Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NGA and IFPA Pro Sandy Wiedmeyer Interview

Since I started this blog, I have met many people, and become friends with some. One of the friends I consider myself most fortunate to have met is Sandy Wiedmeyer. Sandy is not only an NGA pro, but along with her Team F.A.B. co-owner Staci Boyer, Sandy is helping bring in the next generation of competitors, as evidenced by some impressive showings by several of their competitors. Sandy herself will be stepping back on the stage soon and you will surely see the results of the hard work put in by one the the most genuinely nice people in the fitness industry.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I started after I had my second child. I had a good friend who is a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. She basically told me if we were to be friends then I needed to be at the gym with her. So I went to the gym and started taking cycling classes and a body pump class and feel in love with it and it blossomed from there.

Q: How long had you been training before you competed?
A: If you look at hard core training it was only a couple months, but I had been at the gym for three years or so before I walked on stage.

Q: What made you decide to compete?
A: Actually an injury. I used to enjoy running and injured my ankle and couldn't do over two miles without my foot getting numb. I tend to be goal oriented so I needed something to work towards, and always admired competitors and how they carried themselves and their physiques. So I set that for my next goal.

Q: A lot of people say after that first show, that competing becomes an addiction, was that the case with you?
A: Oh gosh yes. I new after the first time I walked on stage that I would do it again. part was the journey, part was the experience, part was the promoter John Abraham, you could tell he was passionate about what he did, and the way he spoke with us and treated us. How friendly everyone was surprised me, it made me wanna do it again.

Q: When you first started were there any competitors you watched and tried to learn from or admired or anything?
A: When I first started I think I was kind of clueless. I just jumped in and trained with a friend who had competed once, and did a lot of online research and went in blindly. Since then I have met several friends who inspire me. There are a lot of great physiques out there and a lot of people who get published a lot and a lot of attention, and of course they are inspiring and admirable, but its the girls who surround me every day that are doing the things I do, balancing a family and career and getting workouts in and supporting each other who inspire me more than anybody.

Q: In 2010 at the Heart of America you won your NGA pro card, when you first realized you won it, what went through your mid?
A: I don't think I processed it. I was actually shocked because I had shown up that day and it was the same show I had done the year before for my first show and had such a good experience, and I had high hopes, and saw the amazing physiques and resigned myself to that I would just have a good time. It was more about having a good time and showing improvements and not worry about the pro card. It probably helped me, I was at ease and had no pressure.

Q: For people who may not know, its a natural organization. Do you feel that maybe those organizations don't get enough coverage?
A: I think we all know they don't get a ton of press. But I think most people who compete in natural organizations, and I am not saying its exclusive of those in NPC or IFBB, but I think for most people in natural organizations, you aren't doing it for the glory and press. We do it for pure love of the sport. Not taking anything from people who compete in other organizations and that they wouldn't do it for the same reasons. But I think its more rampant in natural organizations. But yeah, we don't get the same kind of coverage but we know we aren't and don't expect it. There are still opportunities, I have great sponsors and a support system.

Q: Recently you and Staci Boyer started Team F.A.B., can you explain how that got started?
A: I had known Staci for a little while. We met at one of the shows and we stayed in contact on social media and hit it off. We had both been searching for ways to work together and do something positive. I used to and still do camps for girls interested in competing. I was gearing up for a new one and the girl who helped with the fitness portion injured herself and wasn't going to be competing and was not interested in presenting at the seminar. I knew Staci had done fitness and I figured it was a way to partner up. So I approached her and invited her and she agreed to come. At that time I had been picked up by Pride Nutrition as a sponsored athlete so I invited them to come and talk about supplements and things. They came along and did their part and like how me and Staci worked together. So me and Staci talked about how we could work together. We were both training girls for shows so we figured two heads are better than one, so we could train together. We talked to Pride about sponsoring the team and they jumped on board. Its been less than a year and we have sixty competitors on the team, a great group of supportive girls. We are big on making sure we bring in the kinds of girls who help each other. They compete in NPC, natural organizations as well as girls in state and out of state.

Q: If a girl is reading this and is interested, what all services can they get with you?
A: We do everything. If you are from a distance we can't be there to do your hair or tan you, which we do for local girls. We do consult with them on hair, suits, make-up. We do skype posing and its been successful. If you have a good physique and don't know how to display it, it doesn't do you a lot of good the day of the show. We do local posing sessions, we do it tall. We do training, nutrition, posing, we call it the glamination, we do it all so they are ready the day of the show.

Q: Two scenarios, you are competing and do well, or one of your girls competes and does well, which is more satisfying for you?
A: That's a tough question, but honestly its when they do well. I feel like this is what will give me longevity in an industry I love. It means more to me to help them get where they want to be. Its gratifying to help with their journey and see in them things that I have felt in my journey. Its like spreading the wealth, it becomes bigger than you.

Q: Is there more you want to accomplish with it, or is it now where you want it to be?
A: Honestly, a little of both. I love what I do now and hope I am doing it in ten years, whether its me competing or getting girls ready for the stage, I am content with either. But I would like to see it grow. I'd like to see more girls on the team, girls on the team helping other girls get ready for shows, spreading it out and reaching more people.

Q: With all that going on and having a family, is it hard to find time for your own training?
A: Yes haha. Last year when I competed I had girls I trained at the same show and it was difficult. But its grown so much in the last year and I am so much more busy that it is hard to keep focus on your own prep. I am always at shows, whether with girls I prepped, or booth work for my company or myself competing. So it can be difficult to stay connected with what I am supposed to be doing, so it takes more focus. Thank goodness I have Staci, I look at her and say "this is where I am at", and she can look at my physique for an outside opinion. I rely on her for that and she has done the same thing. We have each other to lean on when we are busy and distracted from what we should be doing for ourselves.

Q: Do you have any competing plans?
A: Yes, I have a show May 12th, the NGA Heart of America again in Washington, Illinois. He is bringing pro figure back this year so I will be there competing.

Q: You have been doing photo shoots, is that something you enjoy?
A: I enjoy doing it. I will be forty this year, I have two children, its nice to mark the progress and see what I've done. I tend to take a year off between competitions, I may not this year. Its nice to document where you are at and come back the next season and do photos and see how you have changed. Its a lot of self satisfaction.

Q: I can tell with each new photos you look more confident each time, is that accurate?
A: I think so. Like most people, the longer I do this the more comfortable I become with myself. I feel I have made nice improvements, I am not where I want to be, most of us are never satisfied, but I feel comfortable with the changes I see in my physique and am pleased to be in front of a camera with that confidence.

Q: Anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: I have to put my husband and kids at the top of the list. They put up with me and my work, being gone at shows, my crazy meal plans, time at the gym, texts from the girls. So I have to thank them for their patience and support. Staci Boyer for her inspiration and being there for me and our girls. We couldn't be where we are without each other. The girls on Team F.A.B. for their support, loyalty, drive and inspiring me every day. Pride Nutrition for their wonderful sponsorship and helping me transform my physique. I need to thank Cabana Tan and Spa. When I have shoots or events, they make sure my color is just right. Suits by Amy for sponsoring my suit this year, I cant wait to show what that looks like. Original Rock Star is team up with us and we have wonderful things going on. Jason I need to thank you for taking the time to talk with me.

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