Thursday, August 19, 2010
Lisa Dawn Interview
Lisa Dawn is a perfect example of why I do this. To promote good deserving people in the fitness industry, and Lisa is for sure one of those good people. By looking at her you see how incredible she looks, but talking to her you find out what a sweet woman she is. Her hard work and dedication to look like she does is admirable, but her attitude is what really makes her special. Lisa Dawn is one woman to keep your eyes on in the Fitness Industry.
Q: First, Lisa, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: My pleasure, thank you for the opportunity!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. I’ve never ventured far and still remain in the lower mainland, loving living here. I have one daughter, 10 years old who is my world.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Yes I’ve always been fit and very active. I remain this way do to my career. I’ve played soccer for many years and coached as well. I ride horses, hunter/jumpers, for recreation. I loved long distance running but have stopped this to try and keep more muscle on my legs.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I’ve always worked out just not to the degree I do now. I love lifting weights and seeing myself toned.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Weight training has always come easy for me. Seeing results is not a problem on my upper body, legs is a different story. It’s more challenging developing muscle on my legs and keeping it.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: One day I was running stairs by my house and a lady stopped me. She asked if I would be interested in going on a stage, I said PARDON?? Lol. Her name is Cara Thein, she is a personal trainer and competitor. She explained what she meant and talked me into to coming to see her. She inspired me and encouraged me to go further! The rest is history!
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: My family and friends are always supportive in anything I do however they didn’t and don’t really understand the dieting and intensity about it. Unless you’re a competitor it’s hard to relate to that level of dedication but they back me 100%! They encourage me to remain connected with people in this business and know this is what helps me get through any of the tough times I may have.
Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: Competing has exceeded my expectations. I’m addicted to it! It’s a lot of hard work and a lot sacrifice, especially in my social life but it’s worth it. I won’t be quitting anytime soon.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Yes! Definitely thank you for asking! My first competition was with FAME in Oct 2009 I place 1st in figure tall. I then decided to compete at the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic in Nov 2009 and place 1st in figure tall, 1st in masters and 1st overall show! I was ecstatic! I felt I was walking on a cloud that day. Recently, July 25th I competed in the provincials (BC’s 2010) and placed 3 rd figure tall and 3rd masters. I was happy with my placing and now I will train hard for the next year to compete at the Nationals in August 2011.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Shoulders by far! I’ve been told I have a good set of shoulders. I’ll be building them more for the nationals so they are really developed.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I’d have to say legs. I have never trained legs before so I’m enjoying the challenge, and seeing the results.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Normal routine is eating clean always, 6 small meals per day combining the proper amounts of protein, carbs and drink at least 4 to 5 ltrs of water per day. I alter my diet A LOT during contest prep however it’s gradual over an 8 week period. I eliminate all artificial sweeteners, carb cycle and increase my consumption of protein through food not shakes or bars.
Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Always so positive. I was dress shopping for my cousins wedding a few weeks prior to my last competition. Every single store I went into to try on dresses the ladies in the shop including customers would stop me and ask what I did to get my arms and shoulders in that condition. One lady said to me “I can’t even look at you anymore, I’m in love with your arms” lol! I tell everyone the same thing, you can have this too! Anyone can…..and I’ll help!
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: “How often do you work out – it MUST be hours and hours- do you have a life?” well it is a lot of time during contest prep however normal routine isn’t all that much….its just maintaining what I have. The fact I love training and weight lifting is a bonus because I get to do what I enjoy most!
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: “That we want to look like men” This is false! We want well defined muscles that are toned so we look fit, hot and sexy. I definitely still look like a women and will remain that way. I just enhance my physique with developing my muscles.
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: I have to say winning first place! Lol! but meeting all the new people also competing has been great The training aspect is my favorite part. I’ve made many new wonderful friends that will remain in my life forever. The worst part I’d say is 2 weeks out! It’s been, by that time, a LONG haul and you just want the day to come!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Yes, Ava Cowen is my all time favorite. She is so genuine and a wonderful person. She has helped me personally by answering my questions and providing excellent suggestions with supplements (Gaspari products) and giving me motivation. Also, my trainer Sandra Wickham. She’s accomplished so much in her competition history I’m in awe of her achievements and success. I hope to be at their levels one day!
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Oh my! One cheat food???? I’d say anything sweet! But once I start its really hard for me to stop. I do like my glass of Merlot as well so it’s tough to choose just one thing. Whenever I get cheat meals I like to try different things so I get a variety and feel I’m not lacking or missing anything.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Make a list! Decided what exactly your goal is, make it attainable and realistic. Write it down! Attach a time period, a target date and an award that you will give yourself once you achieve your goal. A new outfit? a new vehicle – maybe? Then, hire a reputable trainer to get you started off on the right foot and keep you going! Also, never give up…..it may take time but you will get there! Use a journal – record everything.
Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted by society for women to be in the gym training as hard as men?
A: I think so, I hope so. I still find myself one of the only women down on the heavy weight side of my gym. I see a number of women up in the “ladies only” side but I think that has to do with personal comfort. It can be intimidating at first but you soon realize the big guys are the sweetest and most helpful. I learn so much from training next to the men! They are motivating to me and I think, I hope, I impress them with my dedication and hard work.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love soccer however the years of playing have taken its toll on my knees so now I coach which I also love. I enjoy reading, taking courses to improve my knowledge in this sport and just relaxing with my daughter. SHOPPING!!! My daughter and I kill the malls! We love it….however, the pocketbook doesn’t always cooperate.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Lisa Dawn.
A: I work full time, usually at 42 hour week so it doesn’t leave much time for fun! I train during work, on my lunch breaks and then again after work. I have to be very organized with my meals, and my daughters school/activity schedule. Everything is planned well in advance. On my days off you can find me in the gym or having a coffee on the beach near my house with friends, getting caught up.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I’m shy. Really shy. I can bring it for the stage during competition time however I find photo shoots a little difficult knowing what to do or how to pose. I’m actually looking for a trainer specific to this if you know anyone?
Q: Describe Lisa Dawn in five words.
A: Ambitious, Dedicated, Loyal, Loving and Happy
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Oh definitely! 2011 Canadian Nationals
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I will, eventually, be putting up a website and getting into the personal training aspect. I would like to share my knowledge with others and help other women achieve their personal goals. This will take a little time though as I’m currently obtaining my education to back my experience in this field. Stay tuned!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so what are they getting in Lisa Dawn the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes! Definitely! I’d LOVE to represent a supplement company, my ultimate would be Gaspari like my idle Ava Cowen. I believe in their products! I also believe in many other products on the market and would love to share how they have helped me.
What would they get if they signed me? A role model, I’d inspire women of all ages. I would appeal to women of all ages. Being in the “a little older” category I could show, by example, that at any age you can achieve great things! I would give 150% of myself and dedicate myself to their company treating it as my own. They would NOT be disappointed in me…..I’d be loyal, hard working and available at all times for anything they require. I’d present new innovative ideas and thoughts for their consideration as well. If anyone is looking for a new face and name….that fits what I just described please contact me! I’d be happy to discuss further.
Q: Lisa, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I just want to thank you for promoting women in bodybuilding. Lending your talents and time to us. Helping without asking for anything in return and show casing the “real” women out there working hard in this sport.