Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Shayla Trujillo-Bowler Interview
Photos 1 and 5: Brett Seeley
Photos 2-3: NPC News Online/Imaging.com
Photos 4: Don Hales
Many people can get on stage and look incredible. It is what the sport is all about after all. Some have inspiring and emotional stories that go along with their competing stories. One such person is Shayla Trujillo-Bowler. In this interview you will hear Shayla's story and be amazed that she overcame it and recently got on stage at the Northern Colorado Championship's looking her best yet in winning her class.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I worked out through high school but I never got serious till I was about twenty-one or twenty-two. That is when it took off.
Q: Was there something specific you enjoyed?
A: I enjoyed the weight training part because it was competitive but more competitive with yourself. It was a way to better yourself, I didn't have to worry about anybody else. It was based on my efforts. It was quite a challenge and allowed me to do things I never thought I could do.
Q: What made you decide you wanted to try competing?
A: I have always seen those ladies in the magazines and thought their physiques were beautiful. There was a lady who used to manage the GNC here and always told me I should do it. I was leery about it because I have a lot going on working full-time and going to school and was afraid to put that in the mix. One day I decided "what's the worst that can happen?" I figured I would set a goal and decided if I don't like it I don't like it and if I love it, even better.
Q: Were you nervous the first time?
A: I was so nervous. I can lift weights and do the diet but when it got to the part of being on stage in a small suit, it was scary, out of my comfort zone. I had my husband backstage with me and he comforted me and was by my side the whole time.
Q: Last year you did the Colorado State and took third out of three, were you frustrated or disappointed, or just happy you did it?
A: I was actually very happy with myself. You don't know what the show is gonna be, there could be fifteen or three girls. I was glad I could stand up there and look like the rest of them. I made it to that point and it was a big accomplishment. It became addicting after that, after going through the training and stepping on stage, it was an eye opener and I challenged myself to bring it to the next level.
Q: So you knew right away you wanted to keep doing this?
A: Yeah! I was on a budget so I made sure to stay within that budget. It is an expensive sport so I did my own makeup and hair and bought a used suit and cut as many corners as I could in case I hated it. Of course I ended up loving it. Part of it was being backstage with other people. I am from a small town and nobody really understands what I do. When I got to be backstage with others who share that same goal, it made it more fun, people are encouraging.
Q: Just recently you did the Northern Colorado and took first and I thought the improvements you made were incredible. Where do you think you were better?
A: Actually, it took me almost a year and a half. I was training for the Northern's last year but had a life threatening illness five weeks out. I had to get eight inches of my intestines removed. I had a rare condition that doesn't have very often. They didn't have an explanation why it happened, I was real healthy and competing was my healthiest I could be. I think the most improvement would be from my surgery, it was a year and a month, and that is where I did my most improvements, trying to overcome being in a situation where I couldn't lift five pounds or do ab exercises till four or five months out from my show.
Q: If someone told you going in that you would get first place, would you have thought it was a realistic possibility?
A: The way I looked at it my second time around, it was like I already won. I was so proud of myself before I went on stage, overcoming an illness like that was a big thing for me. When something is taken from you and you overcome that, I felt like I already won, it didn't matter if I got a trophy. I think it showed on stage. I wanted to have fun doing it. It is only the opinion of five or six people, so it is what you make of it.
Q: You did look so much more confident, is that part of everything you overcame?
A: I think a lot of it is. I learned to appreciate my body. It was showing how proud I was to be there. I have a scar to, you cant see it in pictures. At first I didn't think I could compete, it healed so weird, but I kept at it. I think ti showed how proud I was of my body and accepting it.
Q: Your posing was a lot better, did you practice a lot for this one?
A: I did. When I did my first show, it was new to me and I was nervous. I practiced every day and had a coach to help me, Derek Trombetta with 970 Muscle and also another former competitor, Amy Manzanares. They both helped me extremely because they understand and have competed for years. I knew I had to get it right because if you don't know your poses it is kind of a wash.
Q: Do you know when you want to compete next?
A: My next goal is to compete in a National show. I am not sure which one yet. I go to school and have a full-time job. It will be a big thing for me, so maybe over the summer so I don't have to interrupt school. My husband also competes and is competing in August. I am hoping he places top five and that may decide where I go next.
Q: For the next show, where do you want to be better?
A: Capping out my shoulders a little bit more and more cuts in my leg. I came in fuller and harder than my first show. They love those capped shoulders for figure girls and my legs are always the last too come in. Overall, I am proud of how my body came in, especially with my surgery.
Q: At the gym, do you get the stares and attention from people?
A: Yeah, I do. I am in such a small town that it is not normal to see a woman so fit. Some people like it and some don't. It doesn't matter what they think, it is what I think and I am happy.
Q: If you could spend a day training with someone you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: It would be Larissa Reis. I think she is so beautiful, I love her legs. She looks hardcore all the way around. Also Dana Linn Bailey is very good. She would be wonderful to train with.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I want to thank my husband David. He has been my rock through this. Amy Manzanares for being there and her support and helping with posing. David Trombetta he has helped me tremendously.