Whitehorse’s Kristy Roberts has new respect for the power of the Internet.
The 50-year-old bodybuilder and mother of two placed second in her division at the Northern Classic Bodybuilding Fitness and Figure Show in Fort St. John, B.C., over the weekend.
“It was my first one ever and I came second, so I’m pretty happy about that,” said Roberts. “It’s a competition they have every year and it’s kind of for a lot of novice competitors. This was my first show, so I decided to go to that one.
“The woman who won had competed two or three other times, so it was pretty exciting.”
Roberts, who was in the figures masters division for women over 35, only began training at the start of February.
She spent 19 weeks working with a trainer in Vancouver over the Internet. Trainer Sandra Wickham emailed Roberts exercise regimens and dietary programs, and provided Roberts with feedback based on photos Roberts emailed Wickham each week.
“Everything we did was online,” said Roberts. “I took photos and she gave me an eating plan and an exercise plan, like the cardio and weights. And every week I’d send her new photos and she would re-adjust everything.
“I’ve never met her. I don’t even know what her voice sounds like.”
Being her first competition, Roberts feels she didn’t have the best stage presence. She was told all the competitors in her division would go onto the stage at the same time, instead she was instructed to go onstage alone – and she was the first one.
“I went out, did what I had to do, not sure if I looked like a deer in the headlights,” said Roberts. “That was the morning show, where they judge it. Then at the night show I thought, ‘If you guys didn’t pick me for first, I’m going to show you that you should of.’ I was a totally different person going out at night.
“If (Wickham) had been there with me, it might have been a little bit different,” she added. “I’d practise my poses, send her photos, and she’d tell me how to adjust my posing. But it’s not like having somebody right there telling you.
“When I went to Fort St. John, I was the only one there from Team Wickham – all her other clients competed somewhere else. So I was kind of my own little team.”
Pouring herself into bodybuilding is not part of a mid-life crisis. Roberts has a history of beginning new activities every decade of her life.
“It was something I’ve always wanted to do, and then I turned 50,” said Roberts, who also plays hockey. “Every 10 years I do something different. At 30 I started drinking coffee, at 40 I took up snowboarding.”
Roberts grew up in Haines Junction and has been living in Whitehorse for the last “five or six” years. Female bodybuilding is becoming less and less of a fringe sport in Whitehorse, said Roberts. Just last year Peak Fitness trainer Lee Randell placed 13th at the Arnold Amateur IFBB International Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championships, in Columbus, Ohio.
“There are other women in Whitehorse that do compete. I think it’s getting to be more popular up here,” said Roberts. “Colleen McKinnon has been really helpful. I run the stairs with her and do stuff with her, helping me with my workouts … She has competed in the past.”
Over her 19 weeks of training leading up to last weekend’s competition, Roberts dropped 15 pounds, “and I wasn’t heavy to start with.”
“It’s a bit of a challenge and you have to be really motivated,” said Roberts. “I don’t have somebody right here and I have to trust that I will do it, and I have managed to do it.”
Her placement in the top-three in Fort St. John qualified Roberts for the B.C. provincials, which she plans to attend next year.
“My goal is to get to the nationals in the masters category,” said Roberts.
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