Thursday, November 1, 2012
Lindsey Christenbury Interview
Photos 1-5: RX Muscle
In a very short time, Lindsey Christenbury has made her mark in the fitness division. With only about a year of competing she recently took second place at North Americans, placing behind only the pro card winner. She did that after what was to her, a disappointing eight place finish at Jr. USA's. But one mark of a champion is rebounding from disappointment, and she definitely rebounded. Her pro card is her goal and at the rate she is going, that goal is not far from being reached.
Q: Can you talk about how you to started in the gym?
A: I was about fifteen years old, I was a gymnast earlier, from three to twelve. Then I started getting into sports. In high school I started getting into lifting weights, I took an actual class. Then before I got my drivers license I got my mom to take me to the gym in the morning and after school. I started learning more and more. I graduated and went off and played soccer in college. I came back had a kid who is now five. I went from being a stay-at-home mom to my competition drive coming back around. I had to do something and around where I live there isn't a lot of sports for adults. My boyfriend and I got back into the gym and he saw a girl in a magazine and pointed her out and said "you can do this". It was a figure girl I believe. We looked into it and people at the gym asked if I competed. I said "lets do it".
Q:Why did you decide on fitness?
A: Because I was a gymnast. I got on Youtube and started to watch the fitness girls and their routines. It set us apart from the figure girls. I have this extra talent, I need to use it if I am gonna compete. I am twenty-seven, so I stopped when I was twelve, so fourteen years later I went to a tumbling place in town and it came right back to me and I said "this is what I am gonna do".
Q: That first show, how nervous were you?
A: I don't think I was even nervous for the first show. I am kind of a ham when it comes to cameras and videos. I am so giddy. I was ready to get on stage. As soon as I did, in your interviews a lot of girls say they became addicted, I was immediately addicted to competing. I was not nervous at all for my first show.
Q: Going over 2012, you did the N.C. State show and won, but there were only two girls, as a fitness competitor does it upset you to see such a small turn-out?
A: Oh yes it does. I was hoping for more girls. It was the girl who won the year before, and I think she was by herself then. I was hoping more girls would be interested or they advertised more for fitness. I was still happy to win haha, but just two of us and nineteen hundred and twelve hundred figure girls and us two fitness chicks. It is a little disappointing. The routine part is hard for girls who don't have the gymnastic or cheerleading background.
Q: Sometimes I interview fitness competitors and they say that a lot of girls think you need to be a gymnast and you really don't. To you, how big a role does being a gymnast play and is that why girls might be afraid to try fitness?
A: I don't think you have to be a gymnast or cheerleader, I don't think you have to have that background. I know for me, that is why i have done so well, because I have known the sport of gymnastics. This will sound bad now, but in school I felt I was too tough to be a cheerleader, I was a soccer player. Now, I wish I was involved in that, my flexibility may be better. We have some mandatory moves that cheerleading would have helped me. I don't think you need to and I think a lot of girls see a routine and think they can't do it cause they cant do a back-flip or walk on their hands. But not all judges are looking for that. Because I can do those things doesn't mean I am gonna win. You don't need it, but it helps me.
Q: You took eighth at Jr. USA's against a good group of competitors, how did you feel about that show?
A: I wish that it was like in school when you had eight tests and the teacher dropped the lowest grade haha. I wish we could do that with competitions and no one would see that zero I got for not studying. I did prepare for that show, but I had a new routine and things were different than the two shows before. My boyfriend usually tans me and we would go together. he had to work so he came alter that night. Everything that we usually do was different, everything seemed off, I wasn't even comfortable going on stage, which says a lot cause I love it. I look at my routine on video and it looks off, I hate that place but I deserved that place. The other girls were really good, they beat me, I am not complaining about my place I just wish I could take it back haha.
Q: After a show like that where you are not happy, is it hard to not dwell on it and focus on the next, which was North Americans for you?
A: After that show I wanted to do a show on Sunday because I needed a do-over. I wanted it as quick as possible. I refocused and put it aside. My boyfriend Jason is really good at that, he keeps me focused. I was prepared for North Americans. I said "you can do this, I have a talent and cant get eighth". Someone has to get eighth but I don't want it haha. I was comfortable and ready.
Q: At North Americans you took second finishing only behind Danielle Delikat, who won overall, physique-wise I felt it was the best you looked, would you agree?
A: Yes! Everyone who has seen pictures says the same thing. I didn't do anything different except training harder and practicing my routine more. I don't diet till four weeks out from a show. I try not to say that a lot in front of competitors because everyone is grumpy anyway, and they don't like to hear that haha. I think i have good genetics. Training harder seemed to help.
Q: Do you walk away saying maybe you didn't get your pro card but you proved you can compete with the best?
A: Yes! I went to see Jen Hendershott one time, she helped with my routine before Jr. USA's, I love her. She told me that if I remember one thing it is to be realistic about my placing in this industry, go in doing better than you did the last show. I went to North Americans hoping for top five. I nailed my routine. Danielle did great job, she deserved to win and deserved the pro card. I was super ecstatic about second place because in morning call-outs I was third, so I wanted to do my routine and stay there or move up. I was surprised because I went in being realistic, I didn't go in thinking I would be a pro after this.
Q: Is a pro card important to you?
A: It is important, that is what I am going for. I love to compete, it gives excitement to my life. My goal for these last shows was to bring home a trophy because that is what my girl likes to see. She puts them in her room and gets so excited. My pro card is what I am going for, what I work towards.
Q: Do you know when you will compete next?
A: Yes, I am doing the Arnold's in February.
Q: For the Arnold's, is there anywhere specific you want to be better?
A: My physique, I think a lot of girls appear leaner, like Danielle, she appeared leaner, I look at pictures and she was leaner and had a really good routine, she beat me in both spots. So I guess being leaner and having a strong routine.
Q: In the gym do you get a lot of the attention or stares from people?
A: No, I guess not, not really. I live in such a small town, so everyone knows everyone, they know what I do. They all ask when my next show is, where it is. I have a town that supports me. Everyone is supportive, I like it.
Q: If you could spend one day training with one person you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: Jim Stoppani. Going into North Americans I did Jim Stoppani's short-cut to size and I think it has a lot to do with my physique being better.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My family, all of my friends, Tammy Deloatch at New Day Fitness for giving me an awesome place to workout, Jason my boyfriend, he is my backbone, without him I wouldn't be doing this, Tiffany Delano and IFBB Pro Van Anthony, I would have been lost without them. They prepared me for my very first show and have stuck with me since.