Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shannon Courtney Interview

Photo Credits:
Photos 1-2: Dan Ray
Photos 3-5: RX Muscle

I remember the first time I saw a picture of Shannon Courtney. I was amazed. She looked incredible. I then found out, it wasn't even the most recent of pictures. She had actually added some size and looked even more amazing. Then to find out she was only twenty-one years old? Wow! I interviewed her and found out she has the attitude and personality to match the physique. Shannon, in her first National show, just took third at USA's and is prepping for Nationals. I decided to use that as an excuse to get her to do a second interview, even though her first was just recently. While to me, Shannon is definitely a favorite to get her pro card at Nationals, even if that doesn't happen, at only twenty-one, she has plenty of time to get it and have a long future in the sport. However I think that that pro card will come soon. I have stated and I firmly believe that Shannon Courtney may very well be the future of female bodybuilding.

Q: You just took third at USA's, everyone wants to win, but for your first National show, how satisfied were you with that?
A: I was very satisfied. I look at the comparison photos and think maybe I should have gotten second, but for it being my first National show, I was very satisfied, very happy, definitely celebrated right after. I think I held my own pretty good with the seasoned girls that were out there who had done more national shows and were older. So I was pretty happy.

Q: Were you any more nervous for a National show than usual?
A: I was super excited. I had all this energy. I don't know where I got the energy from, just adrenaline. I was super excited about it. They were making fun of me backstage cause I was acting like a little kid almost haha.

Q: Were do you think you were better for this show than previous shows?
A: I really brought a way better package as far as being a lot tighter, a lot dryer, brought in my legs like I said I would. Overall I think I really brought in a whole better package so I could hold my own against those girls. Everyone there was pretty good competition.

Q: Looking at pictures, I tried very hard to find a picture where you did not have a huge smile on your face, and did not find one, was that how you were the whole time?
A: Haha. Yeah, it's weird, like I said I don't know where it came from, but all of a sudden I had this energy when I got on stage. Every time it happens. I like the stage. I don't get nervous, once I get out there I go.

Q: Even with not winning, you are the person I heard the most compliments about, does that give you extra satisfaction?
A: It does. Any kind of support, people cheering, telling me I do a great job, it fires me up even more. It got me pumped for Nationals now.

Q: From USA's to Nationals were do you want to be better?
A: The judges said I need to bring up my upper body to match my legs a little bit. They said to bring the same package basically. Keep practicing my posing and be perfect and sharper on stage, hit every pose within a second. I am focusing on certain body parts, my lower lats, my biceps, just a thicker upper body. I am gonna be even more dry and more cut. I can't wait to see how I look at Nationals.

Q: For your size, you pose like a bigger girl, and I mean that as a compliment, are you happy with your size or do you want to get bigger?
A: Yeah, I am gonna stay in the light-heavy class. For USA's I was 130 on stage, so I was a really light light-heavy. I was trying to make middleweight but I was five pounds away. Judges said light-heavy is my class. I will probably be around 135 or 140 at my heaviest as far as the biggest I wanna get. I wanna be a light-heavy but on the heavier side.

Q: A dumb question, but why is a pro card so important to you?
A: I really want that title. I can do so many things with it. I can turn it into a career, do guest posing and things. It would be awesome to turn my passion into my work.

Q: Say you don't win your pro card at Nationals, will it make your year any disappointing, or can you say "I am twenty-one, I have a long future"?
A: I will look at it positively. More time to grow and improve. I do have so many years to go. It will fire me up more. I will hit the next National show and keep going till I get it. It is something I enjoy doing so it is not a let down.

Q: In a short period of time you have gotten popular, is it hard to not let that go to your head and remain humble?
A: I don't think it gets to my head. I joke with my husband or friends being cocky, totally playing around. I feel bad when I get a ton of emails and cant get back to them, but it is hard to respond to everyone. I stay humble, there is no reason to get too proud haha.

Q: The popularity is part cause of the physique, part cause your looks, but do you think part of it is your age and people wanting to latch on to the new up coming person?
A: Yeah I think it is good for the sport. There is more time for the promoting part of it. It is good for the sport, the fact that I am young.

Q: Going through preps for a big show, how much does it help to have a husband who is involved in the sport?
A: He knows what I am going through so that is nice. When we do argue, I get irritated quick when I am dieting, he understands and lets me have my space. Especially in Vegas, all my prep things I needed help with, he knew without me telling him because he goes through it. It is nice not having to baby sit anyone and they can help me with my prep.

Q: I mentioned posing, and it seems you excel at it, how much work do you put into posing?
A: I start about four weeks out. I start posing a half hour every other day until two weeks out and then it is an hour every day after my workout. I am naturally a good poser from the start, it kind of came to me. Figure really helped me. The structure of it. I am dainty looking and flowing and feminine. Some bodybuilders pose too hard, so I think that helped as well.

Q: Speaking of dainty, in clothes no one will know what you look like, do you tend to surprise people when they see your physique the first time?
A: Oh yeah! Very much so. I will be in regular clothes and they start asking if I work out and I show them a picture and they say "that's under that, that's you?" They cant believe it is me. It does surprise people unless I am in my gym clothes. I can keep it covered up pretty good.

Q: You did photo shoots in Vegas, is that something you enjoy?
A: I do kinda haha. Like in Vegas I had one thing on my mind, the competition. Photographers, a lot of them, asked me to do shoots. I came to focus on competing. I am tired and depleted. It was challenging, I'm not gonna lie. I enjoy the results. I did a shoot with Dan Ray and am glad I did it, but I get lazy haha.

Q: Look ahead, in five years where do you see yourself in the sport?
A: With my pro card. Hopefully have a good sponsorship. I do have a good one, Get Some Xtreme Wear, but hopefully a supplement company well help me out. I do personal training as well, so maybe get more into that and more contest prep. Just being a bodybuilder haha.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: AD Cherry my coach and Kristie Taketa. They prepped for for USA's and helped me a ton. I missed two flights and was so stressed, and they calmed me down and kept an eye on me.

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