|By Vince “Fitness Financier” Pe & Sophie De La Sablonniere|
This month my partner, Sophie De La Sablonniere (of www.fitnessoph.com), and I caught up with WBFF Pro Diva Fitness athlete – Mindy Karuk. It’s not very hard to find this Vancouver beauty in gracing the pages in multiple fitness publications including Status, WBFF’s Fit & Firm, and Canada’s #1 Fitness Magazine, Inside Fitness.
In addition to all of her magazine coverage, she now represents the shaker cup for all serious fitness athletes – SmartShake (www.smartshake.com). You can also catch Mindy in full training mode by subscribing to her YouTube channel at MindyFitK.
Amidst balancing everything fitness related, Mindy’s acting career is starting to blossom too! Last year she appeared in one of my favorite shows, Smallville, and is now appearing with one of my favorite actors, Jean Claude Van-Damme!
She is currently preparing for her WBFF Pro Debut and after seeing her progress over the last year, she will definitely be making her mark in the Pro Rankings. Coach Darren Mehling of Freak Fitness is making sure Mindy comes in with the best package possible. Watch out WBFF! Mindy Karuk is about to make a splash…and we know it will be a big one!
Congratulations on your win last year during the WBFF BC Championship and getting your pro card. Can you take us back to that day, how did it feel when you heard your name called out?
Thank you so much! You know it’s one of those days that you count down for, and you cross off the days on the calendar until it’s finally arrived. Then when it comes you almost wish for the day to go in slow motion. But you can’t slow it down, so all you can do is hang onto each moment. Taking in every pause on stage, every sight and sound. When they were calling out the top 5, I hung onto each syllable of every girls name. I just prayed not to hear mine. When it came time to announce 1st, I just remember locking eyes with fellow competitor Andrea Smith. She held my gaze and then it was all lost with tears flooding my eyes when they called my name and number. I walked to the front to accept my trophy from Julie Bonnett, and I could barely hold myself up let alone the trophy! At that moment my knees were so weak, it made me feel like I was walking on clouds.
I walked to the front to accept my trophy from Julie Bonnett, and I could barely hold myself up let alone the trophy!
That’s such an amazing story to hear! Getting your pro card is a HUGE accomplishment – what happened since you’ve become a Pro?
Well I’ve always said I was putting in the work like a Pro before actually becoming one. But I’ve been fortunate to have been sponsored by the AMAZING company SmartShake, I was voted in by my friends and fans to earn a 3 page spread in Status Fitness, landed the cover of Fitness Gurls, and was able to reach many with my blogs and positive messages via ChargingLife.com! So many good things! I really just treasured each achievement! Stepping on stage this year in my Pro Debut will be epic for me. Five years in the making!
This year, you will be competing as a pro with the WBFF. How does it feel knowing that you will be on stage next to other pros?
It’s taken me 4 attempts to get my Pro Card, I can’t tell you how amazing it will be to join my friends and women I admire on stage at the WBFF Worlds! To be among these women in the lineup will be the greatest feeling. We are all sisters in iron. So many I’ve known for years, so it’s just the honor of standing beside them. It’s not even about the competition anymore, just friends sharing in each other’s passion.
You now have your own radio show “Diva Fitness Show”. That’s amazing! – How is that going for you?
I’ve been pretty blessed to be given the opportunity to have my own show. It’s an amazing experience and job to have. We’re going into the 7th Episode now and the ratings have been amazing! Knowing that I’m helping people in the sport or those who just want to get fit makes me feel good! It’s funny because, I had always been interested in doing radio, but was never fond of the fact I’d have to get my start in small towns. So I just never pursued it. Who would have thought that I’d be able to do it from the comfort of my own city? We’re starting to have advertising on the episodes, now that we have a few under the belt. It’s just growing at such a healthy rate. It’s been incredible!
I was reading a recent interview you did, and you mentioned not having a trainer pushing you in the gym. How do you do it? What keeps you motivated and what are some of the tips you could give to those who, like you, rely on themselves to stay motivated in the gym?
Yeah the downfall of not living in the same city as my trainer Darren Mehling is not having the opportunity to train one on one with him. Fortunately, while I was living in Winnipeg I trained with him enough to now have his voice imprinted into my memory pushing me through my reps! I take a lot of my motivation from deep within. I remind myself that my competition is training while I’m not. I get up and after it because I’m hungry and I’m responsible for feeding myself. To those that need to stay motivated, look up some inspirational training vids on YouTube (MindyFitK is my channel) and get the tunes pumping in your headset. Decide to go Beast Mode. Keep pictures of those that inspire you close. Keep it front and center in your mind. You are responsible for your outcome.
I get up and after it because I’m hungry and I’m responsible for feeding myself.
Speaking of training in the gym – which body part is your favorite part to train? Which one do you like to train the least?
You know over the years, I’ve learned to love training all my body parts! I would say legs were my least favorite day on the training split, but in the last 2 years I’ve really come to LOVE my leg workout! I’ve found that whatever body part we decide to hate to train is sometimes the one that needs the most love. That’s my philosophy! Training shoulders however is fun for me; I hit them twice a week.
What’s your training regimen like?
