Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sharon Garrett Interview

Withing a very short Facebook conversation I quickly decided Sharon Garrett is simply cool. She is the kind of person I would love to hang out with. She has a great attitude and is very friendly and encouraging. Top that off with, as you can see by the pictures, the fact she is a beautiful woman with a great physique, highlighted by amazing legs. Sharon has not competed for a few years, but let's hope she does decide at some point to grace the stage again.

Q: First, Sharon, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: No thank you for the opportunity! It's been a couple of years since I've done this so I'm greatly appreciative

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I'm born and raised in Greensboro, NC, and currently residing in the RDU area...I'm an only child who grew up my first decade in an ice skating rink....unfortunately the rink shut down and the closest rink was in Winston-Salem so I was forced to quit....I bounced around between a few sports but in high school I took my very first dance class and studied modern/jazz/hip-hop for about five years....I was a member of the dance team in high school and then the Appalachian Dance Ensemble once I started attending Appalachian State....

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I did small amounts of lifting for sports in high school but it wasn't until I started attending App that I actually started going to the gym on a regular basis....looking back on it I didn't know what I was doing! hahaha...but I was always careful with form....I used to watch Body Shaping and Kiana's Flex Appeal in middle and high school and I used to absorb the information like a sponge....one of the greatest compliments I ever received from a trainer at a gym was that she never had to worry about my form because I always seemed to be aware of it....I credit those shows and my dance experience for that....

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I'm sure I saw some results back then but I saw more results from walking uphill all the time on campus (go to Boone and you will see I do no exaggerate!) but once I started to train with a little more conviction and purpose after I transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill I did start to notice my arms shaping up....what I learned later was my downfall in not seeing results was diet...it took a while but now I understand so much more than I did then

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Oddly enough it was b/c of a guy! now, let me be clear-it was not FOR the guy....he just gave me the courage to approach doing a show....through the wonderful world of bodybuilding forums I got hooked up with a trainer and off I went! This guy and myself went through a TERRIBLE breakup right smack in the middle of my prep but my trainer, my coworkers, and my gal LeighAnn stayed with me and I continued through because it was something I very much wanted to see to the end...

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: For the most part, yes....I inspired LeighAnn to pursue fitness competitions the following year so she was more than supportive! She did my hair and makeup for my first show and for that I'll always be thankful! My mom was a little hesitant when I did my first two shows but when I competed nationally she was really into it! She even joined the MD board and Gene/James' ftvideo board to follow coverage!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It was and it wasn't....the one thing that took me most by surprise was what your body goes through after a show....it is unlike anything I have ever seen nor felt....but the rush of being on a stage performing was exactly what I expected...it was a natural transition from my skating and dancing days....

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2005 Mountaineer, Boone, NC 1st LW Bodybuilding
*2006 Elite Muscle Classic, Greensboro, NC 1st MW Bodybuilding
*2007 NPC Junior Nationals, Chicago, 3rd LW Bodybuilding
*2007 NPC Team Universe, NYC, 4th LW Bodybuilding
*2007 NPC USA's, LAs Vegas, 6th LW Bodybuilding (just missed 5th by 2pts!)

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Probably quads although some might want me to choose calves!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: LEGS! hahahaha and it shows! They earned their strength early so they develop quicker than any part on me and that's always fun when training....I have had to back off over the years in an attempt to let the upper body catch up but it's still my favorite day in the gym....as for my favorite move it would have to be walking lunges, preferably weighted

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Prep is mostly dependent on who I'm with...I was with Dave Palumbo for Team U and USAs and his keto approach brought me in the leanest and most ripped I've ever been! I'm not sure if I would stick to that or try carb cycling again....as for every day diet I am currently on a keto based diet and loving every second of it....my body just responds well to it...not everyone does....training is lifting five days a week, cardio six days a week....and I always try to get out and about to try new things....just last night I did my first hot yoga class and blogged about it....I will most definitely be doing that again!

