Carie Bradshaw

Carie Bradshaw

Carie is an up and coming figure superstar, having placed in the top five at her first five NPC figure competitions. With three successful national level competitions under her belt in just two years, Carie knows what she needs to do to step to the top in 2015. She has big aspiration to turn pro and step on the Olympia stage and Carie’s determination and passion for the sport will surely drive her to success as she prepares for The Junior USA's in May 2015. Her contagious smile and great sense of humor helped her overcome childhood obstacles and remind us all to work hard, enjoy the process, and not accept limitations: go ahead, curl in the squat rack! In the following installment, Carie shares her story with you.

Getting Started in Competition

Before I began calling myself a figure competitor, I was a really big follower of IFBB bikini pro, Sonia Querido. I loved her look and how strong she was and it put a little idea in my head to compete. For a short time I had my eyes set on bikini until someone mentioned to me that I had the body for figure. So, I researched it and became a little infatuated with competitors like Nicole Wilkins, Erin Stern, Heather Dees, and Candice Lewis. Right then and there, just looking at pictures, I knew figure would be for me and it ignited a passion. I started training in 2013 and in the short time I’ve been training I have competed in two local shows and three national shows. My first show was the VA Max Muscle. Later that year I competed in my first national show NPC nationals in Fort Lauderdale. The following year I moved back home to Denver and competed in the Mile High Natural. It was the first time my family was able to come see me compete in a show and I ended up winning over all. Immediately following my Mile High win, I competed in Junior Nationals. I finished up this year up with Nationals in Miami; it was the biggest show I have ever competed in with 32 girls in my height division alone. I have been really blessed to place top five in all my competitions, so it’s definitely motivation to keep going.

Goals and Motivation

My immediate goal for figure is to become a sponsored athlete and win my pro card at a national show. It would be validation that I am one step closer to my long-term goal of eventually stepping on the Olympia stage. So, I plan on doing the first national show of the year which is junior USA's in May and I will continue with national shows until I can win my pro card. Outside of my personal competition goals, I hope that my family can be inspired to be healthier. Whether it’s something small like drinking one less soda a day or something big like quitting smoking, I want to be a form of inspiration and someone of whom they can be proud. My family is a huge motivator for me. I am adopted and my birth mother was on drugs, so I was born two months premature. As a child I had RSV and extremely bad asthma. When my mother adopted me the doctors told her I would never live a normal life and it would be a miracle if I was ever mentally capable enough to make it past a kindergarten education. They told her I would never be normal and I can say that I am proudly not normal. It was a miracle that I beat all the odds that I faced as a child and grew into the woman that I am today. I am a figure competitor because of my family. They supported me and believed that I was capable of so much more than the doctors’ prediction. Every day it is my motivation to push harder.

Overcoming the Mental Challenges

The biggest challenge for me is getting past mental obstacles. Before I started competing if I felt stressed, sad, or bored I would eat. Being on a training and diet regimen is a challenge that I had underestimated before I began competing and I had to find ways to cope. It ended up being a positive way for me to read more or take a walk and just enjoy letting my mind wander. Competing can be a mental struggle, but every time I followed my diet with no cheats it made me feel accomplished. I started to notice how things like this and other small accomplishments supported me in feeling like I was overcoming a negative situation and that continued to drive me.

The Lady Lifters

I was approached by Ky after a posing class to join lady lifters and I was immediately excited. I had never heard of competitors coming together as a group and it was even more amazing that Ky worked so hard to make it so inclusive. For this past year I’ve been to meetings about branding, sisterhood, and determination. With each meeting, I felt like I grew stronger as a competitor. One eye opening moment is when I realized Ky was blind; it just showed me that determination has no limits. I hope I can introduce more people to lady lifters and we can grow into a national organization, because it’s a big help. I found that everyone has an unheard story and I use the challenges that they have overcome to give me motivation.

Carie’s Inspirational Advice

“Competing is like a relationship: not only do you have to trust the process, you have to love the process. Just like a relationship you learn things, challenge yourself, change and grow as new person. It will have the ups and downs, but if you put in the effort you get results.”

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