FGCU student, Kelsie Goodrich, finds inspiration in the world of body building

In the sport of bodybuilding, competitors put themselves through rigorous weight training and cardio regimens year round. Athletes eat six to seven meals a day year round, depending on who your coach is, and there is no off-season.

Kelsie Goodrich defines the off season in the world of body building as “the time of year when you are not prepping for a competition, but working on weaknesses and enhancing your strengths according to the category you are competing within.”

Bodybuilding is a sport perfected when no one is watching.

“No one sees the early mornings waking up for fasted cardio or the hardship of eating fewer calories to reduce your body fat and then trying to maintain an intense training regime. They see the pictures of abs online and then dismiss it. This is so much more than that. It’s a lifestyle. It’s passionate,” Goodrich said.

Goodrich, an FGCU student, is an athlete but not part of a team.

“I think it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around (bodybuilding),” Goodrich said. “It couldn’t be collegiate regardless. I don’t have teammates, I am my team.”

“This is a sport where you push your body to the limit. Food isn’t food anymore — it’s fuel. It’s competitive in that you are literally standing on stage with people who have also devoted their lives to this, to be judges against one another’s physical fitness, proportion, size, muscle symmetry and stage presence. There is opportunity for sponsorship which play into the competitive aspect.”

Similar to other sports, there’s an amateur level, national level and pro level. Goodrich has given her life to this sport and wouldn’t have it any other way. Goodrich says it pushes her to be the best she can be, and not be discouraged by the small things.

“I’m driven by my potential to succeed,”Goodrich said. “I allow this sport to ebb and flow into my daily life. I am pushed to succeed in all aspects from this sport that I’ve given my life into.”

Modern weightlifting developed in Europe around 1880, with strong men displaying feats of strength for the public and challenging one another. Today, weightlifting is typically used to develop a physical appearance.

Goodrich has been weight training for about two years now. She is working to gain muscle mass for a show in the spring of 2016. The show is in a different category than she previously competed in, the bikini division.

“I realized afterward I admired the more muscular build to women and then aspired to grow into the figure division,” Goodrich said.

Although she may not be the most experienced in the sport, Goodrich is motivated and inspired.

“Success requires constant and continuous work,” Goodrich said. “You can’t be lackadaisical and expect perfection or even progression. The only way you will move forward is to put in work. Put in effort every single day, avoid/refuse temptation, and push through every obstacle in your way … and it’s hard. You won’t always succeed.

“Some days, or even some weeks, you will fail. You will be stagnant or even go backwards. But, that’s ok, because nothing is permanent. No success and no failure. You will always have to work for what you want and it will never come easy. There is no auto pilot. No luck. No happenstance. Success requires effort beyond the average conception. So if you want it, you better know that you’re going to have to work your ass off to get it.”