By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
In case you missed Summer Mast’s “Five Question Challenge,” click here: http://jakes-take.com/2014/06/the-five-question-challenge-with-summer-mast-wbff-pro/
Part three of my WBFF Pro interview series continues with Charity Jones!
The Saint Joseph, Missouri native stole the 2014 WBFF US Central Show and conquered the Figure category!
In her edition of The Five Question Challenge, Charity talked about the Figure category and shared her next chapter in her fitness journey!
Jacob Elyachar: What attracted you to enter the fitness world?
Charity Jones: I have always considered myself an active, goal-oriented person. I participated in athletics in high school (basketball, cheerleading, dance team and track and field), played intramural sports in college and was a member of Air Force ROTC. After college, I was on active duty with the Air Force and that is when I first started exploring strength training and weight lifting. I found that I enjoyed it and was fairly consistent during that period in my life.
But, after leaving active duty and returning back home, I found myself a little lost without the scheduled PT and the requirement of staying in shape for my job. After a couple of years working in a sedentary desk job and neglecting my nutrition and fitness, I ended up gaining a significant amount of weight. I did not even recognize the person I saw looking back at me in the mirror.
With a history of heart disease and diabetes on both sides of my family, I knew that I owed it to both my family and myself to break the cycle. About three years ago, I started working with a personal trainer at HitchFit. I learned how about proper nutrition and fitness and I totally fell in love with lifting! I met my original goal of getting back into shape, and in the process, fitness became more than a past time…it became my lifestyle. It is like brushing my teeth for me now; my day just hasn’t begun until I’ve hit the gym. Being as goal-oriented as I have been my entire life, it was not surprising that I chose to take fitness to the next level and start competing.
From the first time I stepped on the WBFF stage two years ago, I was hooked! For me, it’s not at all about competing with anyone else on that stage…it’s entirely about self-improvement and personal growth. I love being able to set a goal for myself and that goal be 100-percent tied to my level of effort and the work I put into it. It’s completely empowering and I learn something about myself every time I go through a prep. For me, it’s also very much about inspiring others! It is never too late to chase your dreams. I hope that my story inspires others to take a chance and go for whatever it is they have always wanted in their life!
JE: Why did you choose to compete with the WBFF?
CJ: The first time I competed with the WBFF I didn’t really know much about the organization. I was introduced to the organization through working with the trainers at HitchFit. But, once I stepped on that stage and experienced the excitement and glamour of the WBFF I knew it was the absolute perfect fit for me. I love that the WBFF competitions are much more than a competition…they are a SHOW! Being able to express my personality and individuality on the stage and entertaining the crowd while also displaying all my hard work in the gym makes the experience absolutely amazing!
Also, I found that over the years, the WBFF has become like a family to me. Paul and Allison Dillett provide so many amazing opportunities for the athletes and I love being a part of an organization filled with such positive and supportive individuals. I have made many, many lifelong friends over the years and I look forward to making even more.
JE: Could you please describe the Figure category to my readers? Why is this category so special to you?
CJ: WBFF Figure Models have a natural, lean and athletic look with a bit more muscle mass than the Fitness or Bikini model categories. There may be visible muscle separation and striation, which you do not see as commonly in the other categories. While Figure Models have more muscle mass, they still maintain a feminine appearance and display their body in a graceful and feminine way. During competition, there are “standard” figure poses, but in the WBFF, the Figure Models are also encouraged to share their personality and individuality in their presentation.
Figure Model competitors are compared for symmetry, firmness, proportion aesthetics and presentation as well as for an overall healthy physical appearance. I first started competing in the bikini category, and then progressed to fitness and finally Figure last summer. While I really enjoyed all three categories, Figure quickly became where I found my groove. Most notably, the training style! I LOVE lifting HEAVY! There is no greater feeling that leaving the gym after an hour and a half/two-hour lifting session feeling totally wiped and energized at the same time! It’s a total high for me!
I also enjoy the fact that I rarely do traditional “cardio”. I incorporate a few HIIT training sessions in a week on the spin bike or rower and some sprint work at the track. But you’ll rarely find me cranking away on a cardio machine. I’d rather just lift…faster! I also really enjoy the competition presentation of the Figure category. It fits my personality and I love feeling strong and athletic!
JE: What is your next chapter in your fitness journey?
CJ: My next stop is the WBFF Worlds in Las Vegas in August. It will be my Pro Figure Debut and I am so excited! I am most looking forward to the experience of being on the stage with so many athletes that I have looked up to for years. The reality of the fact I am going to be standing up there with so many of my idols and inspirations is just mind-blowing!
After that, I have plans to expand my personal training business further. I have my own personal training business, Charity Jones Fitness, in St. Joseph, MO and I plan to spend a lot of time working to spread the health and fitness lifestyle throughout the community and maybe even beyond St. Joseph. I also have several athletes I am prepping for other WBFF competitions throughout this year. I love helping others achieve their goals and seeing how each person’s journey is uniquely different and rewarding. Having the opportunity to be a part of that is absolutely priceless!
JE: Why should fitness/figure models participate in the WBFF US Central Show?
CJ: I have competed in the past two WBFF US Central Shows and both were amazing experiences! The time and work that Micah and Diana Lacerte put into making the show a memorable experience for both the athletes and the audience each year is absolutely incredible. Everything is perfection and first-class…from the athlete’s meeting, to the venue, to the atmosphere and energy of the event and everything in between! And the opportunities that they provide to the athletes each year is unsurpassed! Top-notch!