A group of Nanaimo athletes are building their bodies and building their sport, too.
Local training partners have been faring well at recent competitions and are already looking forward to the next one.
The club had three athletes at the B.C. Amateur Bodybuilding Association’s Kelowna Classic last month and returned with five trophies between them.
“If Nanaimo was a country and that was the Olympics, then we won, it was awesome,” said Adam MacKay. “It was just incredible. I can’t even explain how great the experience was.”
The team members are anxious to share their successes because they’ve seen the positive impacts of the sport in their lives.
Kristine Silva, who won a trophy at a BCABBA event in New Westminster in March, said bodybuilding has changed her life completely. Her weight used to be out of control; now she’s a personal trainer and a trophy-winning bodybuilder. Her first foray into the competitive side of the sport a few years ago didn’t go well, she said, “but I believed that if I just kept doing what I was supposed to do, that things would work out and I just had to keep having trust.”
Now she works out with a group of people who support each other inside and outside the gym.
“We didn’t really know each other and we grew into basically a family,” said MacKay.
The group trains at various fitness centres around town.
“All the gyms love us,” Silva said, because the the team members try to bring positive outlooks to training.
“A lot of people that go to the gym look at it as a punishment, so when there’s happy, positive people around that enjoy it, it kind of makes other people realize, ‘hey, you know what? They’re having some fun. I can have fun here, too.’”
MacKay said gym managers around the city have been been happy to hear about the bodybuilders’ awards.
In Kelowna, MacKay had a first-place finish in lightweight bodybuilding and a second in classic bodybuilding. Marina Horan placed first in fitness and fourth in figure, while Sandy Tran took third in bikini.
Prior to that, Silva placed second in heavyweight bodybuilding at the New West event and Jordan King took second in classic physique and third in light-heavyweight bodybuilding at the highly competitive Popeye’s Classic in Vancouver last fall.
“Being around the right group of people that want to inspire you and want you to do better as well makes a huge difference,” Silva said. “It makes you want to work that much harder. It makes you realize that you do have that potential, as well, because we tend to not give ourselves enough credit.”