I came into Body Building by mistake!! Firstly I was over 50 years of age and had never done any serious body building, I had done training in various gyms to support my other sporting goals but due to serious knee problems and obvious physiological disorders as a result of polio in the early 50’s, it wasn’t a sport that sprang to mind. I was encouraged by my orthopaedic surgeon to find a very good trainer with an intimate knowledge of the human body who could train me safely to build my quads to literally hold my knees so I could avoid knee replacements. That was 7 years ago.
I found my trainer in Di Shipway and she literally took me as a frail older woman in recovery after a second round of double knee reconstructions and worked with me tirelessly and encouraged me to compete a year after I started training with her. It was incredibly daunting. However I did love the fact that I had a goal, being a dancer and involved in competitive sport all of my life, having the goal in site was all the motivation I needed.
Along with the obvious physiological disorders my trainer had to contend with; I had an extremely sensitive digestive system. I have followed an organic and whole food mostly raw diet for some time but coming into comp prep I would resort to the mostly traditional way of eating and my body really didn’t cope. We never knew what was going to present on comp day and it became increasingly frustrating. Di Shipway is also High Raw Vegan, so when we discussed how to approach my eating plan she suggested I contact Michelle Nazaroff. With her experience, passion for whole, nutrient dense foods, and also the outstanding condition her clients presented on stage, it seemed the obvious choice.
I was planning to compete once in 2012 in the Nabba/Wff Southern Hemisphere Championships, and then retiring. A couple of years earlier than I had hoped to, mainly because I didn’t feel I could put my body through the nutritional angst any longer.
I began my preparation early with Michelle and led into the actual Comp Prep. Michelle introduced my body to cardio which I hadn’t done in over 20 years because of the fear of injury to my legs. The way she put the plan together along with the nutrient dense high raw vegan program, my body literally sang. My legs coped well with the cardio, there was no injury. I was so incredibly excited. The food was nurturing, whole and healing. I had more energy than I could remember, and no longer needed those afternoon “nanna naps”. I engaged the services of a wonderful Naturopath to help keep my immune system running high as my calories decreased, and to keep my digestive system running as smoothly as possible, to ensure all avenues were covered. The results were amazing!
On Comp Day, I wasn’t sure how I looked. I was sure how I felt. I felt grounded, healthy and full of vitality. I have never met Michelle, we worked entirely by email. However as with all the other testimonials, I have to say that her personal interest went way beyond the call of duty, her encouragement no less, her knowledge priceless and her own journey a testimony to it all. I did win my class on May 27th 2012 in the Women’s Wff Masters at 58 years of age; I was so stunned I barely registered. I am so encouraged that I will work towards doing my final comp in 2014 my personal goal, working with Michelle and my trainer. I have no doubt my body will be stronger, happier and still full of vitality.
This is most certainly not an individual sport. This sport is truly a team sport, I got lucky, I had a dream team.