Thursday, January 20, 2011
Carol Semple Interview
When I started the idea for Fitness Week, I wanted something big to kick it off. Could it get any bigger than a former Fitness Olympia winner? How about the first woman ever to win Ms. International and Ms Olympia in the same year? How about a true legend in the sport. All those things describe Carol Semple. I have often said that to me the best thing is respect and admiration from your peers. Well how many interviews with Fitness competitors have I done where Carol's name is mentioned in the women they admire? To have this interview is truly an honor for me and makes me feel as if my blog has "arrived". So I am very excited to present this interview with a true Fitness legend.
Q: First Carol, thanks so much for doing this. It is a big honor for me.
A: Jason, you are welcome, but I have to say that I am honored that you asked me!!!
Q: Before Fitness your dream was competing in the Olympics in gymnastics. You
were unable to achieve that dream due to Osgood-Schlatter Disease as well as a serious auto accident. Can you talk about that at all?
A: Unfortunately, the Osgood-Schlatter Disease did set me back and that was very frustrating. The auto accident ended up becoming a permanent set back. I was faced with a tough decision. Accept my Full-Ride Scholarship and spend the next 4 years training and competing in pain and as the Doctor said probably end up living the rest of my life in pain, Or, focus on my health and spend the time necessary to rehab and take care of my body.
Q: What formed your initial love for gymnastics?
A: I was watching Olga Korbit in the 1972 Olympics... I was mesmerized!!! I just knew that was what I wanted to do!!!
Q: For competing in Fitness, was it more a case of adapting your training for that, or were you able to train the way you had always trained?
A: Actually I had to adapt my training due to my injuries from the auto accident. I had to become very efficient at the quality of my training not the quantity.
Q: You first did the NFSB Ms. Fitness Colorado. What made you decide to compete that first time?
A: I had to qualify for the Ms. National Fitness competition and that was the only one closest to me. I actually read an article about Cameo Kneuer, Cory Everson’s sister, who had won the Ms. National Fitness 2 years in a row and I thought to myself, “That is what I want to do!”
Q: Did you ever think you would win that first show?
A: That is probably the one area in my life that I had the most confidence. I knew I was going to win!
Q: Was competing something family and friends supported at that time?
A: For the most part. My friends and family would just get use to the fact that when I was getting ready for a show that I was not around very much. So in that sense they didn’t like it!
Q: In 1997 you became the first person to win Ms International and Ms Olympia the same year. What did that mean to you?
A: Wow!!! The first one... That is amazing and I can remember 1997 like it was yesterday! It really is an honor to be the first one and I am amongst some amazing women who have done the same thing!!!
Q: Obviously competing on the Olympia Stage is every competitors dream, but few get to realize it. What is it like being on that stage with the best?
A: I honestly don’t think that I had a full grasp of what that meant until a few years later! Sometimes I look back and can’t even believe that I was there... I did that...
Q: Fitness seems to unfairly be getting less coverage these days as compared to other divisions. Any thoughts on why, and how we can fix that?
A: I am not sure if you can say that they are unfairly getting less coverage. It is just that there are new divisions and new faces.
Q: Often I hear girls say thy don't do Fitness because they don't have the gymnastics background. But then others say they do Fitness and don't have that background either. How important is a gymnastics background to be a Fitness competitor.
A: This is one of my favorite questions to answer. I say just look at who is the most decorated Fitness Competitor today, The Amazing Adela Garcia! She was not a trained gymnast and her routines Rock!!! Not to mention her gorgeous physique!!! A well deserved Fitness Champion and an awesome representative of the sport!
Q: One thing that sets Fitness apart is obviously the routine part. What goes into putting together a routine for the stage?
A: It is very important to select music that you are excited about and find someone who can do an amazing job mixing it. I think it is important to utilize the stage and focus on the elements of fitness: Strength moves, Flexibility, High powered jumps and leaps, all connected with assume dance and transitions!!! If you can not do a move, then don’t do it!!!
Q: Is there anything about Fitness, be it scoring, routines, etc., that you would like to see changed?