I train on a 5 day split for the most part. Darren has me doing a lot of plyo work to help me with my legs. I’ve noticed the results significantly since my last show. When I’m not in contest prep, I do around 45min of cardio, 5-6 days a week. I walk my dog or go rollerblading when I want to take my cardio outdoors. Unfortunately I banged up my knee pretty bad when I ran a half marathon, so running outside on the pavement is a no go for me now.
You’ve been competing since 2001. I’m sure you’ve learned so much during your journey. What’s one of the biggest things you learned that you would like to share?
I’ve learned to know your worth in the industry and to treat yourself like a business. Too often we are ready to bend over backwards, sacrificing our time and energy for free or next to free. Understand the value in the service you provide. Don’t sell yourself short!
I’ve found that whatever body part we decide to hate to train is sometimes the one that needs the most love.
What would you say is your biggest motivator when it comes to training and getting ready for shows?
I love the process and journey that is contest prep. Every new day that comes brings a new vein popping up, or a new line of shredded muscle. That keeps me going, watching my body transform before my eyes. Knowing that I’m responsible for my own fate on stage, I have no one else to blame but myself for not pushing harder. So that’s why I push through. It’s me against the iron.
You’ve mentioned in the past about getting your mind ready for competing as well as your body. What does that entail for you?
I’m very focused on my thoughts day in and day out. I don’t pay attention to what the competition is doing. I just focus on me and then I show up. Your mind plays tricks and gets the best of you, trying to cloud your mind with doubt. Dieting and training for a show wreaks havoc on your emotions. You can’t let it get the best of you. Backstage I enjoy the night, but I’m not eyeballing up the competition. You’ll find me laying down, earphones on, munching on some chocolate. Completely chill. Darren had taught me so much about keeping the mind still and not focusing the shoulda coulda. If I stray, he turns it off for me immediately.
Do you have moments or days when it’s harder to stay on track and to not give into stress? What do you do to overcome this feeling?
I work full time, train twice a day when preparing for a show, have radio episodes to record and interviews to write. I write for The WBFF Fit & firm, I do online training…..I guess you get the idea, I keep busy!! Usually my default action when I get stressed IS to head to the gym. So that’s one thing that I know that if the going gets tough, you beat up some dumbbells! Once again, I don’t let stress take over. I am in charge of my feelings and emotions. I will choose to be happy and positive.
I’m very focused on my thoughts day in and day out. I don’t pay attention to what the competition is doing.
You’ve been on Smallville, I love this show! And now, you will be filming a movie with Jean-Claude Van-Damme. That must be so exciting for you! Have you ever thought you would end up in a movie with JCVD?
Having the opportunity to be on Smallville was surreal. Being a fan of the show, I had my geek out moments for sure! The cast and crew was wonderful to work with, there was a lot of long cold nights filming but it was so worth it to be a part of Superman history!
The grandeur of the opportunity to star alongside Jean Claude is incredible. I never would have thought I’d be cast in the same movie! It’s unreal! I’m very excited to also have the opportunity to be working with Producer Anton Ernst, who’s already had the opportunity of working with JCVD a couple years back.
Has your training changed to prepare you for this movie?
Actually my current training regime has just been to keep my overall conditioning up. It wasn’t necessary for me to get overly ripped for this role, so that was kind of nice! I get to save my energy for Worlds! Lots of plyos, 45 min of cardio a day and just keeping a clean diet. I do have a cheat meal once on Sunday and once on Thursday if something comes up. Other than that it’s been fun keeping this condition. Once I get to South Africa to shoot, I’ll still be following my trainer Darren Mehling’s workouts once I commence my prep.
You’re also involved with a charity called “Charging Life”. Can you tell me more about that?
This is a huge project I am honored to be with and it’s close to my heart. It started with one man, Todd Alan wanting to make a difference and looking for a challenge. It evolved into this movement, of inspiring those maybe less fortunate, and recognizing those helping others, all while recognizing the faith in and around us. A documentary project now in pre-production will follow Todd on his 2000km trek, tentatively set to start in June. Along the way he will be stopping in various towns, speaking with charities, people, organizations who are helping others, or who have overcome obstacles in their life. It’s going to be an incredible journey, and it’s going to benefit many. If you’d like to know more or how you can be involved please go to www.charginglife.com.
I am honored to be involved with the Charging Life charity.
Thank you so much for your time, Mindy! Do you have anything you want to tell your fans before The Worlds?
Thank you so much for considering me for this interview Vince and Sophie! I appreciate the time you have also taken to reach out and allow me to reach my friends and fans. I would like to say this, follow your heart and stay true to yourself. It takes just one person to believe in someone, and that one person can turn into an army. I believe in you!
Thanks Mindy! We’ll be following you and rooting you on at the WBFF Worlds in August.
Vince Pe, founder of the Fitness Financier, has spent the last ten years in the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has worked for some of the most prominent sports nutrition companies in North America, dealt closely with the IFBB, NPC, WNBF and WBFF organizations, and managed some of the industry’s top athletes, including Mr. Olympia champions. Vince will be a regular contributor with feature interviews from some of the most interesting personalities in bodybuilding, fitness and martial arts. For more info about Vince, check out his company website at www.fitnessfinancier.com.