Iron Man Magazine Interview ~
How long have you been training?
Originally I started training hard in 1986 when I was 19 — for a year. While working at a gym in Toronto, the head of the aerobics program said to me one day, “You have great genetics to be a bodybuilder.” So she took me under her wing, and I trained so hard for that year. I soon met my now ex-husband and we began our music career and moved to Los Angeles. That kinda killed my focus on training. I did, however, continue my fitness instructor career for 18 years before retiring from that to pursue my aerial career. I began training with a professional aerialist and soon after started my own business in circus arts and established the aerial duo the Silk Sisters. Buffy and I performed around the country and the world for 10 years. In 2010 my 20-year marriage ended. I pretty much stopped everything and took some time to heal and get in touch with what I really wanted to take on next. That October I joined a gym and started lifting weights again. I met my now-partner and we started really kicking into gear. My dream of being a bodybuilder was manifesting.
In 2011 I competed in my first UNBA contests, taking home a few first places. I then took off a full year to gain more size and mass. In December 2012 I competed in the NPC Excalibur, took home first place in Physique — which is what I really had my eyes on — and fifth place in Masters Figure. I decided then that Physique was my love. I stayed dieted down for another six weeks, trained as heavy as I could, and competed in the NPC Ironman Naturally. I took home first place in Physique. I am now gearing up for the next competition season. I feel really blessed to have such a supportive man in my life, who is there for me every step of the way in this journey!
What would you like to see done to help improve or promote the sport?
I believe that health and wellness are extremely important to everyone around the world. The role they play increases as we move through our life experience. It is such an honor to be apart of this great sport and to inspire others wherever I go! It’s not every day you see a woman walking around withyokes — so it certainly does draw attention. I have the responsibility of sharing with others the importance maintaining their health and wellness. For me it’s through a combination of mind, body, and spirit. There is such a spiritual aspect to Bodybuilding. I know that when others see a guy with big muscles, they may think “meat head.” In fact, these men and women are true athletes. Each day, they excel at mustering and relying upon the enormous mind and heart focus and connection. That’s true not just in the gym but every decision we athletes make: When it comes to food and rest, how we spend our alone time with the struggles each moment can bring. For instance, when you’re dieting down and the resolve that requires. Or during bulking phases, when you’re consuming mass amounts of protein and carbs in order to have the needed calories to support the heavy lifting you’re about to do on leg day! I know I getting away from the question a bit. Bridging the gap is key: From an elite group of athletes, who seemingly torture themselves each day, to the everyday person, seeking to realize the long-term benefits of lifting weights and eating right. Plain and simple, it’s bridging the gap. And so making our sport more appealing to mainstream lifestyles.
What would you like to share about your last contest?
I trained my butt off for the 2013 NPC Ironman Naturally. I was 43 when I started seriously Bodybuilding, so it’s not like I had been doing this for 10, 15, or 20 years. To accomplish what I have in so short a time, for me this is so exciting. I have an amazing support team that I owe everything to!
Do you get negative comments from people with regard to your muscles?
Mostly when I’m bulking — with my weight going up and down, and up again. Most people don’t understand the method behind the madness. So they tell me “Wow, look how big you are” with this look of yikes!! I no longer bother to explain. Some are merely curious. All my close friends totally get it now, and that’s what matters to me!
Have you ever surprised yourself with your own strength? Like you forgot you were THAT strong???
I’m always wanting to add that extra plate. Or sometimes I will judge my workout based on if I were stronger last week than this week. I know that every workout is different, and I should not compare. I’m getting better at that. But yeah, leg pressing 500lbs is no joke. When I first started, that seemed impossible to me. Now it’s just what I do!
How have you used your physical strength outside the gym, when it has come in handy?
Ahhh yes! When friends are moving, I become very popular!! Seriously we are beasts during any move. It’s cool to know that I can shoulder-press a huge sofa with my man to help get it up and onto a shelf for storage.
Any message for fans?
Surround yourself around like-minded people. Be what it is you want to experience. It’s never to late to begin and do! I started my aerial career at age 34; then at 43, started my Bodybuilding career. Women are very inspired by other women doing stuff that most others don’t think they can do. It’s not easy. Every day is not a walk in the park. But I can look at myself and say “Ya know what? At least I’m showing up every day to do this!” And I have met wonderful people I never otherwise would have met.
What is the best way to contact you?
Message me on Facebook or on BodySpace (links below). RFOS members can message me here:
Where can you be found on the web?
What else you would like to share?
I am an ACE certified personal trainer, training clients in my private gym in the Ladera Heights area of West Los Angeles. My techniques focus on working with mind, body, and spirit — the power trifecta infusing nutrition, movement, and the power of intention. For more information about programs and pricing, contact me on my website.
I want to thank my partner J.C. — the light of my life and my biggest support on this planet!!
Thanks also to coach Angelo Baity for showing me all his bag of tricks to align me with my conditioning and getting contest-ready. And Tippu, for his knowledge and positive spirit. Thanks as well to Emily, Laura Lynn, Shaune Anne, and, of course, my mom. Now in her 70s, my mom doesn’t look a day over 50, and lives life like a 30-year-old with the energy of a woman in her mid-20s. Thanks for your genetics, mom!! Thanks to my crew at the gym that I see every day: You all inspire me and keep me hangin’ in there when the going gets tough!
I will always cherish Bella, our golden Chinook hound, who passed away in 2013. She was my light, love, and my cardio partner for the last three contests I was in. I miss Bella with all my heart! Lady Bird our German Shepherd is now my new cardio partner. Watching her grow and loving her is a gift from God.
Special thanks to Tony and John at Nutritional Warehouse in Venice Beach on Lincoln Boulevard. You guys rock!