Fu­ture of Fit­ness

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We hear from the ris­ing stars in fit­ness.

Sporty girl: Madi­son Sch­narr was ex­tremely ath­letic grow­ing up. “Not only was I en­rolled in ev­ery sport I could fit into the week, but I had to do each of th­ese sports at the high­est com­pet­i­tive level,” she says. “I was truly born to be an ath­lete.” Sch­narr cred­its her mom with help­ing her get where she is to­day. “My mom never missed a show or game or even a 6 a.m. prac­tice. She taught me how to train hard, man­age my time and be com­pet­i­tive.”

Healthy changes: As a teen, Sch­narr was in­volved in mod­el­ing, and she be­came overly con­cerned with her weight. Along with that came a lot of un­healthy life­style habits. For­tu­nately, by the end of her first year of col­lege, she re­al­ized she needed a change. That’s when she started to lift weights and de­vel­oped health­ier food choices. “I love the way weight train­ing makes me feel,” she says. “It has changed my body. Most of all, I love lift­ing be­cause it makes me feel strong, pow­er­ful and healthy.”

Strong drive: This per­sonal trainer is very goal-driven. “I’m a bikini com­peti­tor, and my main fo­cus for 2017 is to qual­ify for Na­tion­als,” she says. “Look­ing be­yond 2017, my ul­ti­mate goal is to be a suc­cess­ful IFBB Bikini pro, grace the Olympia stage and be among the best in the fit­ness in­dus­try! It is my mission to in­spire oth­ers and change their lives through health and fit­ness.”

Early ad­ver­sity: Colleen Van Dam’s early life was fraught with ad­ver­sity. Af­ter both par­ents passed away when she was very young,Van Dam went to live with an­other fam­ily. Al­though the kids she lived with were ac­tive, as the “ex­tra kid,” Van Dam’s ac­tiv­i­ties were never the pri­or­ity. But in high school, she man­aged to make the vol­ley­ball and bas­ket­ball teams.

A life­time of fit­ness: This mom of two has al­ways tried to make fit­ness a pri­or­ity. She started train­ing af­ter high school, taught aer­o­bics classes in the ’80s, did a few 10k races and half marathons, and a few years ago, she be­gan body­build­ing again, win­ning her first fig­ure show at the age of 48. How­ever, it wasn’t un­til re­cently that she has felt she was in the best shape of her life. Six years ago, she cleaned up her diet, re­fo­cused on weights, in­creased her in­ten­sity and started to see ma­jor re­sults.

Goal get­ter: Van Dam is in­spired by six­time Ms. Olympia Cory Ever­son. “She has demon­strated that mus­cle is beau­ti­ful and time­less and that strong is sexy … at any age,” she says. Van Dam has qual­i­fied for a na­tional com­pe­ti­tion and looks for­ward to push­ing her­self dur­ing that 16-week prep this year. “One bonus of be­ing an older woman is that I can fo­cus my en­ergy on my­self af­ter many years of rais­ing my kids!”

Role model: A dancer and avid moun­tain biker, Jen­nifer Roberts started work­ing out with her mom when she was 13. “She in­spired me to take care of my­self and to have a strong body,” Roberts says. Her brother, how­ever, is her role model. “He broke his back in 2001 and was par­a­lyzed from the waist down. His motto is ‘never give up,’ and af­ter in­tense hard work, de­ter­mi­na­tion and a small mir­a­cle, he is walk­ing again!”

Morn­ing girl: Roberts does weights and car­dio five times a week, prac­tices yoga twice a week and squeezes a mas­sage in once a week. “I train first thing in the morn­ing — not be­cause I love the morn­ing — but be­cause my hus­band and son are still sleep­ing and it doesn’t in­ter­fere with their sched­ules,” she ex­plains. “I do my car­dio on my lunch hour or later in the evening, depend­ing on my work sched­ule.” When she can, she likes run­ning while her son bikes along­side her. “I get to be out­side, and I get to lis­ten to my son chat for an hour!”

