Thursday, April 19, 2012
Genie Sammons Interview
At the 2010 Team Universe, while I said at the time I thought Genie Sammons looked great, she herself didn't seem happy. Little did she know at the time, she was suffering from a kidney problem, which most likely played some part in her physique not being what she wanted. After surgery, Genie eased back into training, not knowing if she was going to compete again. Well Genie made her return weeks ago at the NPC Ohio Natural, and not only did she compete, she won. Truly an amazing job by an inspiring woman.
Q: Can you start out by talking about what led you to the gym?
A: I started lifting with my husband when we were in college. He worked out regularly so I just went with him. That's how I started. I got into competing because people at the gym were asking if I was competing. I didn't even know what it was. That's how I got interested in it.
Q: So it was people asking if you competed that got you interested in it?
Q: Why Figure?
A: I like the other divisions but my body is more figure type than bikini or anything else.
Q: You did Team Universe in 2010 and started having medical issues. We talked and you weren't happy with how you did, did the medical issues play a part in that?
A: Yeah, I don't know that I would have placed or anything tough. My right kidney wasn't draining at all. I think it had an impact on how I came in.
Q: So what exactly was the problem?
A: Yeah, the tube that goes from your kidney was blocked. I have had it all my life, I just didn't know it. It got backed up so much that my kidney literally was the size of a football. It was so damaged they had to remove it.
Q: How long after that did it take to get back in the gym?
A: A long time. I was allowed to work out eight weeks after that. But it was hard to get back because all my core strength was gone. I still have issues with that but I have learned to work around it. It took a good six months before I could go hard.
Q: Comparing now to before this, have you had to change how you train?
A: No, not really.
Q: When you started training again, did you think you could compete again?
A: I honestly wasn't sure.
Q: Was competing a goal you set or was it more if it happens it happens?
A: It was more like if it happens it happens. One of my friends from the gym was talking about doing a show together. We picked the natural Ohio out by you. We were gonna go cause Jay Cutler was guest posing, but he talked me into doing it. It was January 1st and he said "let's just do it", and I said "o.k.".
Q: Was there another reason you picked that show or was it really just the show you were going to?
A: We picked it just cause we were gonna go watch Jay Cutler, and he said "let's just do the show". Its kinda close, I mean, no show is close to me, so anything within five hours driving distance is close to me haha.
Q: Did you think you actually had a chance at winning?
A: No, no, I was just doing it with my friend. No lofty goals haha.
Q: Could not having the big goals kind of make it easier for you and your mindset?
A: I don't know. I've never really gone into a show thinking "win win win". My brain doesn't work that way. So it really didn't make that much of a distance this time around.
Q: At what point did you feel winning was possible?
A: When they tested the top three, and then I thought I had second haha.
Q: Coming back and winning, where does this show rank in your list of accomplishments in the sport?
A: Its probably the best so far. I wasn't sure it was possible and it was a huge show with almost three hundred competitors.
Q: With so many competitors, does it make it harder, standing around all day and stuff?
A: Its awful. It was really hot backstage, I was sweating, my tan was running, I was turning green. For the night show I found an empty hallway and layed down, so it was better.
Q: Outside of the trophy, is there one thing years from now you will look back at and remember?
A: I was two feet away from Phil Heath waiting for call-outs. I was too shy to say hi. it was exciting to be so close.
Q: Are there any shows you are looking at?
A: Pittsburgh in two weeks and then probably Jr. Nationals.
Q: Is a pro card a long range goal or is it if it happens it happens?
A: If it happens it would be awesome, but this may be my last year competing. I wanted to give it one more shot.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Sure, I couldn't have done it without P.J. Braun. He has been amazing. I couldn't ask for a better trainer.