Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Spotlight Interview: Tamara Ashton
Tamara Ashton is easily one of my favorite people in the fitness industry. Looking past her beauty and physique, you will find a nice and funny person. At Jr. nationals this year, things beyond her control caused her physique to not be what she wanted, however I still think she should have been placed higher, and you can bet that 2012 will be a big year for Tamara.
Q: Can you start out by talking about how you got started in the gym?
A: Well I got started in the gym, first I used to do kickboxing and Muay Thai just so I could get fit, cause I didn't know what in the heck I was doing. In June of 2008 I hired a trainer and she gave me a diet, I was injured and couldn't weight train at all. When I got cleared medically my trainer showed me how to do stuff. After I few months I was like "Wow", saw the results and one of my good friends, IFBB Pro Carin Hawkins really motivated me to train. I told her I was interested in at least trying one show and she sent me in the right direction and I have been hooked ever since.
Q: That sort of leads me to my next question. A lot of people say after the first show that they fell in love and kept doing it. Was that how you felt?
A: Yes it was.
Q: When you look back to when you first started, would you ever have imagined you would be where you are now?
A: Absolutely not! I had no idea I could accomplish or even look the way I look on stage. It blows my mind what we are able to do with our bodies if we are determined and push hard and work out.
Q: That first show, before you got on stage, were you nervous at all?
A: I was totally nervous. I had never even been to a Bodybuilding show. I had no idea what the heck I was doing. I remember talking to the girls backstage and was like "Oh God what do we do". It was totally nerve racking.
Q: You did Jr. nationals this year. I have told you I thought you deserved a better placing, but you weren't happy with how you looked. What weren't you happy with?
A: I was holding a ton of water. Had been having some health issues and I think it made my body hold the water. When you look watery on stage, you look fat on stage, even though I had eleven percent body fat at the most.
Q: When you are on stage, and not happy like that, is it hard to keep a smile on your face?
A: At the end, when they do call outs it is. You are thinking to yourself "I worked hard, pushed myself, did all I needed to do". In my case even my coach said "You kicked your butt in the gym, it was never a matter of you didn't do cardio, didn't do workouts, didn't do diets. Your body was fighting You". So for me, in my head I said "I just need to practice posing and stage presentation. So that's what I focused on at that point.
Q: Even though it was as he said, your body fighting you, is there anything you can look back on and say "Maybe if I did this different"?
A: I am gonna guess and say maybe if I stayed on my birth control pills, that maybe my body wouldn't have fought me, which is funny because most girls are not on birth control when they compete, but everyone is different.
Q: You mentioned to me you would be better at Team Universe. Is Team U still the plan?
A: I'm not sure. I believe I need to re-qualify and do a Regional show. Because I live in California I wanna do USA's cause it's really close and then figure out what other National show I wanna do.
Q: Physique wise, anything you want to improve for 2012?
A: I want to cap off my shoulders better, make them rounder. And bring down my legs a little. I am very fortunate to be able to put on muscle very easily, especially my legs, so I need to bring those down a little bit.
Q: Would you ever consider Physique or are you happy with Figure?
A: I've thought about Physique, but I really do like Figure better and think my lines and body proportion are better for Figure.
Q: Safe to say a Pro card is the ultimate goal?
A: Yes definitely.
Q: If for some reason that never happened, are you satisfied with all you accomplished?
A: Yeah I think so. I pushed myself harder than I ever did. If you asked me three years ago if I would be competing I would have said no. So I am happy with all I have accomplished thus far.
Q: You also do photo shoots, is there anything specific you like about doing that?
A: I love creating the art and getting to see the final pictures. Its a piece of artwork but also proof that this is what I looked like one day haha. When you are fifty years old you can say "This is what I used to look like" haha.
Q: On stage or in front of the camera, do you have a preference?
A: No I love them both.
Q: Obviously you are attractive and look great. At the gym, do you get a lot of unwanted attention at the gym?
A: Actually nobody talks to me at the gym haha. The only people that say hi are the people who work there and see me every day. No one else talks to me.
Q: Do you think its an intimidation thing?
A: That's what I have been told by other friends. SO I guess they are intimidated. I'm not sure why cause I am a very nice person, but that's ok.
Q: You always seem to have a great sense of humor. Is that accurate?
A: Very accurate.
Q: Sometimes people are intimidated by competitors, do you feel your attitude makes you more popular with people?
A: Its possible. I am not really sure. Life is short and bad things happen all the time, so you gotta enjoy life and laugh while you can.
Q: Before we finish anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: I want to thank my family and friends. My sponsors NorCal Bodybuilding, Lana's Egg whites and Quest Bar.