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: Most people are positive about it and are ultra curious....I never mind the questions unless I'm in the middle of a set!

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "So what do you bench?" Have you looked at me???? Clearly it should be, "What do you squat?" duh!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That women with muscle do not look like dudes! I am always quick to whip out pictures of the likes of Britt Miller, Cindy Phillips, my girl near Charlotte Kristen Helms, and others to illustrate that we are not all dudes in bikinis....it utterly astounds me that there are bikini pros on magazine covers that people (men and women) are looking at and saying, she's too muscular....are you kidding me???? Say that to me again as you eat your McDonald's....

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best is when I'm done because you have that sense of accomplishment and release....worst is when I don't make it or it's a bad, bad workout....I have those issues from time to time because I deal with insomnia and can't always get my rest and get to the gym before work beckons....

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Honestly, there are way too many to name....one that I will name who was my original influence and still is to this day is IFBB Fitness Pro Jenny Worth....but I also draw my influences from other genres of competition, like wrestling, so the likes of Trish Stratus, Ivory, Molly Holly, Victoria, Nattie Neidhart, and Beth Phoenix keep me wanting to hit the gym

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: A big bowl of sour cream and salsa mixed together and bag of white corn tortilla chips or gluten free elbow noodles with shredded cheese and butter

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: I'd give two pieces that I feel go hand in hand: physique starts in the kitchen! and LIFT THOSE WEIGHTS! I am always reminding females we do not naturally have the higher levels of testosterone that men do so us picking up some weights will never equate to a guy's physique....most like the idea once you explain the resting metabolic rate to them :)

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights and not just cardio and things?
A: I wish I could answer yes to this but judging by what I see and the questions I still get I'll have to say the answer is no....now yes, more women lift than in the past but it's still such a slow transition....it's really just a question of education....

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love twitter! hahahahaha what a terrible hobby! But I do LOVE shoes....ALL shoes! I earn the gymdiva moniker, trust me! I am also very passionate about following sports....as I type this I have on Mike & Mike on ESPN....baseball season has just begun and for the first time since I was in middle school I am truly excited by a team....anyone reading this that knows me knows that right now my interest lies in the SF Giants (and Brian Wilson....oh yeah, definitely Brian Wilson....no doubt....a lot....yep)....maybe one day I can turn my love of sports into a career

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Sharon Garrett.
A: It's honestly quite boring! hahahaha....at the moment I literally get up, eat, drink coffee (the gasoline of life), go to the gym, then go to work (I currently wait tables which can be like cardio part 2 on a busy night), then come home and catch up on DVR shows....rinse and repeat

Q: Describe Sharon Garrett in five words.
A: Capricorn, Southern, short, daydreamer, rhythmic

Q; What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: If you just saw me on paper I think people would be surprised to know that I am an avid fan of the Young & the Restless....have been since I was 11! The other thing that usually takes people by surprise is when I tell them I was born two months premature....supposed to have been a Valentine's Day baby but I had other plans and came out almost at Christmas instead....I wasn't breathing when I was born and my mom said I finally took a sigh like, what??? Yeah, born with an attitude ;)

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: No set plans for competing as of this moment....I'm hoping to FINALLY wrap up my undergraduate degree this year so that will come first....I do still yearn to get on that stage again so we shall see....I do want to give mma style of training a whirl....I probably will not compete in that but hey, never say never! And one of these days I swear I'll be in a ring learning some wrestling!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I can be found at any of these places and I'm hoping this will finally be the year for a website!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Sharon Garrett the athlete and competitor?
A: Always! money is a huge determining factor on a lot of things in my life so if anyone wanted to help I'd be more than appreciative....I had help in getting me to Team U thanks to some awesome folks so I know how far a helping hand can go....I think my competitive history speaks for me....when I decide to pursue that stage I don't mess around....

Q: Sharon, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Never give up on yourself! others can doubt you all they want but if you doubt yourself then all you'll do is prove them right....have a crazy dream? go for it! even if it's not fully realized you'll have one hell of a story to tell!

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