Friday, April 12, 2013
Jeanette Samuelson Interview
Photos 1-2: Corso Photography
Photos 3-5: RX Muscle
Jeanette Samuelson's year is off to a good start as she brought her best package to date in taking sixth at the Arnold's and second and third place finishes at the Sunshine Classic. Next up for her will be Jr. Nationals as she continues pursuing her goal of winning a pro card. At the rate in which she is making improvements, a pro card can be a very real possibility.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I first got started when I was thirty-five. I had two kids and a full-time job. I wasn't very healthy and tired all the time and didn't have the energy to play with my kids or anything else in the evening. A gym opened up in the area and I went over and looked at it and talked it with my husband at the time. I got a membership and jumped right in pretty quick. They told me how high my body-fat was. For being a tiny person I nearly had a heart attack when they told me it was thirty-six percent. I was like "oh boy." I went full bore into cardio. It took off from there and I started feeling better.
Q: What made you decide to start competing?
A: I saw a girl in the gym who was getting ready for her first show. In watching her, we always think better of ourselves and thought I could do it. I put my foot in my mouth and went and did it. I wasn't prepared for the first show but I just fell into it. It looked interesting. I went to a show and it is one of those things where when you see a show you either love it or hate it and I absolutely fell in love with it and had to try it. It was out of my character and nothing i had done before. I saw somebody and figured I was thirty-five and needed something to do.
Q: A lot of people I interview say that they do the first show and it becomes addicting, was that the case with you?
A: Not so much the show part. I love the training part more than anything. I guess the shows were more about how I can better myself. It gets to the point where a lot of times you are competing against other people but I figured it out that it is me I am competing against. Some people would call it an addiction but for me it is more the joy of the training and working towards the goal of being the best I can be at that moment. It depends on your definition of addiction but I love it, it is fun, keeps me motivated and pushes me in every other aspect of my life. For me, it only enhances everything else. It can be an addiction and tear your world apart, but for me, it is the hobby, the job of becoming a better me.
Q: This year you look so much better in several areas, to you where has your biggest improvement been?
A: My biggest change over last year is my mental aspect of everything. I have taken a different look at coming to terms that this is a lifestyle but also a hobby as far as shows are concerned. I am not gonna make a fortune at this as much as I love it. I had to just look at my whole life. I had a lot of changes the last year and a half with divorce and really had to take a whole look at my life. It helped me become a stronger person and strengthen me physically. I think that is the biggest connection I have had this year, I found the joy of competing and training. A lot of times you are a nervous wreck going all the way through shows. I did the Arnold's in March and my whole mental outlook had changed. It was the easiest show I have done, easier than a local show. It was how I went into it with my mindset. I had a calmness and peace that I haven't had in the years I have competed. Once you find that, the body follows with it. You are not stressed out and your body sees that and feels it and everything comes in line. It is a cool process if you go with the flow of it, if you fight it, it is hard. That is my biggest change, I am happier on stage and even the training and diet are different.
Q: You mentioned the Arnold's, you took sixth, surely you would have liked better, but you look at the competition on that stage, how happy where you to do that well?
A: I was ecstatic. For me, first call-out was huge. I had just done Nationals in November and didn't do well at all. I had made some changes, changed coaches and made big changes with training and diet. The Arnold was my dream show and to step on stage, for me, that was it right there. I always wanted to be there, but to get that firs call-out, I swear I won the show. It was a dream come true. We always wanna win, there are so many aspects, you cant take into consideration all of them. We had call-outs, I was dead-center, it was huge. It was a confidence builder, I had almost quit the whole thing. I am glad I didn't cause you have a dream point and to go do it, it was so worth the sacrifice and the time you spend doing everything and squeezing workouts in.
Q: After that you jumped right back in and did the Sunshine Classic and took third in your class and second in masters. That close together, there isn't much time for improvements, so do you just go in hoping to look as good as last time?
A: I have never done a show back to back like this. Physically, there is no time for tweaks, you do what you have to do. You have one week of training and then are right back on prep week again. It is more of a mental thing. Usually you come out of a show and say "I have a break, I cane at for a week", this time I didn't have that. It played tricks with my mind. Really, the Sunshine, since I made the changes this year, I needed to see what they judges were thinking. I had one judge say that I had to change everything about me which for a competitor is devastating. I was not quite as hard as I was at the Arnold's but local shows they like it a little softer. I put my best self out there and got to enjoy being on stage with my coach. I got the feedback I needed from the judges to get me ready for Jr. Nationals. I got the qualifications I needed. I needed to see if it was what they judges were looking for and we got what we needed.
Q: Now that you have done it, will you do shows that close together again?
A: Probably not! If I have to I will. I like that break, physically and mentally to refocus and get ready. I like the break. Not to long a break. This year I had two in March, one in June and one in November, so a little bit of a gap between June and November to make adjustments.
Q: For Jr. Nationals, is there a specific area you most want to improve?
A: Always stage presence. Stage presence is a huge huge part of it. Being confident but not arrogant. I wanna go on and be graceful. Being a tomboy I can always use the help there. I will be in between sets and you will see me practicing poses, working on turns, the hands, the smile, that is my main focus, to fine tune it even more. As far as physique, I'd like to come in like the Arnold's, probably a little harder. We are pretty happy right now and I wont have to kill myself. Stage presence will always be a big focus.
Q: Is the pro card a big goal or if it happens, it happens?
A: I'd love my pro card. I want the pro card. Going up to the National level, that is what you are going for or to me, it is a waste. It is so expensive to do this sport and I give much credit to the mom's, I started the same way, it is hard to do. Going to that National level and having been there a couple years, I am hungry for it, I want that card. I feel like I am starting to get dialed in to what they are looking for. I would absolutely love it.
Q: You mentioned posing between sets. Lately I see people asking how to get good at taking the self mirror picture, you are one of the best at it, give some advice on how to do it?
A: Haha! Hold the camera to the side. You cant have it to far away or it gets blurry and if you are too close to the mirror the flash will kill the lighting of it. It takes practice. I have a Droid so I have to hold my phone a little funny to get the button on the bottom. You have to play with the hands to hold it just right. Don't go with the first picture all the time, take a couple and use the best one. I get some bad ones sometimes to.
Q: If you can spend one day training with someone you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: It would have to be Ava Cowan. I know Va and have done posing with her but never trained with her. We have friends in common and one of them told me me and Ava train the same. I love her and always looked up to her and admire her for all her hard work. I would be over the moon to train with her.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I need to thank Jason Giardino, my coach. He has been a huge asset to me this year. Very supportive and encouraging. I tell him to give me a kick-ass workout, I wanna work hard and he has done unbelievable. My posing and everything has been remarkable. My boyfriend Bill Post, he has been very supportive, everything I need as a supporter and boyfriend. Barbara Molyneaux a great friend and non-related sister and support.