Kershaw wins top spot at Empire Classic


BY BILL PHILLIPS

bill@pgdailynews.ca

Kendall Kershaw did what she set out to do last month.

The Prince George bodybuilder captured first place in the bikini division at the Empire Classic bodybuilding competition in Spokane, Washington.

“It was an amazing, amazing experience,” she said. “That was a fantastic experience, as you’re not only getting to go down there and be a part of an international competition, but to actual place was a first for me.”

Competing in the bikini division means not getting massively built, as one might expect with bodybuilding, however it does involve building muscle and toning. It also means a lot of training and learning how to pose in a bikini and … six-inch heels. It is challenging, and learning how to breathe properly in order to hold your pose for the judges is as important as toning and building muscles.

The trip to Spokane was a short one as Kershaw arrived on Friday (April 21) and left Sunday.

“I think that because it was such a short experience, made it that much more powerful,” she said. “I definitely didn’t take a thing for granted.”

She says she always trains with the goal of placing well, but also doesn’t have expectations going in.

“It always such a good feeling when they call your name for the win, it’s such an amazing feeling and I feel if I were to expect that then I’d lose that feeling … that pride,” she said.

If there were any surprises for Kershaw, competing in the United States, they came from within.

“I think I was surprised by the physique I brought on stage,” she said. “I wasn’t quite sure if I’d brought myself together quite enough for show day, but after receiving my stage shots, I was pretty happy with the package that I brought to the stage.”

It does take a lot of work to get ready for such a competition. Kershaw trained for about six months to get ready. For a couple of months she focused on eating the right foods so she could build as much muscle as she could in a short time. Then there was about four months of hard dieting and training “where I’m trying to get myself to the maximum potential that I could potentially get my physique to.”

While bodybuilding is all about getting one’s body to the best physique, getting into the right frame of mind is just as important.

Kendall Kershaw and John Brink train at Gold’s Gym in preparation for the Pro-Am Expo in Vancouver in July. James Doyle photo

“I’m a huge advocate for the whole positive vibe thing, and I know that sounds kind of cliché,” she said, adding she is a fan of The Secret. “I believe in visualization and manifesting good things for yourself. That’s probably the biggest thing for me, even more so than the training, more so than the dieting, is just seeing myself where I want to be and doing what it takes to put myself there.”

Since graduating from high school she has become a personal health and wellness coach and is working at Prince George Weight Loss and Wellness, but her goal is to become a professional bodybuilding.

Next up on that road will be the provincial Pro-Am Expo in Vancouver July 8-9.

“That’s going to be, hopefully, where I take my career to the next level,” she said. “I’d like to myself qualify for nationals, which is a top-five qualification. Then I would be qualified for nationals in the States as well as in Canada, which would be a pretty great thing for my career.”

She won’t be the only Prince George competition at the Pro-Am Expo. She will be joined by John Brink, 76, who qualified at the Iron Ore Classic. Brink, who owns the Brink Group of Companies, donated $500 to Kershaw to help with her expenses.

Sports


About Bill Phillips

Bill Phillips is an award-winning journalist and columnist with more than 30 years experience. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He is the former editor of the Prince George Free Press.