Today, I took myself off into Reading to redeem a Groupon voucher (I’m addicted!) for a hair cut. The young woman who did my hair inspired this post.
As anyone who does any kind of niche sport knows, comments from strangers (comments from nearest and dearest, for that matter!) range from the misinformed, through the well-meaning to the downright offensive. In fact, I almost did an update to my previous “things not to say to a bodybuilder” post this week. Someone at the place I do charity work asked me if I was “doing anything active” at the moment. This is a person who knows full well that I’m bodybuilding and that I won my qualifier and that I’m training for the British Finals. There’s a picture of me onstage on the volunteer pinboard. I gently reminded him of this fact, thinking he may well not have seen it. “Oh I know THAT!” he said. “I meant are you doing any running or swimming! Not that… posturing!” Perhaps he genuinely thinks a person can not “do anything active” and then slap on a bit of tan, get onstage and win a bodybuilding comp. I did invite him to come and train with me for a day. .. 😉
Anyway, this post isn’t about that. It’s about how nice it is when you meet a stranger who wants to talk about your sport and displays real passion and intelligence about it, even if they know nothing about it.
Today was one of those days. Kelly was the lady doing my hair. She asked me about sport (I’m now at a stage where, if I’m dressed in something sleeveless, I can’t really hide the fact that I’m a bodybuilder or something like it!) and I knew the conversation was going to be a good one when she started asking my advice about training and diet and used the word “lean”. She didn’t mention wanting to tone up, be thin or even lose weight. She wanted to be leaner.
As she snipped, trimmed and layered, she asked about training. I told her about compound moves like squats and she understood what I was saying and why I was saying it. She had no interest in doing endless hours of cardio and understood how and why strength training does good things for your metabolism in the long term. She already knew to avoid processed carbs where possible and even understood that part of the reason you drop weight quickly if you cut carbs is because some of the weight will be water. She said she loved tuna, chicken and got the fact that you need fat more than you need sugar, saying she liked oily fish. She said she used to train with weights when she was younger, in a relative’s homemade gym which had picture of Arnie all over the walls.
When she asked, I explained about natural bodybuilding in this country and told her about Figure and Physique, the two categories for women. By the time she’d finished my blowdry, we had her competing in Figure next year. She’d even picked her bikini colour (turquoise, right Kelly?)
It was a joy to speak to her: she asked intelligent questions, already knew a lot of the answers and was obviously massively motivated to find out more. She started off excited and ended up completely fired up.
See you on stage next year Kelly, looking lean in your turquoise bikini! 😀
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.