Blyth woman caps six-month fitness journey with bronze medal, nationals berth - Nov. 9, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Carla Pawitch of Blyth recently took the motivation to get into better shape to new extremes and now has a bronze medal to show for it.
Pawitch, who is no stranger to local athletic competitions, whether it be the Goderich Triathlon or local charity bike rides or runs, said in an interview with The Citizen that when her broomball season ended last spring, she was looking for a better way to get in shape.
She said that while she was in good shape, she felt like her traditional cardio exercises like cycling and running weren’t helping her to lose weight and she was feeling frustrated. However, a chance meeting with a customer at Spa Essentials, where Pawitch works, led her to think about a different type of fitness.
It was through this woman that Pawitch made her way to UFE (Ultimate Fitness Events), which begin with bikini modelling all the way up to female bodybuilding competitions.
While entering the world of fitness competitions at the age of 38 came with its fair share of doubters, Pawitch said all that did was motivate her further.
She began to seriously consider starting her journey in April and in May she began training with coach Angela Hauck, a Teeswater native who has since moved to Waterloo.
After an initial consultation, Hauck designed an individual plan for Pawitch that dictated what she should be eating, what exercises she should be doing and when. The plan was designed to shed weight and build muscle, all with an eye towards the UFE Halloween Mayhem event in Hamilton on Saturday, Oct. 28.
The road to the event was challenging, Pawitch said, and it involved long days full of activity cycles that couldn’t be broken. Keeping on track, she said, was hard for the mother of four children.
A typical day, Pawitch said, began at 5 a.m. She would drive to the gym in Wingham and work with weights for 90 minutes before returning to her Blyth home to prepare her children for school. She would then get herself ready for work and work all day before returning home, making dinner and getting the children to hockey or whatever they had going on that night before another 90 to 120 minutes of cardio before going to bed and doing it all over again.
There were plenty of times along the way, she said, when she wanted to quit, but she remained dedicated and worked towards her goal of the Oct. 28 event.
However, both Pawitch and Hauck recognized the reality of the situation – a 38-year-old woman who had never been involved in the fitness competition world getting herself competition-ready in six months – and Pawitch didn’t officially register for the competition until she knew she’d be prepared to take part.
Two months ahead of the show, Pawitch had seen the results and knew she wanted to go through with it and registered. Even then, however, there were days leading up to the event, Pawitch said, when her husband Mike would ask her how she was and she would just break down into tears.
Pawitch continued to work, however, on her own, with Hauck and then, as the competition drew near, a posing coach that would teach her how to pose properly while on the stage.
The day of the competition, Pawitch said, was a complete blur. She said she felt as though she was going to be sick when she first went on stage because she was so nervous. Furthermore, when she was actually on stage, she said she couldn’t remember anything.
Because Pawitch was in such a daze, she had to be nudged by a fellow competitor when Pawitch’s number was called, indicating that she had placed third in the Women’s Open Fitness Model category.
Not only was Pawitch surprised by her success, but so too were fellow competitors, who said they couldn’t believe the progress she had made in just six months, beating out other women who had been competing for years.
Since beginning the work of trimming weight and building muscle in May, Pawitch lost 48 pounds and has decided to continue competing.
By finishing third in the provincial competition, Pawitch qualified for the national competition. However, with this year’s competition set to take place just weeks after the provincials, Pawitch decided to wait and use her qualification for the 2018 nationals, giving herself another year to train further and build even more muscle.
Pawitch says that even with all of the work that’s gone into the last six months, it’s hard to believe the physical transformation she’s undergone.
For more information on UFE, visit its website at ufeshows.com.