|By Vince “Fitness Financier” Pe|
I managed to catch up with my dear friend, fitness competitor Robin MacGowan, shortly after her Pro Card win at the 2011 WBFF Worlds. Robin is one of the most determined and inspiring people I have ever met. In this exclusive interview for Strong-Athlete, Robin shares with us her incredible journey and her plans for 2012:
Q: Congratulations on your WBFF Pro Card win! After everything you’ve gone through, how did you feel when you were announced as one of the WBFFs newest pros?
A: I couldn’t believe it; I was up against over 50 beautiful and hardworking girls. When I heard my name I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself, I cried, I wanted to jump up and down, I wanted to scream, I DID IT. I did what I thought about all throughout my treatments, and throughout every workout I did this year. My dream came true, and I just couldn’t believe it after all I’ve been through to earn such a high honor. I feel like I’ve come full circle, I’ve showed that there are happy endings to what might seem like a sad story, they do not just exist in fairy tales.
Q: For your new fans at Strong-Athlete, can you give as an overview of your journey over the last two years?
A: I’m a breast cancer survivor; I was diagnosed in 2009 and went through over a year of treatment, mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and 1 year of Herceptin. I am a fitness and bikini model competitor, who has always lived a healthy lifestyle and has been active. 1 week after my treatments ended I started to work out and train for competitions again, 4 months later I competed and placed 5th in fitness, 4 months after that show I competed at the WBFF World show and placed 5th in fitness and 2nd in bikini and earned my Pro card. I want to teach women that no one is safe from this horrible disease and I want the world to know that nothing is impossible. I feel that everyone can learn something from my story, and that is not to give up.
Q: Your journey has inspired so many, Robin. What did it feel like to get your overwhelming show of support from your peers?
A: Absolutely incredible, I didn’t realize how many lives I’ve touched with what I’ve been through. Backstage at the WBFF Worlds I had numerous amazing athletes that wanted to meet me, athletes that I look up to, and they wanted to meet me. During my walk on stage, the MC announced that I was a breast cancer survivor and the whole audience applauded. To have the attention and applause of the entire audience was an amazing feeling, and made me smile.
Q: You also took part in CIBC’s Run For The Cure this year. What does that cause mean to you?
A: This cause is near and dear to my heart; their purpose is dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer, educating, creating awareness programs and improving the quality of life for those affected by breast cancer. And as a survivor of this disease I feel it is my duty to bring awareness to it, and do my part to help find a cure.
Q: How does your off-season training differ from your pre-contest?
A: This year I worked with my longtime friend and trainer, Roan from Phitnest Montreal. We did something different that I normally haven’t done prepping for my shows; he had me training pretty heavy leading right up until the show. So really my off-season and pre-season are pretty similar, only difference is I do no cardio during off-season and my diet is higher in carbs.
Q: What are your favorite training movements? And what is your least favorite?
A: My favorite movements are squats to work my legs and glutes, and shoulder press. I love how much stronger my shoulders are now. Least favorite movements are all chest exercises, because of the damage from the surgery and radiation they are pretty painful, but I’m a solider, I get it done!
Q: As one of the most inspiring athletes, can you tell me who inspires you and why?
A: I would say Monica Brant, not only because of all of her accomplishments in the fitness industry. She may not know who I am, but I have met and spoken to her on 2 occasions, and both times she was down to earth and motivating. She inspires others to not only achieve their fitness goals but to also be a better person, and that is something I aspire to be.
Q: You’re planning to compete in a Game Changer event soon. What are your thoughts on a physique athlete competing in performance based, body weight training events?
A: I think it’s great for physique athletes to compete in events such as the Game Changer; we get a chance to show our physical strengths. I’m pretty excited to be competing at the next event.
Q: What are some of the things we can expect from you in 2012?
A: You can look for me to rock the WBFF PRO bikini category at the Worlds in August; my goal is a top 5 finish. I will also be participating in the CIBC Run For The Cure, Game Changer events, offering posing classes for bikini and fitness competitors to learn how to walk like a diva. I will also be attending a few of the regional WBFF shows, to help out and show my support to the competitors. I am also hoping to appear in more magazines, sharing my story.
In closing I just want to show my gratitude and say thank you to my partner in life Steven, my family and friends, my trainer Roan, my sponsors, The WBFF for their love and support, I couldn’t have done it without them, it was a team effort. I praise God daily for getting me through a difficult time in my life and all of the amazing blessings I have received this year, I truly am blessed.
Photos courtesy of David Ford, Chris Linton & Glen Grant
Vince “Fitness Financier” Pe
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.