Coming off a win in Hawaii, Analisa Velasco-San Nicolas headed to California for the Ultimate Fitness Challenge National Championships on Nov. 6, feeling even more nervous than in the state competition.

She only had a couple of days to prepare and it was her first time competing in anything like the regional UFC Fitness Challenge in Hawaii. After she won, she received an overwhelming amount of support from folks in Hawaii and her home island of Guam.

With the support came a little bit of added pressure.

“Everyone really put their faith in me to represent Hawaii and Guahån and take home the gold,” she said. “So, I went in with a whole new mindset. I was honestly honored and humbled even more to see the amount of support I was getting and how many people really believed in me.”

After two opening workouts, Velasco-San Nicolas’s score was among the top eight and she moved on to the semi finals. From there she earned her place as one of the top four competitors to enter the finals.

“When it came to the finals, it was that much harder for all of our performances because we were fatigued,” she recalled.

The final four sprinted a quarter of a mile then completed another series of exercises as fast as they could, making sure to complete each rep with good form. A rep that didn’t fall in line with the movement standard wouldn’t be counted and ultimately it was those “no reps” that separated Velasco-San Nicolas from the first place winner, she said.

“I was beat by a California coach. What really separated us was the fact that I kept getting ‘no repped’ in many different exercises,” she said.

While she didn’t finish first, Velasco-San Nicolas said she still felt satisfied leaving California.

She said she gave the competition her absolute best. While this was her first try at this fitness competition, it won’t be her last.

“I will be going back to the state UFC fitness competition next year, which will hopefully lead me to a chance at the national championship again, so I will be preparing for that until then,” Velasco-San Nicolas said.