WI: First off, by the way, I’m going to be 62 so I guess I’ll be celebrating from now to I don’t know when! I’m 61 now and at 60 is when I got this idea. I decided to kick something off my bucket list leading up to my 60th birthday. I wanted my wonderful 60s to chime in with flying colors but I wanted it to be something truthful. I also gave a red carpet event to celebrate life and domestic violence survivors and there’s great footage on my website about it; it was so fun. We had entertainment and so on.
60 was a landmark for me and I was so grateful to be alive and where I was and I wanted it to go down in history. So what I did was two things, one of them was a surprise; the surprise one was for oldest active instructor trainer that is certified and working in multiple disciplines. But I, being the active person that I am, wanted to do something active to challenge myself again and set a record. So what I did was burpees! What I had to do was go beyond the record [which was] 30 burpees in one minute. So I did 37 in one minute. Oooh baby! 37 in one minute, I was so stoked and I so excited. Two shows I’ve gone on have asked me about it. A lot of people don’t know what a burpee is. And I go okay I’ll show you, and I’m showing them in a dress or whatever, I just don’t care! [laughs] Someone wrote me one day and they said “I saw you doing burpee’s in your diva dress!” [laughs] So those are my records. I went into the age of 60 with a bang!
BFT: Another thing that we found very impressive is that you’re an 8x National Champion of top trophy awards in the NPC Bodybuilding and Figure Championships! How did you get into competing and did you ever have the fear that lifting weights would make you look less feminine?
WI: Well you know, I got into it as a challenge. It was a challenge for myself. A male friend and trainer had done it and said Wendy, you should do it! I had seen a show for the first time three years prior, and it seemed intimidating to be under a microscope with bright lights and every morsel of your body being measured and compared – I was like whoa! This is a whole different level. It seemed like a little mini world out there with the audience laying their eyes [on competitors] and focused on looking at your arms, your legs, your shoulders and your butt. However uncomfortable I felt at the idea of it, I was hungry for a challenge – scared but hungry! But I’ve learned as I’ve said for me, setting goals, pushing the limit and being uncomfortable makes me wiser, better and stronger in all the things I do and overall improves my life.
When you get that little spark to up your game and improve your life, you realize with that connection, you want to do more. So it gives me purpose in life and unspeakable energy – I don’t want to stop moving! So here’s the deal and here’s what I have learned; you have to have confidence in your preparation. I said I was scared and all that – you have to have confidence in your preparation and the process, and approach it methodically and step-by-step, like you’re on a mission. Being present in the moment, focusing on doing what you’re supposed to do each day instead of jumping weeks ahead. It will not only give you confidence, but you will learn to trust the process and you’ll be motivated to repeat it time and time again. By the way, your reward is standing in the bright lights and owning up to standing under that microscope [of the audiences eyes].
And the other thing is – what kept me away from weights early on in my career and why I never attempted it – was that I thought weights would make you a big and bulky person like a man and I’m a girly girl, so I definitely didn’t want that. But once I found out and I learned, because I used to be an accountant for 20 years, but when I switched my career to this whole thing I learned and I knew that by entering this competition, I knew that [get bulky from lifting weights] wouldn’t happen and I try to educate and tell women for sure that it’s only going to make you healthier and you will not look like a man, because the ones who do are on steroids and the like. And I am not down with that, there’s no chance.
Wendy Takes 1st Place In Her First NPC Competition – San Diego 2009
BFT: You have an awesome story of trials, tribulations, perseverance, faith and huge success. What is life like now for Wendy Ida?