Nothing like being trapped in a window seat surrounded by people that you really don’t want to be around. Behind me, a woman seemingly obsessed with seeing how deep she could bury the point of her shoe into the bottom of my seat. Resting in my lap, the person in front of me, reclined back as far as possible, all the while ensuring the futility of working on my laptop. But that wasn’t the worst of it.
Riding shotgun beside me, a somewhat disheveled young woman who clearly had too much Vegas and not enough sleep. But even then, how bothersome could she be, fast asleep as she was?
The answer to my question came quickly in the form of a sharp elbow delivered in a manner that would make her the envy of most any NHL power forward patrolling the wing on one of thirty teams. In rapid succession, more elbows came flying my way.
Was she really sleeping, or just carving out some extra space for herself?
Fast forward to the final leg of the trip, closing in on Vancouver, and a groggy voice comes from my right: “Can I borrow your pen?”
On the heels of that, a sheepish apology acknowledging that perhaps a few elbows might have been thrown my way.
From there, we started to converse. In short order and to my surprise, it turned out that my seatmate happened to be a Facebook friend. And no mere mortal Facebook friend either. When not throwing elbows, my seatmate turned out to be none other than Vancouver fitness star Adriana Gee, first-place Arnold amateur winner, Bikini E, at the prestigious 2016 Arnold Classic.
You worked a booth for the Olympia weekend. What’s the name of your company and how long have you been with them?
I’m sponsored by the supplement GAT Sport and I’ve been with them for about two years.
Busiest day for you, Friday or Saturday?
I would say Saturday, because Sadik came off of the stage and straight to the booth so people had been waiting for him. As well, Big Ramy, who was also competing that day. But our booth is always super packed because we also have Jon “Bones” Jones, Janet Layug, Rebecca Ferrari, as well as Zac Aynsley, who was visiting Las Vegas for the first time since he’s from New Castle, UK.
Favorite moments or highlights from your weekend?
Probably when Sadik came to the team and we were all so happy and proud of him since he switched categories this year (from physique to classic physique) and he did phenomenally! We took a team picture and we all were together and surrounding one another.
Our team has a very close bond with one another, so I believe the highlight of the trip was actually just BEING THERE! GAT has many brand ambassadors around their own country, but the fact that they fly me out all the way from Canada for all the large expos really makes me feel special, of value, and just grateful to be a part of such a supportive and loving group of people.
I miss them always since we’re so far, but every time we get together, it’s like we’ve never been separated and we start right where we left off.
Did you meet any industry celebrities?
Yes I met many fitness celebrities over the weekend! Too many to name and to be honest, I always see them at every Expo, so the novelty of seeing “celebrities” is running thin, whereas now they are just like any everyday person in my field (and I mean that in the utmost respect).
It was pretty cool to see Dwayne Johnson there though! I didn’t get to meet him personally, but I know he hit the hearts of many spectators.
Favorite thing to do/see in Las Vegas?
Talk to all the people. I’m a people person and I love connecting with our fans and followers at any moment, whether it’s at the booth or when you’re simply walking through a hotel and someone comments on your physique, which leads to engaging conversations about fitness, nutrition, and overall wellness.
We rise by uplifting others, right, so the times that I get to have personal conversations and give advice really makes my heart warm.
My favourite activity would be to hit the pool parties!!! Olympia weekend is filled with the best physiques in the world, so when you’re at a pool party, you see so much hard work and dedication in the form of the human body. Also super cool swimwear and fashion and everyone is letting loose and having a good time!
Your best advice to survive Olympia weekend in Vegas?
Take it slooowww. It’s a three-day event starting on Thursday, ending Saturday, but people usually stay and enjoy the Sunday since no one is working anymore. If you go too hard on Thursday or Friday, then you’re setting yourself up for a short-lived vacation.
I actually go to the gym and try to get an early night’s rest (if I can) Thursday and Friday because I can not even fathom the thought of being hungover all day at the booth. I save my partying for Saturday night and Sunday.
And of course, stay hydrated! Remember, you’re staying in a desert!
Where can we see more of you?
See our interview with Adriana on YouTube
Originally published October 2016