Friday, June 3, 2011
Elizabeth Fichtner Interview
Take a look at the beautiful woman in the pictures. Would you ever guess her to be 52? 25 maybe but not 52. Elizabeth Fichtner, when she isn't busy defying the aging process, is training and competing in Bikini. Her first show was in Figure, and she herself will tell you she wasn't ready. But since competing in Bikini, she is more than ready and always improving.
Q: First, Elizabeth, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You are so welcome, thank you!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am a 52 year old mother of 3 and grandmother of 2 boys. I started my family young, at 22 and have been devoted to their needs and getting them to where they need to be in life. Now that they are all grown up and on their own, I have started to pursue my dreams and aspirations. My motto is, "It's never too late to be what you might have been." I love this quote by George Eliot. It sums up where I am in my life, right now, today. I became a 3rd degree black belt in taekwondo at 51 and now at 52, am competing in bikini competitions! How crazy is that!
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been an athletic person, played sports in school and have always tried to maintain "working out" throughout my life.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: At 20, I wanted to start working out with weights, I believe it was Rachel McLish, that inspired me in magazines. I have always worked out but never really put the whole nutrition thing together, until a year ago
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Training has always been something that has come easily to me. I love what the weight room does to a body and psyche. It empowers me and makes me feel like I can conquer the world. You can mold and shape your body to whatever you want it to look like, within your genetic make up, of course
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I wanted to compete for the first time, to give my grandchildren a good picture of me, on stage. I wanted to put the picture in their time capsule and when they open it, they will see their grandma in a different light, that age doesn't stop you, that living a healthy lifestyle and exercising never stops. This was to be my gift to them when I would be long gone....however...I got hooked and 3 competitions later, here I am! I hope to put something even better in their time capsule now, maybe an overall win! Who knows!
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My family supports me in everything that I undertake, however, it was funny, because I didn't tell my son about it for sometime. You know how son's are about their moms, especially a 52 year old mom on stage in a bikini! He surprisingly didn't take it all that bad! haha! As for friends, some have been supportive, some have been not as supportive. One told me that it would never last and I would get fat, again! It only fueled my drive. I try to stay around positive people, they energize me!
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I didn't expect the girls (competitors) to be so warm and loving. They are amazing. They support, they encourage and help you believe in yourself. I've met the nicest people in this sport! We all know what it takes to get here, we each have a story, and we know how hard the road is. It is a wonderful sport!
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: My first contest was in figure (didn't know what I was doing)! Didn't train for it, a friend who is a figure competitor said, a month prior to the contest (San Francisco) said, "You should do it." I said, "Okay." Crazy, huh? Didn't place
San Diego Border States, decided to do bikini, once again, didn't train...4th place......Sacramento, bikini, didn't place....got Kim Oddo as my trainer/nutritionist, got an action plan and competed in San Diego in March, 4th in 45 masters, 5th in 35 masters.....Orange County....1st in 45 masters.... 2nd in 35 masters....sooooo fun!
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Best body part? I thought it was my legs, but I think, now I need to build them.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: My favorite to train is legs and glutes! It is the area I need to improve. These workouts always take a lot out of me and I really like to kick a little ass when I train these areas.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal daily training routine is: weights for 1 hour at 7:30.....cardio step classes / ujam (hip hop dance cardio) for 1 - 2 hours, pilates or yoga for 1 hour and sometimes will go back at night for a ujam class - high energy and I burn over 800 calories in an hour doing this, the time flies as I am having so much fun! I alter it by doing less cardio during contest prep.
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: All people are extremely positive about my physique or competitions, especially when they hear my age. I love this part as I feel I inspire a lot of people to work out and help them to believe in what they can do in and out of the gym. I really like being a role model and to inspire. I actually love being older in this competition world. It makes me work harder.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A; I never really get sick of hearing any comments. Good or not so good, it is all fun!
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: The one misconception is that women who compete are genetically gifted, that they aren't looked at as athletes. We are not genetically gifted, some have better parts, but we all struggle with certain aspects of our bodies. We work hard day in and day out in and out of the gym. We sacrifice cake and ice cream at birthday functions as well as "normal" food - the hardest part for me, really.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training is going beyond who you are, inner growth and building confidence, body, mind and spirit. The worst part of training is never being satisfied where you are, there are always bigger mountains to climb, wait, that may be the best part, too! haha!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Absolutely! Sonia Gonzales and Amanda Latona
Q:Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: My favorite cheat meal would have to be pancakes or waffles with maple syrup, strawberries and whipped cream
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: Go for it! Don't give up because the best is always around the corner
Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Women in general? I believe they are a little intimidated of the weight room. Competitors? Absolutely!
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love taekwondo, I write (trying my hand at my first novel), I paint, I'm a photographer and love to read and play piano
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Elizabeth Fichtner.
A: A typical day in the life of Elizabeth Fichtner, go to the gym at 7:30 am done at 1:00 - call my kids, my dad and hubby, visit my grandson. Run errands, email, and facebook. Play/walk my pups, cook dinner for hubby, take pics for my pic of the day, documenting my 2011 by taking a pic a day, do a little writing, go back to the gym... come home, hubby time, facebook time and go to sleep.
Q: Describe Elizabeth Fichtner in five words.
A: Family, Loyal, Driven, Spiritual, Artist
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I'm pretty deep, introspective
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes, New Orleans in June, Masters Nationals, Pittsburgh in July
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Kim Oddo, Body by O - an amazing man, trainer, coach...he knows his stuff!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so what are they getting in Elizabeth Fichtner the athlete and competitor?
A: Would I want a sponsor - absolutely! What are they getting in Elizabeth Fichtner? They are getting a fit older woman who can trail the blaze and inspire women to be where they want to be in their 50's and beyond. We as "older women" have time, resources and can be selfish now. We know what we want, we go and get it. We don't settle.
Q: Elizabeth, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you, so much. This was a lot of fun! Parting words...It's never too late to be what you might have been, why of course!