown away. The hard work that this team had put in was so evident- the place looked amazing. On arrival there was of course a red carpet (very much befitting the music theme) and the famous Pilates Anytime media wall. It was such fun to see all of the different groups posing together. I actually ran into Madonna at the party too (or is that Amy Havens?)There were inflatables that looked a little like a garden, a huge PILATES sign, a silent disco (that I very much enjoyed alongside Victoria Becka and Lanette Gavran) and glow sticks. You could really feel the excitement in the air. Everyone was so happy to be there.
As people started to arrive the effort put in to the costumes soon became very apparent. Personal favourites were Rebekah Rotsein as Bjork, Madeline Black as Amy Winehouse and Benjamin Degenhardt as Annie Lennox. As for the group costumes I couldn't go past Devo and the GoGo's. Those who know me are aware of my fondness for Pilates elder Mary Bowen. I was lucky enough to meet her at the APMA conference in Melbourne Australia last September. Imagine my delight when she agreed to pose for a photo with me in costume! I love Mary (she even had back up wigs).
After the announcement of best costume and best air bands it was time for me to be announced as the 2017 Pilates Anytime Winner. John Marston the CEO of Pilates Anytime (and an awesome guy) let me know that it would be up to me as to whether or not I should make a speech. I don't have a problem with public speaking at all (I actually really loved it as a teenager) but the prospect of saying something relating to such an emotional achievement initially seemed like it would be too much. I didn't want to get emotional up on the stage so I thought it would be best just to graciously accept my flowers, wave and step off. I was so glad that I changed my mind and got to say a public thank you to the other finalists, the judges, those who voted, Pilates Nerd and of course to Pilates Anytime for holding the competition. It allowed me to really be in the moment and acknowledge the journey that I had been on. When I got off the stage who did I see but the beautiful Carrie Pages- beaming at me before giving me the biggest hug ever. It made me certain that I want to be there to do the same for next year's winner. That was a special moment.
The party changed location from the lawn to the resort nightclub- if anyone understands noise restrictions compromises it's a Sydney sider! I knew that the nightclub was going to look awesome but it was a shame to have to relocate. Ever the introvert I felt I needed a moment in time before the venue change. Tasked with the need to put my beautiful bouquet somewhere safe (and to have another slice of the pizza that I had ordered earlier) I popped up to my room briefly to gather my thoughts. I was determined to stay until the end of the party so I wanted to make sure I still looked the part (no panda eyes please) and could handle staying up until the wee hours.
While I reapplied my eyeshadow I looked in the mirror and saw a person who had grown a lot. Two years ago I was so paralysed by anxiety I couldn't bring myself to step outside the familiar despite wanting to. Back then I wouldn't have known what to do with myself at this party. Now here I was accepting the congratulations with gratitude and looking for more challenges with genuine confidence and excitement. This was the real win!