The final sprint for the contest; Don’t let FEAR stop your DREAM.

I'm still pinching myself the way I did back in my Venus Transformation contest days.  What, am I really Cat Woman now??!!

I’m still pinching myself the way I did back in my Venus Transformation contest days. What, am I really Cat Woman now??!!


The final contest sprint

Many of you are now in the final stretch at the end of the VT11 Venus Transformation contest.  This is where you can make the final push with workouts and and a little more effort on the diet compared to a normal season of life.

It’s okay to put in that extra effort which is a bit more than a normal sustainable effort.

It’s okay to sprint for a few weeks.



Along with that sprint comes fear.  Fear of letting yourself down.  Fear of letting others down.  Fear of failure.  Fear of being a dork.  We all have these fears, and they don’t all go away.  We have fear when we push for something hard and try something new like a contest.

Even though there really is nothing to fear, we fear.  In many ways there is nothing to lose, but we conger up the fears.

I’ve been ready and in shape most of this year for a photo shoot, yet fear was stopping me from actually booking one.  I do a lot of networking online and have met some amazing and talented people.

About a month ago I finally contacted one of my online photographer connections.  His name is Ryan and I really liked the work I’d seen him post.  When I showed Ryan some examples of what I’d like to do with the superhero theme his interest seemed to perk up.

I had wanted to keep it a secret, in case I failed.  I wasn’t planning to tell anyone.  But Ryan was so excited that he posted a status update stating that we were doing a superhero photo shoot and that it was going to be “epic“.

Then the pressure was on because the secret was out.  All his friends and all my friends could see it.  So the panic and fear started.

I can honestly say that every day since then has been filled with fear, sometimes to the point of feeling ill and losing sleep (which makes EVERYTHING worse).  Some of my friends know as I posted some funny status updates, or even gym workouts at the “lonely sheriff gym” which made some of my friends chuckle. Fear makes us feel alone.

Someone had posted an inspirational poster about “Setting a goal that is so exhilarating that it excites and scares you at the same time.”  That pretty much summed up the two weeks for me prior to the “superhero photo shoot”.

I’ve got some amazing and talented people I’m connected with now. Every time I post a question about a personal problem the knowledge and generosity never ceases to amaze me. Not only from local friends but from people who I’ve never met in person. It’s simply amazing.

So some of my fear was that I didn’t want to let these amazing people down, or look like a dork or failure to them.  I know I shouldn’t care about what people think. I’ve learned not to care about what mean people think, but I still care about what people think who I know and respect.

I was so sick with fear that at times I wanted to just call the whole thing off, so the pain would go away.  But then I knew I’d have other regrets, and other pain.

I’m really glad I didn’t give up, because the prize was amazing.


It takes a TEAM

I can’t say enough about the fact that it takes a TEAM to pull this off a photo shoot like this. All I did was work on my body and the costume, and even all that took support of family and friends.

Then add in hair color, nails, hair style, borrowed boots (for the Ninja scene not shown in this post), general assistance and driving around, makeup artist, amazing photography skills, etc.  Things like this don’t happen solo. It takes people helping people. It does take a team.

A team takes teamwork skills, and thinking about how you effect others around you.

When you get a chance, help others out. What goes around comes around.

This was my team:

Photographer Ryan Lazalier

Makeup artist Diana Jeanette

Hair Stylist Shayn Guenther

Assistance from my dear friend and amazing woman who will soon realize her own dream of being a fitness competitor Nancy J. Meuer

I’m actually the 53 year old model living my dream (Roberta Saum)

In the days prior to the event my nails and hair color were done by HairHouse ‘N’ NailSaloon and Mekayla Ladd

The amazing thing about this event was that no money exchanged hands. This was totally made up of a group of people helping everyone else build their portfolio’s.  Not everyone gets this type of opportunity.  I was lucky, but I also spend a lot of time helping others out.

That’s how this sort of thing works.  It also helps when you are willing to do something different, out of the box, and scary, like dressing up like a cat woman.  This gave the creative people on the team an ability to use their talents in a fun and unique way.  They wanted to do it. In fact they were excited to do it.

When Shayn and Diana showed up to do my hair and makeup they immediately made me feel at ease.  Diana did an amazing job on my makeup.  Shayn took the effort to add in my hair extensions and style them to match and blend beautifully with my hair.

My hair was highlighted by Danna Ladd at HairHouse ‘N’ NailSaloon. Danna used a very complicated mix to make my hair match the extensions I had.

Danna’s daughter,  Mekayla Ladd, gave me a pedicure and manicure.

For your own success in the fitness game it means setting up your own team.  Get friends and family on board.  We all need support. Every situation is different.  Some really need the online community for support if their family is not on board.  Some have local friends. Some have friends who don’t agree with methods.  Remember this is YOUR journey and not everyone will understand.  It might be a fight for yourself, the fight is worth it.  So keep fighting the good fight until you get the team that works with you.  And always remember team is about give and take.


About the costume

Many people have asked about the costume and scene so here are the details on that.

