Friendly bodybuilding rivalry develops
Article By Don Bodger
|Mirror, mirror .... Charlene Akhurst reflects on her performance in the provincial figures bodybuilding competition during a workout at Valley Health and Fitness. She's grateful to the gym, Courtney Hankins, her kids and husband for incredible support.|
A friendly rivalry between two Valley bodybuilding figures competitors keeps both of them on their toes.
Kim Stefanski, 32, and Charlene Akhurst, 32, finished one-two in the figure tall division during the provincial bodybuilding championships in Surrey. Stefanski also placed first overall for figures.
"It's awesome for Kim and I,'' said Akhurst. "We seem to be bumping into each other on stage.''
"I think we're both very competitive. When you care about the other person and have a friendship, it puts it on a different level.''
Akhurst said it was a very difficult competition, with seven in the category.
"Last year was my first year. I did two shows last year and carried on this year.''
The provincials qualifies competitors for the nationals and Akhurst expects to see many of the same women in Edmonton next July.
Akhurst is a remarkable story since she has four children -ages 12, 10, 8 and 4 - yet has managed to keep herself in tip-top shape.
"It really truly does not mean you can't have something for yourself,'' she said about having a large family. "It's not always easy.
"It's something you enjoy. I love it. The training is the easy part for me.''
Being so disciplined before the contest means there's a corresponding time afterwards when watching the diet doesn't matter so much.
"You have your couple of days of eating everything you've missed,'' confessed Akhurst.
For Stefanki, she was fourth out of 34 the first time she went to nationals but didn't attend the latest one in April.
"I felt I wanted to make a few more adjustments,'' she said.
The adjustments Stefanski made obviously paid huge dividends.
"Taking the whole show wasn't expected,'' she noted. "It was the hardest I've worked in all the years I've done this.''
Stefanski can now go to nationals anytime she wants without having to qualify during provincials first.
"When you win the overall, you get a lifetime bye,'' she pointed out.
Stefanski was pleased with the turnout of people from the Island to watch her and Akhurst compete.
"I have 35 to 40 women I train. A lot of them showed up at the show.''
The Way of Life personal training gym near the Red Rooster is Stefanski's commitment to fitness. "That's where I do all my training,'' she said.