Preparing for Success!
Years ago, at the age of 31, a dear friend of mine introduced me to the idea of going to Trinidad for carnival.
Needless to say, that trip changed my life completely. This year will be my sixth carnival and I think now that I have gained enough experience to impart some of my knowledge to less experienced carnival goers.
There are many other websites which do just this, but all are written from a woman’s point of view with comments like “all the guys want is a pair of shorts and bumsee to wine on”.
While to the casual observer this is true, there is much more to it than that. There is a long arduous process to go through if you want to enjoy those 2 days to their full potential.
Let’s start at the beginning.
My preparation begins in May, after my gallivanting in Trinidad and Jamaica carnivals is complete and I have had a months rest.
First thing is to start saving money. You all are going to need a lot of it. Assuming that you won’t be paying for accommodation, because you’ll be staying at a friend, you can expect to pay approximately US$2500 for everything.
Fortunately, you will not need to fork it all out at once. It is usually divided into a deposit here, and a deposit there, however it quickly adds up so start saving from May if you can.
May is also when the background work in the gym begins.
Each person has their own gym goals, but I can tell you from experience that a fit, muscular physique with lots-o-abs will work wonders for your popularity on the road. The more you look like a fitness magazine model the better!
If needs be, get a personal trainer for a month or two till you have a good routine established, then keep it up for yourself…remember, the sunlight glinting off the abs attracts girls in costumes.
Near the end of summer the band launches get going.
You have to keep a close eye on the dates that the band launches occur to get a good look online at all the different costumes.
As alluded to before, the guys basically get a 500usd shorts no matter which band or section you play in. They basically just come in different colours. The secret is too look at the girls costumes.
Over time I have come to see a pattern in all the popular bands like island people and tribe.
They have one costume that looks better and is skimpier that all the rest and only comes in sizes slim that sexy body women can fit into. No 45DD bras or monokinis available! If possible get that costume! If you cant don’t sweat it, you can just walk into the skimpy section in whichever costume.. for guys the abs matter more, and to tell the truth…every section is easy on the eye.
Eventually the costumes will go on sale…you will have to buy it online if you live outside of Trinidad.
· Take a half day from work.
· Get a faster internet connection.
· Make a word document with your credit card info for easy copy and paste access.
The bands usually tell you the date and time they open their site. The moment that time comes…try the site and keep refreshing till you get through…then copy and paste like mad. Some bands sell out in minutes (literally).
So….now you have a costume, your body is starting to take shape, time to sort out transportation.
I usually fly Wednesday to ash Wednesday as on carnival Tuesday at midnight Trinidad goes back to normal. Strictly dancehall and hip hop on the radio and its business as usual.
A rental car is very useful…sort it out from early.
About Christmas time you BETTER be getting in some good shape. Start cardio!….you could be strong like a lion…if you don’t have cardio under your belt even the most anaemic carnival babe will wine you to submission EARLY in the day (That first year I got cramps in the most unusual places).
If you can run 5K under 20 minutes you should be ok
Buy yourself a good pair of running shoes for Christmas. Make sure they match your costume colour and give excellent support and cushioning. Go to the gym and run on the treadmill in them to break them in but make sure they stay nice and clean. Presentation is important and girls look at shoes (even with abs present). I learned this the hard way. A girl scorned me cause of some J’ouvert paint I couldn’t get off my shoe. Scorn and carnival vibes don’t mix.
Start listening to online radio to get an idea of what tunes are hot. It helps to build the vibes and keep you motivated towards achieving your goals in the gym. The new soca usually starts about Boxing Day. www.red967fm.com is a good place to start listening.
One month to go!…whiten your teeth! It’s these little things that give you the edge! These details that make it so you are the random stranger to be photographed or to tief a wine with.
Its carnival time…your teeth are white, your shoes are good, and your body looks like a comic book action hero! YOU ARE GOOD TO GO!
Next time I will give you a brief guide of how to manage your time in Trinidad, both in the fetes and on the road!…Strategies for success.