Marilyn Shane poses on her way to a win at the Western Naturals Bodybuilding Fitness and Figure Competition in Nanaimo.
By Lynda Hills
News Leader Pictorial
Jun 02 2007
Marilyn Shane puts the word power in empowerment.
Last weekend at the Western Naturals Bodybuilding Fitness and Figure Competition in Nanaimo, the 50-year-old single mother of two placed first in the masters and heavy weight category.
She then beat out all female competition, taking home top overall prize.
It was only Shane's fourth competition.
"It was a big goal of mine to do it at this age. I just wanted to do one more at 50," said the enthusiastic Shane.
"I not only did it, which I'm really grateful for, but I won it."
Shane's bodybuilding career started just three years ago when she was working out with a friend on a treadmill and lamenting the drawbacks of age.
"You know it kind of sucks getting older, you get these little love handles, you get stuff going on that just happens with age and I thought, 'Huh, I don't really like that.'" Shane said.
"I'm a bit of a rebel, I've never done things by the book.
"Accepting those little bits of fat wasn't anything I was going to do. I thought, 'No way, it's not going to rule me,' and that was it, I just kicked it up."
Noting Shane had good, mature muscle, friend, Kim Stefanski approached her and suggested she compete.
Shane took up the challenge.
Through an intense regime of diet and exercise, and with the support of friends and family, Shane felt confident enough to enter the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic in 2004.
Marvelously, she placed third.
Her win spurred her on to do more.
"I thought if I can place third out of five in a non-tested event being all natural, how will I place in an all natural, no steroid event," she said.
She soon found out.
The next year Shane entered the Joanna Dunn Western All Natural, won first place heavyweight and in 2006, placed first in heavyweight and third in masters
But in September a work injury seemed to take her out of the running for this years competition.
Shane dislocated a rib at work and wasn't able to do chest or back workout for three months.
With only 50 per cent range of motion in her shoulders she wasn't able to lift her arms above her head without extreme pain.
After a delayed diagnosis, Shane was treated and gradually started weight training again.
Through dedication and determination, and not a little bit of sweat, Shane worked back to a shape buff-enough for the Nanaimo competition.
Her sponsor, Valley Health and Fitness, also gave her the encouragement she needed.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Though bodybuilding might seem to be a self-involved occupation, for Shane that hasn't been the case.
Along her journey she's been a mentor and coach to many, even competing right next to women she's encouraged and supported.
This year and this competition have a greater significance.
"Fifty, that's kind of a milestone age," she said.
"I wasn't very happy about the age.
"When I turned 50 in February, I was pretty disappointed, that number sounded so big in my mind. But I thought I'd just do this one competition and bow out gracefully."
Over the years Shane's focus has changed.
Through her positive and life-affirming experience, she's developed a belief that anyone can do it and is turning that determination and will-to-succeed into helping others reach their own fitness milestones.
"If I can inspire anybody that will be a good a goal as any," she said.
Shane's not sure if she'll be bowing out quite yet, but with her long, lean muscles, sculptured form and passion, she's definitely got graceful down pat.