Published on Monday, 03 December 2012 22:17
Written by Belinda Hope
Spotlight On IFBB Figure Pro: Belinda Hope
Category you compete in: figure
Date of birth: 06/09/74
Hometown: Durham, NC
Career: Personal Trainer
Competition history: My competition history is 7 years long, but the most impressive progression occurred in the years 2011 and 2012
Jr USAS 2011 8TH PLACE figure class F
Jr USAS 2012 3RD PLACE figure class F
Team Universe 2011 6th place figure class F
Team Universe 2012 3rd place figure class F
North Americans 2012 4th place open figure class F
3rd place masters figure class F
Masters Nationals 2nd place 35 and over figure class F
NPC Nationals 2009 NO PLACE
2010 NO PLACE
2012 1ST place figure class F and FINALLY earned my PRO CARD!!!
My first pro show will the Europa in Orlando April 19-20th. I am so excited to have the opportunity to step on stage with the best woman in the world in this sport .Where I place is not going to carry the value that getting there will!!
In your opinion, how important is motivation and confidence when aiming to accomplish a goal?
I find motivation and confidence to be huge, in my case it was internal motivation. I was the first in my family to go to college and I am truly the only athlete. Everyone else is actually OBESE!! So my drive in academics and athletics has always been from within!! I developed a desire to not settle for less and always want more from myself! I was not always very confident because I hated my full lips my entire childhood so confidence didn’t come easy and therefore made me very shy and sheepish in front of other people.
In your eyes, what combination of hard work and natural ability is needed to reach the top? I am one of those athletes that everyone looks at now and says it was genetics or that it was just meant to be because Im a natural. Its quite funny because if you look at pictures of me from 2007 I was the complete opposite of an ideal figure competitor in every way, from my build to my stage presence. I had to do soooooooooo much hard work to get to the point that I am at right now so I’ve had no natural ability working for me.
What are some motivational strategies that have or currently work for you? My favorite motivational strategies are to believe in myself even more when others don’t and to help others that are trying to accomplish the same goals that I have been blessed to accomplish.
Give me some examples from your life where confidence has helped you to achieve?
I grew up in a poor home in a housing project and at 12 years old I was talking about going to college and everyone thought I was crazy, but I knew that I would find a way and I did…I got a full scholarship to run track at Kansas State University.
I spent years at the bottom of callouts in national figure shows so my husband finally said maybe its just not going to happen for you and I refused to accept that as fact and continued to get back up and make necessary changes per the judges!! I knew I could do it if I just continued to move forward and kept believing!
I ran track at Kansas State University and always wanted to be great at it and help my team score points, but the highlight of my track career was placing 5th in the USA in the 400 meter dash. I also qualified for the Olympic trials that year and still have the university track record in that event.
What do you find the most challenging about competing?
As crazy as this may sound the most challenging part of competing for me is the off season when I gain a little additional body fat and I am not allowed as much cardio and hard core training. I am very regimented and love the strictness of the on season, so I struggle with additional freedom. I just feel and of course look better during the on season.
What are your top 5 key strategies for success?
1. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF WHOLE HEARTEDLY EVEN WHEN NO ONE ELSE DOES!
2. HELP OTHERS THAT ARE FOLLOWING IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS BY SHARING YOUR STRUGGLES AND FEARS TO GET TO YOUR GOAL.
3. REMAINING DOWN TO EARTH AND NOT BECOMING SOMEONE THAT YOU ARE NOT. My clients love me for my goofiness and genuine ability to laugh at myself…all the success in the world will not change that!
4. NEVER CHANGE YOUR GOAL JUST BECAUSE IT SEEMS HARD …PLAN A IS USUALLY THE RIGHT PLAN YOU JUST HAVE TO STAY ON TRACK AND WHEN YOU GET OFF TRACK GET RIGHT BACK ON.
5. HAVE FUN AND REMAIN LIGHT HEARTED AND HAVE COMPASSION!!!!! If what you do is a source of stress you probably shouldn’t be doing it
What is your favorite protein powder? Why do you like it?
Dessert by BSN protein powder is great, however I really eat only real meals with no shakes at all during my competition season
Favorite Inspirational Quote: My favorite quote is Henry Fords quote “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t , either way, you’re right”. To me this says you decide what you want out of life and what limits you want to put on yourself!!
In closing, Who would you like to give a shout out to?
I would like to give a shout out to my husband for helping me along the way, my daughter who always waited to hear if I finally got my pro card, my coach Tom Toy for always knowing how to get me to the vision that the judges had for me, and lastly to my mom for always being happy for me even when I was at the bottom!! And finally to all the people that said I would never make it to the next level as an ALL NATURAL COMPETITOR!!