Safiya is a busy finance executive who worked extremely hard to prepare for her fitness competition debut, all the while balancing a demanding full-time career and being a dedicated Hourglass Workout attendee. We caught up with Safiya to learn more about what inspires her and what’s next for her in the fitness industry!
How long have you been attending Hourglass and what inspired you to start?
I have been doing Hourglass for over 2 years. I saw an acquaintance’s posting on facebook for the Hourglass workout. I was looking for a new challenge, fitness wise. I found that I was plateauing and wanted to try something new. This looked like the perfect class for me to try. I saw the posting at about 6:30 that morning and by noon I was registered to start class that evening.
What has been the best part about attending Hourglass?
The classes are continuously changing. One day we will be sprinting up hills and the next we will be doing a full-body kettle bell workout. My body is always shocked with something different. Another thing that I love about Hourglass is that it never gets easy. The class is meant for all levels, all shapes, all ages. whether you are a “newbie” or a “veteran” it is always a challenge. This is proven by the fact that it was a pivotal part of my competition prep. The other really good part about Hourglass is that you are accountable to a great group of girls. I don’t want to miss class, because if I do, I feel that besides disappointing myself, I am letting down other people.
What inspired your decision to compete?
I had been taking Hourglass for two years and was in great shape but I knew that I could do more. After seeing one of my closest friends, Soo Youn, compete, I wanted to give it a try. Soo Youn, and I have been close since the day we met and practically do everything together. We work together, train together and play together. Soo Youn really thought that I would do well and thought we should give WBFF a try. 2011 was the year to do it!! It was meant to be. I decided that if I was going to compete that I would give it 150%. There would be no half-a*! job. On the morning of June 19th, 2011, I decided to do my first competition, only 10 weeks away.
What was the best thing about training for the show and the most challenging?
The best thing about training for the show was seeing how my body was responding. It was as if I just had to tell my shoulders that they need to grow and after a few shoulder presses, they popped out and said “hello.” I told my legs to lean out, and after walking about 20 miles on a treadmill at incline 15, they obeyed.
The most challenging aspect of training was juggling all of my responsibilities. I have a huge team at work that I always want to be there for, a full personal life with loved ones, and friends and family that need my attention. When you add a minimum 20hrs of training and 6 hours of food prep a week, it can be really tough. I had to really maximize on the hours available in a day.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about doing a competition and may be afraid to start?
Make sure that you are in a good frame of mind. Ask yourself, Who are you competing for? What is it that I want to accomplish? Be realistic. The whole time that I was training, the person that I was looking out the most for was me. If it no longer was fun, I was going to stop. The thing is , I loved it. Every time I finished a workout, I was so proud of myself.
What is your next big fitness goal?
I have always wanted to represent a different type of athlete. The one that juggles a successful career, with a full personal life and a holistic approach on life. Happy mind, spirit and body. I would really like to be published in a fitness magazine to inspire more people like myself. You can have it all!!
So the crazy thing is, I have my Pro card with the WBFF. My next big fitness goal is to hold my own with the Pros. My competitors will be the greats like Miryah Scott, Lyzabeth Lopez, Julie Bonnet, Madalena Dos Santos and Diana Chaloux. I have a lot of work to do and that will be my focus for this year. I will be in the gym and every rep I will be chanting “build, build, build…”.
Congratulations Safiya on her amazing and inspiring achievement! You can check out Safiya’s new Facebook Fitness page here