A: I have always thought that if this was Fitness, then the Fitness portion should have a greater influence on the outcome. I am so excited for the sport of Fitness that this year, 2011, they are judging the fitness routine as 2/3 of the score and the physique is 1/3.... How I wish this would have been when I competed!!!
Q: Any competitors out there now you are a fan of or enjoy watching?
A: Actually, I love the sport of fitness so much that I am a fan of all the competitors!!! I know how hard it is to train and dedicate yourself to bringing the most amazing physique to the stage and at the same time have the strength, flexibility, and endurance to perform a crazy routine with such precise detail, high energy, and personality!!!
Q: Often I do these interviews and things and ask who certain competitors admire or are a fan of, and your name is brought up. How important is that to you to have made such a positive impression on people?
A: I am humbled that people still remember... It was so long ago that I competed. I kind of feel like I am now a grandmother to the sport!!! LOL Not many realize that I competed for 4 years with the NFSB and IFSB. Of course if the NPC and IFBB had Fitness before 1995 I would have been competing
Q: What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about Fitness competitors?
A: Wow, I guess I didn’t realize there was a misconception... Is there?
Q: Do you find it more common to see women training in the gym and using the weights and training instead of just doing the cardio?
A: I find it more common that women are incredibly athletic and are doing some of the most amazing workouts. This doesn’t apply just for Fitness, but I see this in the Figure and Bikini athletes as well.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training to compete, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Stay true to what your personal goals and vision is for yourself. You must have a very clear picture of what you want your physique to look like.
Q: Let's talk about you. Any hobbies or activities you enjoy in your free time?
A: Free Time!!! What is that? I think instead of calling it free time, it is about making time for what is important and what you enjoy!!! I love, love, love gymnastics, hip hop, and breakdancing. So, I make time each week to be able to do gymnastics and I meet with a Hip Hop dancer each week who has been teaching me some very cool moves!!! That is my therapy!
Q: Describe Carol Semple in five words.
A: Driven to succeed, Passionate about life, Sensitive, Goofy, and sometimes Insecure!!!
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Well.... There is probably more than just one thing that people don’t know about me. Let me share with you the most rewarding decision that I ever made: I became pregnant when I was 17 almost 18 and I decided to have the baby and give him up for adoption. It is by far the most important, amazing, and rewarding experience of my life! It was unheard of to have an open adoption back then and I was fortunate enough to have one.
Q: Anything going on you want to plug or promote or talk about?
A: There is so much going on I am not sure where to start!!! My boyfriend, Michael Alexander, and myself promoted our first NPC show last August, The Warrior Classic, in Loveland Colorado. Loveland is about 30 minutes north of Denver. It was amazing! We had 104 registered athletes! Not bad for our first year. We have some big plans for this year, which will be August 20th, 2011. Check out the website for more information: www.warrior-classic.com.
Last year we became the Met-Rx/Worldwide distributors in Colorado and just recently secured Cytosport, BSN, and hoping to grow more this year. At Warrior Nutrition we focus on distribution of drinks and bars to gyms and health clubs in Colorado. Website: www.warrior-nutrition.com.
This will be our 4th year partnering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado. We organize The Warriors for Wishes Fitness-A-Thons. Last year we had 2 different gyms and 3 days of fitness-a-thons and my goal for this year is to have at least 5 gyms on board.
My love for gymnastics, hip hop, and breakdancing has driven me to work with a group of breakdancers and we are working on some group performances. I love being on stage and performing and I hope to have a few more years left where I can do what I love!!! Check out my promo video that I did with Ken Jimenez from Motion Underground in Denver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9TdmEm96Fw
Just spoke to Ed and Betty Pariso who promote the Europa Series of competitions and expos and might have something very cool going on with them. So I guess stay tuned for more!!!
Q: Carol, again, thanks so much for doing this. I have done hundreds of these, but very few are as big a deal to me as having you do one. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you so much for asking me to do this interview with you. I really do appreciate the opportunity and would welcome more in the future!!!! Have an amazing day!