Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dayna Mitchell Interview

Once in awhile I come across someone who I did not know about and right away think "How did I not know about her?" That was the case with Dayna Mitchell. I was immediately impressed and happy to get her to do an interview. Dayna is a beautiful woman with a great physique. She says she isn't too sure how much longer she will compete, but as a fan, I hope she stays around for at least a little while longer.

Q: First, Dayna, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: It's my pleasure. I really appreciate your effort in supporting females in predominant male sports.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in the sunny Okanagan, my younger brother and I were raised by our Mom. I loved the orchards, beaches, sun and summer in Kelowna. It was paradise :). I moved to Alberta to make a family of my own and I am blessed with 2 beautiful children that I share custody with their dad. I love animals and, at the moment, I have a German Shepard dog and a cat named Carrot. I am a security/bouncer at night club here in Edmonton. I've competed in 4 shows and currently getting ready for my 5th in June this year.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I started dancing when I was 8 and continued with Jazz, Tap and Ballet until I was 16. In high school I was active in Track and Field.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: We started a segment in phys ed class at school and I was hooked. I loved how my legs were so strong.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I got the basics down but I lacked the knowledge to grow and use different techniques to see results.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: My boyfriend, at the time, was getting ready for his National show and we both worked out at the gym together. He suggested I try competing in Figure since I was already dedicated to working out. I wanted to do it to prove to myself that I could set my mind to do something and be proud of my accomplishments.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: At first my Mom was really scared for my health and didn't think I was making the right choice. My brother thought it was really cool. My ex husband shunned me for making such a selfish decision to compete and my kids were uncertain of what to expect. My mom came around after my show and confessed that she was really proud of my dedication and strength. My kids are fairly supportive, as long as I'm not too grumpy and my ex still thinks this is a complete waste of time and money (but that's why he's my ex)

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: My first contest prep and show were a complete mystery for me. Everything was new, I was amazed at the strictness of the diet and all the different changes that were made and how my body felt every time I ate. I really came to appreciate little things like condiments to help me enjoy the limited choices I had to eat. The show, itself, started off great. I was calm and excited to experience the day, I found out 10 minutes before going on stage that my black 2 piece suit was not allowed because I was misinformed about embellishments. I was frantic to find a plain black suit to change in record time. Needless to say it was a very stressful first experience.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: My first competition was AB Provincials 2006, then 2007, Fall Classic 2008 First Place Figure Tall, AB Provincials again in 2009.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I love my quads, when I'm dieted down I have great definition.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love training back. Any kind of row is great.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Normally I would be in the gym 4-5 days a week with minimal cardio and trying to eat clean. For contest prep, I'm in the gym 7 days a week doing cardio and weights 5 of those days. My diet goes to Keto and I cut out all carbs.

Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: People generally are positive about it, I get the odd stare at the grocery store but I just brush those off.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I often get "did you stop eating?" or "go eat a cheeseburger for cryin out loud"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: The only thing that comes to mind is that a woman who is serious about her training, does NOT go to the gym to pick up guys. I am there to train and grow.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is feeling the pump when you are working that muscle group. The worst is getting distracted by other people who are training incorrectly....makes me cringe.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Nicole Ball, Natalie Mulder are 2 of my local favourite women. Nicole Ball is also my coach for my contest prep this year.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Right now, I am loving bananas, chocolate and peanut butter...OMG so good all together

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Make sure that she is informed and that she asks lots of questions. There are too many greedy people out there who are out to make a fast buck on the fitness craze and they can cause serious damage to their clients.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common to see women using the weights in the gym as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: I think now that there are some more muscular women in the public eye, women are becoming more open to the idea of growing muscle and using weights.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I take my dog to the dog park, I love to dance still and I love to bake

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Dayna Mitchell.
A: I'll get up around 7 to get the kids ready for school and hit the gym around 9 for my first cardio session. Generally do some running around and tidy the house. Get to the gym for a second time for weights and cardio and then either relax at home or head to work.

Q: Describe Dayna Mitchell in five words.
A: Strong, caring, funny, outgoing, appreciative

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am enjoying each competition and the growth that I find after, not too sure how long I'll continue. I am looking into joining the fire dept, so that will require a bit more focus.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Dayna Mitchell the athlete and competitor?
A: I would to have a sponsor ;). I am a mature athlete who is hard working, putting forth a good image as a role model. I love this sport and the positive aspects it has on my kids. I'd love to share with a bigger audience and help the fight against teen obesity and eating disorders.

Q: Dayna, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you, again, for allowing me the honour of doing it. If I could share any wisdom, when people come up with the comment "I could never do that, I'm not committed/strong/dedicated enough" I say to them, "you have every tool to do this and you can do it, you just choose not to" I'd rather people think that this isn't some impossible venture only a select few every dares to try and to not feel less than a success because they aren't doing it.

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