Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Kate Pickett Interview
Photos 1-5: Tganci.com
Kate Pickett is not your typical everyday competitor. Kate is a transformation story. Her before and after pictures can show you that. But what they can't show you is the obstacles she has overcome. Battling a disease called Neurofibromatosis that forced her to have spinal surgeries at a young age made her transformation and journey to the stage that much more amazing and inspiring. As you will read, Kate has found a love and passion for competing and fitness and has goals she wants to meet. Seeing where she has come from and where she is now, it would be very hard to doubt she will reach each and every goal she has.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: Basically after a series of spinal surgeries I was told I couldn't be active and live and active life again. When I turned eighteen I started a job as a front desk person in a gym. I saw people working out and working out with injuries. I said "I am not gonna let this hold me back. I'm not gonna live my life sitting on a couch being afraid I will hurt my spine". So I took it one day at a time, slowly working into being more active, taking yoga classes, lifted really lite. I saw myself getting better and better and I started getting stronger and working harder. Now you would never guess I had a full spinal fusion.
Q: Having the problems with your spine, does it limit anything you do when lifting?
A: It definitely does! I don't do any type of deadlifts. I take it easy when squatting because it puts so much pressure on my lower back. Safety first, I don't wanna do anything to injure myself. All my other lifts are fine, I just can not deadlift. Leg and back day can be difficult but there are ways around it, there are so many different exercises you can learn to substitute.
Q: What exactly was the cause f the problems with your spine?
A: I was born with something called Neurofibromatosis, which is the same disease that the elephant man has. My doctor noticed some spots on my back and it didn't look right. So I went in for an MRI and they found three tumors along my spine and they pushed my spine into a forty-five degree curve. So they did, I guess you could say emergency surgery a couple months later on my back. They put two titanium rods on each side. After that, every six months for about four and a half years they did a surgery to lengthen the rods. I was nine at the time and then when I was fifteen the rod came loose off my spine and they did a full fusion and that was my last surgery. I was fifteen and am twenty-two now.
Q: What made you decide to compete?
A: There was a couple women training to compete at the gym I was working at. I loved the posing and thought it was so much fun and do the same thing. Do something involving fitness which was the number one thing for me.
Q: How have you done so far?
A: I did my first show in November of 2011 and I placed ninth. I just did a show this past Saturday and placed fifth. I am training for a show in two and a half weeks.
Q: Was there anything about the competing process that surprised you?
A: I guess what surprised me was my strength and will power. Being on point with my cardio, my meals, I didn't cheat, I was able to mentally handle it all. It is definitely not an easy task.
Q: Those last two minutes before you go on stage, were you nervous at all?
A: You know, when I am backstage and pumping up I feel nervous, but when I step on stage I can't stop smiling, it;s the best experience. I am more than excited to step on stage again.
Q: Many people say after they do their first show it becomes an addiction, was that the case for you?
A: Absolutely! Absolutely, the second I got off stage I went online and tried to find what one would give me enough time to make improvements but still not be to long.
Q: What show are you doing in two and a half weeks?
A: I am doing the OCB Bay State Natural in Amherst, New York.
Q: From your first show till this past one, what was better about you?
A: Well, I made the top five this time which was awesome. I am much leaner even though I came in at the same wait. My shoulders are much bigger and broader. Overall, considering it was only six months, jumping from ninth to fifth, I am pretty proud of that.
Q: Anything you want to be better for this coming one?
A: Well, it was only a couple days ago. Only thing I can do is focus on conditioning and leaning out so I can bring somewhat of a different presentation.
Q: If you looked at yourself now, what would you say is your best body part?
A: My shoulders definitely!
Q: How do you train shoulders?
A: I hit them twice. I do chest and delts and then a separate day for delts. They are my best part, I like to bring them out the most. It's hard to get a lot of growth in my back so I focus on a strong point to have that one special thing. I want a full package but have to work with what I have.
Q: Any specific exercises you like to do for them?
A: I do a lot of lateral raises.
Q: When you are in the gym, beautiful girl, and women like you are not common, do you get a lot of attention or stares?
A: You know what? Yes and no. When I go to the gym, it's those horse blinders, I am totally focused on myself or with my boyfriend, cause him and I train together,he competes as well. Not to sound cliche, but I am in that zone and don't even realize half the time my own surroundings.
Q: In public do you dress to show it off or cover it up and avoid attention?
A: Well, I pretty much am always wearing gym clothes. I guess my shoulders, even if I am wearing a tight shirt, can kind of show off, but never intentionally try and show them off. Till I am on stage at least, I try and keep it a secret haha.
Q: Long term, is the goal a pro card?
A: Absolutely. I have a couple shows I plan to compete in. September fifteenth is my next show after the Bay State show, depending on where it takes me, I have a couple shows in mind, but not sure yet.
Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: Definitely. This whole fitness industry is my passion. It's where I belong and tend to stay in it as long as I can.
Q: If you could spend a day training with anyone, who would you pick?
A: I would have to say Kai Greene. He is the reason I fell in love with bodybuilding. I watched this video he did posing to Dirty Diana and I just loved it and knew I had to get myself into it.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: I would definitely have to thank my boyfriend Justin. We compete together, we prep together and there are times when I could fall apart and he held me together.