A female body builder from Vanderhoof placed third at a muscle classic held in New Westminster, B.C.
Cherie Ray, who also works as a health care aid in the District competed in the Leigh Brandt Muscle Classic, in New Westminster, on March 23.
Ray said her husband Warren Ray has been her biggest support system and he got her into body building when she wasn’t going through a very good period in her life. She started body building when she moved to Vanderhoof four years ago from Kamloops.
“I was in Kamloops for eight years. And I wanted a change. I had just become a health care aid and I wasn’t in a good place in my life. I didn’t really have an outlet. And my husband who I had recently met basically kinda convinced me to move away and I did,” Ray said.
She said she started working as a health care aid, at the same place where her partner had worked in the past.
“And then he slowly started to introduce me to the gym and with lifting weights and you know just getting in there and actually being healthy,” she added.
About two-years ago, Ray tried to do a competiton and she said that she went up to the eight week mark, but gave up because she didn’t feel emotionally and physically ready.
But in Sept. 2018, Warren and Ray tied the knot, and she said that both of them enjoy the same passions and ambitions.
“We are both in love with each other and the gym. We found each other and therapy in the love of body building,” she said.
So in September itself, Ray expressed to Warren that she wanted to compete again. And her husband agreed to train with her and supported her decision.
However, while preparing for the competition that was held this March, her husband’s father passed away and Ray said she found out that her father had cancer.
“We also moved three times all while prepping myself for a competition in March. Four months of consistent gym, cardio and a clean diet while having negative people try to bring me and my husband down. Trying to grieve his father’s very sudden death and coping with my father’s cancer,” she said.
“But I did this because I wanted to truly accomplish this goal of competing in a bodybuilding show, so I didn’t give up or let negative influence bring me down or destroy my ambition.”
And that is what led her to placing third in the figure division, during the March 23 bodybuilding competition.
By placing third, Ray has qualified to participate in the 2019 Vancouver Pro/Am and Expo show.
“Believing in myself and competing against myself was the best choice I could have ever made. But I couldn’t have done all this without my husband,” she said.
She said bodybuilding has helped as an outlet for her to overcome a lot of emotions she went through in her past.
As for training, Ray said she does between three minutes to one hour of cardio per day. Plus she does resistance training for another hour.
People struggle going back to the gym or working out in general, and Ray said everyone starts somewhere and one should reach out to other people and ask for help if needed.
“I would like to say that anyone who is just starting out, when you go to the gym, know that every single person around you has started from somewhere. I don’t think people should feel intimidated. I think they should feel like there are people around there that will help if you ask. You have to reach out and being consistent is another thing,” she said.
“If you are consistent and you have that vision in your mind, anything is possible,” Ray said.