BY BILL PHILLIPS
Most of us have made a New Year’s resolution that we didn’t follow through with.
Especially if it was a tough one.
Not so for Devon Gyselinck.
After thinking about getting into bodybuilding since last August, she decided to make it her New Year’s resolution. On Saturday she will be competing in the open bikini division at the Brink Iron Ore Classic at Vanier Hall.
At 20 years old, she will be one of the youngest competitors in the event.
Gyselinck got into the sport after seeing a friend get involved.
“I just had a friend that I saw come across my social media feed one day and she had just done it,” she says. “I just needed some direction with my life, I was feeling really lost and felt that was what I needed.”
So she Googled “Prince George bodybuilding” and Karley Green, of The Gym and Karley Green Coaching and Lifestyle, was the first name that came up. She contacted Green and started her training in January.
The training hasn’t been easy, says Gyselinck, whose alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m. every morning. Then it’s off to the gym for an hour of sprints.
“Then I eat my cold egg whites at the gym, then I train and then shower and work for nine hours and go back to the gym,” she says.
And, after the second stint at the gym, she takes classes.
“It’s basically consumed my whole life,” she says. “I used to want to go into finance and go into business. Now I want to become a nutritionist. It’s made me find my passion.”
While it’s a strict regimen while training for the Iron Ore Classic, it’s worthwhile, she says. So how does she stay focused and carry on?
“You just do it,” she says. “I’ve learned so much about mental toughness and what you can make yourself do. It’s been hard. I just went into it on a whim. It’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be and I’m so glad I did it.”
One of the benefits is becoming a part of the community of bodybuilders, who stick together and support each other as they train and compete. It’s something Gyselinck wasn’t expecting.
“That kind of surprised me,” she says. “I thought it was a super individual sport, felt that everyone was cutthroat, that there would be a little tension with the competitiveness. But everyone’s been go great. I’ve met so many people, made so many friends. I have a whole new circle now.”
Being on the stage at the Iron Ore Classic will be the culmination of all that hard work over the last nine months. So what are her plans for after the competition?
“I’m looking forward to my White Spot burger afterwards,” she says with a lauch. “Just proving that I did this, validation that I could do this.”
And even though it is a tough sport that requires discipline, Gyselinck has some advice for anything thinking of getting into bodybuilding.
“Go for it,” she says. “If you want to give 110 per cent of your time, give it a shot. You can prove to yourself that you can do so much. I think everyone needs a little struggle.”