Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Natosha McKinnon Interview
Photos 1-4: Muscular Development/Michael Pinto
Natosha McKinnon did not do well the first time she competed and planned not to do it again. However, she decided to give it another go and just recently won not only her class, but the overall at the West Coast Classic. While nothing is definite as far as her future competing goals, Natosha McKinnon is someone who has the potential to do very well in bigger and bigger shows.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I got started when I was sixteen. I had a friend who was a few years older and she was a gym rat. In high school I started lifting weights, I played sports, so it was natural. I always loved muscles so it was a natural transition to go to the gym.
Q: What made you decide to compete?
A: I was certified as a personal trainer in 2003 and worked at a gym where a lot of competitors were. I really wanted to do it but was not committed. I was too young and did not have the dedication for the diet. When I hit my thirties I decided I wanted to challenge myself to do something that I hadn't been able to do previously. I decided last year when I hit thirty-three that I was gonna start training.
Q: A lot of people may not understand what bikini is, did you have to explain to people it was fitness and not a T&A thing?
A: Yeah, absolutely! I feel like to this day I still have to explain what NPC or IFBB mean and show them pictures and explain it's not bodybuilding. There not a large understanding of it outside of the industry.
Q: That first time, right before going on stage, were you nervous or excited or both?
A: I thought I was gonna throw up. I was very nervous. I hate being in front of people, I am very much an introvert. It was hard for me to step on stage and feel like I was being judged. I was way more nervous then excited.
Q: A lot of people I interview say they do the first show and it becomes addicting, was that the case with you?
A: Not at all. I placed very poorly my first show. I think it was because I wasn't having fun and it was portrayed in my face. My boyfriend called it my "bitch face". I decided I didn't want to compete again, I was miserable, I didn't enjoy the experience at all. Then pride kicked in and I decided I wanted to do better, so I decided to do it again, but it definitely wasn't for the joy of it.
Q: You just won your class and the overall at the West Coast Classic, can you describe how you felt when you won the overall?
A: I was very excited. I think there is a picture of me on Muscular Development where you can see in my face, I am all scrunched up like a weirdo. I was so excited, I felt like a little kid. We were up there for ten or fifteen minutes and turned around ten or fifteen times, the head judge said it was by far the hardest decision they had made in quite some time. I didn't think it was gonna be my name they were gonna announce so I was excited and surprised.
Q: So going in you wouldn't have thought that was a realistic possibility?
A: No way! I wanted to place in the top three, that was on my new years resolution list. I wanted to not only get a trophy, but place top three. Had I done that I would have been ecstatic, so this was beyond anything I had expected going in.
Q: When you don't place well you know you have work to do, but when you do that well, is it hard to not get over-confident and realize you still got work to do?
A: When I saw pictures of myself, your natural inner critic comes out, and I felt "my butt doesn't look good from that angle" or "I didn't stand well" or "my abs weren't shredded enough" or whatever. Even though I was excited and proud of myself, I definitely can see areas of improvement if I were going to move forward.
Q: Do you know when you want to compete next?
A: I think if I do compete, it will be next year. I turn thirty-five in January so I can compete at Masters and feel I maybe have a better shot from a pro card standpoint. If I had any chance, it would e at that level. I haven't decided which show since I am not affiliated to any team. I don't know if I will or not.
Q: If you do compete, is there one area where you feel you most need to be better?
A: My butt. They always say you win it from the back. That's why I didn't know I had won it.
Q: When you are at the gym, do you get the stares and attention from people?
A: I have been at my gym for so long that I don't get that anymore. Plus, my boyfriend trains there as well. If anything, it is women asking what I am training for.
Q: If you could spend a day training with someone you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: Dana Linn Bailey. She is an Adonis. I would like to train with someone that goes that hard. I like to think I go hard, but it would be nice to have her say "suck it up."
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Kimberly Gordon, my partner in Dumbbell Divas and my boyfriend Aric Orama. He spent hours watching me pose and was always the biggest cheerleader for me.