I talked to Stephanie McDonald, owner of Austin Adventure Bootcamp about her experience in fitness and what inspires her to achieve her goals everyday as she holds bootcamps for women across Austin.
Here were my questions for Stephanie:
What is your history with fitness and sports?
My initial inspiration for fitness came at the age of 15 when I stumbled across a women’s bodybuilding contest on television. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to compete in bodybuilding and I aspired to achieve a strong feminine muscular physique like Cory Everson, the reigning Ms. Olympia at that time. This passion was new and exciting for me as I grew up in a family where the women were not very athletic. I began weight training with some of the football players in our high school’s field house. I started by learning the basics and then through books and magazines, I expanded my knowledge. I continued weight training through college and throughout my twenties. However, it took me until the age of 31 to finally get up the nerve to step on stage in my first figure competition. That was it. I was hooked! I’ve been competing for about 5 years now and I’ve almost earned my professional status in the sport, which would put me in the same bodybuilding federation as Cory Everson.
What drives your passion for fitness?
I’m driven by my desire to improve and push my body and mind. I really enjoy pushing the limits of my fitness level to see how my muscles will react. I know that if I put my mind into it and focus, I can accomplish anything. I keep telling myself this as I continue on my quest for my professional status. I’m also driven by the fact that I am a role model for my clients, my friends, and my family. So many women struggle with knowing what to do and having motivation when it comes to being fit and healthy; it is my passion to be able to help them achieve this.
What kind of fitness goals do you set for yourself?
I have been fortunate enough to accomplish my goal of competing as a nationally ranked figure competitor and my current goal is to achieve professional status in the IFBB. After that, I may move on to obstacle course challenges or triathlons. I find it’s easier to focus on fitness, when I set a goal event that I need to work towards. Plus there’s such a great feeling of accomplishment after I’ve completed an event, even if it’s just a 5K.
What is the best thing about your program for you emotionally?
I am so fortunate to have such great women in my boot camps! They are my inspiration, and in turn make me want to be a better fitness role model. The stories and emails that I receive month after month about the successes of our boot campers are so inspiring that I want to continue to do all I can in order to help them achieve their fitness goals.
What would you recommend for people to do to improve their workouts/eating habits outside of your program?
If I had to chose, I would recommend that people focus on their diet first. Eating a clean, healthy diet is important for so many obvious reasons; if you’re not eating clean, you’ll be hard pressed to see results regardless of your fitness routine. Jack Lalanne was once quoted as saying, “If God made it, eat it. If man made it, leave it.” That’s really good advice from someone who is exponentially more qualified than I am.
I want to thank Stephanie for taking out the time for this great interview. If you would like to learn more about her boot camp, or more about her please refer to her website.
Cassandra covers the North Austin beat. If you have any suggestions please email her at CassandraHdz@mail.utexas.edu.