Mum does children proud
Laura Dargaville plans to celebrate turning 30 by stripping down to a bikini and sky-high heels. Oh, and a spray tan. The Tokoroa mother of two recently won a bodybuilding title (the World Fitness Federation Women’s Athletic Figure), qualifying her for the nationals in October. Not bad for her second go.
‘‘They called out third place and then second and my heart sank, so I kept telling myself just smile, be graceful, don’t let anyone see you’re disappointed.
‘‘Then they said my name and I was honestly in shock. I just broke down in tears.’’
Furthermore, the win means she now has a pro card to represent New Zealand at international events.
The 29-year-old hopes to inspire other mums to be proud of their scars and stretch marks.
‘‘Yes, we’ve had babies. Yes, our bodies do change. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
‘‘It’s not even about bodybuilding, it’s about embracing those beautiful marks that we feel so insecure about. Turn it into a positive.
‘‘If a Maori hori girl from Tokoroa can stand up on stage and inspire others, anyone can do it.’’
She didn’t have far to look for inspiration.
Her husband, James Kamana, is a professional rugby player and is also from Tokoroa.
He represented Waikato and Tasman before playing in South Africa.
‘‘Life after rugby, we always wanted to own our own gym, so I studied personal training. Then I thought, I need to put everything that I’ve learned into practice.’’
She wanted to specialise in training women, particularly to help Maori and Pacific Islanders, and women who were pregnant or wanting to lose their baby weight.
Then Laura found out she was pregnant, so she decided to use herself as the test dummy.
‘‘If I was gonna train these women, I thought I needed to go through it to understand what they’re going to be feeling when I’m training them.’’
After Lebron was born, she lost 18kg of baby weight, then decided to set herself another challenge.
For 29 weeks, she followed a strict bodybuilding programme.
And despite finishing dead last at her first competition, she was keen to give it another go.
‘‘I found my passion. This was my moment to find myself, taking off my mum hat and wife hat, which was all I knew.
‘‘I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, husband and my coach, Kaye O’neill.’’
Now it’s back to the gym to prepare for nationals.
‘‘I had my cheat meal of ribs and an ice cream Nutella donut in celebration of my win. But now it’s back to my protein pancakes.’’
‘‘I was honestly in shock. I just broke down in tears.’’
Just after having her second child.