Thursday, May 2, 2013
Meghan Schwartz Interview
Photos 1-5: RX Muscle/Jeff Binns
Growing up in a bodybuilding family, Meghan Schwartz initially was negative on the idea of competing herself. Luckily for us, she eventually embraced the idea. Recently at the Europa she brought a very impressive package to the stage, a physique that immediately reminded me of Nathalia Melo. So much so that I even texted her coach, Belinda Hope, and said "you have your next pro on your hands." Meghan truly does have that potential and is someone to keep your eyes on.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: It came from my parents. Both of my parents were competitive bodybuilders in the late 80's and early 90's. I would go to the gym with my mom when I was a teenager and she showed me how to properly lift weights and train. Ever since then I have been in the gym.
Q: Did you know right away you wanted to compete?
A: I was actually completely anti competitive everything. For awhile there I didn't want to be like my parents, when you go through that teenage stage where you are anti parents, you don't wanna do anything like them. I was very against competing. It took me a long time to process that this is something I could actually be successful at.
Q: With them both being bodybuilders, did you ever consider that route as opposed to bikini?
A: My mom kinda keeps pushing me into doing figure, but I like bikini. I don't think I would ever want to get into physique or bodybuilding.
Q: The first time competing, before you went on stage were you nervous?
A: It's a combination of nervousness, adrenaline and excitement. Nervousness because you always wanna do your best and don't wanna forget your posing and where you should hit and who you shoulder look at and what kind of facial expressions to make. Once I hit the stage, the excitement and adrenaline take over and the nervousness leaves.
Q: A lot of people I interview say that after they do the first show, it becomes addicting, was that the case with you?
A: Absolutely! As soon as I got on stage I was like "why was I fighting this for so long, this is what I am meant to be doing." Not only is it such an adrenaline rush, such a high, it makes me happy and I love every aspect of it. Even though it gets extremely difficult with the dieting, but I love exercising so much and challenging my body in different ways. Being able to transform yourself just by your own willpower and strength is so addicting. I definitely got hooked after the first show.
Q: Was that first prep easier coming from a family that went through it before and knew what you were going through?
A: Absolutely! I could call my mom at any time and ask if I should buy this or eat this or do this. She would give me specific answers. I will so blessed to have the parents that I do to help me move through this process. The nutrition and mental and emotional support.
Q: You just took eight at the Europa, how happy were you with what you brought to the stage?
A: I was thrilled. I could not have been happier with the way my body looked. I added some stuff to my suit that I didn't have for the first show, my posing we worked hard on, I was thrilled to be on stage and extremely happy with my presentation.
Q: Speaking of posing, you have a great stage presence, is that something that comes natural to you or something you put a lot of work into?
A: It really comes naturally for me. I feel extremely blessed with having that. I was classically trained in ballet for sixteen years. I did tap and jazz and all the other styles so for almost twenty years I have been performing on stage, whether it is recitals or little shows here and there. Having that natural stage presence gives me the extra benefit on stage. I am lucky to have that natural ability on stage.
Q: The Europa is a big show, many pros there, is it hard to not get star struck?
A: I keep my head down most of the time. I follow a lot of people but when I am at the show, my coach's great advice was "keep your head down, stay focused, stay in your game. It is when you start looking around at other competitors or famous people, that is when you start to doubt yourself." So I tend to keep my head down, stay focused, stay with my team and try not to look around.
Q: Do you know when you will compete next?
A: Southern States on July 12th.
Q: From the Europa is there somewhere you want to be better?
A: I am gonna try and squat my buns off, bikini is all about the butt, you gotta have it. I am really gonna work on my waist, make it a little tighter and smaller. Keep working on posing to try and appeal to the judges.
Q: Is the pro card the goal or more if it happens it happens?
A: The pro card is the goal.
Q: When you are at a show like that, you do the keep your head down, but do you look at pros and try and study what they are doing?
A: Absolutely! If they are the pros then they know what they are doing. They work their butts off to get there. I think it is a little foolish not to study the pros because obviously they are doing something right. It is smart to study them. I look at pictures after the show and study the pictures, the posing, critique their musculature and learn from it.
Q: Do you feel bikini competitors are getting more respect and not viewed as just T&A?
A: Absolutely! I think it will continue to grow in that way. I had a lot of friends who when I told them I was gonna start doing bikini competitions, they would be like "where you going? Down to Clearwater Beach?" I would say "no, it is a professional sport within bodybuilding and is taken seriously." Once they see my pictures and results, they realize that is is an actually sport and how much you have to work with exercise and nutrition to create that perfect package. It is educating the masses that it is more than T&A and how hard we work. We are not just born this way, we get in the gym and work out and focus on our diet. It will get there as long as we keep putting forth the positivity.
Q: When you are in the gym, do you get the stares and attention from people?
A: Absolutely! I ignore it honestly. Most of the time my boyfriend is there to and it makes me feel comfortable. If I feel too many stares or feel someone is looking too much I will just walk over to my boyfriend or ask him for a spot. Usually that causes heads to turn away. Or I go into the group fitness room and set up a little circuit and nobody bothers me in there.
Q: If you could spend a day training with someone you have never trained with before, who would it be?
A: Nathalia Melo. Now just because she has her pro card, but I feel like we have kind of a similar body type. She is a little more muscular than some of the other girls and I can relate to her more with our body styles.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Definitely Belinda Hope, my coach and the rest of Team Hope, my parents and my amazing boyfriend Tony.