Over­com­ing ob­sta­cles: “I used to have a very poor self-im­age,” she says. “Even when I was skinny, I didn’t see my­self in a pos­i­tive way. I kept my­self small and didn’t think I de­served to feel suc­cess. Once I un­der­stood what was go­ing on, I was able to move for­ward and en­joy be­ing fit for life. I be­lieve I am wor­thy of suc­cess now. This is about my hap­pi­ness and my jour­ney.”

Late bloomer: Deb­bie Westby didn’t start train­ing un­til she was in her 30s. At 40, she felt like some­thing was miss­ing in her workouts, and that’s when she dis­cov­ered

Oxy­gen. “I was very in­trigued by the way the women looked, and I felt like I could do it, too,” she says. “I brought a copy of the mag­a­zine to my gym and showed a trainer one of the mod­els and told him I wanted that kind of body.” He took her se­ri­ously and put to­gether a train­ing and nu­tri­tion pro­gram. A cou­ple of years later, an­other trainer en­cour­aged her to com­pete in fig­ure. “It was some­thing I never thought I could do,” she says. “I feel like I fi­nally found my pas­sion and a fit life­style in my 40s.”

Fly­ing high: Westby started fly­ing when she was 19. She tries to train three times a week, but her fly­ing sched­ule makes things com­pli­cated. “I lift and do car­dio when I can,” she says. “Since I usu­ally fly longer routes, I have longer lay­overs, which gives me plenty of time to get a work­out in.” She also brings a cooler with her packed with healthy meals and snacks so her nu­tri­tion stays on point.

Good ad­vice: “I usu­ally fly three-day in­ter­na­tional trips, so my food, sleep and workouts get af­fected,” Westby says. “But I have learned not to be hard on my­self and just do the best I can. I am proud of my age, and I’ve never let that stop me. I be­lieve that the gym is my foun­tain of youth!”

Turn­ing point: Tammi McDon­ald “dab­bled in the gym” and did var­i­ous types of ex­er­cise since high school. “I wasn’t one to do th­ese things on my own, so I was never re­ally able to get into a gym rou­tine,” she ex­plains. Turn­ing 40 was a turn­ing point for her. That’s when she de­cided to get in the best shape of her life. “It was time to do some­thing for me, which was tough at first. I had spent 20 years fo­cus­ing on my hus­band and three chil­dren,” she says. McDon­ald stepped out of her com­fort zone and joined a gym. A few months later, she was in­spired to start a 12-week trans­for­ma­tion and en­ter her first bikini com­pe­ti­tion.

Weights over car­dio: Al­though McDon­ald doesn’t dis­like car­dio, she loves lift­ing. “I train five to six days a week, work­ing legs/glutes twice a week and car­dio and core about three times a week, all prefer­ably in the morn­ing,” she says. “It’s a great way to be­gin my day and get it all done be­fore work so I have time with my fam­ily in the evening.”

Be un­stop­pable: “It’s never too late to make a change,” McDon­ald says. Her fa­vorite quote is, “Be­lieve and you are un­stop­pable!” Now she is plan­ning to be­come a per­sonal trainer. “I’m ex­cited to work with oth­ers to help them achieve their in­di­vid­ual fit­ness goals.”

Colleen Van Dam

Cal­gary, Al­berta, Canada Stats: 51 • 150 lb • 5’9” Gig: Li­censed op­ti­cian

Madi­son Sch­narr

Cam­bridge, On­tario, Canada Stats: 26 • 135 lb • 5’10” Gig: Per­sonal trainer

Tammi McDon­ald

Squamish, Bri­tish Columbia, Canada Stats: 42 • 117 lb • 5’2” Gig: Sales as­so­ci­ate

Jen­nifer Roberts

Kim­ber­ley, Bri­tish Columbia, Canada Stats: 45 • 113 lb • 5’5” Gig: Dis­trict prin­ci­pal

Deb­bie Westby

Te­mec­ula, Cal­i­for­nia Stats: 51 • 134 lb • 5’8” Gig: Flight at­ten­dant

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