Hey guys! I hope this post finds you well. I am doing great, just plugging along. Last week was crazy because it was one of those weeks that I had something to do every night of the week after work- some of it fun, some of it not. Thursday night I attended the premier of Any Body’s Game a documentary created by Insider’s Health. When Matt, the director, sent me an email inviting me to the premier and explaining the content of the film I was pretty intrigued ( it was a FREE event open to anyone, being invited doesn’t make me a big deal or anything).
The description I was given was that it follows two aspiring fitness models, one male and one female, who are taking an all-natural approach as they get ready to hit the stage . The documentary details their workouts, diet, as well as all of the other forms of preparation involved. I was interested in seeing what this “all natural” approach entailed, considering when I think of body building or fitness competitions all that comes to mind is MTV’s True Live: I WANT A PERFECT BODY. Did anyone else see this episode? It is probably about five or six years old and shows in great detail the caloric restricting and insane workout regimen of two body builders getting ready for a competition. The goal of Any Body’s Game is to give the viewer a glimpse into the fitness and body building industry with the hopes of debunking negative stereotypes.
The film followed Julia Wyper and Freddy Lugo, the two future competitors and their coaches Cathy Savage and Rob Knox:
Julia is a physical therapist, skin cancer survivor, wife and mother of two. She began a fitness routine in an effort to finally lose her baby weight. A self-proclaimed tomboy, Julia says she missed the competitiveness of college athletics and decided to pursue fitness competitions as a way to rediscover her passion for fitness. Her bout with skin cancer made her realize how important health is especially as a medical professional and a mother.
Freddy struggled with his weight for years. When he reached 275 lbs. he started to notice the effects his unhealthy lifestyle. After his doctor urged him to begin a workout regimen, he started to notice significant results that motivated him enough to want to take his fitness to the next level- registering for a fitness competition. In the process of preparing for the competition, Freddy lost 100 lbs. He also works full-time and is dad.
Cathy is the owner of Cathy Savage Fitness, her work with female competitors earned her a glowing reputation in the world of natural fitness. She encourages her clients to live a healthier lifestyles and aims to dispel that myth that bikini model competitions are reserved only for Barbie-look-alikes. She guides her clients in training, nutrition, competition preparation and mental health. She is known for her though love and creating a sense of sisterhood amongst her clients.
Rob is the owner of Navesink Fitness where he spearheads the men’s division of Cathy Savage fitness. He is extremely dedicated to pushing his clients to rise above their perceived limitations and realize their true potential. His commitment to natural methods and knowledge of training have earned him the nickname “The Magician”.
Here is the the documentary’s trailer:
So what did I think?
I liked the film! I found that I related to Julia in a lot of ways. She has a ton her plate and at times forgets to put her health first. She had a significant life event that inspired her to focus in health and in turn change her life. I was inspired by her commitment to the sport and was humbled by her realness about how hard it is sometimes to find enough time in that day for everything. I think that is something I struggle with as well and I can’t even imagine what that is like when adding motherhood to the equation. She spoke often about finding balance and how that is so different for everyone. I also could relate to her feeling about her work and wanting to be a healthy example to those she serves. As a counselor I work a lot with students in regard to stress management and if I am not managing my stress, I am not only being hypocritical but I am much less effective as a counselor. Exercise is one way that I manage my stress, much like Julia.
There is one scene that resonated with me. As the time until the competition grows smaller, Cathy has each girl stand in front of her one by one while she “critiques” them. When the scene began I thought, “Oh jeez, here we go! She is going to tear these girls apart about their appearance….” I was not looking forward to watching it. But instead she gave them kind and constructive advice. She told Julie that she wasn’t sleeping enough. She said to her something along the lines of “Don’t tell me that you don’t have time for 7-8 hours of sleep. You need that much sleep to recover from these workouts and recover from your day. If you can’t give yourself that much sleep something else has to go. You do so much for others in your profession and in your family life. You need to make yourself a priority. I’m not saying to make yourself number one, that isn’t always possible. But you need to be in your top three. Do you understand?” This advice really hit me. Mostly because it reminded me a lot of what I was discussing in my last post. Something HAS to go sometimes so I can take care of myself. And you can bet your as* it can’t be either of my jobs, my stress management or spending time with my husband, family and friends so it has to be blogging sometimes.
I found the documentary inspiring. Not in the sense that I would ever be interested in being in a fitness competition. I could NEVER give up all carbs and spend every Saturday walking back and fourth at the gym in a string bikini and clear platform shoes. But it was wonderful to see people work so hard towards a goal and succeed. The amount of commitment it takes is impressive, regardless of you whether fitness competitions are a goal of yours or not. Julia and Freddy, two unlikely competitors, overcame so many obstacles. They conquered self-doubt, pushed hard through physical and mental exertion, sacrificed time and convenience and persevered – with a camera in face and while being parents, spouses and working full-time. It is impossible not to be moved. Overall, I felt like the documentary was well done. It did dispel some negative preconceived ideas I had about body building and fitness competitions. If you have any interest in seeing the film, contact Insider’s Health.
What are your thoughts on fitness competitions? What fitness goals that you first thought were not possible have you achieved? What are you current goals? What inspires you to reach them?