Ker­shaw mak­ing waves in body build­ing world

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Ted CLARKE Ci­ti­zen staff [email protected]­i­t­i­zen.ca

Ken­dall Ker­shaw knows an­abolic steroids are preva­lent on the body-build­ing stage.

The temp­ta­tion is al­ways there but the 22-year-old from Prince Ge­orge has re­sisted us­ing drugs to tone her body and build mus­cle mass.

She prefers to do it the hard way, watch­ing what she eats and work­ing out to the edge of ex­haus­tion in the gym, and she’s see­ing the re­wards.

On June 2, Ker­shaw took a ma­jor step to­ward achiev­ing her pro card when she won a sil­ver medal in the bikini cat­e­gory at the Toronto Pro Su­per show, an In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Body Build­ing and Fit­ness (IFBB) pro qual­i­fier.

There was no cash prize for her sil­ver fin­ish but her suc­cess in Toronto led to new con­nec­tions in the body build­ing world, which will put Ker­shaw in line for mod­el­ing photo shoots and lu­cra­tive spon­sor­ships.

“It helps me es­tab­lish my­self as a pro­fes­sional in the body build­ing in­dus­try and puts my name out there a lit­tle bit,” she said.

“I’m ac­tu­ally a nat­u­ral ath­lete, which isn’t very com­mon at the level that I’m at. I don’t take any­thing fancy, pro­tein pow­ders, mul­ti­vi­ta­mins, stuff like that. I like to make sure I’m tak­ing stuff to grow and gain without have to take that ex­tra step (and use steroids).

“I was told at one point to quit, that I would never suc­ceed if I didn’t go down that route, and I found my­self some new friend groups that didn’t have that opin­ion and we’ve been golden ever since. I’m re­ally grate­ful for the peo­ple that did sup­port my de­ci­sion to stay nat­u­ral. At the level I’m at, a lot of peo­ple are run­ning dif­fer­ent things, mostly fat-burn­ers for women, but it’s still the same con­cept.”

The nerves be­fore she walks on stage are hard to shake but Ker­shaw has been part of enough body-build­ing com­pe­ti­tions to know that dis­ap­pears when it’s her turn to pose, even with 1,500 sets of eyes watch­ing her ev­ery move.

“It’s in­cred­i­ble – it’s ter­ri­fy­ing and you do shake a lit­tle bit,” she said.

“It’s six months of work for 10 sec­onds on stage and peo­ple think that’s lu­di­crous but at the end of the day that 10 sec­onds feels so wicked.

“I do a lot of med­i­ta­tion and just get­ting my head in the right place be­fore I go on be­cause at that point you’ve al­ready put in the work. You see so many peo­ple kind of squan­der­ing the day by be­ing too ner­vous to en­joy it.”

Ker­shaw com­petes in the bikini di­vi­sion, rather than the body-build­ing classes, be­cause she has less mus­cle mass com­pared to women who don’t shy away from steroids.

“I al­ways joke and say it’s baby body build­ing,” laughed Ker­shaw.

“We tend to have a lit­tle but less mus­cle. For the last few years the judges have been say­ing I would be bet­ter-suited in a cat­e­gory that was a bit more mus­cu­lar. But this year, the way I carved out my physique, they said I was per­fect for the bikini di­vi­sion. I’m just go­ing to keep try­ing to com­pete in this di­vi­sion to see if I can get that pro card.”

Ker­shaw’s love for the sport be­gan four years ago in her Grade 11 year at Prince Ge­orge Sec­ondary School. She’d hit the weight room for work­outs be­fore school and right away saw the re­sults.

“I started go­ing at five o’clock in the morn­ing and just fell in love with it,” she said.

“I knew I wanted to have some­thing to re­ally show what I’ve been work­ing for. I ac­tu­ally left school early be­cause I knew I wanted to pur­sue body build­ing as a full­time thing, so I ended up grad­u­at­ing early. Once I started I knew this is where I was sup­posed to be.”

She started her own busi­ness three years ago as a weigh loss and well­ness coach and now op­er­ates The Lit­tle Fit Com­pany, pre­fer­ring to work with clients who have ex­pe­ri­enced sud­den weight gain due to med­i­cal is­sues and are look­ing for di­rec­tion to get their bod­ies back to where there were.

“I was able to move to it full time right af­ter start­ing, which is quite ex­cit­ing,” she said.

Ker­shaw com­peted in Prince Ge­orge at the Iron Ore Clas­sic in 2016 and won the over­all women’s ti­tle but said she would lose her semipro sta­tus if she com­peted in her home­town show event again be­cause it is not sanc­tioned by the IFBB.

Ker­shaw, who fin­ished fourth in her group in the Maxim Canada cover girl contest, has been in­vited to Joe Wei­der’s Olympia Fit­ness and Per­for­mance show in Las Ve­gas, where she will be the sub­ject of a mag­a­zine photo shoot Sept. 11 spon­sored by Mag­num Neu­traceu­ti­cals of Sur­rey, one of her ma­jor spon­sors along with the John Brink Group of Com­pa­nies and Re­flex Prince Ge­orge.

“The Toronto pro show is the big­gest in Canada, whereas the Olympia is the big­gest one (in the world), which is re­ally ex­cit­ing,” she said.

“The nice thing with the Olympia is I’m not com­pet­ing. I’m just go­ing down and get­ting a bunch of pic­tures taken and mak­ing a lot of con­nec­tions with pro­fes­sion­als in the in­dus­try.

“I would ab­so­lutely love to get into mod­el­ing. It’s one of those things, I didn’t know I could do it un­til I got older and it seems like it com­ple­ments ev­ery­thing else I’ve got go­ing on now.”

HAND­OUT PHOTO

Ken­dall Ker­shaw com­petes in the open bikini di­vi­sion at the Toronto Pro Su­per­show body build­ing com­pe­ti­tion on June 2. The 22-year-old from Prince Ge­orge won a sil­ver medal.

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