I pieced together most of the costume with items from  That is where I got the black pleather pants, camo top and shorts, cat woman mask, whip, and gloves.

I had to experiment and try things out for the costume.  At first I put the camo belt around my waist in a crisscross pattern, then went shopping for a waist belt and shoes.  I scoured the big local shopping mall and almost gave up, then at the last minute I found the shoes and the belts which I ended up using for the crisscross.  I decided to use the camo belt around the waist.  Then I had the idea to cut off the top of the camo shorts (along with the belt loops) and attach them to the black pants.  It took a bit of sewing skills and some Velcro pieces.

I had to alter the pants to fit as they were baggy in places.  I also had to modify the gloves which were too long for me (I’m short so they reached up to my armpits!)  I rolled them down and then they looked funky so I added some leather and buckles to the top cuff.  I found some cheap boots at a used clothing store. I cut the leather and buckles off the boots and sewed them on the top cuff for the gloves.

I also had to modify the mask as the holes for the eyes didn’t fit my small face.

I had to use duct tape to hold the crisscross belts up in place on my upper back.  I needed my assistant Nancy to help with that. The belts were brand new like the shoes and I didn’t want to cut them as they will be useful as normal clothing items.

The weekend before the photo shoot Ryan scouted dark alleyways in downtown Sacramento and practiced some night photography.  When he told me about it I feared a bit for our safety since we would be preoccupied with our work and not as aware of our surroundings as we should be.  I arranged for someone to watch out for our safety and who would call it off mid scene if it got too dangerous.

We actually had some close calls with the local night life, but everything worked out fine.

At one point we had a makeup disaster and had to go to a local grocery store for some quick fix items.  Dressed as I was in pleather and dark makeup, I’m pretty sure the locals thought I had different business in town. Nancy and I got a good chuckle out of that, but we motored on with purpose and did what we had to do to get the job done.

The alleyway for the cat woman picture was in downtown Sacramento.  Here’s one more picture from that scene.  You can see Ryan’s creative talents in both pictures.


My friend Nancy said of Ryan, "Wow, he got down on the ground and got dirty to get some great shots of you!"  Yes he did and it was awesome.

My friend Nancy said of Ryan, “Wow, he got down on the ground and got dirty to get some great shots of you!”
Yes he did and it was awesome.


One of the comments my friend Nancy made about Ryan was “Wow, he got down on the ground and got dirty to get some good shots of you!”  Yes, we all noticed that.  And let me tell you that alleyway was filthy.  Ryan is an amazing and down to earth guy who I thoroughly enjoyed working with.  I hope to get more chances to work with him.  I have a feeling it might happen again someday.  Since then he’s asked me to help coach him on “getting lean” and I can honestly say it’s my pleasure to help.

I told Ryan I’ll be cracking the whip! I have one now you see, as I am Cat Woman!

Ryan named the first picture “Catwoman GI Jane“, and the second picture “Alley Cat“.


Don’t let FEAR stop you from achieving your DREAM

So the bottom line is you won’t really know the outcome until you do it.  Take a leap of faith.  Believe in the hard work you’ve put in.  Believe in yourself even though the fear still exists.

If it’s one of our contests you are doing, in many ways you have nothing to fear.  Just like my superhero photo shoot, if the pictures didn’t come out no one has to see them.  If you you don’t like them, just keep them to yourself and keep on swimming.

We keep everything about people in our contest completely private and confidential.  Unless you place in the top 10, no one will even know you entered unless you talk about it.  No one except the contest judges will see your pictures unless you place, and then your awesomeness will be shown to the world.

Do this for yourself, not the contest.  It’s an investment in yourself.  Even if the outcome isn’t what you wanted. That is how we all learn.  Learning is an investment as much as success is.

Think of your photo shoot as something for you to have to look back on.  Just like when you take your family portraits.  It’s a memory of a special time.  Even though my VT3 and VT4 contest photo’s are a couple of years old now they hold very special memories for me.  I’m glad I have them. Someday when I’m 90 years old I will have them to show when I tell my old lady stories about my life if anyone bothers to listen.

We all have fear.  Some of it never goes away. Some of it makes us feel ill. Don’t let it stop you from achieving your dream!

The deadline for submitting the VT11 contest final pictures is August 11, 2014 midnight.  If you are in this contest and you are delayed due to waiting on photography final processing all you have to do is email me ( and let me know.  The front page newspaper picture must be dated August 11, 2014 or earlier.

I look forward to seeing your hard work shine!

-Coach Roberta

(You can find me in the online community.)


Find out more about Venus Transformation contests:

About Roberta Saum

Roberta is a 56 year young Elite Trainer at 1st Phorm. She achieved her fitness dream at age 50 here at The Venus Factor. She is a Fitness Consultant/Motivator for Hopelessly Romantic Media Productions, Venus Factor Coach, Product Developer, Brand Ambassador, Contest Administrator, Author, Editor in Chief for the Venus Factor, and 1st Phorm Ambassador.

More about Coach Roberta

Facebook comments:

Speak Your Mind