I had such a great time interviewing our July mom of the month. This mother of three participated in her first body building competition this past Spring and has lived to tell us about it! Read on to hear about her transition from ballet dancer to figure physique competitor, and how she has juggled being a full-time working mom with 4am work-outs, while being a force in lives of her super talented kids.
Delcina’s Runitlikeamom Run-down:
* I have three kids: Michael 16, Christal 11, and Mark 9
* I work at the Department of Children and Families- Subsidized Guardianship Unit
* How do I stay active? I work out, I love lifting weights at the gym. My kids do track, so I do run around the track with them. Recently, the coach came to me and asked me if I was interested in being a strength coach…so now I’m the team’s strength coach. I’m there 4 nights out of the week…some of the kids have hip injuries, etc and I help them strengthen that particular area.
* My short-term fitness goal is to actually try to compete again in the spring (this time under figure instead of bikini).
* My long-term fitness goal is to get certified to be a personal trainer. Since I did the show a lot of people have been reaching out…but I don’t necessarily know how to train other people.
* One of the funniest things my kids have said…I used to let my youngest take baths together- my daughter was 3 years old and my son was a year old. One night, I guess she noticed that they had different body parts and she yelled Eeew! Mommy Mark him got a tail! And that was the last time I let them bathe together.
* The three things I would bring if I were stranded on an island: I need my rice cakes and teddys peanut butter, my tablet so the kids can play games on it and my Wen shampoo so that I can feel pampered. I love the sweet almond mint it feels cool and tingly.
* My favorite indulgence is cake…red velvet cake (specifically the red velvet cheese cake from the Cheesecake Factory).
So, how did you get started weight training, and then competing in the body building scene?
I used to be a dancer. I did ballet and jazz from age 10, and until my second child I was part of a performing company. After my second, I tried to go back to dance class, but show times were hard and I wasn’t home a lot…and I was trying to go back to school at the same time. So I didn’t go back to dancing, but I had always been active and I wanted to do something to keep myself in shape, so I joined the gym. I was lifting weights by myself, well, trying to do it by myself, and the gym I go to has a lot of body builders who would come over and give me tips on how to lift weights. I actually became friends with all of the guys and I learned- what’s wrong, what’s right, how to eat right and I became a member of their pack 🙂 They’ve been asking me for the past 4 or 5 years why I don’t compete, and I didn’t really know! So I said, why not?! And I finally got up the courage to do the show.
I trained myself, and I paid a guy to do the meal part because I wanted to do it the right way (he’s a body builder too). This included hydration as well. I was drinking 2 gallons of water a day, for six weeks. When you drink that much water, you constantly flush it all out…and then you cut down little by little as you get closer to the show.
It sounds like you found a great gym.
Yes, Gold’s Gym in Bloomfield, now Club Fitness…
They’re my family. You go in there, and everybody knows your name. It’s like a big recess time.
They were very supportive, and they all came to the show.
You competed under the bikini physique but you are transitioning to figure. Can you talk a little more about what that means?
A lot of people at the gym were saying that I should compete as figure while I was training to do the show. In my mind, all I saw was what the pro girls looked like when I googled “figure” and that is NOT what I wanted to look like…just is not what I wanted. But I have a more athletic body so people thought I would be a better fit there. Then at my first posing class the teacher showed me the figure poses, but I didn’t realize it. I practiced with my friend and when I went back to class the teacher told me I was doing the wrong poses- I was doing bikini poses- so even he assumed I was going for figure.
When it came to competition time, my muscles were very sharp looking. I was small, but very ripped, and a lot of the girls who placed in that show for bikini, they were just toned bodies, they weren’t really muscular. So, I was really out of my range- I just didn’t belong at all.
I was going to ask you about what goes into getting ready for competition…posing classes? I have the silly poses and jokes in my head.
All the jokes came in my head too- but I would be waiting in line at the store and practicing my poses…it was hard at first. It’s not just putting your hand on your hip. You’re trying to flex your muscles and not look like you’re going to fall over. It took a lot of practice.
How was the competition? Other than realizing you were a better fit for another category, was it fun? Impersonal?
Everyone was very friendly. Girls back stage were gluing this together and that together, helping each other out. There was a lot of support, not how I thought it would be. There wasn’t any cattiness- everybody was really cool.
I imagine you were on a pretty strict meal plan- did you cook for your family while you were training?
I did, but I kept my stuff separate. On Sunday nights I would be up all night preparing and cooking my food for the week. I had tons of Rubbermaid and I would label breakfast, lunch, and dinner and weigh all of my food…
In between cooking I would have my heels on and I would be posing. My daughter was there helping me out….It made it easier because I get up at 3:30am every morning to get to the gym and do my hour of cardio and an hour of weights. I was doing it at night…but I wasn’t able to really see my family…so I fit it in the morning.
Your kids are all really active, do you think you inspired that?
Yes, even when they were little I would be doing push-ups and the baby would be crawling underneath me…or he would sit on my back! They were always trying to work out with me… My oldest comes to the gym with me sometimes now too.
How did your kids get involved in track and field?
At first, I would run outside on the weekends and my kids would follow me on their bikes. Then they started wanting to run. We actually built up to about 5 miles in 45 minutes. My daughter got interested that way so I signed her up for the track team at school, and she did really well! In her first 4 or 5 months, it was indoor season, the private track team that she runs for now- Capital City Track Club– recruited her. She started going to practices, and then they had a track meet, I think it was the invitational, she made it through. Then it was the states, and she made states…she didn’t have any training at all…then she made regionals in New Jersey. I remember that 200…she just came around that corner and took off! For that race- she ranked the 5th fastest in the northeastern region in her age group- in her first 6 months of running track! And then she made it to nationals.
My little one, this was his first year really being able to compete (being old enough), and he’s doing awesome- he’s loving it!
My husband ran track in high school, so he’s the runner. That’s the track family.
Lifting weights can be intimidating to some women- what advice can you offer them?
Just have confidence in yourself and go for it. And I bet that people will volunteer to help…if you are dedicated, people are happy to help.
I know a lot of people say, “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to get bulky” but honestly, they won’t. You won’t look like those scary women on the internet with crazy muscles. We don’t have enough testosterone to look like that. Those women are taking other things (drugs) to develop those muscles. You’re not going to look like that…You don’t want to get bulky? Do lighter weights and higher reps- and you’ll basically be toning not building bigger muscles.
You definitely have a strong body as well as a strong sense of self, despite joining a competition that is based solely on the way your body looks. How do you manage that?
I’ve become OK with my body.
As long as I’m healthy and I’m happy with what I look like…You learn a lot about yourself through this whole process. I’m more in tune with myself, I’m calmer…
It’s just crazy how much you learn about your body…It really requires a lot of discipline.
Thank you Delcina for taking time out of your already VERY jam packed day to sit-down with us. You epitomize the balance of sweetness and strength, and we appreciate your openness and honestly (we discussed the effects of having three children and being a competitive weight lifter on your body, but I just didn’t have enough room to post all of that here). If you have any questions or want to learn more about the competitive circuit or the amazing Captial City Track Club, leave a comment and we will do our best to get you an answer!
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