Pursuing You Passion at 50+

By on July 14, 2011

By Cathey Duggan –We have all heard of “late bloomers,” and I think I am a prime example, as I didn’t begin being a competitor in figure physique, also known as bodybuilding, until I turned 50. Yes, it took me a long time to find my passion and live my dream.

When I was in my early 30s, I would use my company’s TV and VCR to do the 20-Minute Workout or Buns of Steel during lunch. I enjoyed staying in shape so much that even just a few days after the birth of my son (c-section), I was out power walking.

In the mid 1990s, I joined a gym through the corporate program established at work. (Maybe they just wanted me to stop using their TV.) It was during these years, by reading fitness magazines and seeing Monica Brant and Marla Duncan on stage that I first thought about competing. I was a single mother with no money, no support system and not a lot of time, but a dream was in the making. Being young and naïve, I had no idea how to go about getting involved in the competition world, so my budding dream stayed between the pages of the magazines.

Around the year 2000, I switched gyms. Wanting to take my training to the next level, I hired my first personal trainer. I always strived to better myself and, in the back of my mind, still harbored the desire to compete someday. Probably not by accident I became acquainted with a woman at the gym who competed. I would listen in awe as she explained her progress and join in her excitement about getting ready for her competitions. She really inspired me, which gave me the push I needed to realize my dream.

In 2006, I saw her compete in an OPA (Ontario Physique Association) competition. I knew then that competing was what I wanted to do. But the years were sliding by. I talked about competing often, but lacked the courage and confidence, plus my fear of being on stage was holding me back.

As my 50th birthday approached, I realized it was time. My son was at an age where he was on his own, which gave me more time to pursue my passions. My boyfriend, now my fiancé, has always supported and encouraged me 100 percent. I decided that I needed to do just one show; I would face my fear of being on stage and finally fulfill my dream of competing. With the help of my trainer/fiancé, I competed in FAME. I don’t remember much of this competition, for, at the last minute, my only competitor dropped out, and I had to go on stage by myself (all alone with my fear). I placed first (and last), and was bitten by the competition bug!

My most satisfying competition to date has been the May 28, 2011 IDFA (International Drug Free Association) competition. To prepare, I connected with the most awesome training team who believed in me, provided me a strict diet program, worked me hard and eased my fears with their coaching style. In the open novice figure category I placed fourth. My trainers summarized our relationship well. We were the “Dream Team.” Thanks Shawna and Magnus.

I never thought at 50, I would be competing and living my dream! Age is just a number; it’s true you can get fit and feel good no matter how old you are. You have to stop making excuses, face your fears and go for it. If you make your dream a priority in life, you will never look back and wonder what “could have been.” If you fail, that’s OK for through failure comes strength and knowledge on how to improve and do better the next time.

It’s never too late to pursue your passion, so find out what it is you love to do  and don’t let your dreams remain between the pages of a magazine…live them!

 

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Pursuing You Passion at 50+