They say life is all about choices. It’s about the decisions we make that ultimately decide who we’ll become and where we’ll end up. However I believe that sometimes it’s the things in life that we don’t chose that have the greatest impact. It’s the moments of cosmic or divine intervention that come crashing into our lives without any warning that ultimately become the moments that auto-correct our course without us having any say whatsoever. And sometimes, like in the case of emerging female bodybuilding star Margie Martin, those moments lead us into a world we only could’ve envisioned in our wildest dreams.
I recently had a chance to chat with a Margie about how she managed to land herself on an IFBB stage and what she plans to do now that it appears she’s firmly planted herself in the conversation as one of female bodybuilding’s hottest new commodities – and you can read all of the details here in this RxGirl exclusive interview.
Q.) Your first introduction to bodybuilding came early on when you met the great Lee Haney at your local church. What do you remember was your initial impression of seeing the 8x Mr. Olympia?
A.) When I first saw Lee Haney I knew exactly who he was. My dad was a big fan of bodybuilding and talked about him a lot. I remember walking up to and shake his hand and being star struck.
Q.) Is that the moment that inspired you to want to pursue bodybuilding?
A.) I wouldn’t say that was the moment. I think it was a seed that was sown. When I was growing up there were a lot of seeds sown in my life that nurtured my love for bodybuilding. My mom and my dad loved to work out, even though they were not in the best shape they both built muscle very fast. We started calling my mom coach and she stopped lifting. Also there were the women of GLOW. Man, I really used to love watching them wrestle. Then there were the American Gladiators as well. I loved seeing really physically fit women who were big and unashamed of their muscularity.
Q.) Who was the first female physique that inspired you?
A.) Okay, I honestly think that's a loaded question because there were women that inspired me at different times in my life, so I will say it was either She-Ra or Tigress from ThunderCats.
Q.) As some fans may already know, you entered the Marine Corps at 17 and served for a number of years, following in the footsteps of your father. Do you think the structure and discipline of your life in the Marines helped prepare you for the discipline of bodybuilding?
A.) being a Marine definitely helps when it comes to discipline. When you're out in the field you're used to being restricted to certain types of foods and a certain type of way of doing things, so you learn to go without. Also it helps with taking direction from someone else: being told to do something at a certain time without bitching about it.
Q.) At what point did you begin weight training? How did your body respond once you started focusing your attention on your diet and training?
A.) I started training the summer of my 13th year. My first workout was back and bi’s and my first exercise was lat pull downs. The next day I remember being so sore but loving every minute of it. I remember waking up and telling my dad and I had him feel my arms – he was so proud.
Q.) When did you first seriously consider stepping onstage for the first time?
A.) I started thinking about getting on stage for the first time in 2007 when I was starting to lose weight after trying to work so hard for several years after having my son. People started tell me that I should do the local bodybuilding show. And I didn't know anything about competition diets, so the only thing I ate was canned tuna and string beans for almost six weeks. It was painful. Until this day I still can't eat a can of tuna.
The day of the show I was so excited, but I was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Even still, you couldn't keep me from smiling. I placed 5th in my first competition, the Far East Armed Forces Bodybuilding Competition in Okinawa, Japan.
Q.) At what point did you decide to focus your energy on earning your IFBB Pro Card?
A.) At the regional level, female Bodybuilding is all but gone, so if you wanted to compete you could only really find competition at the national level. So at the 2012 NPC Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia, I placed nine out of 10 in the light heavyweight division. Needless to say, I got my butt creamed but that was my biggest motivation. It wasn't to get my pro card; it was to be better than I was before. I want to step onstage and have people say "who in the world is that bigass (beautiful) woman right there?"
Q.) Tell us about the moment you heard your name announced as the winner at the 2013 NPC USA Championships. What thoughts and emotions were running through your mind at the time?
A.) When they called my name it was probably the most surreal moment of my life. I was saying "This is happening, this is happening, this happening. Oh, my goodness!" I was prepared going into this sport that if it was going to take me 15 years to get my pro card I was willing to work for 15 years to get my pro card. For me it wasn't about how quickly I can achieve that goal – it was about bringing my best and at that time my best was what the judges wanted.
Q.) Although you’re still very early in your pro career, you've been very successful thus far securing two top 5 finishes in your first two contests, including a 2nd place finish at the Omaha Pro. Did you ever envision yourself being this successful so early on?
A.) I’m not going to say I envisioned this type of success, but I would say I was excited to bring a package that was pro worthy. One of the best traits I have is that I am a quick study. I take the lesson and go home and work. Competitors go through years of being dumbfounded and confused about what they should do to change their physique to make it complete.
Q.) One of the keys to bodybuilding success is having a strong support system behind you. Tell us a bit about the role your family has played in your career thus far.
A.) My family is the best support system in the world. They would cook for me. They would rub my feet. They would make me laugh when they knew I was down. They would even chastise me or push me when I really needed that extra nudge.
Q.) What do you believe you have to do as an athlete to improve your physique and stand on the Olympia stage next to the best female athletes in the world and compete for a title?
A.) The first thing I need to do is not panic… haha. I want to bring in a more conditioned yet full and feminine physique. I know muscle maturity is one of the things that I lack and I'm really focusing on bringing that up as much as possible.
Q.) When's the next time fans can expect to see Margie Martin take the stage?
A.) More than likely the next time the fans will see me I will be on the Olympia stage 2014, September 18-21… probably moonwalking on stage because I'm so excited!
Q.) Is there anyone you'd like to thank for supporting you along your journey thus far?
A.) I would like to thank the Yin to my Yang – Timothy Martin and the Martin crew! My coach, PD Devers; my best friend, Nicole Richard for being so awesome to me. I would also like to thank every female bodybuilder who gets up every morning, laces up their shoes, puts on their straps and lifts some heavy ass weight.
Q.) If fans or potential sponsors would like to like to contact you or find out more information, what's the best way for them to reach you?
A.) I can be reached at my email at [email protected], Instagram @ladymvm or Facebook Margie Martin Ifbb Pro.
Whether you want to call it fate, coincidence, luck, divine intervention, or any other sort of explanation for the unexplainable, something put us all on this path to the relentless pursuit of muscle that we call bodybuilding. And that same something has inspired the fire for greatness inside Margie as she marches her way toward the Olympia stage to do what it appears she was always destined to do – stand onstage next to the best female bodybuilders in the world and prove that she’s exactly where she belongs.